Cheque clearing


I’ve sent cheques to starling a few times and each time it’s a little like a trip into the upside down. I mail off the cheque, an amount of time later I get a cheery message saying it’s been received and will be available on day X. Day X comes around and of course the Cheque isn’t showing, I message CS and am told it will show by early morning or maybe early afternoon.

This is a dreadful customer experience. Unfortunately due to the payment regulator not having the bravery cheques are still with us, and this is no way for starling to handle the process.


I’ve not actually bothered depositing a cheque with Starling yet and won’t bother, waiting days for them to receive a cheque and then credit my account, seems more 1960’s not 2017. Definitely not a modern way of doing it. I’ll stick to barclays for now, at least cheque depositing is mobile and takes less than 24 hours in most cases to credit to my balance.


There is a great thread on cheques here: Cheque deposit Lots of people with similar issues and later in the thread some talk about the future.

Long story short: Mobile cheque deposit has only just been allowed in UK. The regulator is rolling it out by bank, banks are rolling it out when they can. Starling have said it’s their intention to support it but they can only do so when allowed by regulator.


That’s useful to know, @Bmacrow.


Actually that isn’t true, I’ve been trialling mobile cheque depositing with Barclays for over a year now, and with Barclays you can deposit any cheque from any bank.

The technology has been around for a couple of years, most major high street banks are trialling it, including Natwest, Halifax, First Direct, Santander. It’s nothing to do with the regulator. 30th October 2017 was when the new system actually officially launched, and it will take time for cheques to clear through the new cheque clearing system.

People get confused with 30th October 2017 being when the system launched, it wasn’t it was when other banks could clear other banks cheques through the system.

So far this month I have banked 4 cheques using Barclays, apart from 1 they all cleared within 24 hours. And none of them was Barclays cheques.


You can now deposit non-Barclays cheques thru the Barclays app but they need to be from banks now signed up to the system. Other banks cheques can not yet be cleared so you may just be lucky what banks they were from.


Yep so far, nearly all high street banks can be cleared through the system, so I don’t really see the issue. I’ve cleared a Natwest, two HSBC so far without an issue.

Bank of Scotland, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide and Santander. NatWest and RBS all accept digital cheque images, so that covers most of the high street banks you can clear via digital imaging, the only one I had issue with was Virgin Bank which took the standard time to clear.


Handy to know. Starling should certainly lean on whoever their current
provider is for clearing and one again get their CS reps trained. Once
again I’ve had useless responses from them.


The system that allowed banks to clear other banks cheques launched on 30th October, and is now subject to a phased rollout ( 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:


All high street bank cheques technically CAN now be cleared digitally, however, whether they depend whether the recipient bank, account type, method of pay in and customer are all included in the phased rollout.

@daedal yes as a member of the Barclays trial group ALL your cheques will now be able to be paid in digitally, but that doesn’t mean that Barclays is treating all account holders in the same way as you, as they are phased rolling out by account type (and customer and pay in method), all banks are phasing in this rollout, and the CCCC are phasing the participating banks (on the recipient side only, all the sending side banks should now be enabled) aswell. This is so the system is brought online gradually and any issues ironed out before mass adoption. The CCCC currently estimate that the rollout will be complete by Summer 2018. At this point just about the only limitation to adoption will be whether the receiving bank has the necessary technology built into their systems.


Hi Sean

No doubt many of us will be in this predicament this Christmas.

Indeed when thinking about why should Starling (and other Banks for that matter) invest in this, it should look to the create a solution to serve across multiple customer journeys.

Document upload including cheques would serve as an excellent shared services component spanning across other customer journeys. For example, as part of a mortgage or loan application, customers are required to submit various forms of documents.

Whilst it may not be Starling providing the loan or mortgage, it would certainly add value to those organisations tapping into their marketplace and overall customer experience.

We talk about security and the age of data protection, sending cheques by mail seems a little C20th and contrary to the goals of being a digital only Bank.


I might be behind a bit here but noticed that Monzo have a Freepost address for cheques.


Tried it once, and it was a disaster. Eventually, I gave up and asked for the cheque to be returned to me, and I sought another payment method, as I needed the funds.

On the occasions I do get a cheque, I now deposit in a legacy bank.


Hi @pmcg76

Can you tell us what the issue was with your cheque?


I needed it to clear ASAP, and in an online chat, I was told it would clear the day after it was received. I questioned this twice, but was told it was definitely the case, and it was just that Starling were quicker than other banks. Great, I thought, so I posted the cheque. I would lose a day for the cheque to arrive, compared to paying in direct to a legacy bank, but believed it would be more than cancelled out by the time saving at the other end.

It turns out that I would need to wait for it to be added to the system and that it could take up to four to five working days after.

I ended up asking for the cheque to get sent back and received funds another way.

I complained, and did get £25.00 and some chocolate, to be fair, but I will not pay a cheque in again. Too much hassle, and including postage time, it seems it would be around seven working days to clear.

Maybe disaster is a bit dramatic, but it was a disappointing experience.