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Checkmate for cheques

Christinah Motlhabane
VOX POP: Kgosi, Otsile, Gopolang, Njuse & Thusang (L-R)

End of an era as cheques cancelled in BW

When the clock strikes midnight on December 31st and 2023 trickles into 2024, it will spell the end of cheques in Botswana.

On 21st February, Bank of Botswana (BoB) announced this age-old form of payment would be discontinued come the start of the new year.

Reasons given for the move included: cheques were outdated, prone to fraud, forgeries, dishonoured payments and the costly infrastructure needed to verify their authenticity.

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It was also hoped stopping cheques would encourage the nation to embrace BW’s digital drive, as the country looks to push Internet banking, mobile money transfer and other online platforms.

The decision has proved divisive, as Voice Money’s, CHRISTINAH MOTLHABANE discovered when she ventured onto the streets of Francistown to gauge the public mood.

It seems many are not ready to say goodbye to the cheque book, thought to date back to 1660…

Checkmate for cheques
MODONGO PHALADZE (51)

It is not a good move.

I think using cheques is very convenient as you just take it, go to the bank and collect the money.

The other thing, with cheques one cannot encounter network challenges, or the famous ‘the system is down’ song we always hear.

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I doubt govt will go through with this, looking at the way cheques are used in businesses and villages.

Maybe they will say those who want to continue using them, use them.

Our parents at the rural areas use cheques, more especially when they sell their livestock; stopping their usage will be a huge pain to them.

NJUSE MATJOKOTO (47)

Ah if the leaders say they are discontinuing something who are we to refuse.

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If they think it’s good for us, then there is nothing we can say.

On top of that, the cheque has lost its value; I mean who still uses cheques in this day and age?

Money can be sent digitally anywhere, anytime.

OTSILE GWAMBA (35)

Personally, myself I use cheques a lot; just last month I sold a gun and they paid using a cheque.

Parents use it to sell a cow.

When someone comes to the village to buy their cattle, they just use cheques.

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Stopping them will be killing us, I do not support the idea at all!

GOPOLANG MESHACK (35)

Cheques encourage fraud, thieves or children stealing their parents’ signed cheques and write the amount they want and steal the money.

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Some even forge other people’s signatures and steal their money.

It is a good move to stop them, I do not like them at all.

And they were consuming a lot of time; imagine leaving the village coming to take money at the bank only to find there is nothing in that account that was paying you, the payer used a cheque knowing very well they do not have money.

KGOSI BADIREDI (42)

I support the motion.

Cheques are overrated, one has to leave what they are doing to go to the bank and queue the whole day; it’s a big No for me.

We are digital so should be paid online.

We have to go with technology.

It might be scary now, but people will get used to it and see that it is a good thing.

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We have many fast, easy payment methods like Orange Money, eWallet just to pick a few.

THUSANG BONTSIBOKAE (33)

I do not have a problem with them stopping cheques.

We need a change, imagine in this era heavy with technology but still being paid with cheques.

It might be a challenge at first but with time we will get used to the system.

With cheques, you cannot take your money anytime – when it’s on weekend one has to wait until the week starts to get their money.

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