What is Cheque Truncation Standard (CTS – 2010)?
Cheque Truncation Standard also known as CTS – 2010 is a standard, regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, governing Cheque Printing. This process helps to standardise the details that appear on all cheques across banks in India. It ensures physical security of the cheque, helps to quickly identify the details on the cheque and ensures quick clearing of cheques. Banks will not accept cheques which are not CTS 2010 compliant after 31 March 2013.
Why has it been implemented?
- To stop physical movement of the cheques
- To shorten the clearing cycle
- Pan – India coverage, helps problem resolution
- Reduction in risk of dealing with the physical paper cheques
What are the features of the CTS – 2010 standard?
Earlier, different banks issued cheques with different details, printed in different formats, with different security. This made the process of identifying and processing payments difficult. Eg: Some banks printed the branch name at the top, some at the bottom left and some in the middle. Similarly, the account number was also located at different places. This caused confusion among users, giving rise to the CTS – 2010 system of standardising cheques.
Some of the features which have been made mandatory by CTS – 2010 are:
- The paper should be image friendly
- It should have chemical sensitivity to acids, alkalis, bleaches and solvents making any alterations visible.
- CTS-2010 Standard paper should not glow under Ultra-Violet (UV) light
- A watermark with “CTS-INDIA” in an oval shape with a diameter of approx. 2.6 to 3.0 cms which can be seen when held against light.
- The VOID pantograph is a rectangle, which when seen by the naked eye, looks like a design of concentric circles or parallel lines.
- When the cheque is photocopied, the copy, instead of showing the design, will show up the words VOID or COPY in its place.
- This ensures that even a colour photocopy cannot be passed off as a real cheque. However, a photograph of the cheque can still be made without the pantograph words in it.
Banks logo shall be printed in ultra-violet (UV) ink:
- This logo will be visible under a UV Lamp or scanner.
- Certain fields which are mandatory, will have fixed placement on the cheque.
- This includes the date, amount in figures, amount in words, Payers A/c No., MICR Strip, Signature space and the VOID Pantograph.
Standard colours and background:
- The background should be clutter free, without any distractive images or designs.
- The colours should be light and high contrast, to enable easy readability.
Alterations to a cheque:
- No alterations will be permitted on a cheque for Payee’s Name, the courtesy amount (amount in figures) or legal amount (amount in words).
- For any corrections to the above, a fresh cheque would need to be issued.
- Date alterations can be made.
Pre-printing of the account number:
- Stamp of the account number will not be permitted, the number should be pre-printed.
What is the timeline for implementation of CTS-2010 across India?
All banks have been providing CTS-2010 standard cheque books, since April 1, 2012 in the northern and southern region and mandatorily across India by September 30, 2012.
Non-CTS 2010 compliant cheques will not be accepted by banks from 1st Jan 2013. (This deadline has been extended upto 31 March 2013.)
How does it affect customers?
The implementation of CTS – 2010 does not affect banking customers in any way. Except that now alterations to the cheque cannot be made as explained above.