UK May Permit Smartphone Photos of Cheques to Be Presented at Banks
Published on: 26th Dec 2013
The UK government is opening a consultation to speed up payments by cheques by allowing a smartphone app to send a photo of the cheque for processing by their bank.
The technology is not new, and is already used in the USA, but will need regulatory approval to be permitted for use in the UK.
It would however still take up to two days to process the digital cheque, although that is an improvement on the up to six days that they currently take.
One option out of several being consdiered in the consultation is to bring forward legislation to speed up cheque processing, enabling banks to process images rather than paper as they do today. Consumers may also be able to take a picture of their cheque on their smartphone and send it to their bank with Barclays planning to introduce mobile cheque deposit next year.
Customers without smartphones will be able to use similar technology at cashpoints or branches or continue to pay in paper as they do now.
'Cheque imaging' does not require a hard copy of the cheque to be present at every stage of the paying-in process. That means that time spent transferring it between different banks and central clearing depots is saved as well as reducing the overall costs.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, said: "We want to see more innovation so that customers see the benefits of new technologies. That is why we're creating a new payments regulator and why we are going to consult on speeding up the cheque clearing process."
The consultation opens next year.