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Automation of non-MICR Clearing Houses - Implementation of a new Clearing Software
Express Cheque Clearing System (ECCS)

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been in the forefront of adopting technology for making the payment systems in the country efficient, modern and robust.

Cheques continue to play a dominant role in our payment system landscape, more so in terms of volumes handled. Apart from the 66 MICR locations (handling around 85% of the total cheque volume and value) for mechanised processing and settlement of cheques, there are around 1,093 non-MICR centres as on date that use a software called Magnetic Media Based Clearing Software (MMBCS).There was, however, a demand from banks for further refinements in terms of accepting multi-user inputs in a networked environment, core-banking integration and graphic interface compatibility.

State Bank of India (SBI), the bank managing most number of clearing locations, was advised by RBI to lead the initiative to develop a new application. The application Express Cheque Clearing System (ECCS) has been developed by M/s Image InfoSystems Private Limited. The technical and commercial aspects of ECCS have been vetted by Steering Committee comprising of senior executives from SBI, other Clearing House managing banks, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and National Clearing Cell, Nariman Point, RBI, Mumbai and is successfully running at a few Clearing Houses as well.

The new features in the application are:

1. Speed Clearing to be available from Day One
2. Full Unwinding
3. Encrypted Data Movement
4. Flagging Duplicates
5. Return versus Presentation - MIS Support, prevents fresh items being presented in the returns cycle.

Considering the improvements that ECCS would offer, it has been decided by RBI to roll-out the software across all non-MICR clearing locations in the country by September, 2011.

RBI has vested responsibility for the roll-out of new Clearing Software - ECCS at 1093 Non MICR location of the country. NPCI will be co-ordinating with SBI, RBI Regional Offices (NCCs) and other banks managing Clearing Houses at Non-MICR locations for the implementation of ECCS.

According to RBI notification letter, NPCI will be,

- Single point of contact for banks and vendor as also for change control, future updates, support issues, reporting to RBI etc.
- Sharing the roll out plan (in consultation with the NCCs) and training schedule
- Sharing hardware, software and other requirements, information about SLA, support, escalation process, contact details etc.

SBI to ensure roll-out in all clearing locations managed by itself and its associate banks.NPCI and SBI to co-ordinate for smooth roll-out.

The entire process of roll-out to be completed within a time-frame of six months from April 1, 2011 i.e., by September 30, 2011.

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