CHEQUES REMAIN: Last year, RSD 36 billion was „deferred“
During the first half of the year alone, banks issued 3.7 million cheques. Data for the previous year indicate that goods worth RSD 35.8 billion were bought by cheque, reports the Dnevnik daily.
„Cheques have survived because short-term deferred payment does not incur interest, while credit cards entail costs. Merchants want to increase sales, which is why cheques are not sent to retirement,“ the article states.
In Serbia, all stores are required to accept the cheques of the banks operating on our market. However, each merchant independently decides whether to accept cheques for one, two or more instalments. In our country, cheques are mostly used to buy clothes, shoes, technical appliances. Deadlines are 90 days to six months. The shortest period for cheque payments can cover purchases at grocery stores – up to 45 days.
Before the holidays, big retail chains allow long-term deferred payments, either by cheque or credit card, but only with their banks. As for credit cards, deferred payment is possible, but there is an interest rate that typically ranges from 2.5 to 3 percent a month. Some banks do not charge interest on purchases for shorter periods and for merchants with whom they have arrangements, but often one-off cost is charged when making a payment, which usually amounts to 500 dinars.