‘State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, came out with an advertisement in all major national dailies on 5 November, stating that it will issue a new set of cheque book to its customers and that the existing cheque leaves will not be valid after 31 December 2012.
“Cheque Truncation System (CTS) or Image-based Clearing System (ICS), in India, is a project undertaken by the Reserve Bank of India – RBI, for faster clearing of cheques. CTS is basically an online image-based cheque clearing system where cheque images and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) data are captured at the collecting bank branch and transmitted electronically.
Truncation means, stopping the flow of the physical cheques issued by a drawer to the drawee branch. The physical instrument is truncated at some point en-route to the drawee branch and an electronic image of the cheque is sent to the drawee branch along with the relevant information like the MICR fields, date of presentation, presenting banks etc.
Cheque truncation, would eliminate the need to move the physical instruments across branches, except in exceptional circumstances. This would result in effective reduction in the time required for payment of cheques, the associated cost of transit and delays in processing, etc., thus speeding up the process of collection or realization of cheques.