The 325-year-old Barclays announced yesterday (July 2) the extension of its mobile checks imaging service to nearly 1 million more customers, including 500,000 customers with Android phones in the U.K., and, for the first time in the U.K., to iPad users.
Since the launch of check imaging for the iPhone in 2014, nearly £750,000 (around $1.2 million) worth of checks has been deposited and 30,000 customers have registered for the tool, according to The Daily Mirror.
Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking Chief Executive Ashok Vaswani said: “Our customers have welcomed this convenient new way of depositing one of the oldest forms of payment, which is why extending to Android phones is an important step forward in giving all customers the ability to pay in checks using their mobile devices."
Mobile check imaging is available through the Barclays Mobile Banking app and allows customers to pay with a Barclays check of up to £500 (roughly $780) within minutes of receiving it. Customers take a photo of the check then complete a couple of steps before the funds are immediately available in their current account. The check is cleared in a maximum of two working days (one day if deposited by 4 p.m.), rather than the current six. The service can be used from any location in the U.K., 24 hours a day.
Corporate customers can also scan and upload checks using software on their office computers or by logging into a website. They will have immediate visibility of, and access to, the funds. However, they will need to wait the standard six days to be sure that the checks will not bounce.
Check usage in the U.K. has fallen from 4 billion written in 1990 to just 848 million in 2012, according to The Telegraph. But a decision to end check usage completely by 2018 was reversed three years ago after small businesses and charities complained. Countries including France, India, China and the United States already operate a check imaging system, The Telegraph reports. The system was adopted in the U.S. after the 9/11 tragedy, during which delays in payments could be circumvented by the check imaging system.