Lloyds Bank pilots digital cheque deposits

Lloyds Bank has announced a pilot project to introduce cheque imaging services for its customers, ahead of a wider launch in 2015.

The scheme will allow customers to deposit funds via cheque by taking a photo on their smartphone. The payment can be as much as £2,500, and the bank intends for funds paid in this way to be cleared the same day, TechWeekEurope reported.

The new service stems from tie-up between Lloyds and small business support and advice network Smarta to launch their Business Toolbox for SMEs. This latest offering is part of a push to encourage more small businesses to start using digital services.

The Business Toolbox also features accounting and receipt management, as well as digital tools for building websites, online data backup and a credit-checking facility. Many small businesses are without the requisite knowledge of online financial services, research from the bank showed. Nine in ten businesses continue to use cheque payments, but the volume has started to decline in recent years.

Barclays estimate that customers fail to pay in up to £300, in cheques each year.

Barclays ran a successful trial of digital cheque imaging earlier this year, and a recommendation for digital cheque deposits in general was included in the government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

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