The Canadian Payments Association has decided to scrap an industry-wide image-based cheque clearing project after a checkered eleven year effort.
The TECP (Truncation and Electronic Cheque Presentment) project was first mooted in 1997 and was declared a strategic priority for the industry in 2001, with a view to the full elimination of paper cheque exchange between banks by 2006.
However, delays to the project led to an industry-wide review of the scheme. "It became clear," says the CPA in a statement, "that the enhancements to efficiency that had been originally anticipated would not be fully realised due to implementation delays and the ongoing evolution of the marketplace towards electronic payments. This review also highlighted the complexity of moving forward to industry-wide implementation, given the extensive interdependencies among participants' project plans."
The CPA notes that most banks have pressed ahead with their own imaging projects and that the original efficiency gains anticipated by introducing an industry-standard platform for interbank clearing were no longer realistic.