UK awareness of cheque imaging ‘remains low’
Written by Anthony Strzalek
Consumer awareness of the forthcoming introduction of an image-based cheque clearing system has remained at a relatively low level, according to the latest figures from the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC).
Awareness of the new system amongst consumers (15 per cent) is at a similar level to last year, as is business awareness at 20 per cent. However, awareness of cheque imaging among charities has risen from 23 per cent last year to 30 per cent this year.
The system – which will go live with some banks and building societies from 30 October 2017 – is designed to significantly speed up processing times for cheque users across the UK. 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.
For customers, the new system will mean that if they pay in a cheque on a weekday they will be able to withdraw the funds by 11.59pm on the following weekday (excluding bank holidays) at the latest, with many banks and building societies likely to allow customers to access their funds earlier. This means that cheque clearing times will be reduced from ‘six weekdays’ to ‘next weekday’.
James Radford, chief executive officer of the C&CCC, 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.”