Tag Archives: Magnetic ink character recognition

Standardization and Enhancement of Security Features in Cheque Forms/Migrating to CTS 2010 standards


Reserve Bank of India, today has informed that

01) during the transition period (i.e. up to December 31, 2013), the existing clearing arrangements will continue i.e Non-CTS 2010 and CTS 2010 cheques will be continued to be accepted in CTS Grid.

02)All cheque issuing banks are advised to make efforts to withdraw the non-CTS-2010 Standard Cheques in circulation.

03)Banks can continue to present such non-CTS-2010 instruments in Express Cheque Clearing System (ECCS) centres and MICR CPCs till such time the CPCs are in operation.




How to identify if your customer cheques are CTS 2010 compliant?

  1. Bank/branch address along with IFSC code printed on the top left corner of the cheque.
  2. Standard date format.
  3. Printer name along with ‘CTS 2010’ printed on the extreme left of the cheque.
  4. ‘Please sign above’ is mentioned on the bottom right corner of the cheque.
  5. Rupee  symbol in the amount column.

Tips to ensure that the cheques are cleared without any problems:

  • To ensure fraud-free cheque clearance, RBI has advised that customers should preferably use dark coloured ink while writing cheques and you should avoid any alterations or corrections thereon.
  • For any change in the payee’s name, amount in figures or in words, fresh cheque leaves should be used by customers, as this will facilitate smooth passage through image based clearing system

All the banks including cooperative banks have started to issue CTS 2010 compliant cheques to their customers.

It is suggested from 15/05/2013, corporate customer offices should accept only CTS 2010 compliant cheques and no other cheques be accepted.

In case the photocopy of the cheque is taken, the words VOID will appear at the left hand corner.



MICR Code Line Structure – the remaining 3



This post is in continuation of my previous post dt.20/07/2010

The following 3 fields complete the MICR code on the physical cheque. The MICR Code structure is the same for CTS 2010 as well as non-CTS 2010 cheque leaves.

iii) Account number field, consisting of six digits followed by a delimiter, is an optional field. In the case of Government Cheques issued by RBI alone, the account number is of seven digits. The Government Account number is 10 digits in length – 7 digits occurring in the Account number field and three in the transaction code field.

In an automated processing of cheques, the banks IT applications usually tag the cheque to the correct account based on the 6 digit short account number and the printed cheque number.

(iv) Transaction code field comprising of two digits in all instruments except Government cheques drawn on RBI which have a 3 digit transaction code. Control documents – batch and block tickets – have a three digit representation in the transaction code field.


(v) The last field represents the amount field and consists of 13 digits bounded on both sides by a delimiter. The amount is encoded in paise without the decimal point.

The first 4 fields are printed at the time of the cheque printing and only the fifth field i.e Amount field is inputted later, as the amount is blank at the time of printing the cheque.

Under CTS scenario, the amount field in the MICR Code line structure is not relevant at all