Missing cheques cost SMEs £550 million a year

6th September 2016

Research by Barclays Business has found that up to £550 million is lost every year by SMEs forgetting to pay in or losing cheques written to their business.

Of those that have lost or forgotten to deposit a cheque, two in five (38%) admit to doing it only on one occasion, however one in five (20%) say that they forget at least once a week and an additional 15% reckon this happens once a month, losing an average of £740. This means that around 1 million businesses are missing out on hard earned funds on a regular basis.

The average value of SME’s missing cheques is £740 but male owners confess to losing more than this – £925 on average. This is £200 more than the national average and twice as much as the £417 women lose. More women (59%) say they have lost a business cheque only once, double the number of men (26%).

Barclays was the first UK bank to pilot mobile cheque imaging technology that enables Barclays’ customers to pay in Barclays’ cheques at any time and any place with just a few quick clicks. The innovative scheme enables customers to upload and pay-in a Barclays cheque from their smartphones or tablets – making one of the world’s oldest forms of payment more compatible with the demands of modern life.

Younger business owners are more likely to make this oversight once a week with one in three (34%) entrepreneurs aged 18-35 saying they forget or lose a cheque weekly. This falls to one in 10 (12%) for those aged 36-54.

Ian Rand, CEO of business banking at Barclays, said: “No business should miss out on their hard earned takings but the £550m lost each year by SMEs losing or forgetting to deposit their cheques highlights the scale of the problem. We want to take the hassle out of cheque depositing for busy business owners so they can pay in their cheque instantly through their smartphone or tablet.”