This guest post has been provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

By April 1, 2016, the federal government will stop issuing payments by cheque (except in exceptional circumstances) and pay only by direct deposit.

The reason for this is compelling. It costs the government (i.e. taxpayers) approximately 83 cents to print, process and mail a cheque. Direct deposit brings that down to around 11 cents. The difference is staggering when you consider that the government will have issued more than 55 million cheques by the end of this year.

While this shift to direct deposit will save the government money, it also has tangible benefits for small and medium-sized business.

Direct deposit is:

  • Fast. Whether it's a refund or payment for services rendered or goods provided, the money goes straight into your account without delay.
  • Secure. There's no risk of your payment being delayed, lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • Convenient. Because it goes directly to your bank account, the money is there when you need it even if you're not around to get the mail or get to the bank.
  • A timesaver. You no longer need to shuffle your schedule to accommodate banking hours or wait in bank lineups.
  • Easily managed. If you receive more than one type of payment, for example an income tax refund and money for goods or services provided, they can be deposited in different accounts – even at different banks.

Help is close at hand

Public Works and Government Services Canada will help you make a smooth transition to a system that not only benefits all Canadians individually but also saves taxpayers an estimated $17 million each year. Not to mention, the 32,600 trees that will be saved yearly.

Canada's top financial institutions and accountants also are ready to assist you. So don't wait until April 1, 2016 to take advantage of all the benefits of direct deposit.  It's your money, so get it fast and get it into your bank account the most secure way possible.

Need more information?

Check out the Public Works and Government Services Canada website and/or call toll free: 1-800-593-1666 Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST.

Made your decision to sign up?

Contact the federal department or agency with which you do business so your invoices can be paid by direct deposit.