The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (C&CCC) has unveiled plans to launch a new image-based cheque clearing system to accelerate processing for customers.

C&CCC said that the new system will slash processing time by enabling customers to pay through cheque on a weekday and withdraw the funds the following weekday, excluding bank holidays. Some institutions may also enable customers to access funds earlier than this.

“Introduction of the new process will also mean that when a cheque is paid in, not only will the recipient receive the money in their account more quickly; the money will leave the account of the person or business that wrote the cheque to the faster timescale too,” C&CCC said in a statement.

Initially, the system will be implemented by some banks and building societies in the UK from 30 October 2017, with a nationwide rollout expected in the second half of 2018.

C&CCC CEO James Radford said: “These changes will put cheques firmly in the 21st century, delivering real and important benefits for the many individuals, charities and businesses that regularly use cheques.

“Not only will cheques clear faster but banks and building societies may offer their customers the option of paying in an image of a cheque rather than the paper cheque itself."