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Bahrain for digital payment innovation with E-cheque

Written by: Admin

Recent years have seen a tremendous increase in digital/online payments for e-commerce, utility bills or transfer money. The success of digitising payments relies on developing adequate payment technologies. The mode of payment can vary from an electronic fund transfer/wire transfer or ATM transaction to cheque payment. Each payment processor has its pros and cons, from the ease of payment method to the time taken for payment settlement.

Cheques are one of the most commonly used conventional payment methods. Consumers are used to issuing physical cheques however banks insist on an electronic cheque by capturing cheque images, thereby enabling the bank to process a cheque faster through the electronic exchange of the cheque images.

In a move to spur electronic commerce and innovation in digital payments, one such technology that is introduced is E-Cheque. An E-Cheque is an electronic document which substitutes the paper check for online transactions. Digital signatures (based on public key cryptography) replace handwritten signatures. The E-Cheque system is designed with message integrity, authentication and non-repudiation feature, strong enough to prevent fraud against the banks and their customers.

Let’s look at a scenario:

‘Sarah was out of town on an official tour when she got a call that her close relative that her uncle had met with an accident and was being rushed to the hospital. Her cousin who spoke to her said early funds in the range of 50K USD would be needed urgently. While she had about 25K handy, there was obviously a shortfall.

Sarah immediately logged into her account to make an online transfer to her cousin’s account but faced a process roadblock where she had to first add her cousin as a beneficiary and then wait for the next 24 hours before he could initiate the transfer. Thankfully, she had a fall-back option, the E-Cheque app that she had installed only recently but not yet used. She opened the app and issued an E-cheque in her cousin’s name using a secure validation method. Soon she shared the E-Cheque with her cousin, who used it to deposit the cheque in his account quickly.’

Digitisation of the cheque-related processes, including issuing, writing and depositing, further simplifies banking transactions for millions. While it is indeed of help in emergent situations like the one exemplified above, it also offers a mid-path solution for those who are embracing online banking for certain processes but are not yet fully comfortable doing away with the cheques altogether, especially for corporates.

Moreover, online cheques also offer certain safeguards that would be valuable in protecting a user’s interests while easing the process of cheque writing, issuing and depositing much easier while avoiding physical presence as much as possible. One such country implementing E-cheque for its customers is Bahrain, one of the first countries in the Middle East. Bahrain, one of the fintech hubs for innovative payment methodologies, will be launching E-Cheque for millions of its consumers in the region.

With the domain expertise of maximum number implementations in Image-based cheque clearing in UAE, Unity Infotech has become one of the leading and trusted technology partners for Bahrain member banks to launch an innovative financial technology to the market. Unity Infotech’s E-Cheque Direct is implemented in close to 9 banks in Bahrain and is being intensively tested with utmost automation and precision to go live in April. 
Learn more about E-Cheque Direct here!

About Unity

With over a decade of experience in providing innovative and user-friendly financial solutions, today we are a renowned and trusted strategic partner for banks and financial institutions of all sizes. We are one of the top payment solution providers in the Gulf Cooperation Council — with headquarters in Dubai, our research and development centre in India, and our support centre in Bahrain.