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New Check Processing System Introduced by Central Bank of Belize

The Central Bank of Belize announces the launch of Automated Check Processing, a new component of APS3. Starting 7 July 2017, all checks deposited countrywide will be processed electronically, allowing for faster clearing time. According to Governor Joy Grant, “This new service will further expedite the flow of money, contributing to faster receipt of funds by beneficiaries and increased business activity in Belize.”

Inaugurated on 21 October 2016 by the Central Bank in collaboration with Central Government and domestic financial institutions, APS3 is an instrumental component of the National Payment System (NPS) reform project, which is a priority initiative of the Central Bank to enhance the safety, reliability, and efficiency of Belize’s financial infrastructure.

Via APS3, financial institutions are connected in a local network, which enables banks to provide customers with services to make electronic payments quickly, safely, and securely anywhere in Belize. This transformational project provides a wider range of payment options such as (1) Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for low-value payments (which includes bulk payments, such as payroll and accounts payable) within the same day, (2) Instant Funds Transfer (IFT) (an electronic payment that is available 24/7) within a few minutes, (3) Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) for high value payments within an hour, and now (4) automated clearing and processing of checks by the end of the next day.

The automated check processing service will transform the entire procedure from deposit of checks at participant banks to clearing and settlement via APS3. Now, checks presented to banks by customers countrywide before 2:00 p.m., will be scanned and sent to APS3 on the same day (T) and credit will be applied at the end of the next day (T+1). Before automation, deposited checks took several days to clear—3 days for local checks and 7 days for out-district checks. For more information regarding this new product, members of the public should contact their respective bank.

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