Bahrain Banks launch new design cheques
Manama, January 27, 2010
Banks in Bahrain have begun issuing newly designed cheques to their customers, from January 1 this year, said a top official of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
Ahmed Buhijji, director of Banking Services Directorate at the CBB, further revealed that cheque usage in the kingdom is growing and around 12,700 cheques are being cleared at the CBB daily.
The new design cheques have been designed with additional security features in keeping with global best practices. All newly designed cheques carry a watermark as one of the security features.
One of the main differences between “old design” and “new design cheques” is that there is one standardised size for all new design cheques, for individuals, corporates and government. The length of the cheque is seven inches and height is three and a half inches. This standardisation allows easy handling and also the adoption of advanced technology for clearing and verification.
As the new cheques follow a unique format for entering the required information, banks as well as customers, can easily identify fields on the cheque, such as name of the bank, amount, date, signature, name of the payee and drawer details.
Another new feature in these cheques is the “date box”, which caters for diverse customer practices in writing the date in Arabic or English.
Ahmed Buhijji further stated that customers who are currently in possession of old design cheques may use them until August 1, 2011. However, from August 1, 2011, a penalty fee will be charged for clearing old design cheques.
The CBB strongly advises bank customers to start using the new design cheques at the earliest and eliminate any risks and penalties in the future.
CBB stated that superior features have been introduced in these new cheques with the intention of minimising cheque fraud, increasing efficiency of the current cheque clearing process and to cater for requirements in cheque design for advanced cheque clearing systems.
Banks and their customers stand to benefit from a more efficient clearing process due to the new standardised cheques, the CBB said.-TradeArabia News Service