By 2016, no more government cheques by mail
Published Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:50PM EDT
Ottawa is phasing out government cheques over the next four years in favour of depositing payments directly into Canadians' bank accounts.
The initiative is expected to save the federal government about $17.4 million annually. The government said each cheque costs about 82 cents to produce, while a direct deposit payment is only 13 cents.
"The Government of Canada is committed to using taxpayer dollars wisely," Minister of Public Works and Government Services Rona Ambrose said in a news release.
"Increasing the use of direct deposit will contribute significant savings through the reduction in the use of paper and related cheque-printing and delivery costs."
The goal is to stop issuing federal cheques altogether by 2016, except to Canadians who live in remote locations with no nearby financial situations. Other "exceptional circumstances" will also be considered, the government said.
Of the 300 million federal payments issued every year, 77 per cent are already made by direct deposit, the government said.