Qatar Central Bank Upgrades its Electronic Check Clearing System

Doha, January 27, 2008

Following the pioneering success of the Electronic Check Clearing System in the State of Qatar since 2001, ProgressSoft has now started running live the upgraded version of the solution which is based on JAVA instead of the old .NET technology. The upgrade involves the prompt clearing component (Prompt Settlement) currently deployed at the Clearing House of QCB.

Actualizing a world-first nationwide implementation of such system, the first version of the e-clearing solution was adopted by QCB and has been running successfully for 5 years across the country's check clearing parties, including all banks and their branches. The system actualized an electronic medium of check image transmission in place of the physical movement of paper-based checks, resulting in a same-day clearing process.

"We continued to deliver the latest over the past 18 years, but 2008 is a remarkable milestone in ProgressSoft's offerings of state-of-the-art payment and imaging solutions". Expressed Mr. Michael Wakileh - CEO; ProgressSoft Corporation.

The new Java-based upgrade meets the continuously increasing load on the clearing system as new banks are being opened and the number of daily cleared check items has been significantly rising; initially, the solution used to handle the maximum of 65,000 checks per day. Nowadays this number has increased to reach 100,000 checks and above; depending on the hardware, operating systems, databases and communication network being used by the banking sector.

With the newly embedded technology, the robustness of the system is leveraged and its performance is accordingly enhanced as a higher volume of clearing transactions can be expediently processed.

"Qatar Central Bank and the Banking Body in Qatar are but our partners in innovating new payments paradigm. We will make sure to always push for their technological advancement and payment excellence". Concluded Mr. Wakileh

Moreover, QCB stands to enjoy a number of features that involve new members in the clearing cycle, including the Sub-Participants and Indirect Participants. The system now also supports several modules that extend the scope of the check clearing process such as Remote Deposit Capture and ATM/CDM Capture components. In-house checks are also supported making way for inter-branch clearing within the same bank.

As Qatari member banks join QCB in foreseeing the value proposed by the new system, they now also run a similar upgrade of their bank check clearing component (Prompt Check).