Zambia defers Cheque Truncation System to next year

Cheque Truncation System

Zambia has deferred the implementation of the rule for clearance cheques in a day under the Cheque Truncation System (CTS) to February 1, 2014, to allow commercial banks more time to prepare for the rule.

The Times of Zambia reports the clearing house was still keen on delivering on the CTS objectives that include the reduction and standardisation of clearing periods for cheques deposited across the country to one day.

“The deferment is meant to allow commercial banks time to complete business and system changes to comply with new requirements,” said Zambia Electronic Clearing House Limited (ZECHL) in a statement.

“However, during the interim period all up-country cheques will clear at the same time as local cheques at T+2 (within two days). This, therefore, means that all cheques deposited across the country, irrespective of location, will clear at the same time, for example, two business days following the date of deposit.”

Meanwhile, The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has told all commercial banks to implement CTS by February 1, 2014.

Fabian Hara, acting director for banking, currency and payment systems, said:  “The cheque truncation system has not failed; as we speak the cheque truncation is working, you no longer see cheques move from the commercial bank to the clearing house. All cheques go as images and that’s what basically cheque truncation means.”

He also moved to assure stakeholders that all flaws being experienced with CTS system are being fixed and all commercial banks were aware of the deadline with the central bank visiting all financial institutions to ensure that all the banks were implementing the system.

The acting director added that international cheques used to take more than 10 days to be cleared and were now being cleared in two days just as with local cheques.