On Wednesday, a directive was issued by the Central Bank of Malta, stating that as of January 1, 2022, cheques cannot be issued for amounts below €20 and cannot have a future date.
Other changes include: cheques no longer being encashed or credited to the person named by the payer; cheques can no longer be dated to a future date and may be accepted in any case if presented prior to that future date, and cheques over €5,000 can only be deposited into the beneficiary’s own account.
Elsewhere, cheque facilities will be withdrawn if cheques are repetitively issued that cannot be honoured; service providers will ensure that all information related to cheques is retained for at least five years, and users who breach the regulations are subject to fines up to €200 for each infringement.
The bank added that the directive was issued in collaboration with the Malta Bankers’ Association, which considers this to be a positive development that will decrease the possibility of such instruments being used for the sake of money laundering.
The MBA also said that the implementation of the directive will permanently change the nation’s payments landscape and guarantee a further shift to more efficient modes of payment, in line with the objectives of the National Strategy for Electronic Payments of August 2018.