On 26th June, Finextra published an article on the government's push with legislation that will allow the UK to pay in cheques remotely by taking photos of the cheques.

CGI's payments and financial services expert, Jerry Norton, commented on the new legistation.

"Today’s announcement that the small business, enterprise and employment bill will allow payees to pay in cheques by taking photographs is to be welcomed, not just because it will simplify cheque usage for consumers and businesses and speed up the cleared receipt of funds, but because it will also help to level the playing field in the UK retail banking market. Today, there are over 300 smaller banks that issue or receive cheques for their customers. More often than not they must use the facilities of the larger banks to provide the underlying service. The prospect of a new image based clearing mechanism will allow if they wish, direct participation which will encourage competition and innovation. "

"The government has shown a commitment to using technology to ensure increased competition so that challenger banks can offer comparable retail banking services to their larger peers and today’s announcement is another step in that direction. We have seen the introduction of 7 day account switching, the new PayM mobile service from the Payments Council, which can be accessed by any bank, and photographic cheques are a natural next step. The key area to watch now is the potentially fundamental change currently being debated that would allow access to the UK’s payments infrastructure to be broadened. That would usher in a new era in UK payments."

CGI are leaders in the payments arena, including supporting the Payments Council account switching programme. We worked with the industry to design and deliver the Current Account Switch Service which included programme management and delivering an integrated communications campaign to support the launch of the service. For the project we worked with the Payments Council, its members and other stakeholders to manage and drive the delivery of the programme on time and budget. Read the full press release. http://www.cgi-group.co.uk/cgi-and-payments-council-make-current-account-switching-easier.

Read the Finextra article - http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=26203.