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HSBC implements new cheque system

Dubai, October 28, 2007

HSBC has installed an innovative electronic cheque clearing system which has been implemented by Raqmiyat based on technology and software provided by US-based Unisys and UK-based Aperta.

More than 30 other banks in the UAE have also signed with Raqmiyat to implement Raqmiyat's own ICCS-Connect solution to facilitate the Image Cheque Clearing System (ICCS), which has been mandated by the Central Bank to bring about changes in the way cheques will be processed in the country and in response to strong demand by banks in the Gulf region for more reliable payments solutions.

With a client portfolio of over 35 high-profile regional banks, Raqmiyat is leveraging its track record and cutting-edge technology to further consolidate its commanding position as provider of class-leading payment solutions.

Raqmiyat's positive growth outlook has been spurred by growing IT investments and spending in the financial services industry, which, according to market intelligence firm IDC, had a total IT expenditure of $3 billion in 2006 and will continue to grow by 12 to 15 per cent per annum.

The ICCS will use the cheque image instead of the physical cheque itself for clearing of the cheque, the physical item is retained at the presenting bank and it's the images and data that are subsequently moved through various steps in the cheque-clearing cycle. Transactions are then settled on the basis of images and electronic data.

'We are glad to announce the successful implementation of ICCS at the HSBC Bank, one of the most modern, dynamic and customer-focused banks in the UAE. Not only will our solution help the bank in improving throughputs, it will also help in shortening their clearing cycles in the long run, and in facilitating a centralized image archival system for efficiency in operations,' said CEO, Raqmiyat, Tapas Roy.

Retail lending, compliance to international standards (BASEL II), local initiatives mandated by monetary agencies and the various institutions' desire to offer better customer experience at all touch points have boosted spending on financial technology in the Middle East.

One of the significant advantages of the ICCS, which is known as the Cheque Truncation System (CTS) in various other geographies, is its ability to substantially reduce time to clear cheques, allowing banks to improve customer satisfaction and increase operational efficiency by cutting down on overheads in physical clearing.

Additionally, the ICCS offers better reconciliation and fraud prevention. Aside from the Gulf region, other countries that have introduced the CTS into their banking industry are the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Qatar.

'At least 30 banks in the country have contracted with us for the ICCS, which represents about 80 per cent of UAE banks that will be installing the new system. We are also working with the UAE Central Bank as the main ICCS vendor,' added Roy.

Raqmiyat provides world-class business and technology solutions through partnerships with international firms. Achieving several certifications on the technical front, Raqmiyat has developed a team of experienced professionals who provide professional services and support to its clients, guaranteeing business continuity on a 24-hour basis.- TradeArabia News Service




Tags: HSBC | Raqmiyat | cheques |

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