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When about thirty of the great and the good from the banking sector in Dublin and Belfast come together to talk cheques, cheque clearing and how to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters, there must be something afoot.  There is…


Payment specialists from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland recently attended a dedicated seminar at the iconic Europa Hotel in Belfast to hear the very latest news and views from Cheque & Credit Clearing Company, and from the technology team responsible for suspect fraud alerts within the clearing infrastructure. Attendees were also provided with a valuable perspective from the US and Canada, as well as the state of the Image Clearing initiative. 


The event also provided ample opportunity to air some of the sector’s frustrations that have been long sitting under the surface. How much is being spent to bring the Image Clearing System (ICS) on-stream? Why will a two-phase introduction not cause consumer confusion? How can the ‘paying bank’ be held fully liable for cheque fraud when the paper document never leaves (or indeed is destroyed) at the ‘collecting bank’? Will the decline in the use of cheques make the whole system redundant before it even begins? And so on and so forth…


Actually, the depth of experience amongst participants, delegates, presenters and service providers pretty much answered all these questions, and left all concerned with a view of a challenging but achievable project, which will make the good old cheque a really efficient payment mechanism for those who still want to use it – and there’s still an appetite for cheques, with 500 million being issued each year in the UK. There’s also the view that the industry will be able to side step the mistakes made during the implementation of a similar system in the US and Canada. 


It is clear to see that when serious and professional people come together and commit to making something work, common sense prevails, and it will all be fine in the end.


Unique British-based fraud prevention innovations, a genuine collaboration to communicate the new clearing cycle (basically funds available next working day), and technology that is not rocket science, but delivers a robust and cross-sector solution, will all help to ensure that the ICS will be a great success. It would be great to hear your thoughts…





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Martin Ruda

Martin Ruda

Managing Director

Tall Group

Member since

28 Feb 2013



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