BSP extends deadline for banks’ check clearing

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THE central bank has given participating banks one more month to comply with the faster check clearing system initiated in January.

“The Monetary Board, in its Resolution No. 417 dated 09 March 2017, approved the granting of additional 31 days for Philippine Clearing House Corporation clearing participant banks to fully comply with the Check Image Clearing System [CICS] standard, or by 21 April 2017,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in a memorandum.

With the CICS in place in January, only the digital images of checks and the electronic payment information will be transmitted to the paying bank, which allows a shorter turnaround time for funds to be credited to a depositor’s account.

Depositors transacting with CICS-compliant banks may withdraw against their validated check deposits as early as the next banking day. Banks that still use paper-based check processing will continue to render the service under existing timelines, the clearing house noted.

For its part, the BSP is enjoining banks to be prudent in implementing the new check clearing process but at the same time be not rigid in accepting checks.

“The Bangko Sentral upholds consumer protection and promotes efficient payment system, which are ingredients in maintaining financial stability,” it had said.

Earlier, the PCHC said checks bearing fold marks and stapler holes are good enough for banks to accept as long as the significant details are intact.

“PCHC specifically states that checks which are folded or have staple holes should be accepted by banks as long as the image and the information on the check are still clearly visible upon unfolding or inspection,” it said.

Checks without the word “only” after the amount written on the check, with empty spaces not ruled out, or information not written in dark-colored ink, are not enough reasons to not be accepted by banks. “No standard format on the date on the checks is required,” the PCHC noted.

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