By Amaka Eze
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), financial services software provider, Precise Financial Systems (PFS) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) have put plans in place to fast-track cheque truncation across the country as part of the on-going efforts to shorten the settlement cycle of cheques to one day.
The system is geared toward ensuring that cheques presented for settlement are resolved within stipulated date across the country. PFS has implemented the cheque truncation lifecycle for the CBN.
According to a statement made available to THISDAY, PFS and NIBSS involvement have enabled the CBN to execute the project as the cheque truncation platform has gone live in Lagos and Abuja while other branches of the CBN would be concluded by the end of March.
“The cheque truncation system would allow all branches of the CBN to capture all cheques in the respective branches and maintain them in a central server in Lagos. The system then allows all captured cheques from the bank to be transmitted to the clearinghouse from Lagos,” the statement said.
The Managing Director of PFS, Mr. Yele Okeremi, stated that the system was responsible for the processing of all inward cheques and NEFT transactions of banks.
“While it would address all required management reporting, its controls are guided as the system implements all required maker checker rules of the banks. With the activation of cheque truncation regime through iTELLER platform in Nigeria, one important challenge the system has addressed is the ability of the CBN to meet the deadline for cheque truncation nationwide.
“Aside, the platform has also assisted the CBN to reduce cost, time and the stress involved in its cheque clearing operations, as the system removes all logistics costs associated with clearing,”Okeremi said.
While enumerating the benefits of cheque truncation system, he stated that before the new regime, Nigerian banks were sending their outward cheques to respective central clearing departments by dispatch riders or bullion vans.
“There would not be any need for that again, as cheques can be truncated directly at the branch of deposit. This removes time-wasting collation and photocopying exercises usually carried out at the bank branches. It also removes the need to post-encode cheques, and this provides the platform to use more agile cheque scanners for image and MICR capture,” he said.
He added that other benefits of the new systems include reduction of stress and human efforts in clearing, elimination of all cheques substitution tendencies, reduction of time of consummating manual transaction thereby enabling the cashier to focus on other customer requirements as well as reduction of the man-hours required to attend to other customer’s need.