Compliant Cheques FAQs

A compliant cheque refers to any printed cheque that follows the Canadian Payments Association (CPA) standard 006 and is compatible with the TT Electronic Cheque Clearing System (ECCS).

The implementation of the Electronic Cheque Clearing System (ECCS) will introduce automation within the cheque clearing processing. The current process of the manual exchange and settlement of physical cheques will be replaced with the electronic submission and settlement of truncated, imaged local TTD denominated cheques between Participant Banks in Trinidad and Tobago. This is an initiative supported by the Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT) and the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT).

The manual and paper-based process is being automated to create a faster and more efficient cheque clearing process. The electronic exchange of cheque images and related transactional data, in real time, between all commercial Banks, without the next-day requirement of a physical exchange of the cheques is more efficient. The processing of these transactions and corresponding credits or debits to personal and corporate customer accounts would be supported by an Electronic Funds Transfer solution.

CPA Standards and format required for cheques include the following:
  • Specific dimensions / measurements for cheque sizes, and placement of data fields to ensure accurate reading on the software.
  • Date format standardised to read as DD/MM/YYYY.
  • Cheque paper, which would change from ‘bond’ to ‘security grade’ paper (similar to Manager’s cheques).
  • Light pastel coloured ink will be required on background screening / images.
  • Date and amount fields should be within a blank white box.
  • Teller’s stamp box on the reverse of cheques.
  • Endorsement line on the reverse of cheques.
  • The MICR encoding area should be 5/8” and band remains clear of background screening.
  • Borders are not permitted within the 1.59cm (5/8") clear MICR band.

Yes, it will be mandatory as all commercial Banks will be required to electronically exchange cheque images with standardised cheques.

New orders for cheques can be done when your current cheque book is finished or before March 31st, 2022 as existing cheques with the old format will still be accepted until this date. Should you require a new cheque book within this time, you will receive the new cheque format.

a. Increased Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago monitoring
b. Enhanced fraud mitigation capabilities
c. More secure processing via the Electronic Cheque Clearing System and enhanced cheque security features
d. Faster availability of funds when the Electronic Cheque Clearing System is implemented.

Non-compliant cheques will be physically exchanged and will not be passed through the ECCS system. This manual process will operate for a short period after the launch of ECCS and will be subject to agreement by other banks to continue to accept non-compliant cheques. There will also be a much longer processing time due to a longer cheque holding period.

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