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Clearing Systems

Paper Clearing System

This system sets all the requirements (rules / standards) for how financial institutions process cheques and a few other paper based payment instruments.

If you hand over a cheque to a person/business, and they use a different bank/financial institution to you, the two financial institutions have to 'talk' to each other in order to pass the relevant information to each other regarding that cheque (interchange). The money also needs to be passed from one financial institution to the other (settlement).

PCS's rules and standards set out how this actually happens in practice.

This includes components like:

  • the layout of a cheque,
  • how the images of a cheque are exchanged (instead of physically transporting the cheque around the country like they used to do),
  • the data format for transaction information,
  • how transaction data is exchanged
  • timeframes for interchange and settlement - what has to happen by when
  • how dishonours work - what information is exchanged, by when
  • contingency
  • operational contacts
  • how settlement occurs and by when
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