NRIs: Get Ready To Order New India Cheque Books
NEW DELHI: Come April 2013 and your old cheque books from your bank account in India will become void. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced a new format forcheques, the CTS-2010 Standard as part of its measures for standardization and enhancement of security features.
"If the cheques are not compliant with the new CTS 2010 standards by March 31st 2013, they may be considered invalid and may not be honored post the deadline or may be cleared at a less frequent interval as per RBI directive. Going forward all customers will need to be careful while writing the new cheques. For instance, cheques with alterations in crucial fields like payee's name and amount in figures or words will not be processed under the new system post the March 31st 2013 deadline. It also becomes imperative that if one has availed a home loan and/ or auto loan and issued post-dated cheques, then they will be required to replace such post-dated cheques with the CTS-2010 compliant ones now before March 31, 2013," explains Virat Diwanji, Executive Vice President and Head Branch Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank.
"Visibly there would be 4-5 key differences between the old cheques and new CTS (Cheque Truncation System) cheques which can help identify whether the cheque book the individual currently holds is CTS compliant or not," says Diwanji.
The key features:
- Words 'CTS 2010' printed on the left hand side of the cheque leaf near perforation
- All cheques carry a standardized watermark, with the words 'CTS-INDIA' which can be seen when held against any light source
- Pantograph with hidden/ embedded word 'VOID' is included in the cheques. The word is clearly visible in photocopies of a cheque
- The right hand corner of the cheque leaf has boxes provided for the date which is in the DD/MM/YYYY format
- New Rupee symbol inscribed near the numerical 'amount' field
Individuals can look for the following features. If these features are present in the cheque book, it is a CTS compliant one.
Get your new cheque books
"Banks may not automatically issue new cheque books to all customers since very few NRIs use cheques currently as most of them use internet banking for transfer of funds," Diwanji says.
You would thus need to watch out for any communication from your bank regarding issuance of new cheque books. You could also check your bank's website for instructions. Banks would ideally send a communication informing the customers about the new regulations and asking the customers to contact the bank for requesting new CTS 2010 standard cheque book depending on their need and then asking customers to either destroy or surrender the old cheques post they receive the new cheque book.
(The author is a chartered accountant and financial writer. She also blogs at http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/moneyhappyreturns/ )
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