A number of delegates from a variety of the UK’s leading businesses were able to learn about the introduction and future impact of the Image Clearing System (ICS) at a specialist industry seminar this week.
Operating under The Chatham House Rule, The 2nd Annual Conference for Cheque Imaging & Remote Deposit Capture was hosted by The TALL Group of Companies, the UK leader in the provision of secure paper and payment solutions, in conjunction with Digital Check Corporation, a worldwide leader in the manufacture of cheque scanners.
The seminar, held at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London, was designed to help financial institutions, the banking community, building societies and major cheque users, such as charities, insurance services and utilities, to prepare for the introduction of the ICS, formerly known as the Future Clearing Model. This new system will dramatically improve the efficiency of the cheque clearing process, allowing customers – by agreement with their bank or building society – to submit images of their received cheques by using a smartphone or desktop cheque scanner. This will speed up the clearing process to no more than two working days.
The audience heard first-hand from a representative from one of the UK’s leading banks, who shared a valuable insight into the organisation’s pilot into mobile cheque imaging, which has been trialled by consumers during the last two years. Launched initially on iPhone, and later on Android, tens of thousands of customers have been using the bank’s pilot app to deposit cheques by images alone. The representative said feedback on the “customer-focused innovation” had been “absolutely amazing” so far.
A number of different organisations – from councils to agency banks – had also been taking part in bank’s remote capture imaging trials for corporates (Remote Deposit Capture – RDC), processing cheques worth over £100 million. The keynote speaker added that 100% of triallists were positive over the introduction of cheque imaging. She concluded by stating that both convenience (no need to visit the branch) and visibility (funds appear on the bank statement quickly) were more important to consumers than a reduced timeframe for clearing.
A senior figure from the industry told attendees that the introduction of the Image Clearing System (ICS) in the UK will “secure a very bright future for the cheque”, which still has a “significant role to play despite the growth of smart payments”. She added that the system would also make it easier for new banks to enter the market with cheque-related products.
Delegates also heard from both UK and US-based industry experts who were able to shed light on how best to prepare for the introduction of cheque imaging and digitised faster clearing. Speakers discussed the latest facts and figures with regards to international cheque truncation and Remote Deposit Capture, as well as providing the audience with an update on ICS from a software developer’s perspective, which underlined the different options for corporates and agency banks, in maximising the benefits of the new system. Finally, delegates heard how the industry was preparing for ICS by pro-actively investing in the development of cheque fraud prevention tools and image survivable features printed on cheques.
Martin Ruda, Managing Director of the TALL Group of Companies, said: “This annual conference, now in its second year, provides the perfect stage for a number of industry experts, from both sides of the Atlantic, to come together and share their expertise to a very engaging audience. We are now one more step closer to the introduction of ICS and a lot of work continues to be done to ensure we are ready to meet the challenges and reap the benefits presented by this innovative and exciting cheque clearing model. We are already looking forward to next year’s conference, by when the whole industry expects to be fully involved in the new process.”