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Banks To Introduce New Digit, Expiry Dates For Cheque Books

Nigerian Banks will include expiry dates and a new digit on the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) code line of cheque books starting from January 1, 2021.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited made this known in a mail sent to its customers.

Punch Newspaper reported that in the mail titled ‘New features on cheque books’, the bank explained that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved a new cheque standard to fully take effect from January 1, 2021.

“All cheque books will now have expiry dates.

“A cheque digit has now been introduced on the MICR code line.”

The apex bank had recently in its report entitled, “Monetary, credit, foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020/2021,” said it was ensuring an enabling environment for efficient cheque processing and other paper-based payments instruments, through complete application of new and already adopted technologies.

It assured that it would continue to improve the clearing infrastructure to increase the efficiency of the system.

“The cheque truncation system shall continue to be used for the exchange of images of the instruments and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition.”

The CBN said it had approved the revised Nigeria Cheque Standards and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS), to improve the safety and efficiency of the clearing system.

“Notable changes in the revised standards include introduction of Quick Response Code for faster verification of cheque details, expiry date of printed cheque booklet and clear zone at the back of the cheque,” the apex bank noted.

It said that it would continue to conduct annual accreditation of the Nigeria cheque printers and cheque personalizers, in line with the provisions of the revised NICPAS.

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