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The biggest problem with the checks though is clearing. It might take a few days to clear and it is not like accepting a credit card - where he money is yours. The e-check could bounce. Or the transaction could be canceled / rejected
Also, you cannot have a *credit* card until you are 18 in the UK, though you can have a chequebook much younger: I had one at 16 for example.
For some reason, around this time of the year - a few merchants implement this and then take it off in about 5-6 months.
I imagine the original question was sparked by Authorize.Net requiring you to either Accept or Decline a sign-up for eCheck when you login to their system as of Tuesday. I've been clicking ignore, but after a bit of research clicked "Decline" when I logged in this morning.