What is cheque imaging?

The future of cheque processing is set to change in the next year, as a consequence of the Small, Business Enterprise and Employment Act, which received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015.

This change in the law will allow cheques to be exchanged between banks via an image process, which should result in a faster clearing cycle for cheques. The Cheque & Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) believes that cheque imaging offers benefits to both businesses and consumers.

For more information about the cheque imaging project click here.

Increased chance of fraud?

However, our concern is that cheque imaging will open up new possibilities for cheque fraud. With the possibility that individuals will scan an image using their smart phone, and then take the physical cheque to a third party cheque casher.

This increased risk may require cheque cashers to increase their pricing to compensate, which would see the most vulnerable paying more for this service or worse still it may result in cheque cashers going out of business, resulting in closure of this valuable service.

Why is cheque cashing an important service and how does it operate? Click here for more information.

Our position

BCCA is following the development of this project and liaising with the C&CCC to represent our interests. Our involvement has resulted in the C&CCC conducting research into the unintended consequences of cheque imaging on vulnerable customers.

They have interviewed the BCCA and members on this topic, which has allowed us to highlight the value of third party cheque cashing, and the additional risks of cheque imaging.

We will continue to follow the cheque imaging project and seek to identify the unintended consequences.