Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal
The banking practice shall soon change for all of us when the new cheque regime comes into force w.e.f. January 1, 2013.
India shall be migrating to new cheque truncation system, popularly called CTS with the objective of making inter-bank transactions and money related transactions faster, cheaper and safer. The payment settlement system including clearing will become more robust and mechanical leaving very little room for human errors. The entire banking industry in India- be it public sector or private sector, banks will implement the new cheque books w.e.f. 1st January 2013.
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• Less human intervention and errors
• No physical transfer of funds faster
• Low cost of transaction
• Safer – no frauds may happen
• High security cheque forms
• Loss in transit eliminated .
The cheque books which most of us presently use will no longer be in use from January 1,2013. Even if a cheque has been issued in old form before 1st January 2013, it may not be cleared for technical reason if presented on or after January 1, 2013.
The new cheque books which will be in used and accepted in new year has certain peculiar security features. Old cheque leaves will not be accepted by banks for clearing and only new feature cheques will be honoured. That’ why all banks are asking their customers to get the new cheque books issued by SMS, be email, by letter and even by way of public announcement.
Under the new CTS, new form cheque books shall be used which will carry a special water mark of ‘CTS- India’ visible under any light source. Not only this, if someone tries to obtain a photocopy of the same, the word ‘VOID’ will be visible on photocopies.
Such cheques will be cleared for payment within 24 hours as against 2-4 days now as it would eliminate physical movement of cheques from branches to the clearing house of Reserve Bank of India. Presently cheques are physically cleared and payments are effected by third day after the cheques are lodged for clearing. Henceforth, cheques would be cleared for payment by electronic mean through online payment gateway which will be encrypted and hence highly secure. Cheques will be cleared on the basis of electronic images.
While cheque related frauds will come down substantially in new cheque truncation system, it may end up levying some cost of transaction on the customers at a later stage. This is because it involves huge investment. However, recurring costs to bank will be reduce so far as manpower cost and other operational costs are concerned.
Though all banks have notified in advance about new CTS regime with effect from January 1,2013, RBI and may be liberal for some more time for which we will have to wait for official announcement. However, if would be advisable for bank customers to switch to new CTS cheque books as early as possible in their own interest.