The system that allowed banks to clear other banks cheques launched on 30th October, and is now subject to a phased rollout (https://www.chequeandcredit.co.uk/banking-industry/cheque-clearing/cheque-processing-overview) previous to that there was no way for banks to clear other banks cheques through cheque imaging. The only reason Barclays was clearing cheques through imaging is they were only clearing barclays to barclays cheques, and those cheques were bypassing the cheque clearing service in it’s entirety, it was being run COMPLETELY internally at Barclays.
The inter bank cheque clearing by image system is being phased in and currently very few cheques are being processed by it, they are mainly still being processed by the old physical delivery based system. This phased approach is what i was referring to when I said some banks are not yet able to clear cheques on the new system.
Obviously Starling does not allow customers to issue cheques, meaning they couldn’t do anything prior to 30th October. Now they have to wait until the CCCC (Cheque and Credit Clearing Company) clear them to join the phased rollout. They also need to develop the nessecary features in the app.
Banks have also been rolling it out in a phased manner, both by method of deposit (mobile, ATM, in branch) and by account type (personal, SME, corporate).
@daedal it sounds like you were a member of the mobile cheque deposit trial that Barclays ran, which means your account was probably earmarked as being in one of the first rollout phases for Barclays interbank clearing now it is available.
Unfortunately what I said in my first post about Starling most probably being held back at least in part by regulators still stands as I doubt they will be seen as a priority matter in the phased rollout as their customer base is smaller.
Some really good info about Image based cheque clearing in the UK can be found here: https://www.chequeandcredit.co.uk/cheque-users/consumers/cheque-imaging