Standardization of Checks in Panama

The Superintendency of Banks is preparing regulatory changes in order to reduce the time it takes to clear a check from three days to just one.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The rules that the regulator has proposed in Agreement 1-2014, issued in March, aims to improve safety and modernize the means of payment of the country, punctually, standardizing checks circulating in the Panamanian financial center.

The proposal, which also involves the printers that produce the checks, states that "... only two formats can be used for printing personal checks and one format for commercial checks and these will be provided with a special watermark to ensure their security. " reports that "...With this method, physical checks will disappear as soon as they are accepted by banks and will be converted into a digital image and in this way the course of compensation (conversion into cash) will be followed more expeditiously and the conversion process *will be reduced to one day)." "It is expected that the system will be fully standardized in 2016."

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Guatemala: Fewer Checks, More Electronic Banking

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Between 2015 and 2016 issuance of checks in the country fell by 5%, while the use of electronic banking continues to grow.

The former president of the Banking Association of Guatemala (ABG), Luis Lara Grojec, explained to that "... electronic banking will continue to grow in the coming years, but more than services through computers, there will be an increase in the use of applications on mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets.

Panama: New Rules for Checks In Effect

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Starting today regulations are in effect to standardize the issuance and circulation of bank checks.

From a statement issued by the National Bank of Panama:

We wish inform you that as of February 1, 2016, agreements No. 001-2014 of 18 March 2014 and No 010-2014 of October 14, 2014, issued by the Superintendency of Banks of Panama are in effect, which establishes standardization of check designs in Panama, with the introduction of new features that enable more security in these transactions. In addition security features for fraud detection are integrated.

Nicaragua: New Regulations for Checks Starts in 2015

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As announced in March, starting January 2015 the number of formats of checks in circulation in the country will be reduced from 800 to 5.

From a statement issued by the Association of Private Banks of Nicaragua (ASOBANP):

The Private Banks Association of Nicaragua (ASOBANP) today invited clients of the entities which are members to approach the nearest branch of their bank before December 31, 2014 in order to upgrade their checkbooks, to ensure greater security for checks.

Nicaragua: New Rules for Cashier´s Checks

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Security of documents is being reinforced using a new type of paper, watermarks, and visible and invisible fibers.

The Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN) and the Association of Private Banks have agreed to implement, as of March 15, a series of reforms for bank checks. The goal is to stop the falsification of instruments such as these used to transfer money.