Before you write a check, make sure your current account has enough money in it to cover the amount clearing it.

The UAE Central Bank check clearing process (Image Cheque Clearing System, or ICCS) makes it easier for banks to electronically transfer check images instead of physically transferring paper checks.

This means clearing checks happens a lot faster than in other countries and than it used to in the UAE, so money may be deducted from your current account faster than you expected – even on the same day.

As the UAE Central Bank says…

The objective of the Image Cheque Clearing System is to allow for the truncation of cheques at the point of acceptance whilst providing a safe, secure, efficient and robust payment mechanism in the United Arab Emirates. Banks will settle cheques issued on accounts held by them based on electronic images of these cheques. ICCS reduces the dependence of the payment infrastructure on the physical movement of paper, and therefore facilitates shorter clearing and settlement cycles. It also facilitates quicker realization of funds on these items. Cheques deposited at the teller counters at any bank-branch by 10am get cleared at 5pm the same day.

The model adopted by the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) is one where a cheque envelope (CE) encapsulates the images of the individual items. A Presenting Bank generates the CE for delivery to the Issuing Bank. CBUAE plays the vital role of ensuring that delivery and settlement happens in a timely, predictable and efficient manner. CBUAE is the Clearing House for all cheques, acting as the intermediary for all data and image flow between the collecting and paying bank.

CBUAE also acts as the national central archive for all items delivered via the Image Cheque Clearing System (ICCS). The ICCS Cheque Archive is available to all banks, providing access to the images of cheques cleared via ICCS. Individual items within the archive will be available to the Presenting Bank, the Issuing Bank and the Clearing House.