The Canadian Payments Association is seeking comment on Phase IV of its Image Rule project, which is intended to improve the clearing process of check payments.
Check payments currently go through a tedious process in Canada. When a check is deposited, it must be physically presented to the bank from which it has been drawn, or its agent. Should a payment be refused and retuned, the depositor might not be made aware for several days.
The CPA has thus undergone a multi-phased initiative to speed up the process of check payments through image technology. So far the CPA has:
- Established requirements and technical standards related to image creation and storage (June 1, 2010)
- Established an enabling framework for the optional creation and use of return replacement documents (June 1, 2011) and
- Established an enabling framework for the optional creation and use of clearing replacement documents instead of the original paper check (October 1, 2012).
For the final phase of the project, the CPA has proposed amendments to create a framework of rules and standards to allow members to send items electronically to other direct clearers supported by the CPA Rules and Standards. The CPA is holding a 60-day comment period on the amendments, which ends on March 16, 2013.