The French love a cheque. Very rarely do the French pay by cash and never, well almost never do they pay by a debit / credit card. In fact I know of only one other family that possess a debit card, and they only use this card to buy petrol.
Bearing in mind the current financial crisis I guess it is a good thing that the French haven’t been lured into the ‘plastic habit’, but it is SO frustrating to be in a supermarket queue and EVERYONE pays by cheque and the cashier has to write all the details of their carte d’identité on the back of the cheque!
Yesterday, I had to go to the DIY store in Ploermel to pick up some chicken feed. When I got to the check out there were arguments in full flow at two of the cash desks and in the end both left their merchandise and left the shop. Why? On the counter there was a sign saying that this store could only accept cheques from banks in Morbihan. Incredible! Can they do that? Even if they can, that sort of policy won’t do much for their turnover.
I’m not often found filling in a French cheque, but here are a few guidelines for those that need to. There are generally 6 areas on a French cheque to fill out, according to the image below :
- The full amount in words (in Euros) goes on these lines
- Name of the person or business you are paying
- The full amount in figures
- The name of the town where you are writing the cheque
- The date you are writing the cheque (Day / Month / Year format)
- Your signature
Note: Not all cheques are the same, so be careful when completing yours.