'Cheque imaging' using smartphones will enable Britons to pay cheques into their account
Plans to allow bank customers to pay cheques into their account by taking photos on their smartphones have been announced.
Customers will now be able to take photograph of the cheque and send it electronically rather than going to the bank in person.
The government is to commence a consultation on this idea, with a vision of making the necessary legal alterations.
This technology will not take six days like it takes now, but will permit cheques to be cleared in two days.
According to the banks, the new transfer process will be more convenient and extra secure.
Antony Jenkins, the chief executive of Barclays said, "Moving into a virtual world will actually create a more secure customer experience than the paper experience today." These photos would not be stored on the phone itself, so there would be no security risk even if a phone is stolen.
Following the attack on the World Trade Centre, a similar technology was introduced in the United States nine years ago. A new law called Check 21 was passed, to allow banks to process cheques electronically, rather than having to transport paper versions across the country.
Nonetheless all customers will still be able to pay in cheques by posting them to their bank, or even by visiting their bank directly.
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