Barclays are sending customers cheque books with a message inside suggesting they bank online instead.
It is the latest push to get people to use internet banking in a bid to cut administration costs.
The message, printed on the inside of the cheque books, reads: ‘It’s a high-tech world, so why use a low-tech cheque?’
Barclays bank has sent customers cheque books encouraging people to move money online rather than using ‘low-tech’ cheques
Under this, the bank lists other payment methods customers can use such as debit cards and bank transfers, and includes a link to its online banking service.
Barclays says it has printed this information in its cheque books for several years. But many customers are only now discovering the message as their old books run out.
James Walker, founder of complaints website Resolver, said: ‘Cheque users won’t be too impressed when they find they’ve been called low-tech – it’s incredibly insulting. Cheques help people manage their finances, and if you follow clearing rules, they’re safer than instant transfers that have led to people losing their life savings to fraudsters.’
James Daley, of Fairer Finance, said: ‘It’s reasonable for banks to help customers find newer, more efficient ways of managing their money.
‘But messages like this are more likely to antagonise customers, than help them feel supported.’
James Daley of Fairer Finance thinks the message risks antagonising Barclays customers in stead of helping them feel supported
At Barclays customers are no longer automatically issued a cheque book when they open a bank account.
Instead they must go to their local bank branch or order one online or by phone.
Barclays is currently testing technology that allows customers to deposit cheques by taking a picture on their mobile phone. At present customers can pay in Barclays cheques with a value of £500 or less through their mobile banking app.
The service is expected to be rolled out across all banks from October.
A spokesman for Barclays said: ‘We include a reminder of the different payment methods available to customers on the inside of our cheque books, including links to online and telephone banking.’