Roll-out of faster cheque clearing begins in UK
Written by Chris Lemmon
Vocalink and Exela Technologies have announced that the new image-based cheque clearing system, built on behalf of the Payment System Operator and the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, has officially launched.
The new Image Clearing System (ICS) enables cheques in the UK to be processed by the end of the next weekday, allowing customers to access their funds quicker and with certainty that their cheque will not bounce.
The technology will be rolled-out in a phased approach, with very low volumes initially but this will gradually build as increasing numbers of cheques are cleared via the new, image-based system to the faster timescale. The phased roll-out will conclude in the summer of 2018.
Paul Stoddart, CEO of Vocalink, commented: “The ICS will add another important dimension to the suite of payments services we have been trusted to deliver for the UK for decades, including Faster Payments, Bacs and LINK ATM, all of which rely on Vocalink to power their infrastructure. I am particularly pleased that as a part of the ICS we have been able to deploy our most advanced ISO20022 real-time payment platform, which has underpinned our international expansion, for the UK financial services sector.”
James Radford, CEO of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, said: “Introduction of the Image Clearing System in the UK brings the cheque firmly into the 21st century, safeguarding its use for the millions of people that rely on it as a trusted and reliable payment method.
“The new system means that cheque recipients will be able to access the funds from the cheques they pay in faster than ever before, which is fantastic news for the individual consumers, businesses and charities who wrote nearly half a billion cheques last year.”