Anwar Noor Baloch
“I have my three cheques bounced,” said one of the LLC (Limited Liability Company) companies’ owner, laughing. Surprisingly, he didn’t even seem apologetic. It was a matter of wondering that how such an owner looked like an irresponsible businessman.
Although, facilities such as credit cards and electronic transfers have replaced travellers cheques and cheque books and also have eased banking transactions to a greater extent.
Today cheque books are still provided by banks to their valuable customers. How much do bank customers comprehend and value such facility? On the other hands, how much banks know about their customers’ behaviour that such facility will not be misused and be well managed and customers’ customers will not be tricked?
Historically, cheques talk a lot. It has been found from different sources, like from books of banking and Google, that, the ancient Romans are believed to have used an early form of cheque known as praescriptiones in the 1st century BC.
Muslim traders are known to have used the cheque or saqq system since the time of Haroon Al-Rasheed, in 9th century, of the Abbasid Caliphate. Transporting a paper saqq was more secure than transporting money. In the 9th century, a merchant in country A could cash a saqq drawn on his bank in country B.
Coming in 1931, where an attempt was made to simplify the international use of cheques by the Geneva Convention on the Unification of the Law Relating to Cheques. Many European and South American states, as well as Japan, joined the convention. However, countries including the U.S.A. and members of the British Commonwealth did not participate and so it remained very difficult for cheques to be used across country borders.
From the history people can learn and will enhance the present process and avoid or mitigate the risk that occurs in cheque books’ facility provided by banks.
I still was a student in the CBFS, (College of Banking and Financial Studies), where a shopkeeper showed me a cheque of OMR 464 ($1,195) and requested me to find him a person who could give him even OMR 380 ($979) and take the cheque. The bearer of the cheque was written as “Cash”. “There must be something wrong with the cheque,” I said.
“You can make some alterations on the date, on the amount and even you can put the wrong signature on the face of the cheque. Finally, the cheuqe will be returned for a technical reason instead of financial,” the shopkeeper said it, smartly. His intention was just to play with banks and his own suppliers.
“I need to travel abroad with my kids. I don’t have cash. I would appreciate if you could lend me OMR 2,000 ($ 5,154) and I will give you a security cheque of my aunty,” requested one of the mothers to one of my friends.
“I am in the Police station. Can you come urgently? I am in trouble,” said a friend of one of my friends. “One of his cheques had been bounced and the beneficiary had made a complaint,” my friend explained to me.
Issuing a cheque without having funds in the account considered as a crime, and legal action can be taken against such customers. The cheque book is one of the facilities where customers to ease their trades and businesses and not to misuse it as such practice create economic problems in the country.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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