Leading figures from a number of banks, building societies and other financial institutions have been provided with an update on the progress of the new Image Clearing System (ICS) for cheques, twelve months since its introduction across the UK. Delegates heard a variety of presentations at the 4th Annual Cheque Imaging & Remote Deposit Capture Conference, held at Stationers’ Hall in London last Thursday (October 11).

The event was hosted by The TALL Group of Companies in conjunction with Digital Check Corporation.

The conference was kicked off by Alex Trombetta, Vice President at Digital Check, who explored the latest trends in cheque truncation and shared how Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) continues to be successfully deployed by companies in the US. He explained a number of current business models for RDC  and claimed the selection of a business model by different financial institutions may be “the single most critical factor in a successful implementation of commercial RDC”.

Delegates then heard from Toby Sheldon, Director of Communications at New Payment Systems Operator (NPSO), who highlighted a number of transformation opportunities and discussed the New Payments Architecture Programme, a conceptual model for the future development of the UK’s shared retail payment infrastructure. Fiona Gledhill, Stakeholder and Communications Manager at Cheque & Credit Clearing Company, then took to the stage to reveal that there were still 405m cheques written across the UK last year and that 79% of businesses made or received cheque payments in the last month. She claimed that ICS was “required to bring cheques into the digital age”, and that whilst volumes are still low, the ICS central infrastructure is working as intended and no design changes have been identified. She concluded by suggesting that future enhancements to ICS could see same day cheque clearing, seven days a week.

Presentations were also delivered by Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director of the TALL Group of Companies, on how banks, building societies and other organisations can best prepare for the growth of cheque imaging; Fitz Anderson, Vice President of Digital Check, who shared best practice in check scanner deployment; and Ron Bakker from DIA Europe on image-based fraud management.

Peter Thomas, Managing Director of DLRT, concluded proceedings by revealing that cheque fraud is now at its lowest ever level (H1 2018) after a 41% drop compared to the same period for the previous year. However, he warned that “fraudsters are constantly looking for the weakest link and it is important the industry identifies what that weakest link is”.

Martin Ruda said: “Now in its fourth year, this conference has proven to be the UK’s premier event for frank discussion and debate surrounding the impact and growth of cheque imaging and Remote Deposit Capture. This represents the first time we have come together since the introduction of ICS at the end of October 2017, and whilst imaged cheque volumes remain low, it is clear activity is set to rise and it is vital that financial institutions  and other major cheque users prepare for this as soon as possible.”