How Bankers Can Simplify Their Conversion to Image Clearing (Check 21)

Ron L. Byrne

We've been talking to bankers about electronic check services (Check 21) for quite some time now, and we're very happy to report that our District's banking community is very interested in moving to this new technology. If your bank is thinking about taking advantage of the new services the Fed has created to support Check 21, I'd like to offer you some practical tips and advice.

Register for the Fed's Free Online Seminar, Destination Check 21

This seminar presents case studies that will help you and your staff:

  • realize how the Fed's Check 21-related solutions can help your institution achieve your business objectives;
  • understand the Fed's new value-added products (FedForward?, FedReturn? and FedReceipt?); and
  • assess whether your institution is ready to take advantage of check-image-clearing.

You may take this course at anytime of the day or night from any place you have Internet access. Register online at www.frbservices.org/check/check21.html.

Take Inventory of Your Current Operations and Technology. Your operations staff will need to find out if your software vendor can create properly formatted files—ANSI 9.37—and if your institution can receive images via the web. More technical information can be found at www.frbservices.org/Retail/check21TechInfo.html.

Keep Yourself Informed

In addition to FedForward, FedReturn and FedReceipt, we will continue to announce new Check 21 products and services on our national web site, www.frbservices.org/Retail/check21CustComm.html. To make sure you receive the latest news, I also encourage you to subscribe to both our District's and the Fed System's e-mail alert services. A link to the Eighth District's e-mail alert service can be found on our home page, www.stlouisfed.org. The direct link to the national e-mail alert service is www.frbservices.org/HomePage/EASubsMgr.html.

Keep Your Software Vendor Informed

We also have created a secure web page just for vendors. Once your institution or vendor has filled out a vendor profile sheet, your vendor can go to this secure, online resource to find out what it needs to do to get ready for Check 21. The link is www.frbservices.org/VendorInfo/index.html.

Allow Enough Time

And most important, a successful conversion to electronic payments requires extensive planning and coordination. There is an implementation protocol that must be followed. To get the ball rolling, contact your local account executive.

"FedForward," "FedReturn" and "FedReceipt" are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of the Federal Reserve Banks. A complete list of marks owned by the Federal Reserve Banks is available at www.frbservices.org.

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Fed in Print: An index of the economic research conducted by the Fed.