14 February 1997

On-screen banking end of cheques?

CHEQUES could become a thing of the past as more farmers bank by computer.

That was the message Jeff Wainwright of NatWest gave delegates at FARM-IT.

The trend is towards accessing your account direct from your laptop, he said. Payments can be made and up-to-date information is available. "No more waiting two days for a posted statement."

Farmers could also use the system to juggle surplus cash between accounts – even on a daily basis – to maximise interest payments, he said.

The firms Cash Manager system could save any farmer money who writes more than 20 cheques a month, he claimed. (The transaction charge, at 28p, is less than half that for a cheque.)

Over 40,000 of the banks customers use the system, of which between 2000 and 3000 are farmers, said Mr Wainwright. &#42