Central Bank unveils ICCS

ABU DHABI — Central Bank of the UAE has introduced an electronic image based cheque clearing system in the country. The new system called the Image Cheque Clearing System (ICCS) is the modern way of processing traditional paper based payments instruments.

By Haseeb Haider

Published: Tue 15 Jul 2008, 11:52 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:49 PM

The new system will enable fully electronic clearing of cheque regardless of where they are presented. During initial operation of the system, cheques will clear within a maximum of 36-hours. This time will be progressively reduced as banks becoming more familiar with the new system and could do the process faster.

The system, which is capable of clearing cheques in only four hours against two-five in the previous automated system. The new system processed 90,000 bank cheques.

Through the new system cheques data will be stored for ten years initially, which may be extended once the system has been operational for some time. The system will also provide a cheque archive facility at the Central Bank, which will be accessible by all banks in the UAE.

Despite banking industry predictions of the demise of cheques, they remain one of the main payment instruments in most countries. The ICCS represents the modern way of processing traditional paper based payments instruments.

Central Bank of the UAE said that it will explore other ways of streamlining its payment systems to ensure that bank customers continue to benefit from speed, efficient and secure payment solutions.

A few countries around the world provide cheque clearing using similar technology. Singapore, which introduced an image clearing system in 2003, was a pioneer in this arena.

Since, then countries who have implemented similar systems included USA. This project is the culmination of a great deal of work from all areas of the banking sector. ICCS represents a major step forward in the implementation of the Federal Government Strategy to use electronic systems and technology to improve speed, efficiency and security of transactions conducted in the UAE.

As part of the same drive, Central Bank recently signed an MoU with the Ministry of Labour to develop a payment system designed to ease the problems related to payment of salaries to low paid expatriate workers.


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