Events > SBP formally launches digital cheque clearing services through NIFT

SBP formally launches digital cheque clearing services through NIFT

Recent announcement by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) at the fifth stakeholders' meeting on Digital Financial Services, SBP through its circular letter reference PSD/LCPS/9654/2021, has formally launched Digital Cheque Clearing through National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd (NIFT), the cheque clearing house of Pakistan, which aims to bring efficiencies in the existing cheque clearing process benefiting all parties involved in cheque-based payments.
NIFT, in close coordination between SBP and stakeholders involved had developed and rolled out an Image-Based Clearing System (IBCS) for pilot launch. Following SBP's formal launch announcement, NIFT is commencing rollout of IBCS from September 6, 2021 in multiple phases.
The initial implementation phase will support electronic presentment of cheques which will enable electronic approval of cheque image and data by the banks thereby resulting in an early settlement of funds into payee accounts compared to existing approval cycles based on evaluation of physical cheques. This will bring us at par with International practices for digital cheque clearing.
In subsequent implementation phases, cheque truncation services will be offered to enable capture of physical cheques digitally from presentment directly by the bank or by Payer / Payee via supported digital media such as mobile devices. Digital version of paper cheques, called "eCheques" offering enhanced convenience and security on top of all existing features of paper cheques will also be supported during implementation phases by NIFT to realize full potential offered by digital cheque clearing to promote adaptability and convenience for cheque-based payments.
Speaking on the occasion, Haider Wahab - CEO NIFT said, "We are delighted and honored to rollout IBCS. After over two decades of paper based clearing, with launch of IBCS Pakistan ushers into advance clearing services leading to cheque truncation. We greatly appreciate SBP support and its close guidance on this initiative and making it possible. We also recognize Pakistan Banking Association and the banking industry for their contribution in the launch of Digital Cheque Clearing in Pakistan."

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