All Deposit Money Banks will from Thursday April 1st begin accepting only new cheque books across the country. This is in line with a directive earlier issued by the Central Bank to all banks.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had directed that from Thursday, April 1st 2021, all old cheque books will no longer be accepted according to a circular it issued to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country, earlier last year.
According to Sam Okojere, Director, Banking Services Department, in a circular dated Dec. 9, 2020, referenced BKS/DIR/CIR/GEN/02/042 on the subject, the parallel run, in which old and new cheques will co-exist and will end on March 31, 2021, after which only new cheques will be subsequently allowed in the clearing system starting April 1, 2021.
The Director, Banking Services Department said the full implementation of the Nigeria Cheque Standard (NCS) and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) Version 2.0, as well as the NCS/NICPAS 2.0, will begin on April 1, 2021. He further said that by April 1, 2021, the sanction grid will be fully operational and all deposit money banks are encouraged to continually enlighten their customers to ensure that the appropriate arrangements are in place for a smooth transition to the new standard.
In line with the above, depositor banks had begun notifying customers that they would no longer be accepting the old cheque book while urging all customers to request for the revised cheque books.
One of such banks, Ecobank informed its customers via a mail titled ‘CBN circular on new cheque design’ on the new development. Part of the mail reads thus:
“We wish to remind you that effective 1st April 2021, the old standard cheque books would no longer be accepted through the cheque clearing system, while same will only be acceptable for In-branch transaction processing only.”
“This is further to the revised Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) circular on implementing the requirements of the Nigerian Cheque Standards (NCS) and the Nigerian Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) dated 28th February, 2019.”
“While we advise that you kindly request for the new cheque book (if you are yet to do so) before the cutoff date of 31st March 2021, we also encourage you to use our other digital channels (Ecobank Online, Mobile App, USSD and Debit Card) so you can continue to seamlessly carry out your transactions.”