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Here comes the electronic cheque!

Posted: 14 Feb 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:research  banking 

Traditional cheque books may soon be a thing of the past. A team of academic has claimed of having designed "an electronic cheque" which eliminates the need for costly processing by banks. However, the new cheque works much same as the traditional cheque book.

Researchers from the York, Newcastle and Northumbria universities, have designed this cheque for quick, easy and hassle-free electronic transfers. "Crucially, the new system preserves the value of a paper cheque as something physical to be handed to the recipient."

"The beauty of our design is that you not only have something physical to hand over to the recipient, you also have a cheque book stub as a record," said Andrew Monk, project lead professor, a psychologist at the University of York.

It uses a cheque book identical to those currently issued by banks except for the greyish background on each cheque "which is in fact billions of tiny dots laid out in a specific pattern."

Using widely available digital pens, the account holder writes the cheque and as they do so a camera in the pen tracks the position on the paper, 'reading' the cheque as it is written. Once complete, they tick a box – the only difference to a normal cheque – and the information is transmitted directly to the payee's bank account.

"Hopefully banks will now see the potential and invest in this kind of innovative design which preserves what many people find invaluable about cheques but also makes the most of modern technology."

The research, carried out at Newcastle University's Culture Lab, is being presented at the Computer Supported Co-operative Work (CSCW) conference in Seattle.

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