Check Image Clearing System FAQs

With the implementation of the Check Image Clearing System (CICS), PCHC will no longer accept old format checks. In line with this, only new format checks with the waiver statement will be accepted by our stores starting July 1, 2017.

If your Peso checks are still in the old format, please order a new checkbook now from any EastWest Store.

If you have been issued old format checks, request the check issuer to replace them immediately with CICS-ready checks.

  1. What is the new Check Image Clearing System (or CICS)?
    CICS is the new automated facility for clearing deposited checks and other clearing demands between and among banks using digital image and electronic payment information.
  2. Was CICS implemented nationwide?
    Yes, CICS was implemented nationwide, which includes Greater Manila Area, the Integrated Regions, and all Regional Local Exchanges. Initial implementation of CICS is for local currency only.
  3. Why do EastWest checks have an authorization and waiver statement?
    The statement "I/We allow the electronic clearing of this check and hereby waive the presentation for payment of this original to (Drawee Bank)" is an essential requirement for a CICS check, which means the Drawer/Issuer is allowing EastWest to scan and electronically transmit the digital images of the check so the original paper check doesn't have to be physically transported for clearing to the Drawee Bank.
  4. What are the visible features of a CICS-ready check like an EastWest check?
    • Security fibers
    • Embedded watermark
    • Microprint of bank initial along the signatory lines
    • Microprint of printer's name along the date line
    • Copy pantograph
  5. Until when can I use the old EastWest check without the waiver statement?
    You can use the old design check without the waiver statement until June 30, 2017 only. Except for warehoused Post Dated Checks (PDCs), old format checks Stores will be sending for clearing, will be subject to a penalty of PHP250.00 per item to be collected by PCHC from the presenting bank starting July 1, 2017.
  6. What are the benefits of CICS for bank customers?
    • Faster availability of funds to payees/beneficiaries
      • Checks drawn against any branch in the Philippines of a PCHC-member bank are treated like local checks, regardless of actual geographical/regional location of the Depository/Collecting Bank
    • Brings about improvement in cash flow management
    • Improved security in deterring fraud and against loss or tampering of checks in transit
  7. Did the clearing cut-off time change?
    At EastWest, yes. We implemented new clearing cut-off times—1:00 PM, 1:30 PM, and 2:00 PM—at selected Metro Manila Stores starting April 25, 2017. The clearing cut-off time is displayed at each EastWest Store.
  8. What are the important things to remember when writing checks?
    • Write legibly all the required information using a pen with blue or black ink. Do not use a pencil or a pen with gel ink or erasable ink
      • Date
      • Name of payee
      • Amount in figures and in words. End the amount in words with "only"
      • Your signature as check issuer
    • Keep it error-free: No alterations or erasures. Also, don't fold, crumple, or staple the check
    • Make sure your checking account is funded
  9. Can the check information be filled out using computer printers?
    Yes, checks can be completed in computer printers, but only impact printers with permanent dark ink ribbons such as black or blue are permitted. Also, when using impact printers, the ribbon must be changed regularly to maintain the quality of print. Ink jet printers and laser printers can be used but the ink should not penetrate the paper so as not to create interference on the surface of the check.
  10. What if I make a slight error and just countersign the check or use a correction ribbon? Will the check be accepted?
    No, a check with erasures/alterations and deficiencies are not eligible for clearing.
  11. Will a check with incomplete information be accepted?
    No, a check with deficiencies - missing date or no amount in words, etc. - are also not eligible for clearing. However, it can still be re-cleared if the missing information is completed by the issuer and provided that there is no erasure/alteration on the completed information.
  12. What will happen to a check that is already paid/honored? Can I still see the original?
    Yes, you can see the original check within six (6) months from the date of clearing by requesting your store of account. Under CICS, paid/honored checks will no longer be given back to you as the drawer/issuer. However, if you are enrolled in EastWest online, you can view the image reproduction of the paid/honored checks and it shall also be included in your monthly statement of account.
  13. In case a check is dishonored, can the depositor of the check still get the original check?
    Yes, the original copy of the dishonored check will be returned to its depositor. Upon receipt from the Drawee/Paying Bank of the notice of dishonor, the Depository/Collecting Bank will generate a Returned Check Advice (RCA) with the Images of the CICS item printed on it to indicate the reason for dishonor. The returned check with the reason for return stamped on it, together with the RCA, will serve as the official notification to the Depositor of the return or dishonor of the check deposited.
  14. Can the depositor of the check still re-clear a dishonored check?
    Yes, except when the check is dishonored for having been drawn against a "closed account" and when the reason for return/dishonor is SPO, Account under garnishment or Spurious Check.
  15. Where can I get more information on CICS? Who should I contact if I have other concerns?
    For more information about CICS, please visit the PCHC website at www.pchc.com.ph.

    For account-specific concerns, it is best to get in touch with your store of account. If you're a Priority Banking client, contact your Relationship Manager. For general concerns, you may also call EastWest's 24-Hour Customer Service at 888-1700.


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For more information:

Visit any EastWest Store.

Call 24/7 Customer Service Hotline 888-1700.

Email us at service@eastwestbanker.com.