Instead of visiting your local bank branch, you will soon be able to pay in cheques by taking a photo of it and sending it electronically using, for example, your smartphone.
The UK government has said that the new proposed system, piloted by Barclays, was received positively during consultation and will now be included in planned legislation.
“The innovations included in this Bill, including cheque imaging, show the government is determined to keep up the pace of our reforms to create a banking sector that delivers for Britain’s hardworking people and businesses” Andrea Leadsom, Economic Secretary to the Treasury
It currently takes up to 6 days for cheques to clear but with the new technology this could be reduced to 2 days. Almost £840 billion cheques were processed in 2012, 10% of all payments made during the period. However, Barclays claim that each year up to £300 million of cheques in the UK are never paid in.
The proposed system is similar to those already in place in USA, France and Asia.
“This is an opportunity to move cheques into the 21st Century, to reduce costs and make banking easier and more convenient for customers. We look forward to working closely with other banks, industry groups and the Treasury to make this a universal nationwide service as quickly as possible, so that all customers with a cheque to deposit can do so through their phone, tablet, branch or self-service device, regardless of who they bank with.”” Steven Roberts, Barclays