Thursday, 20 February 2014

Canadian Government to Stop Paying Cheques!

Once in a while, it's fun to imitate those cheeky deceptive headlines. No, the federal government is not having a debt ceiling crisis and government operational shutdown such as the USA had in 2013. Nope, it's just that as of April 1st 2016 (no, it's not an April Fool's joke) the government will only pay by direct deposit. No more paper cheques. Which is a good thing all round. The government / taxpayers save money and it's a lot more convenient for payment recipients as the government publicity that I received states:
"Direct deposit is:

Fast. The money is guaranteed to be in your bank account on time. That’s especially important if you have arranged automatic withdrawals to pay rent, property taxes, hydro, etc.

Secure. There’s no risk of your payment being delayed, misplaced, lost, stolen, or damaged.

Convenient. The money is in your account when needed even if you’re away from home on a holiday or unable – for any reason – to get to the bank right away.

A timesaver. There’s no need to adjust your schedule (picking up the kids, attending classes, visiting the doctor, etc.) to accommodate banking hours and there’s no need to wait in line for a teller or ATM either."

It's possible to enrol for direct deposit online: for CPP, unemployment, Child Tax Benefit
- for its various payments, though here you still have to print and mail in a paper form.

As someone who spends a lot of time out of the country, I've long been a fan of direct deposit and any form of electronic payment. I only wish Canada's banking system had the equivalent of the UK's Faster Payments system, which since 2007 (!) allows anyone to make more or less instantaneous payments and transfers to businesses or individuals.

Update: here is graphic from the government's publicity people showing the various other ways to sign up.

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