Till about a week ago, the answer to this would have been, "Only CTS-2010 Standard cheques will be valid after 31st Dec 2012". The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the date for banks and consumers to meet the standard to 31st March 2013, vide circular dated 14th Dec 2012.
What does this all mean?
CTS = Cheque Truncation System
The basis of CTS technology lies in the use of images of cheques (instead of the physical cheques) for payment processing. So cheques will not physically travel to the originating bank for clearance, but instead, scanned images will be transmitted. This will also eliminate the concept of ‘outstation cheques’ as all cheques will be multi-city/ payable at par all over India.
The new ‘CTS-2010 Standard’ for cheques by the RBI is now scheduled to come into effect on 1st April 2013.
From 1st April 2013, only CTS-2010 Standard cheque leaves, with certain prescribed features, will be generally accepted by banks. However, residual non-CTS-2010 Standard cheques that get presented beyond this date would continue to be accepted for clearing but they would be cleared at less frequent intervals, and possibly at a fee.
Give your cheques a check If your cheque book was issued after August 2011 it is likely that your cheques are already compliant. If your cheques do not have the features of either of the cheque leaves below, then you will need to get a new CTS-2010 Standard cheque book before you can issue cheques to others for presentation, 1st April 2013 onwards. Non-CTS-2010 cheque leaves would still be usable for withdrawals at the home branch.
Features on CTS-2010 Standard cheque leaves Pic: Arathi Manay
RBI circular dtd 14th Dec 2012
Letters and emails received from various banks