An image-based cheque-clearing system will be introduced later this year that will cut the time it takes for money to reach your account from up to six working days to the next weekday.

The new system will mean that some banking providers will let you pay in a cheque using an image, via a mobile banking app, in addition to the current ways of paying in.

The system will be introduced with some banks and building societies on 30 October 2017, with all providers offering the faster service in the second half of 2018.

Currently, paper cheques have to be physically transported from bank to bank, and it can take up to six working days for the cheque to clear. The new system will allow digital images to be exchanged, speeding up the process significantly. You'll be able to withdraw funds no later than 11.59pm on the next weekday after you've paid in your cheque.

Cheque usage has declined in recent years, though there were still 477 million written in the UK in 2016.

James Radford, chief executive of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) – the organisation that manages the clearing system – said: "These changes will put cheques firmly in the 21st century, delivering real and important benefits for the many individuals, charities and businesses that regularly use cheques."

For more information on the new process, see the C&CCC's fact sheet.

Martin Lewis
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