August 2007

Key Messages:

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Paper checks are being transitioned to electronic images of checks at a pace that is unprecedented.  Check images are currently collected in two forms, as substitute checks and as check images.

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Substitute checks assist in evolving traditional paper check clearing to image-based clearing.  As a precursor to full check image exchange, the number of substitute checks is a positive indication of the acceptance of image exchange.

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Approximately 10.5 billion annual check payments totaling almost $15 trillion per year have already moved from the traditional paper-based clearing process to improved image-based processes.

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On an average day during August 2007,  almost 6,900 institutions received 26 million check images for posting.  These total 6.6 billion checks per year.

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This CheckImage Collaborative image clearing report reflects transactions settled through the Federal Reserve, NCHA, SVPCO and local / regional exchanges.  When the same payments were cleared through two or more of these organizations, those payments were counted only once.

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