Plans have been announced to allow bank customers to pay cheques into their account by taking photos on their smartphones.
Rather than go to the bank in person, customers will be able to photograph the cheque, and send it electronically.
The government is to launch a consultation on the idea, with a view to making the necessary legal changes.
The technology will also allow cheques to be cleared in two days, rather than the six it takes at the moment.
Banks say the new transfer method will be more convenient, and more secure.
"Moving into a virtual world will actually create a more secure customer experience than the paper experience today," said Antony Jenkins, the chief executive of Barclays.
Such photos would not be stored on the phone itself, so there should be no security risk if a phone was stolen.
Similar technology was introduced in the United States nine years ago, following the attack on the World Trade Centre.
A new law known as Check 21 was passed, to enable banks to process cheques electronically, rather than having to transport paper versions across the country.
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