Standardization of Checks in Panama
The Superintendency of Banks Organization is working on regulatory changes for banks to reduce the time it takes to clear a check from three days to just one.
The proposed rules are stated in the Agreement 1-2014, issued in March 2014. The goal is to improve the safety and modernize payments in the country, punctually, standardizing checks in Panama.
The proposal involves printers that produce the checks. It states that “only two formats can be used for printing personal checks and one format for commercial checks and these will be provided with a special watermark to ensure their security. ”
Panamaamerica.com.pa reports that “with this method, physical checks will disappear as soon as they are accepted by banks and will be converted into a digital image. This way conversion into cash will be reduced to one day). It is expected that the system will be fully standardized in 2016.”
Banks that outsource check-printing services must ensure that the contracted printing company meets the standards established herein.
The Standards for Checks in Panama.
Checks in Panama must be rectangular. Standardized check sizes for personal and commercial checks are:
- Two (2) sizes for personal checks:
- Standard personal check: width 152.4 mm (6”) and height 69.85 mm (2¾”).
- Extended personal check: 74 mm (7 5/16”) and height 69.85 mm (2¾”).
- One (1) size for commercial checks and cashier’s checks: width 74 mm (7 5/16”) and height 92.96 mm (3 2/3”).
The union of the check body and stub should be perforated.
Paper manufacturing features
- Weight: 90 grams/m2 with a tolerance of ±5%.
- Thickness: The thickness may vary for the same paper weight. Optimum 112um, minimum 107um and maximum
- Stiffness: The capacity of the paper to resist deformation when subjected to stress. minimum DM 200, minimum DT 88
- Fiber direction: When the paper is cut, the fibers should run parallel to the longest side of the finished sheet. Long grain is
- Humidity: The amount of humidity in the paper, expressed as a percentage of its weight. Optimum 32%RH, Minimum 24% RH, Maximum 40% RH.
- Tear strength: The median strength in grams necessary to tear the paper. This measure is used to prove that the paper is suitable for use in transportation and sorting systems. Optimum DM 441mN, minimum DM 294 mN, maximum DM 637
- Softness or roughness: The smoothness of the surface of the paper and the degree of Optimum Sheffield units 130, minimum 105, maximum 155.
Paper security features for checks in Panama
- Duotone, private, custom-made printing company
- Invisible fluorescent optical
- Visible colored threads or
- Reaction of the paper pulp to hypochlorite, polar (alcohols, acetones, etc.) and non-polar (petroleum)
- The paper must have a protective surface treatment that resists scraping and erasures and leaves signs of any attempt at alteration on the paper itself. Products such as Toner Grip, Laser Lock and Secur Laser can be used to protect laser-printed variable
Minimum printing security features for checks in Panama
- Security background printing in invisible fluorescent ink over the entire check, verifiable with an ultraviolet
- Security watermark printed in fugitive ink. It must be a pastel or soft tone that will allow conversion to a binary image but that will not impede reading the check’s content. This background must react to mechanical erasures by detaching itself from the paper, permitting detection of the alteration of the
- Red penetrating magnetic ink for printing the MICR line (indispensable feature for commercial checks).
- Penetrating ink for printing Arabic numbers for check numbering (indispensable feature for commercial checks).
- Security inks:
- Fugitive, water-soluble or bleeding inks. Inks that bleed, run, disappear or are diluted by attempts at erasure by friction must be used to print check
- Fluorescent inks. Inks visible and/or invisible to natural light but emitting ultraviolet radiation when exposed to this type of light (i.e., changing color or becoming visible when submitted to ultraviolet light) must be They must be used to print in areas at risk for alterations (amount, signature, beneficiary, and amount in letters and numbers), and, consequently, must be sensitive to mechanical erasure.
- Ink for numbering. It will be used principally for printing check numbers. It must hinder tampering by erasure or overwriting. It must be penetrating or protected by fixers, anchors or special
Check scanning features
Checks must comply with the ANSI X9.7 Standard recommendations that describe the requirements for the background and the location of the numerical amount field, to ensure that the process of capture and conversion to a binary image picks up only the document’s essential information.
Read about check design for checks:
Read more Panama Rule_1-2014