Mumbai: Punjab National Bank (PNB) today signed an agreement with NCR Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. For the first image based cheque clearing system in India. This will provide clearance of intercity cheques within 48 hours after the cheque is presented, at selected centers using cheque truncation, where there is image based cheque clearing system. Currently it takes about 15-20 days for clearance of outstation cheques.
PNB is the first bank to launch the Intra Bank Inter City Cheque truncation project by using NCR's ECPIX (Electronic Cheque Presentment with Image Exchange) technology, pioneering the introduction of the latest technology based solution to provide better customer services.
Cheque truncation is the process in which instead of the physical cheque travelling within a Bank, between different branches or between the Banks and the clearing House, the electronic record (image) of the cheque is used for further processing and transmission. It will eliminate delays arising out of paper based processing and transportation of physical cheques. The process of cheque truncation reduces the clearing time window in all the clearings, thereby offering significant time benefits to the Bank customers and cost savings to the Banks.
Mr. S S Kohli, Chairman and Managing Director, PNB, said, "The benefits of the ECPIX cheque truncation solution will be seen in the back-office as well as at the customer interface. On one hand it will streamline cheque handling and speed up the clearing process to give our customers faster access to their cash. On the other hand, it will enable critical savings for the Bank at a time when they are under pressure to reduce their processing costs."
Ms. Ruth Fornell, (Vice President and General Manager, Payment Solutions, NCR Corporation), said, "The decision taken by Punjab National Bank is a strategic one, offering them a critical edge in the competitive world of banking. PNB has always displayed the qualities of being a leader in banking technology. Taking technology closer to the masses, the man on the street as well as corporate bodies will reap its benefits through faster realization of funds. We are delighted to announce this first step towards taking India in the right direction of an even more sophisticated and customer friendly banking system".
After successful pilot run the system will be introduced by connecting MICR Centres located at Lucknow, Nagpur, Jaipur, Kanpur, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Agra, Allahabad and Varansi.
PNB is planning to extend the ECPIX solution to more number of locations (having high volume of cheques), where it may not have MICR center but still will be able to provide cheque truncation facility to the customers by installing cheque image capturing system. Apart from fast processing of inter-city clearing cheques, the applications of ECPIX solution include facility for utility bill payment, cash management services, processing of Dividend Warrants etc.