Electronic Clearing of Checks in the Philippines Starts January 2017

[The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved the implementation of the electronic clearing of checks, starting January 2017. This will speed up the clearing of checks from 3 to 5 banking days, down to 1 day. Issuers must consider the faster clearing of checks to avoid bouncing checks. To assist in the dissemination of this information, we are reproducing the media release of the BSP.]

The Monetary Board (MB) has approved the adoption of the electronic clearing of checks which shall be implemented beginning 20 January 2017.

As BSP-designated exclusive provider of electronic check clearing services, the Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) shall implement the clearing of checks via electronic presentment through its Check Image Clearing System (CICS).

Using the PCHC’s CICS, only the digital images of checks and their electronic payment information are needed to be transmitted to the paying bank. The previous clearing system requires the physical delivery of checks.

The new check clearing process is expected to speed up the crediting of funds to depositors’ account from three to five banking days to only one banking day.

Aside from promoting financial consumer welfare, this reform initiative enhances the efficiency of the domestic payment system and promotes the faster movement of goods and services in the country.

The BSP recognizes the importance of check clearing to the domestic payment system. Thus, under a memorandum of agreement between BSP and PCHC, the central bank will take a more active role in supervising the country’s check clearing system by reviewing PCHC regulations as well as examining PCHC arrangements, processes and systems for check clearing.

To ensure the smooth implementation of this new process, the BSP enjoins banks to actively participate in the preparations for electronic check clearing.

The BSP is pursuing reforms to enhance the efficiency of the payment system as this is critical to the promotion of the country’s Financial Stability.

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