Oman switches on electronic cheque clearing system

Source: PorgressSoft

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) started today electronic clearing of checks across banks in the Sultanate of Oman with the live-run of the Electronic Image-based Check Clearing solution (PS-ECC), provided by ProgressSoft Corporation, the leading provider of real-time payments and imaging solutions for the financial sector.

Ever-committed to furnish an advanced banking environment, CBO opted for ProgressSoft's solution, PS-ECC, to enact a sophisticated level of check clearing practices across the Omani banking body. This nationwide project entailed deploying an electronic network to connect CBO with all the Sultanate's 16 banks and their branches scattered over the 212,457 square kilometers.

"From the beginning, ProgressSoft has conveyed an unwavering commitment to achieving successful implementation, deployment and live-run of its electronic check clearing system across the full scope of the project," expressed Mr Jamal Al Raisi, Payment Systems Department Manager - Central Bank of Oman. While dealing with the geographical challenges of covering remotely located bank branches, ProgressSoft managed to expediently conclude the project in a period that did not exceed 13 months.



With the new solution, an electronic exchange of check images and data is now replacing the traditional clearing process in Oman that used to take up to 7 days, during which manual clearing sessions were held daily at geographically dispersed clearing centers. At the end of the e-clearing sessions conducted on the first day of the live-run, 3651 checks with a value of RO 22,383,124 have been successfully processed through the system. Employing a T+0 clearing schedule, PS-ECC is availing funds at the beneficiary's account within the same day of depositing the check.



In addition to reducing the tedious and time consuming manual method by 65%, PS-ECC comes with an array of added-value benefits.



"The substantial impacts of this project will be felt across multiple levels, starting with the Oman banking body, which can now experience time and effort saving, cost efficiencies and enhanced cash flow management. At the clientele level, the public stands to enjoy better services when depositing their checks and expedited availability of their funds," explained Mr. Iqbal Ali Khamis, Senior Vicice President and Chairman EFT Project Committee, Central Bank of Oman.



"Same day check clearing and settlement, actualized through PS-ECC, will provide better fund management to businesses and people, it will increase the GDP and will leverage the credibility of the check as a payment instrument," expressed Mr. Michael Wakileh, Chief Executive Officer - ProgressSoft Corporation. "Such a 4th successful countrywide implementation of PS-ECC in the region helps pave the way for check clearing to occur across countries within and outside the GCC," added Wakileh.



CBO candidly expressed their confidence in ProgressSoft's capabilities and satisfaction in the rendered results. "Throughout the past 13 months, ProgressSoft's staff has exploited their proficient technical background and rich experience to meet our business requirements and render timely deliverables. Today, upon this rewarding partnership with ProgressSoft, we managed to conclude a success story and a nationwide banking milestone," affirmed Al Raisi. While being recognized as the world-first provider of electronic image-based check clearing since 2001, ProgressSoft has been boasting proven expertise and an impressive record of 140 banks effectively operating the solution, along with numerous successful nationwide implementations in several countries, including Qatar, Jordan and Sudan.

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