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eBook: Check 21 – A Blockbuster Story

The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act or aka Check 21 is perhaps the most important event for checks in history. It was signed into law on October 28, 2003, and became effective on October 28, 2004. Check 21 is a federal law that is designed to enable banks to handle more checks electronically, which should made check processing faster and more efficient. Today, banks often must physically move original paper checks from the bank where the checks are deposited to the bank that pays them. This transportation can be inefficient and costly.

And, while many check and banking professionals know of Check 21, many are able to recount some of the memories behind it.

Check 21 – A Blockbuster Story is a book about the people and events that initiated, passed, and implemented the historic Check 21 Act.  Phyllis Meyerson and David Walker tell a serious story told with a bit of humor, self-deprecation, some education on banking, payments, and congressional lobbying.  The Law facilitated the transformation of 40 billion items valued at $40 trillion.  Moving from an archaic, paper-based system to an electronic check image exchange system in a little over 6 years, the fastest in payments history!

The Book describes why the success of Check 21 and image exchange cannot be replicated by other payments initiatives such as faster payments.

Check 21 image

The authors participated in all aspects of this transition from helping draft the Law, providing industry education, lobbying congress, participating in the Presidential signing, creating standards and much more.  The Book explains how the events on and after 9/11 influenced the passage of Check 21.  They coordinated the industry’s congressional lobbying efforts resulting in a U.S. House approval vote of 405 to 0 and a Senate approval by unanimous consent (an incredible feat).

Finally, the Book describes the value of check payments relative to the size of the U.S. economy.  The U.S. economy is the largest economy in the world and the value of checks written in 2021 ($27.5 trillion) exceeded the U.S. gross domestic product ($25.5 trillion).  Any payment system larger than the largest economy in the world is relevant!

The Book is available in digital format from David’s website or scan the QR code.  In lieu of payment, the authors request a donation be made to a charity and in an amount of your choice. No money goes to or through the authors.  Please do not send any money to them.

check 21 qr code

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