Efficiency unlocked: clearing cheques with ease

Cheque Clearing (CITS)

Cheque Imaging and Truncation System (CITS) is an image-based cheque clearing system, which replaces the physical presentment of cheques with electronic information, flowing throughout the clearing cycle. It eliminated the actual movement of cheques in cheque clearing and reduced the delays associated with physical cheque movement. Further expedite the clearing process nationwide and facilitates clearing domestic interbank rupee cheques and rupee drafts.

CITS not only improved the back-end processing efficiency of all banks but would also allow participating banks to introduce new services that will provide faster and more convenient access to processed or stored cheque images.

Sri Lanka was the first in South Asia and second globally to implement such an advanced image clearing system to conduct nationwide cheque clearing operation. CITS is governed by the Payment and Settlement Systems Act. No. 28 of 2005

Explore the advantages for you

  • You enjoy faster clearing since digital images are used.
  • Your cheques are safeguarded against fraud compared to traditional cheques processing methods, as digital images are utilized.
  • You will not lose the cheque due to digital images are being used for transiting cheques between banks:
  • You will have reduced risks (such as civil unrest and natural disaster) due to uninterrupted electronic transmissions within minutes:
  • Your cheques could easily trace and record keeping is made easy:
  • You are facilitated with extended banking hours to accept cheques since clearing cycles are extended due to electronic processing
  • If you have any queries on cheques on a future date, your cheques could be retrieved easily from electronic archives:

What to do if the cheque is retuned by your bank?

When a cheque that you have deposited into your account is returned unpaid,

  1. You will receive Cheque Return Notification (CRN) instead of the cheque. CRN is a legal replacement of the original cheque for re-presentment.
  2. The CRN is valid Six (6) months from the date of the original cheque to represent.
  3. The presenting bank shall return the printed CRN to you. You should look at Part C of the CRN to determine the reason why the cheque is retuned as well as whether you could present the CRN to the bank again.
  4. If you received a non-representable CRN, you should exchange the CRN for a new cheque from the drawer. You should remember that it's essential to keep track of your finances to prevent any unexpected setbacks like dishonored cheques.

How do you write a cheque?

You should

  • Issue cheques with all material data such as date, amount in figures as well as in words, payee’s name, and the necessary signature/s.
  • Use dark ink to write cheques.
  • Print the letters which shall last for a minimum of 12 years if you choose to print.
  • Refrain from issuing cheques with alterations.
  • Not circle or underline any information on the cheque.
  • Avoid folding/crumpling of cheques, so that characters coded in magnetic ink are not damaged.
  • Avoid writing, making a mark or otherwise damaging the characters coded in magnetic ink.
  • Avoid altering or erasing content on the face of the cheque.

Financial institutions currently signed up with CITS


A cheque is a written order to a bank to pay a specific amount of money to the person or entity named as the payee. It's a formal way of informing your bank to transfer money from your account to someone else's.

Cheques typically clear within one business day from the time they reach LankaPay, which performs functions of cheque clearing house.

Banks may charge fees for clearing cheques, like commission charges and other processing fees. These fees can vary from bank to bank.

It includes elements like the person who wrote it (drawer), the bank it's drawn on (drawee), who it's for (payee), the amount, the date, and the signature.

Yes, in Sri Lanka, cheques written in Sinhala, Tamil, and English languages are considered valid.

If your cheque is lost or stolen, immediately notify your bank that issued it. They can stop payment of the cheque to prevent unauthorized use.

Write the full name of the payee on the 'Pay' line. If the cheque is only for that person, cross out the word 'Bearer' and double cross the top left corner.

Yes, there are certain inherent risks associated such as returned cheques, forgery, or lost/stolen cheques.

Unlike cash or electronic payments, a cheque is a written promise to pay from one bank account to another when presented to the bank.

Cheques are typically valid for six months from the date they're issued.

The clearing system uses electronic images, the physical cheque is removed from the clearance process once you hand it over at presenting bank.


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