Rocket Ride

August 25, 2006 (LBO) – Cheque usage in Sri Lanka has rocketed up, after an image clearing system is speeding up clearing, an official said. Sri Lanka’s central clearing house, LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd says usage has almost doubled within months of introducing an image clearing and truncation system, which has eliminated the physical transportation of cheques within banks.

The main reason for the sudden jump is increased confidence in cheque usage in the provinces, LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd’s Acting General Manager Anura de Silva said.

The image clearing brought in one day clearing to most outstation bank branches, which earlier took several days to turn a cheque into cash.

As a result, many small businessmen had started to use cheques for transactions conducted in cash earlier.

Before image clearing was introduced, LankaClear was clearing about 130,000 cheques a day.

De Silva says, LankaClear originally expected the daily cheque volume to go up to 150,000, after image clearing came on line.

But it has now gone up to a massive 250,000 cheques a day.

Some outlying bank branches which do not have IT systems are stil