The Payments Council has come to an agreement with all banks and building societies in the UK that they will provide 'dual authorisation' of transactions online or by telephone before the end of the year.
Many charities and community organisations currently use cheques that must be signed by two trustees. But this form of dual authorisation is often not available for transactions they carry out online or by telephone.
The Payments Council, which manages methods of payments in the UK, says it is confident that all the banks and building societies are on track to deliver this service.
Chris Bryson, head of project delivery at the council, told Third Sector that the move would be a major step forward for charity banking. "This was one of the things that came out of our work on cheques," he said. "We found that one of the major reasons charities liked to use cheques was that they allowed for two signatories.
"We decided the same system should be available for other methods. A few banks already did that, but most didn’t. Most banks have said they will develop it for internet banking, but some are doing it for phone banking as well.
"We’ve said that any account that allows dual authorisation for cheques will get it for at least one other method as well."
Bryson said that charities should not have to do anything to sign up and should be offered the new service automatically.