20 August 2017
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C&CCC ramps up awareness of cheque imaging

27 July 2017  |  2810 views  |  0 Source: Cheque and Credit Clearing Company

New market research commissioned by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) has found that increasing numbers of bank and building society customers are aware of the forthcoming introduction of the image-based cheque clearing system that will speed up processing times significantly for cheque users across the UK.

Just under a third of charities (30%) know about the introduction of cheque imaging, which will go live with some banks and building societies from 30 October 2017. This is an increase from 23% last year. Awareness of the new system amongst consumers (15%) is at a similar level to last year, as is business awareness at 20%.

The roll-out of cheque imaging will be complete in the second half of 2018, when all of the UK’s banks and building societies will clear all cheques via the image-based system to the faster timescale. The precise date as to when this will happen will be announced by the industry in due course. Until then, two clearing systems will operate in parallel, which means that some cheques that customers write or pay-in will be cleared more quickly via the image system, and some will clear to the existing, six weekday timescale through the current, paper-based system. Banks and building societies will be advising their customers of their individual roll-out plans as appropriate.

James Radford, Chief Executive Officer of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, said:

“Although the findings from our research indicate that awareness levels of cheque imaging are highest amongst businesses and charities, it is important that all organisations such as these - that write or receive cheques - speak to their bank or building society if they want to find out more. They can then adapt their processing systems accordingly, prior to the phased roll-out of the new system, which begins on 30 October.”

The new system will mean that if a customer pays in a cheque on a weekday they will be able to withdraw the funds by 23.59 on the next weekday (excluding bank holidays) at the latest, with many banks and building societies likely to allow access to the funds earlier than this. Introduction of the new process will also mean that when a cheque is paid in, not only will the recipient receive the money in their account more quickly; the money will leave the account of the person or business that wrote the cheque to the faster timescale too.

Customers will still write cheques as they do today and give or post them to recipients in exactly the same way as they always have. Cheque recipients will still be able to pay in cheques in the normal variety of ways, such as at a bank or building society, by post or at an ATM. This continuation of regular customer practice is particularly important for charities, 29% of whom say they receive half or more of their donation income by cheque.

However, cheque imaging is also about providing more choice, and it means that some banks and building societies may offer their customers the additional option of paying-in an image of the cheque - by using a secure mobile banking app on their smartphone or tablet - rather than having to go to a bank to pay it in.

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