With a three-year plan underway, the federal government is phasing out printed cheques completely in favour of faster, safer and more convenient 'direct deposit' payments. By April 1, 2016, Canadian individuals and businesses will no longer receive paper cheques in the mail.
As early as 2014, this initiative is expected to save approximately $17.4 million per year. The cost to produce a cheque is approximately 82 cents, while a direct deposit works out to only 13 cents to process. In future, a cheque will only be issued under exceptional circumstances, for example when someone does not have access to a financial institution because they live in a remote location.
"The Government of Canada is committed to using taxpayer dollars wisely," says Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. "Increasing the direct deposit service will contribute significant savings by a reduction in the use of paper, plus related cheque-printing and delivery costs."
She points out that the Receiver General issues more than 275 million payments annually, of which close to 79 % are already made by direct deposit. Citizens and businesses currently receiving federal government cheques have the next three years to register for the change. Enrollment forms are obtained from the Receiver General web site, or from federal government departments. Starting immediately, the only method for new payment recipients will be as direct deposit.
By modernizing and saving taxpayer dollars, this plan is also in tandem with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy aimed at reducing paper consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
More information, including enrolment forms, is available online at www.directdeposit.gc.ca.