Cheque guarantees

Debit cards

Cheque guarantees have come to an end as of 30 June 2011 – your questions answered

UK Payment Administration Ltd, which provides services for the banking industry, closed the cheque guarantee scheme on 30 June 2011.

This means UK banks can no longer use the scheme to allow customers to guarantee cheques. The following questions and answers will give you more information about how this change may affect you.

Current accounts help and support

Your questions answered

What is a guaranteed cheque?

A guaranteed cheque is one that has been given to the recipient with a debit or credit card showing a cheque guarantee hologram for £50, £100 or £250. In addition, the recipient must have copied the card number onto the back of the cheque as proof that they have seen the card. Providing the cheque isn’t for more than the amount shown in the hologram, and the rules of the scheme have been followed, the bank will pay it, even if there isn’t enough money in the account.


Why is the guarantee being stopped?

The use of guaranteed cheques has fallen significantly in the past 20 years so the Payments Council, which sets the strategy for payments in the UK, set a date (30 June 2011) for closing the guarantee scheme. You can find more information about their decision at UK Payments .


I write guaranteed cheques. How will this change affect me?

Barclays cannot guarantee any cheques you issue after 30 June 2011 from your Barclays current account, even if your credit or debit card has a cheque guarantee logo. However, cheques can continue to be written and accepted without the guarantee.


Can I write guaranteed cheques after 30 June 2011 if my card has a cheque guarantee hologram?

No. The guarantee scheme ended on 30 June 2011. You will still be able to write cheques but won’t be able to use your credit or debit card to guarantee them, even if your card has a cheque guarantee hologram.


Can I still use cheques?

Yes. You can still write cheques to pay for goods and services, but we will only pay your cheques if you have enough money available in your account.


What about cheques I have already written?

We will pay any guaranteed cheques that you wrote up until 30 June 2011, in line with the usual rules.


What other types of payment can I use?

We can help you with many other methods of payment that may be suitable, such as debit cards with contactless payment, electronic transfers and standing orders. For more information, visit your local branch, or give us a call on 0345 734 5345 1, where a member of our team will be happy to talk to you about these options.


Will I get a new debit card without a cheque guarantee hologram on it?

We won’t be automatically re-issuing Barclays debit and credit cards because of this change, so you will receive a card without a hologram when your current card needs replacing. However, if you receive a new, replacement or reissued debit card from 15 May 2011, it will not feature a cheque guarantee hologram, so will not be able to guarantee cheques.


I prefer paying by cheque because I have a disability. What other options do I have?

You can still pay using a cheque, but the guarantee will not apply. We can also help with other payment options such as debit cards with contactless payment, standing orders, and online or telephone banking. For more information, call into your local branch, or give us a call on 0345 734 5345 1, where a member of our team will be happy to talk to you about these options.


Will businesses know that cheque guarantees have been stopped?

Banks and the Payments Council will be telling businesses about this change, so they can arrange to accept other forms of payment, such as debit and credit cards. Businesses will still be able to accept cheques after 30 June 2011, but the guarantee will not apply after this date.


Will this affect my cash machine withdrawal limit?

No, this will remain as it is. There is no effect on any other aspects of your card.


My business accepts guaranteed cheques from customers. How will this change affect me?

You will now no longer be able to accept guaranteed cheques as a form of payment, even if your customer presents a card displaying a cheque guarantee hologram. You will still be able to accept cheques, but if your customer does not have enough money in their account to cover a cheque, it may be returned to you unpaid. If you are a Barclays Business customer and you’d like to find out about other ways your customers can pay you, your Business Manager will be able to talk you through the options available.


What if I have any other questions?

There is more information about why the UK Domestic Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme is ended at  UK Payments To find out about alternatives to cheques, either visit your local branch or give us a call on 0345 734 5345 1, where a member of our team will be happy to help.

Let’s talk it through

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