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Correct Date Formats – Check Image Clearing System (CICS)

The Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) has issued Memorandum Circular No 3445, dated June 7, 2018 that sets the standards for the correct date formats of checks.

Effective July 1, 2018, please be advised of the following acceptable date formats.

In addition, the PCHC has also issued OM No. 18-022, enumerating the various technical defects that will make checks unacceptable for clearing:

  1. Post-dated Checks
  2. Stale dated Check – presented for deposit on the 180th day or more from its date of issue, except Manager’s/Cashier’s Check, Gift or Dividend Check.
  3. Out of date (i.e. February 30, 2017), Missing Date or Incomplete Date
  4. 3rd Presentment
  5. Amount in words and figures differ
  6. Documentary Stamp missing (for peso-converted foreign denominated draft)
  7. Validity restricted (printed on the face of the Check)
  8. Previously Negotiated / Cancelled Check
  9. With alteration, smudges / stains (on the face of the Check which includes the date, payee, amount in figures / words, account number, account name, check number and MICR characters)
  10. Missing Payee
  11. No amount in figures
  12. No amount in words (except for bank issued MCs, CCs and DDs)
  13. Missing Drawer Signature
  14. Payee line indicates:
  • Customer Name and Cash
  • Customer Name and/or Cash
  • Business Name or Cash
  • Business Name and/or Cash
  • Government Agency and/or Cash

For complete information on the check clearing procedures, please contact your UCPB branch or our Customer Relations Center at (+632) 811-9111 or email crc@ucpb.com.

Date published: June 26, 2018

Check Image Clearing System

UCPB has already implemented the Check Image Clearing System (CICS). With this, here are some guidelines to help you manage your checks:

  1. What is the new Check Image Clearing System (or CICS)?
    CICS is an electronic payment system mandated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Philippine Clearing House Corp. (PCHC) where only digital images of checks and its electronic payment information would be sent to paying banks resulting in faster availability of funds.
  2. How will CICS benefit the banking customer?
    CICS is a new system of UCPB implemented on August 7, 2017 that aims to shorten the current three-day clearing period for checks. With this, check deposits will be made available for withdrawal not later than 12nn of the following banking day. The new design also affords account holders more security to prevent fraudulent withdrawals.
  3. What are the new check standards and specifications under CICS?
  • A check should include the necessary information (Check Date, Payee Name, Amount in Figures, Amount in Words, Signature/s of Drawer/s)
  • Ensure that the check is currently dated
  • Use only black or blue ink when writing on the check
  • The new checks are easily distinguishable by the presence of a waiver and authorization:
    “I/We allow the electronic clearing of this check and hereby waive the presentation for payment of this original to (Drawee Bank).”
  • Issued checks with technical defects and incomplete or incorrect information based on the scanned image of the check will automatically be returned/dishonored.
  1. The following shall be considered technical defects under new CICS:
  • Stale-dated or ante-dated check
  • Incompletely accomplished check (i.e. missing date)
  • Different amount in figures and in words
  • Use of a pen with light or metallic ink, which may not be captured in the scanned check image
  • Use of photolithograph signature, which may not be captured in the scanned check image
  • Incomplete or incorrect signature combination, or no signature
  • Checks with erasures
  1. What will happen to the old design Checks?
    Effective July 1, 2017, only checks that comply with the New Check Standards and Specifications will be accepted for clearing except warehousing post-dated checks with correct and complete information dated beyond July 2017, only up to December 29, 2016(?), for proper stamping.
  2. Will the cut-off times for deposit of checks be standardized under the CICS environment?
    Deposit cut-off times are usually set at 1:00 P.M. by the branches. With this, the payment will be made available for withdrawal not later than 12nn the next day.
    It is considered late deposit if you did not reach the cut-off time. The payment is not credited to your account until the following banking day.
  3. We currently have checks, which are completed on computer printers using magnetic ink for the printing. Can we continue to use magnetic ink for the printing?
    Yes, as long as the Check’s New Design Standards and Specifications are still being observed.
  4. Will a check affixed with rubber-stamp, chop and personal seal be accepted for clearing under CICS? If not, why?
    The use of rubber-stamp, chop and personal seal is strongly discouraged due to the challenges it entails to verifiers that will be relying on the images of the check. Only images will be presented for payment thru the Clearing House.
  5. Why is there a need to change the check design under CICS?
    In order to protect the presenting bank, there is a need to redesign the check so that it can include embedded security features that will help detect fraud attempts and determine genuineness of the check itself.
  6. What measures are in place to reduce check fraud?
    The new check design has features that allow the presenting bank to test the check’s authenticity and integrity. The use of a security paper will also ensure that any check cannot be fraudulently copied and negotiated undetected. Security Printers undergo accreditation process and PCHC has control on the production of Security Paper.
  7. What happens to the existing manual clearing of RLX under the CICS Environment?
    The main impediment that prevents RLX from being integrated in GMA Clearing is the inability of flights that will transport the physical checks from the regions to Manila. With the use of images under CICS, any region throughout the country that has network connectivity can be able to participate in clearing.
  8. Banks presently charge commission for out-of-town checks; would this practice be continued under CICS?
    Out-Of-Town checks are already out-dated.  Currently, all banks issue Local Checks only.
  9. Can I still pick up the physical checks I issued from the branch?
    CICS has eliminated the process of transporting checks between banks. Only the digital images of checks and the electronic payment information are required to be transmitted to the paying bank. You don’t have to claim the checks at any UCPB branch. You may simply enroll in the UCPB eStatement facility to view the checks you issued. For more information on the eStatement facility, please check the UCPB Goes Paperless! page.

Date published: September 13, 2017
Updated: November 8, 2017

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Customer Advisories

BSP’s Warning Against the Improper Handling of Philippine Currency

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) warns the public that the willful defacement, mutilation, tearing, burning or destruction of Philippine banknotes and coins are punishable by a fine of not more than PHP20,000.00 and/or imprisonment of not more than five years, under Presidential Decree No. 247. It also states that Philippine “banknotes and coins are issued for circulation as medium of exchange and to utilize them for other purposes does not speak well of the due respect and dignity befitting our currency.”

The following are among the prohibited acts of defacement and/or mutilation of Philippine currency:

writing or putting marks on banknotes;
willful tearing, burning, or destruction, in any manner, of Philippine currency;
willful and excessive folding or crumpling that results in a breakdown of the structure and limpness of the banknote;
willfully causing multiple random folds across the entire banknote that toughly affect its visual appearance; and
willfully exposing banknotes or coins to chemicals or other materials resulting in the acceleration of the defacement, destruction, or natural wear and tear of the note or coin.

The public is also discouraged to staple banknotes and/or use adhesives to put on banknotes and coins as these will compromise their structural integrity.

The BSP encourages the public to report any information on improper handling of Philippine currency to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency, for appropriate action, or contact the Currency Management Sector for assistance at Tel. Nos. 988-4833 and 926-5092.


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