For a small business owner, there's no better feeling than having the mail arrive and seeing that there are checks in the mail.
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Seriously, if you own a business, you know what I am talking about. The mail comes. You rush to get it. You know immediately which envelopes contain checks and which are junk mail. Elation sets in quickly when there are checks in the mail, right?
But, shortly thereafter, you realize that you now have to get these checks to the bank and deposit them. You have to take time out of your busy day and go to the bank. Ugh.
To be sure, it's a hassle, going to the bank to deposit checks, but fortunately it's a tedious small business task that will soon be going the way of the dinosaurs, thanks to remote check deposit.
Origins of Remote Check Deposit
Let's take a look at the origins of remote check deposits.
Proving true the age-old adage that every cloud has a silver lining, we owe the recent adoption of remote check deposits to Osama Bin Laden and his psychopath terrorist cohorts.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, grounded airplanes prevented trillions of dollars worth of checks from clearing. It was a wake-up call to bank regulators and Congress, inducing them to accelerate discussions regarding electronic checks that would ultimately make paper checks obsolete.
Before 9/11, there had been many discussions regarding electronic checks, but it's safe to say that those talks would not have been anything more than talk, if not for 9/11. It's strange but sometimes good things emerge from really bad things.
On October 28, 2004 Congress passed the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act – known more informally as Check 21.
The goal of Check 21 is to make us, the United States, less reliant on paper checks.
Check 21 allows a bank to clear a Substitute Checks (also called Image Replacement Documents, or IRDs) that are considered to be the legal equivalent of a paper check.
Getting Started With Remote Check Deposit
This is not hypothetical. Many banks are moving forward aggressively to roll out remote check deposit.
For example, sign up for a Citibank business account and you can tap into Citibank. Remote Check Deposit.
Citibank estimates that business owners who deposit checks on a daily basis can save 104 hours per year by using Citibank's electronic remote check deposit technology. Account holders receive a scanner and the process for depositing electronic checks is easy from there.
Citibank is just one of many banks that are offering this. That's some great news for small business owners. If businesses can scan and deposit checks from their office and electronically transmit them to the bank, it's going to free up business owners to focus on growing their businesses.
If your bank doesn't offer remote deposits, let them know that remote deposit services are the wave of the future and they need to get on board. If they don't, consider switching banks.