In a bid to drag the humble bank check into the future, and massively reduce the time needed to process them, the UK government is tentatively looking at ways of allowing people to pay in checks by taking a photo with a smartphone.

According to the BBC today, the UK government will conduct a consultation on the idea with a view to making the changes as soon as possible. It is hoped that the balance of cleared checks would be available for use  in just two days under the new system, rather than the six days it currently takes. Barclays hopes to be one of the first banks to trial the system beginning in April next year.

While it’s obviously good news for UK bank account holders, it’s also long overdue – the US made changes to regulations to allow checks to be modernized more than nine years ago. Still, it’s better late than never – checks were due to be phased out in the UK by 2018 but this idea has now been shelved after it faced opposition.

➤ Cheques to be paid in via smartphones [BBC]

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