Andrew O’Brien, Head of Policy and Engagement at the Charity Finance Group, writes: We have seen some of the largest charities in recent months start to experiment with contactless payments and online giving is one of the fastest growing fundraising methods. All this might seem to indicate that older forms of payment such as cash and cheques are redundant. But this simply isn’t true.

We have seen some of the largest charities in recent months start to experiment with contactless payments and online giving is one of the fastest growing fundraising methods. All this might seem to indicate that older forms of payment such as cash and cheques are redundant. But this simply isn’t true.

We know from the UK Giving 2017 report that around 8 per cent of the public still regularly give to charities using cheques. Perhaps even more important than the level of donations made via cheques are the groups that use them. Nineteen per cent of older donors, over 65, use cheques to give money to charity – and their donations are much larger than other age groups with a median level of giving of £22 compared with £10 for 16 to 24-year-olds. Without cheques, a big source of income for charities would dry up.

We also know that most of this income is particularly important for small charities which do not have the sophisticated payment systems of larger organisations. So, cheques have a vital role in keeping small community groups going.

Paying suppliers with cheques is important for charities too. With many charities struggling to get access to online banking, cheques with dual signatories remain both an important payment method and also a protection against fraud and abuse.

There may come a day when cheques are not critical for charities – but we haven’t got there yet. Until that time it is vital that this method is retained so that the sector’s good work can continue.