Cheques can now be cleared on same day


Ms Abel addressing guests at the launch of the new system

This electronic cheque clearing system, which was contracted to ProgressSoft ¬– a developer of payments and imaging technologies – has now made it possible for local cheques to be cleared on the same day instead of the three-day cycle as it used to.

With the launch of this cheque clearing system, cheques currently in use will be phased out and replaced with standard ones that can be scanned and detail-verified.

The ceremony to launch the new system took place at the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) in the presence of Finance, Trade and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte, CBS governor Caroline Abel and the chief technology officer and co-founder of ProgressSoft Ali Fada.

Also there were the chief executive of Barclays Africa and head of Africa strategy Kennedy Bungane and representatives of commercial banks and the Seychelles Credit Union in the country. Representatives of telecom firms also witnessed the event.

During the ceremony, ProgressSoft personnel Muhannad Jalal briefly gave the guests an overview of how the new system works.

The project to install the electronic cheque clearing system has cost the central and commercial banks R8 million. It was signed in February this year by Minister Laporte, who was at that time the CBS governor and ProgressSoft chief executive Michael Wakileh.

Ms Abel said this new system is a key component under “our national initiative to modernise and improve the country’s national payment system.”

It has been carried out as part of the Truncated Image-based Automated Clearing House project and involves all commercial banks, the Seychelles Credit Union and the CBS.

She said the same-day clearing system and settlement process will enable better fund management and enhance the reliability and importance of the system as well as increase credibility and trust for using cheques as a widely accepted payment instrument.

“As a result it should also help reduce the volume of cash in circulation,” she added.

Ms Abel explained that this facility will encompass all bank branches across the country and when banks and the credit union start offering this service at all their branches on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue they will at the same time improve customer satisfaction due to a shorter clearing cycle, lower their risks and also improve their operation efficiency.

She said more initiatives will be coming on-line in the very near future which will further enhance the financial services experience in the country.

Ms Abel added that they have outsourced a component of this project to a local private firm – The Print House (Pty) Ltd – for the printing of standardised cheques which is a key element of this payment platform.

Seychelles Bankers’ Association chairman Bilal Qureshi thanked the CBS for having successfully completed such a project.

He said this is one of the steps towards modernising banking and will help the banks provide better service to their customers.

Mr Fada said this is a result of hard work by all partners involved in the project.