Barclays to pilot mobile cheque deposits as UK Government proposes rule change
02 January 2014 | 19563 views | 2
The UK government is to begin consultations on new legislation to permit the use of smartphones for remote cheque deposits.
Under the proposals, UK banks will be able process cheque images for the first time, suspending the current requirement for banks to physically see the paper version before agreeing to honour the payment.
The Treasury says the new rules should cut cheque processing times from six to two days.
Barclays Bank says it will begin pilot trials of remote cheque deposit technology 'early in the New year'.
Steven Roberts, managing director at Barclays says: "We're excited to be the first bank to pilot this new technology and always welcome legislation which enables the whole industry to work together to make customers lives easier. When you can download a book or a film in seconds, we believe you should be able to deposit a cheque in the same way."
Cheques remain a crucial part of the British payments landscape - nearly £840 billion of cheques were processed last year - accounting for 10% of all payments made by individuals. 23 million cheques were sent as gifts because they are still the most trusted method of sending money through the post.
UK banking industry plans to phase out the use of cheques by 2018 were scuppered by a consumer backlash, forcing the Government to intervene in 2011.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, says: " The government is determined to create a banking sector that works for consumers and serves businesses. We want to take the very best of the current system and make it better. We want to cheques to have a crucial role in the ongoing success of the UK."