UK Government urged to allow mobile cheque deposit


Three quarters of Brits (75%) want to deposit cheques by photographing them on their smartphones but are being denied by out of touch regulation, according to research by Intelligent Environments.

The financial services software provider has launched a campaign urging the Treasury to change the law to allow smartphone cheque deposits. This will enable British consumers and small businesses to save time and money cashing the 1.1 billion cheques used each year.

Smartphone cheque deposit technology, where users take a photo of the front and back of an endorsed cheque then send the images to their bank using a smartphone app, has been available in the USA since 2009. This technology could be implemented in the UK but current laws prevent this from happening. This is resulting in unproductive time spent queuing in banks and wasted money posting cheques to the bank.

“It’s nonsense that British consumers aren’t allowed to snap a photo of their cheques and instantly deposit them using a smartphone,” says David Webber, MD, Intelligent Environments.

“In this connected age with almost two-thirds of the population using smartphones, mobile cheque deposits could save the UK millions of wasted hours and thousands of pounds on stamps.”

“The major banks are on a drive to introduce technology to make their customers lives as easy as possible and I’m sure they would introduce this tomorrow, if the Treasury let them. It’s madness Britain is still lagging behind due to out of touch regulation.”

According to the research, consumers are already digital banking converts. Three-quarters of consumers (75%) prefer to use web browsers, tablets or smartphones to manage their finances. In comparison, less than one in five Brits (19%) prefer to manage their finances while in a physical bank branch. This demonstrates the digital banking trend and compounds the argument for traditional banking activities – like cheque deposits – to be available digitally.

Although cheque usage has declined in recent years, they are still being heavily used by various groups including government departments like HM Revenue and Customs, charities and employers. In addition, as many as two thirds of small businesses are typically paid by cheque.

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