Cheque Clearing represents an important milestone in the development of an efficient payment and settlement system. The introduction of new technologies in recent years has helped to foster such a system all over the world. As a part of such an evolving framework, the entire process of manual processing of cheques underwent a sea-change when mechanised processing of cheques using Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) technology was for the first time introduced in India in the late eighties at the four major metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Calcutta. These centres were set up and are managed by the Reserve Bank of India. The success of these MICR based local clearing processing centres has spurred initiatives on the part of commercial banks for setting up of many more MICR based Cheque Processing Centres at commercially important centres of the country with the latest State-of-the-Art technology. Some centres have also got the facility for ‘Imaging’ which enables capturing of the digital images of the cheques.
Consistent with its philosophy for standardisation of work procedures across different sites, the Department of Information Technology of the Reserve Bank of India has come out with a booklet furnishing comprehensive procedural guidelines to be followed by the banks and at the Cheque Processing Centres, for operating the Mechanised cheque processing systems using MICR technology. Copies of this booklet, which is published by the undersigned, are available with the Director, (Administration), Division of Reports, Reviews and Publications (Sales Section), Department of Economic Analysis & Policy, Reserve Bank of India, Amar Building (Ground Floor), Sir P.M.Road, Mumbai-400 001 at a Price of Rs.50/- (Rupees fifty only). The Cheques/Drafts should be drawn in favour of ‘ Reserve Bank of India ’, and payable at Mumbai. The booklet has been published with a view to essentially offering to provide useful and practical information for the benefit of the commercial banks. An abridged version of this booklet has now been posted on the RBI Website, as requested by some of the users, who are required to print MICR instruments for issuing to the general public.