In a move that seeks to bring the world of banking even further into the digital age, photos of cheques will now be accepted by UK banks. This means that people in Britain will soon be able to capture an image of a cheque with their smartphone and upload it to an app rather than going to a bank to pay it in.
The move aims to speed up the whole process, reducing the processing time from six days to just two, according to the Treasury. Similar systems have been used in other countries for some time, with US bank JP Morgan Chase having had such a service in place since 2010.
The developments have been enabled by a new law passed by the government called Check 21, which makes electronic cheques legal. Barclays will be leading the introduction of the idea to British shores with a pilot scheme that will launch in April, before a wider roll out towards the end of 2014.