THE PHILIPPINE Clearing House Corp. (PCHC) expects earlier fund availability in a few months, with lenders implementing one-day check clearing as mandated by the central bank still releasing money in varied speeds.

PCHC Chairman and Asia United Bank Corp. (AUB) President Abraham T. Co said the banks that have adopted the one-day clearing scheme still have varied fund availability times.

“Yes, [checks] deposited on day zero will have cleared funds for withdrawal on day one. But not all the same time. Most banks will have the availability at 10 a.m. of day one. A few banks are at mid-afternoon,” Mr. Co said in an e-mail.

He said his bank makes funds available by 9 a.m. the next day, and he expects more lenders to follow. “Hopefully every bank will have day one availability by mid-morning in a few months.”

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. confirmed this on the sidelines of AUB’s 20th anniversary banquet held in Pasay City on Thursday, adding that smaller banks are yet to implement one-day check clearing.

In January, the BSP and PCHC announced the migration to a check image clearing system, which requires banks to accept digital copies of checks to verify the clearing.

This scheme veered away from the process that requires the physical check to be authenticated – which would take three to five banking days – making the process faster and more efficient.

The central bank gave lenders until April 21 to shift to one-day check clearing and update their computer systems and feedback channels for electronic check clearing.

In an earlier interview, Mr. Espenilla said he is looking forward to shift to a same-day clearing scheme in the future as the BSP and players in the banking industry slowly adopt the National Retail Payments System, which aims to supplement the use of cash as a mode of payment. – Karl Angelo N. Vidal