The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), in collaboration with commercial banks in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), has initiated the Eastern Caribbean Automated Clearing House (ECACH), a project that will modernise the cheque clearing and settlement system between banks.
The ECACH will allow for more efficient and secure electronic processing of cheques and settlements between the banks in the ECCU.
The ECACH will be rolled out in Grenada on 22 January 2015 at participating local banks. The ECACH was successfully launched in St Kitts & Nevis on 25 September, and Antigua on 12 November 2014.
The new system will allow for the electronic exchange of the cheque image, which differs from the traditional clearing process which involves a manual exchange of the physical cheque.
The ECACH will offer customers the benefit of having their cheques settled within a shorter timeframe. In addition, cheques drawn on a commercial bank in one participating country but processed at a commercial bank in another participating country will be cleared in the same timeframe as cheques drawn and processed at commercial banks in the same country.
With the new system, customers will have to ensure that sufficient funds are available on their accounts to cover all cheques at the time they are issued.
Countries all around the world have already moved or are moving towards electronic forms of cheque processing. This move by the commercial banks in the ECCU will ensure that the ECCU clearing system keeps pace with global trends.
The table below outlines the roll out dates for the other participating territories.
|Dominica||4 February 2015|
|Saint Lucia||18 February 2015|
|St Vincent||4 March 2015|
|Anguilla||18 March 2015|
|Montserrat||18 March 2015|
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