Ever since the Indian banking industry outdated the MICR platform and started using the CTS platform several updates have been felt necessary for the smooth functioning of this platform. Some banks make such corrections immediately, while others keep thinking about cheaper solutions. Those banks that solve the problems immediately get paid for their efforts by gaining more new customers. However those banks that keep on looking for cheaper solutions and ignore the problems finally lose the creamy customers who need prompt service.

During Outward clearing at the City Back Office of one of the top Indian Public sector banks in Pune, Maharashtra, a terrible mistake occurred. It shook the bank as well as the entire CTS clearing system that day.

During Outward clearing checker maker entry verification system is followed. The data entered by the operator is verified by the officer. An operator was expected to enter the fourteen digit account number mentioned on the cheque in the account number column during data entry. This operator entered the account number in the account number column and also tried to enter the same in the amount column adjacent to the account number column, Luckily, she succeeded in entering only thirteen digits. A thirteen digit figure should look like Rs 1,00,00,00,00,00,000/-. That evening an officer erroneously verified that cheque. Later in the evening the Branch Manager of the City Back Office, received a call from NPCI, regarding the cheque. The next ranking officer also received a call from NPCI. The next day the entire branch was talking about the cheque. Efforts were made to stop the cheque. Actually the cheque could not be passed, because none of the Banks have so much funds available with them.

A request was raised by the City Back Office, Pune to include commas while entering the amount and also to display the amount in words, once the operator enters the amount in figures, so that the length of the sentence will give a hint to the operator as well as the officer before verifying the cheque. But the said software update has not been made available till date. The bank says it takes a lot of money to buy an update.

So we can expect the re-occurrence of such mistake in near future.   

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