VocaLink and BancTec have won the mandate to build and run the infrastructure for a new industry-wide image-based cheque clearing system in the UK.
The new clearing system is set tobe introduced in October by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CC) with the aim of slashing processing times from six 'weekdays' to one day and paving the way for the introduction of interbank mobile cheque deposits.
Under the deal, VocaLink will run the central infrastructure behind the new system, which will use its IPS software for immediate payments processing and archiving and case management tools from BancTec.
The agreement further embeds VocaLink as a critical infrastructure provider for UK payments. The company, which is set to be acquired by Mastercard, already operates the UK’s Faster Payments scheme, BACS, Link, Paym and Pay by Bank app mobile payments systems, along with the UK’s current account switching service.
Although cheque usage is in decline, 477 million were written in 2016. Legislative changes to enable the passing of digital cheque imaging came into force in July 2016 and marked the onset of a number of bank trials of mobile cheque deposit systems for intra-bank clearing. Under the new system, banks will be able to accept and clear cheque images drawn from their peers.
Paul Stoddart, deputy CEO of VocaLink, commented: “This new service brings cheques into the digital age, creating efficiency in the industry and giving consumers and businesses quicker access to their money. VocaLink has implemented its IPS technology in Singapore, Thailand and will be live in the US later this year. We are now delighted to be bringing this technology to the UK for C&CCC."