The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Friday, extended the deadline given to migrate to new-look cheques (CTS-2010 Standard cheques), with more security and standardised features, to March 31, 2013. Earlier, it had set a December 31 deadline.

However, the RBI said that the residual non-CTS-2010 Standard cheques that are presented in the clearing system beyond this extended period would continue to be accepted for the clearing but would be cleared at less frequent intervals.

Banks were in the process of issuing new-look cheques to all its customers by December 31, 2012.

“While most of the banks have confirmed that they are issuing only multi-city/payable at par CTS-2010 standard cheques at present, representations have been received from various stakeholders requesting for extension of the time beyond December 31, 2012, for withdrawal / replacement of non-CTS-2010 Standard cheques / post-dated EMI cheques with CTS-2010 standard cheques,” RBI said in a notification to all banks.

‘Cheque Truncation System (CTS)-2010 standard’ is a set of benchmarks towards achieving standardisation of cheques issued by banks across the country. These include provision of mandatory minimum security features on cheque forms such as quality of paper, watermark, bank’s logo in invisible ink, void pantograph and standardisation of field placements on cheques.

Adherence to CTS-2010 Standards has inherent advantages as the security features in cheque forms help the presenting banks to identify the genuineness of the drawee banks’ instruments while handling them in the image-based scenario. “The homogeneity in security features act as deterrent against frauds, and the fixed field placement specifications facilitate straight-through-processing at the drawee banks’ end through the use of optical/image character recognition technology,” the RBI had said in a notification earlier.

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