Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act
(Check 21)


Congruent with the digital age, the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21) allows businesses to create a digital version of an original check, fostering a national transition from a paper-based to an image-based payment system. Formed by the Federal Reserve System in 2004, Check 21 affects any organization in the business of banking. The law also makes legal the process of scanning or capturing images of checks and depositing them electronically, a process known as remote deposit.


Banking Industry Impact

While the regulation doesn’t require companies to change current check processing methods, it establishes that a properly prepared electronic check, or substitute check, is the legal equivalent of the original. In order to process checks electronically, accurately and legally, banks are investing in technologies that enable them to:

  • Use electronic checks for improved check processing efficiency.
  • Electronically control check images in a secure Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system.
  • Distribute consumer disclosures quickly, easily and affordably to save money.


ECMNOW! Enables Check 21 Compliance

Banks invest in ECMNOW! because it simplifies the management of electronic check images. You can reduce Check 21 compliance costs while enabling operational efficiency and enhancing information security and control. Accurate check scanning, automated check processing and a centralized information system allow you to save money and to build confidence in your compliance strategy.


“Check truncation reduced work hours for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s check services by almost 50% from 2001 to 2007, and transportation costs dropped by about 11% during the same time. …Additionally, the Federal Reserve Banks expect more than 90% of their check deposits to be electronic by the end of 2009.”

—U.S. Government Accountability Office in a report to Congressional Committees

Improve Check Processing Efficiency

Check 21 influences the use of electronic information management to improve check processing efficiencyECMNOW! enables automated processing and contributes to a more productive working environment, creating a strong competitive advantage for your business.

  • Automatically route documents through your bank’s customized procedures to expedite check processing.
  • Prioritize work queues and create time-sensitive alerts to ensure your bank responds to customer request in a timely manner.


Control Electronic Checks in a Secure ECM System

Check 21 releases you from physically transferring paper checks, so you have a more secure and controlled method of check processing. PaperVision® Capture and PaperVision® Enterprise allow you to accurately capture check data, to process information and to securely manage check images in a single, searchable source.

  • Verify check imaging and enable automated processing through fast and accurate capture technology.
  • Eliminate the transfer of paper checks by giving other banks document grants that allow limited, secure access to check images online.


Simplify Information Disclosures to Save Money

Each time a customer requests a copy of a check and you respond with a substitute check, a disclosure must be given to the customer. Save money with PaperVision Enterprise and ImageSilo® by implementing easy and cost-effective disclosure procedures, and keep detailed records of each one.

  • Easily and securely share disclosures with customers using unlimited document distribution.
  • Enable money-saving record keeping with disclosure reports that can be printed, exported and archived.


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