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Barclays considering smartphone cheque deposit scheme

Barclays is set to be the first UK bank to introduce new technology that will allow customers to make deposits using their smartphones.

A system is currently being trialled that enables consumers to send photos of cheques to their bank, which could cut processing times to as little as two days.

The government is to launch a consultation on speeding up cheque payments and Barclays has revealed it intends to introduce a form of mobile cheque deposit this year.

Technology that allows banks to process digital images of cheques rather than their paper counterparts is already widely used in the US and managing director at Barclays Steven Roberts said the firm is excited to be the first to try it out in the UK.

"These changes mean you will be able to pay cheques in instantly, not just in branch, but also using your smartphone or tablet computer," he explained, adding the move is "just the beginning" of Barclays' attempts to revamp the current cheque clearing process, which can take up to six working days.

By Asim Shah