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How CBN’s Cheque Truncation Policy Can Affect You

How CBN’s Cheque Truncation Policy Can Affect You

You can now enjoy less stress and time to wait for your cheque to clear before you can get your money. Before it takes about three days or more before your check can clear and the money made available by your bank. 

But with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s plan to reduce cheque clearing to at least 24 hours will help reduce your time and stress, financial annalists have said.

According to Roland Obe, general manager, Proactive Technologies, the CBN started its cheque truncation scheme in August 2012, in a closely monitored environment. Giving insight into the scheme, he said, “The CBN carried out systems audit certification test on all banks to confirm their readiness for the scheme in Nigeria.

The findings were that conditions were appropriate for the cheque truncation scheme to begin in Lagos State. This implies that under cheque truncation, the clearing cycle will reduce by one day, such that a customer can deposit a cheque early on Monday and value is obtained on Wednesday as against Thursday under the former clearing cycle.

As the banks have gradually acclimatized to the cheque truncation process, where cheques are currently being truncated and the images transmitted and managed from each bank’s clearing centres, several of the more forward-looking banks are getting set to decentralize the cheque truncation processes to their branches. This will further reduce the pressure on the clearing centres and engender the true gains of truncation, as cheques will now be truncated right from the branches as a front office (teller based) and/or back office activity.”

Laura Bruce, personal finance expert from Bankrate.com said “if you have a checking or savings account, the bank must let you know how long after a deposit that your funds will be available for withdrawal, and they have to tell you before you open a new account”.

She said If the availability terms on an existing account change, the bank should notify you 30 days before the change is made. If the change is to your benefit -- in other words, if your funds will be available sooner than under the old terms -- the bank is supposed to notify you no later than 30 days after the change becomes effective.

He added, “The apex bank in August 2007, launched the Payments System Vision 2020 (PS2020) aimed at revamping the payment system. The process commenced with the unveiling of the PSV2020 Strategy document, which benchmarks the Nigerian Payments System against global best practice.

A core aspect of the initiatives, apart from e-banking, which include Automated Teller Machines ATMs), Point of sell (PoS) and other cashless initiatives, is a significant reduction in the clearing periods for cheques by the banks to T+1.”

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