In a bid to institute standardization in cheques production in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to submit their sample cheques before and after production, as well as post personalisation, to its Cheque Standard Administration Unit for inspection, analysis and approval.
The move, the central bank said, would help to ensure compliance with standard and also mitigate the increasing high level of rejects at the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition processing centres.
The CBN also directed accredited cheque printers to also commence the submission of cheque samples before and after contract production to the CSAU.
The order was contained in a circular issued on Thursday to the DMBs and accredited cheque printers, and posted on the CBN’s website.
The bank noted that the development was part of the move to improve on the nation’s payment system.
The circular reads, “As part of the global strategy towards an effective and efficient payment system, the Bankers’ Committee embarked on a number of initiatives to engender an efficient clearing system, through a phased and subsequent full automation of the entire clearing system in Nigeria.
Though the cheque truncation system was deployed nationwide on June 1, 2013, reports reaching us indicate a high level of rejects at the MICR processing centres.”
According to the CBN, the CSAU was set up to ensure that cheques and other forms of financial instruments being used in the country continuously conform to the stipulated standards.
These standards, the bank noted, had been stated in the Cheque Standard and Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme handbook, also known as the Green Book.
The CBN, in the circular, noted that the major function of the CSAU was to monitor compliance by the cheque printers to the stipulated standards.
Also, the unit is to monitor compliance by the printers to the standards and also serve as an enforcement unit for the banking industry in respect of security document printing.
The CSAU, according to the CBN, is also to serve as the clearing house for cheque stock ordering and delivery.