Barclays Bank is rolling out its mobile cheque imaging service to a further 1 million customers, allowing them to process their cheques via their smartphone instead of taking them to their nearest branch. The technology allows users to take a photo of the cheque using their mobile phone’s camera, which is then used by the banking app installed on the phone to process the cheque.
The technology has been available for a while, particularly in the US where customers have been able to process a cheque this way for some time. However, recent changes to banking regulations in the UK mean that the technology has only recently begun to be used here.
Initially, the Barclays cheque payment app was only available to customers with an iPhone but it has now been updated so that it can be used with Android smartphones, and from the 2nd July a selection of customers have been provided with access to the service as part of the service pilot.
Currently, only cheques from one Barclays customer to another can be paid but it is intended to have a cross-bank system in place in the UK by July 2016.
This technology will enable cheques to be processed far more quickly, by removing the need to physically transport the paper cheques to a clearing centre which takes time and creates additional costs.
At one point, banks attempted to phase out cheques due to the cost of manufacturing and processing them. However, this was met with protests from groups such as charities which reportedly rely heavily on cheque payments.
The mobile cheque imaging service will, however, make using and processing cheques much easier for customers, as they can deposit their cheques at home rather than having to visit their nearest branch – which may be quite some distance from them due to banks reducing the number of their branches in recent years.
“Our customers have welcomed this convenient new way of depositing one of the oldest forms of payment. Extending to Android phones is an important step forward in giving all customers the ability to pay in cheques using their mobile devices,” Ashok Vaswani, Head of Personal and Corporate Banking, Barclays
To find out more about the Barclays mobile cheque imaging service pilot, click here.
Image courtesy of Barclays Bank.