Barclays could be the first bank in Britain to allow customers to cash cheques from home, using their mobile phones as scanners.
The bank confirmed to The Telegraph that it hoped to offer customers a process known as "cheque imaging", which is already widely used in the United States, France and Asia. At present, all cheques in the UK must be physically verified by a member of bank staff before the money is credited to customers' accounts.
The process is time-consuming and requires customers either to post the cheque, risking loss or theft, or to visit a bank branch to pay it in. With bank branches closing in many areas of the country, this can mean a round trip of many miles in rural areas, and also leads to delays in the money reaching the recipient's account.
Barclays said its customers had requested a move towards cheque imaging as part of its YourBank listening projects, which allows people to post suggestions on a dedicated website.
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Bank reform plans could open up text message payments. In the US, customers regularly pay in cheques from home using apps on their smartphones. JP Morgan Chase was the first to offer the service inand rivals such as Citibank and Bank of America now also offer the service. Customers take pictures of the front and the back of the cheque with their smartphone cameras and send the image to the bank.
Customers without smartphones can use similar technology at cashpoints. Unless the law changes, Barclays would only be able to allow customers to pay in cheques from other Barclays "Post dating cheques uk weather" via a smartphone. This is because, under current legislation, the bank upon which a cheque is drawn has the legal right to demand that it is presented with the physical cheque before it decides whether to honour it. It is understood that the banks behind the cheque clearing system will begin to lobby for a change to this law within the next few months.
Demand for cheques is falling as customers turn to alternative methods of payment such as online transfers, PayPal and mobile phone payment systems. Total volumes have declined at double-digit rates in four of the past five years, and are forecast to halve again by to around million a year.
Banks' attempts to scrap cheques altogether thwarted by objections from MPs and groups such as charities and older people, who still use and rely on them. Inthe Payments Council, which is responsible for all payment services in Britain, was forced to abandon plans to dismantle the cheque clearing system by Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, said at the time: We have been inundated by letters from the public telling us that they rely on cheques.
Many charities, small businesses and vulnerable people depend on cheques. Their needs must be considered. They should not be forced into shredding their chequebooks. After listening to stakeholder groups, the trade body concluded that the cheque should stay, although the cheque guarantee card has been phased out and increasing numbers of retailers refuse to accept this form of payment.
The Payments Council said that it supports plans to move away from paper to cheque imaging. Cheque imaging could also speed up the amount of time that it takes for a cheque to clear. At present, it takes two Post dating cheques uk weather for a cheque to start earning interest, four days before funds can be withdrawn, and only after six days is the money "Post dating cheques uk weather" to belong to the customer.
If cheque imaging was used, customers could start earning interest on their money within 24 hours, and could withdraw it within two days. The use of cheque imaging could cut fraud considerably, bank sources said. This speeds up the time between a cheque being paid in and the same cheque being cleared. Instead of the details written on the cheque being verified by hand, it is verified by a computer system at the branch.
The image is sent electronically to the bank that issued the cheque, rather than the cheque itself being sent. The details and signature are then checked by a computer system. This process helps to eliminate fraud. It will be at the banks' discretion whether they allow customers to scan in cheques themselves, as they are in the US. With cheque scanning apps, customers take a picture of the cheque on the front and the back and send it to the bank using a secure login.
The bank then processes the cheque, and customers have to keep the physical item for a set period of time, with the date written on it, before destroying it securely when it is processed. The technology would require customers to own a smartphone, which may put off some older cheque users, experts said. Cash machines in the US have similar software, which means that paper cheques do not need to be retrieved from the ATMs to go through the clearing process, Again, this speeds up the it takes for funds to appear in an account.
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Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Monday 12 November Birmingham Midshires carelessly presented a clearly marked postdated cheque to their bank three weeks before the date on the cheque. When BBC Radio 4's Money Box programme was contacted by a listener who wanted to find out if post-dated cheques are honoured by banks.
The UK Payments Council, which is made up of the major banks, said the cheque after listening to more than furious campaign Post dating cheques uk weather.