An unexpected consequence of the war: the democratisation of bank cheques

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“Avoid tying up cash, use a cheque and contribute to the National Defence” was the title of this commercial prospectus of the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (CNEP) dated July 1916. Meant to be widely distributed to the business and private clientele, it presents the advantages of the cheque, both for the drawee and the drawer.

As the war continued, the war effort became increasingly costly for the public finances. In order to orient all of the available resources towards the National Defence and to limit the circulation of notes and cash, the State resorted to new systems, including cheques and transfers, little used until then.

BNP Paribas Historical Archives
BNP Paribas Historical Archives
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