As of 16, February, Qatar became the first country worldwide to eliminate clearing sessions and fully implement an electronic image-based check clearing system, with PS-ECC going live on a nationwide level and connected to all banks' head offices and most of their branches. "Workflow has been going smoothly since the first day, and one branch processed over 400 checks in the first hour of implementing the new electronic system," says Michael Wakileh âBusiness Development Manager at ProgressSoft, the developing company behind PS-ECC.
"Of course, that is only the tip of the iceberg," says Mr. Wakileh of PS-ECC, "Features of PS-ECC are manifold, and the added-value to banking systems implementing PS-ECC abundant."
"Through special check scanners, PS-ECC uses the most recent in technological advancements to convert the paper check to an electronic file that is transmitted from the bank of first deposit to the issuing bank through the central bank using available infrastructure, and back again within the most secured environment. All this within seconds," continues Mr. Wakileh, "the extra minutes needed are due to human factor contributing to the process."
Black listing, positive pay, stop pay, post-dated items, out-dated items, check archiving, CD publishing are a few of the many features incorporated in the system. This breakthrough solution removes all operation and overhead costs and time currently needed to perform the presently lengthy and hectic task. This guarantees to be a tremendous boost for the banking sector and equally beneficent to clients. With a reduction in processing and storage demands, and checks cashed within minutes, the future of PS-ECC can only be promising.
Perfectly articulated by Mr. Hashem Al-Sada, director of electronic systems development and planning at QCB, "This system takes the banking industry to a whole new and unified level of efficiency with huge leaps forward, customers also benefit from having access to their funds sooner."
Many neighboring countries are showing a keen interest in the Qatari initiative and the implemented solution. "We have had delegates from many countries flying to Qatar to closely examine the new system," said Mr. Wakileh. "They did not expect such fast results after first learning about PS-ECC in its preliminary launching at CeBIT 2002."