The British financial industry wants to eliminate paper checks by 2018.

The board of the U.K. Payments Council voted Wednesday to set Oct. 31, 2018, as the target date to end centralized check clearing. The strategy-setting council — which includes major British banks such as HSBC Bank PLC and Lloyds TSB Bank PLC, the British arms of U.S. companies including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Bank of England and eBay Inc's PayPal Inc. unit — cited the "long-term, terminal decline" of the paper payment instrument.

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