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Smartphone cheque pay-in system gets Government approval

27 Jun 2014

Legislation is being planned to enable people to pay in cheques via their smartphones, rather than having to go in person to a bank.

Under a new system currently being trialled, customers will be able to photograph a cheque using a smartphone and then send it electronically. The new technology will allow cheques to be cleared in two days, rather than the current six, and banks believe that the system could actually be more secure than paying in physically.

During consultation the idea has been ‘broadly welcomed’ and will now be included in planned new legislation.

Barclays – who have run a successful trial of the system - claim that up to £300m of cheques in the UK are never paid in each year, in part due to the inconvenience for people of having to get to a bank during opening hours. Spokesman Steven Roberts said: "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."

Bank customers will still have the option of paying in paper cheques at bank branches, cash machines, post offices and by post.

Details of when the new imaging system will be available are yet to be finalised.