Paying checks in the Honduran commercial banking system has become more flexible and reliable.
On May 15, 2020, the Central Bank of Honduras (BCH) agreed to withhold checks.
With this new system, the Electronic Check Clearing Center eliminates the physical exchange of documents and authorizes only recording of digital data and images, known as check truncation.
However, the BCH agreed that this process would take place in three phases.
The first is a check payment of up to 50,000 lempira or its equivalent in US dollars, and it started on October 1 last year.
The second stage is for checks of up to 100,000 lempira or its equivalent in dollars as of April 1, 2021.
The third stage is the total withholding of checks, that is, regardless of the amount in national currency or in dollars as of October 1 of this year.
However, the digital payment of checks of any amount has been postponed by the Central Bank until 2022, and the deduction has been extended to 100,000 lempira or its dollar equivalent from October 1, 2021 to April 1, 2022.
In the previous year, the Central Technology Authority paid 2,085,143 checks worth 157,046 million lempira.
As of last August, 1,448,252 checks for 119,947 million limp were paid.
Issuance of checks reduced in Honduras
Electronic payment systems have replaced the issuance of physical checks.
A report by the Interbank Processing Center (Ceproban), which is responsible for the country’s private bank payment systems, indicates that in 2019-2020 the number of cleared checks decreased from 3,572,453 to 2,085,143, which is equivalent to a decrease of 1,487,310 Checks 41.6%.
The aforementioned was also reflected in the decrease in the paid amount, as it decreased from 278,458 to 157,047 million, i.e. 121,411 million and 43.6%. The trend is that companies and individuals will write fewer checks.
According to BCH, the Interbank Processing Center (Ceproban) is making changes to the platform of Ccech, the entity that runs it.
This entails optimizing the advanced electronic signature, and improving the quality of the images of the checks sent, which is essential to ensure that the check clearing, settling and carving process runs in a safe and efficient manner. Once the term has elapsed, i.e. April 1, 2022, and once the changes to the technology platform for the Electronic Check Clearinghouse, have been completed by Ceproban, the Central Bank will, by agreement, set the start date of the third phase with a full cut.
Until next year, check payment of any amount in amps or dollars will be valid, BCH sources said.