UK cheque tech goes breakneck
The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) has launched an industry-wide image-based cheque clearing system to speed up processing for customers across the UK.
The new system will go live with some banks and building societies from 30 October 2017. Then, at some stage in the second half of 2018, all of the UK’s banks and building societies will clear all cheques via the image-based system.
James Radford, CEO of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, says these changes “will put cheques firmly in the 21st century” and “not only will cheques clear faster but banks and building societies may offer their customers the option of paying in an image of a cheque rather than the paper cheque itself”.
C&CCC says the precise date as to when this will happen will be announced by the industry in due course. Banks and building societies will also advise their customers at the appropriate time regarding their individual roll-out plans.
For customers, the new system will mean that if they pay in a cheque on a weekday they will be able to withdraw the funds by 23.59 on the next weekday (excluding bank holidays) at the latest, “with many banks and building societies likely to allow customers to access their funds earlier than this”.
If you think cheques are part of history, C&CCC points out that charities “receive many donations via this payment method” and other people (possibly coffin dodgers) “may prefer to carry on using cheques in exactly the same way as they always have”.
C&CCC adds that cheque imaging is also about providing “more choice”, and it means that some banks and building societies may offer their customers the additional option of paying-in an image of the cheque – by using a mobile banking app on their smartphone or tablet – rather than having to go to a bank to pay it in.