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Deutsche Bank to create cloud-based digital cheque processing system

German banking giant Deutsche Bank will replace manual and paper-intensive cheque processing methods with an automated system in the cloud

Deutsche Bank is creating a platform to automate cheque processing to eliminate a largely paper-based process, which requires human intervention.

The bank is creating the platform alongside Indian IT services company HCL and plans to go live with it next year. With cheques remaining an important payment method, Deutsche bank is looking to automation to reduce the resources needed to process them.

Shahrokh Moinian, global head of cash products and global transaction banking at Deutsche Bank, said cheques are still widely used and processing them is labour intensive and highly manual.

“We are turning a challenge of a commoditised product with declining volumes into an opportunity for innovation and creation of digital assets, which will ultimately benefit our customers,” he said.

HCL is building a cloud-based platform to replace paper and people-based processes. The platform will do more than simply process cheques that are paid in by providing business customers data collected from their activity, which will be provided by advanced data analytics to its corporate customers to help them manage their finances.

There have been questions over the future of the cheque, as digital technologies dominate payment methods and the use of cheques declines. In 2009, when the financial services industry celebrated the 350th birthday of the cheque, the future was pointing to certain death.

Speaking to Computer Weekly in 2009, a spokesperson at the Association of Payments and Clearing Services (Apacs) – later replaced by UK Payments Administration Ltd – said 350 would prove the cheque’s last milestone.

“It would be fair to say this is the last big birthday the cheque will celebrate,” said the Apacs spokesperson. “More people are using automated payment methods or plastic.”

But it is digital technology which has kept the use of cheques alive, with the UK government making the digital image of a cheque legal tender in January 2015. Using technology, the process for customers has been made easy and quick and the cheque is still alive and kicking.

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