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FirstBank to accept only new bank cheque from April 1: What is new?

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cheque in nigeria
Specimen of the new Standardized Bank cheque in Nigeria (Ref.: FirstBank Nigeria)

The newly redefined and standardised cheque for the banking system is due to take effect on January 1, 2021, TechEconomy.ng can report.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved a cheque standard plan that includes new digit on the magnetic ink character recognition code line and expiry dates for the booklets.

The new and old cheques had run concurrently since introduction, but now only cheques that conform with the new standards would be allowed in the clearing system.

In a message to its customers at the weekend, First Bank of Nigeria, stated that this was designed to improve the security of transactions and make the processing faster and more secure.

The CBN had emphasised its commitment to ensuring an enabling environment for efficient processing and other paper-based payment instruments through complete application of new and already adopted technologies.

In its Monetary, Credit, Foreign and Exchange Policy Guidelines for Fiscal Years 2020/2021, the CBN said it would continue to improve the clearing infrastructure to increase the efficiency of the system.

“The cheque truncation system shall continue to be used for the exchange of images of the instruments and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) data. The cheque clearing cycle remains T+1 and maximum cap on cheque at N10.0 million. The bank will continue to take necessary steps to achieve a clearing cycle of T+0,” the apex bank stated.

According to the regulator, the revised NCS and NICPAS was approved to improve the safety and efficiency of the clearing system.

Notable changes in the revised standards include introduction of Quick Response (QR) Code for faster verification of cheques’ details, expiry date of printed booklet and clear zone at the back.

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The apex bank said it would continue to conduct annual accreditation of the Nigeria cheque printers and cheque personalisers, in line with the provisions of the revised NICPAS.

So, what is new in the Standardized cheque?

  • Introduction of expiring date
  • Inclusion of Cheque digit on the MICR code line

 

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