We could soon be able to pay in a cheque using our mobile phone

July 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

The use of cheques has declined in recent years but, for those of us who do receive cheques, it is often a real inconvenience. Unless you are comfortable sending the cheques to your bank by post, it means a trip to the bank, either to pay them in using a credit point or via a cashier. Imagine if you could take online banking one step further and pay the cheque into your bank account virtually. It seems that this may not be such an unlikely dream, although it would involve a new law being passed.

The idea is that customers could take a photo of the cheque and, using an app, the money would be transferred into the correct account. Two thirds of the UK owns a smartphone and many people already use it routinely for taking photographs. It would therefore be no problem for them to take a photo of the front and back of the cheque which would show the name of the payee, the sum involved, the sort code and bank account number and, all importantly, the signature. A smartphone app would make sure that the money is transferred to the correct bank account.

Any sceptics will be pleased to know that this system has been used very successfully in countries such as Canada, Spain and the USA since 2009. The campaign for introducing the same system to the UK is being spearheaded by Intelligent Environments, a company which produces software for the financial services sector.

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