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Cheque Truncation System (CTS) - Explained

I’m sure you must have come across the acronym CTS many a times during your banking studies; today we aim to go further from the acronym and actually understand what CTS is all about! 

1. What is Cheque Truncation or truncation of cheques?

Truncation literally means stopping or cutting short. Thus, truncation of cheque means stopping the flow of the physical cheque by the presenting bank (bank where the cheque is presented/dropped off!)
en-route to the drawee bank’s (bank on which the cheque is drawn on) branch.

Instead of the physical cheque, an electronic image of the cheque is transmitted to the drawee branch, along with relevant information like data on the MICR band, date of presentation, presenting bank, etc.
Cheque truncation, thus, removes the need to move the actual physical cheque from branch to branch.

2. Process of CTS:

Basically there are three levels, namely, at the Presenting Bank, the Clearing House and the Drawee Bank. The following should help with understanding the process!

Cheque Truncation System

3. Benefits of CTS:

(i) CTS speeds up the process of collection of cheques,
(ii) Reduces the scope for clearing-related frauds or loss of instruments in transit,
(iii) Lowers the cost of collection of cheques,
(iv) Removes reconciliation-related and logistics-related problems,
(v) Reduces the time of clearing cycle – that is faster processing of cheques and payment in favour of the customer,
(vi) Reduces scope for frauds inherent in paper instruments,

Thus, as you can see CTS increases efficiency of the entire system.

4. What is CTS -2010?

 CTS-2010 is a standard benchmark recommended by RBI for the standardisation of:
(i) cheque forms (leaves) in terms of size,
(ii) MICR band,
(iii) quality of paper, having protection against alteration, should be sensitive to acid/alkali/bleach etc. and should not glow under UV light – CTS -2010 paper is UV-dull!
(iv) watermark, all cheques to carry a standardized watermark, ‘CTS INDIA’ – should be oval and 2.6 to 3 cms in diameter,
(v) mandating colour schemes in pastels to ensure clarity of image etc.,

Thus, CTS-2010, standardizes the cheque to conform to certain features for identification and security purposes.

All banks providing cheque facility to their customers have been advised to issue only 'CTS-2010' standard cheques.

Cheques not complying with CTS-2010 standards will be cleared at less frequent intervals i.e. twice a week up to October 31, 2014 and weekly once from November 1, 2014 onwards.

Okay, so, now that we know about the basics of CTS, lets learn some trivial points relating to CTS-2010 specifically:

Some important points relating to CTS-2010

1. The Reserve Bank has implemented CTS in the National Capital Region (NCR), New Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai with effect from February 1, 2008, September 24, 2011 and April 27, 2013 respectively.

2. The cheque images can be Black & White, Gray Scale or Coloured,
  • Black & White images are light in terms of image-size, but do not reveal all the subtle features that are there in the cheques,
  • Coloured images are preferable, but they increase storage and network bandwidth requirements,
  • Gray Scale images are mid-way and most preferable,
  • CTS in India use a combination of Gray Scale and Black & White images.
  • There are three images of each cheques that need to be taken - front Gray Scale, front Black & White and back Black & White.

3. Customers should use image-friendly coloured inks while writing cheques and avoid any alterations / corrections thereon.

4. Images that do not meet the specifications are rejected.

5. The security, integrity, non-repudiation and authenticity of the data and image transmitted from the paying bank to the payee bank are ensured using the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

6. The PKI standards used are in accordance with the appropriate Indian acts and notifications of Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA).

7. CTS is compliant to the requirements of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

8. It has been made mandatory for the presenting bank to sign the images and data from the point of origin itself.

9. Under CTS the physical cheques are retained at the presenting bank level and do not move to the paying banks.

10. A customer can be provided with the images of cheques duly authenticated, is such a need arises.

11. Customer can also demand to see the physical cheque – for that it would need to be sourced from the presenting bank, for which a request should be made to his/her bank.

12. According to CTS-2010, the presenting banks which truncate the cheques will have to preserve the physical cheque for a period of 10 years.

That was one helluva CTS related piece! 

