Paying by cheque – upgraded to the age of digital

Some banks have recently started allowing users to pay in a cheque using their mobile app.

Recent rule changes mean that by the end of 2018, instead of sending the cheques to a physical location to be processed and cleared (which can take six working days), they will have to be digitally cleared instead.

For cheque users, this will massively speed up the time it takes to receive their money into their bank account. It will also be more convenient for those that use mobile banking as they’ll be able to photograph and send their cheques via their bank’s app.

But why create this feature in the first place?

Although instant bank transfers and online payments have increased in popularity – for some people, cheques are still a very relevant way of exchanging money. Over 65 million cheques were cleared in the UK during the year’s first quarter.

I, for one, am glad that banks are looking at the numbers and not forgetting the user base that has not switched to online bank transfers.

How well does it work?

I recently tested this feature using Natwest’s banking app.

It was trickier to get right than I initially thought it might be. It took several attempts before I received the green light telling me I had done it correctly. During this time, I got a sore back from hunching over the table trying to take the photo.

It wasn’t my cheque or app, so I didn’t get to see what happened after I submitted it, but it looks promising if they iterate the functionality.