REIA Response to the Australian Payments Clearinghouse Association's discussion paper: Shaping the future of Australian Payments Real Estate Institute of Australia

Real estate Australia
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The Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) is seeking submissions on, amongst other things, the use of cheques in an evolving payments system where the use of cheques, in general, is declining with electronic payments being preferred for many, but not all, transactions. The REIA notes that the APCA recognises that many payments with real estate transactions are still paid by cheques. There are reasons for this which are outlined below. Importantly the reasons are consumer or demand driven rather than being a lack of response to the alternatives available by agents. The current electronic means of payment are not practical for many real estate transactions. This means 3 that unless viable alternatives are implemented, both real estate agents and those involved in real estate will be adversely affected if either cheques were withdrawn or their use discouraged by increasing the cost of cheque usage. REIA provided a response to APCA in August 2011 on the extent of cheque use in real estate transactions. At the time, to provide valuable input to APCA and the consultation process REIA’s members, the Real Estate Institutes of the state and territories, undertook a survey on the extent of cheque usage across the spectrum of real estate transactions. This survey was repeated for APCA’s current reviews to not only provide a snapshot of cheque use currently but to also provide a comparison over time. Importantly, this also addresses the assertion by the APCA that as overall cheque use has “declined significantly cheques will be all but abandoned by users over the next 10 years”.

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