I decided on this topic because many friends of mine, who faced interviews in the last 1 year, have been asked about it – either the basics or the detailed process!

People who were from commerce background could answer the basics, but faltered with the process and details; and the ones not from commerce were left blinking their eyes at the interviewers!

Let us prepare ourselves better and learn from the mistakes of others!!!

I hope you found this one informative!

Good day for now!
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  1. thank you sir, it is impressing. Now, i learned the process of clearing a cheque.

  2. This piece has truckload of infornation to digest!

    Thanks for being a wonderful guide!

  3. Last year ibps clerk 3 interview me humse ye question pucha gaya tha

    1. Must download Clerk IV Digest for more articles like this

    2. Where it is.....
      Means Clerk IV DIGEST.......

  4. Good info and can you please provide gk digest for sbi associate po exam that I am going to write on november 29 2014


    2. Do u have a book..where we can get all d articles like dis..cts, bank term loan nd Basel norms..and all stuff like u keep posting regarding one single book..I have purchased ur banking awareness in dat u haven't mentioned abt all dese articles..plzz help me out..

      Raman sir
      I am not advertising such publication.
      I am really wanted to help this boy.

  5. I have this one and many have changed recently like cabinet ministry and Chief mininster of different state etc.Can you please give me updated info regarding it

  6. koi bta do plz ye ibps po3 ki reserve list kab tak aayegi

  7. Chhattisgarh
    No. State/UT SC ST OBC UR Total Out of which
    1 Allahabad Bank 1 3 0 6 10 0 0 0 1 0
    2 Andhra Bank 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
    3 Bank of Baroda 7 20 4 32 63 1 0 1 6 3
    4 Bank of India 6 16 3 28 53 1 1 1 5 2
    5 Bank of Maharashtra 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    6 Canara Bank 10 28 5 47 90 1 0 1 9 4
    7 Central Bank of India 1 1 0 2 4 0 0 0 1 0
    8 Corporation Bank 2 6 1 11 20 0 0 0 2 0
    9 Dena Bank 7 34 6 48 95 4 4 1 9 4
    10 Indian Bank 2 6 1 12 21 0 0 0 2 1
    11 Indian Overseas Bank 9 25 4 42 80 0 0 2 8 3
    12 Oriental Bank of
    Commerce 6 19 3 28 56 0 1 1 5 2
    13 Punjab National Bank 13 34 6 56 109 3 2 2 10 4
    14 Punjab & Sind Bank 1 3 1 5 10 0 0 0 1 0
    15 Syndicate Bank 1 4 0 8 13 0 0 0 2 0
    16 UCO Bank 5 14 1 20 40 0 0 1 3 1
    17 Union Bank of India 3 9 1 13 26 1 1 1 3 1
    18 United Bank of India 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    19 Vijaya Bank 1 2 0 3 6 0 0 0 1 0
    TOTAL:::: 75 224 36 362 (697) 11 9 11 68 25
    this means total 697 vacancies in first list shown but total allotment made by ibps to all catogeries are 576 already 121 seats are not alloted by ibps and 10 % reserved list is created by ibps.It think candidates are fool go and see your state allotment everyone who want job (whether they are in reserve list or not )and also other candidates who are appearing in clerk 4.)

  8. Hi Ramandeep I didnot find this type of post in other banking sites which I follow,these days your are writing very good ones, if possible can you change the comment section to disqus /livewire,helpful for visitors and you.

  9. sbi clerk result will declare today... interview starts from 8 dec, call letters download from 25 nov...

  10. aaj aayega sbi clerk result pakka h baki source ka mat pucho jab aa jayega tab dekh lena


    sbi clerk result declared

  12. Pls koi mera result batado
    roll no. 3020738690
    i don't have computer so pls check it

  13. Dear Sir,

    Download articles in PDF not working

  14. Raman Sir,

    GK Digest is really a very good book its amazing thank you so much for this book thank u thank u.....
    It will help me a lot because my background is science, and i dont know anything about marketing and banking terms and all.......

    1. can you please guide where and how can i get this digest? I am actually new to this site

    2. From Top menu -->> Study Plan -->> Gk digest


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