Some might say the use of a cheque is outdated and inefficient. Here at The Access Bank UK we disagree, and this is the reason why….
Early in 2017, The Access Bank UK made a strategic decision that it would look to join a number of the UK payment clearing schemes as a direct participant. When considering whether or not to join the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC), two main factors which helped us reach our decision were the requirements of our customers, and the innovation the C&CCC was undertaking with the introduction of a new Image Clearing System.
The Access Bank UK has been offering retail savings products under the ‘Sensible Savings’ brand since July 2014. We currently offer 1, 2 and 3 year fixed term savings bonds to UK customers, who are able to apply to open a bond via two channels, online or via a postal application. We have over 8,000 bond holders in retail savings bonds and, of those bond holders, 52% choose to deposit funds using a cheque, with some commenting that paying by cheque gives them a greater sense of control.
Given a digital image of a cheque can now be cleared electronically instead of through an antiquated paper-based clearing system, the clearing cycle of a cheque has significantly reduced. When considering this and the number of our customers who prefer to use cheques, The Access Bank UK believed joining the C&CCC as a direct participant and having direct engagement with the C&CCC scheme was a necessity to continue to support the needs of our customers, and support the future expansion plans of our retail product offering.
The journey to becoming a direct participant was straightforward. The C&CCC assigned a dedicated on-boarding manager (Sangeeta Arora) to the Bank who was extremely supportive throughout our on-boarding process which we completed in 12 months. The C&CCC risk & assurance and testing teams were on hand and readily available to provide guidance when required which helped enable us to meet all of the scheme requirements, and successfully complete the on-boarding process, which saw the Bank join the C&CCC on the 31st July 2018.
We now process digital cheques through our central processing unit without any reliance on a third party bank and both us and our customers benefit from the new Image Clearing System and shortened cheque clearing cycle.
The above blog contains the personal views of The Access Bank UK and, therefore, do not represent the views of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) or any individual therein.