30th October 2017 was a big day for cheque scanning – though you may not realise it.
Due to a new system role out, waiting for cheques to clear will soon be a thing of the past! Thanks to new cheque imaging technology, images of cheques will be passed seamlessly (and quickly) between banks.
In 2016 alone, a whopping 477 million cheques were used across the UK. This shows that cheques are most certainly still relevant, but also that there is definitely room for innovation. The new system is being rolled out in order to streamline the cheque cashing process, but without eliminating this clearly important part of the payment landscape.
The initial rollout of this new system is only available to certain banks and building societies. The rest of the banking industry should be able to take advantage of this new technology by 2018. Gone are the days of having to wait 6 days (or more) for cheques to clear!
How Does the New Cheque Scanning System Work?
In layman’s terms, eliminating the paper-based system for cheques will speed up the process significantly. The process will be as follows:
- Someone writes a cheque and gives it to you as normal
- You pay the cheque into your bank account
- The bank then creates an image of the cheque after carrying out all of the normal security checks
- Your bank sends the image through the new image clearing system – to reach the bank of the person who wrote the cheque, for payment
- This bank also carries out security checks, and ensures there is enough money in the account for the cheque to be paid in full
- The bank sends money to your bank, who puts it into your account
- You will have access to the funds on the next weekday after you paid the cheque in!
How Will the New System Impact Businesses and Individuals?
The above is a very basic breakdown of how the new system will work – but it should also be noted that some banks may actually allow you to create the image of the cheque yourself – which saves you having to go to the bank to pay the cheque into your account. The image will be created on a specialised mobile banking app.
If you’re a business or a charity, your bank may enable you to use your own cheque scanner, linked to your online banking. This is great news for businesses – saving time and effort having to make physical banking trips, and allowing this side of banking to be done in-house.
Overall, this new system will have a positive impact on businesses, charities and individuals. The time it takes for cheques to clear will be faster, enabling funds from cheques to become available more quickly, and the need to visit your bank, less frequent – making all of our lives easier!
But having said all of this, you don’t have to do anything differently if you don’t want to. You will still write and receive cheques as normal. You also have the option to keep on paying cheques in using the exact same method that you usually do. The choice is up to you.