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E-check payments to double in 2003


The number of e-check payments is due to reach the one billion mark in 2003, according to research from the Electronic Payments Association (NACHA).This would double the figures seen in 2002.


The popularity of e-check payments in Europe differs vastly to the US. While it is largely accepted in the former, there is a reluctance to move away from the traditional form of paper check payments in the latter. As well as efficiency gains, electronic payments help fight fraud.


James Hodge, assistant treasurer of AT&T, speaking on this topic at a recent CF event, comments: "Americans are used to cheques and even a lot of big companies' activity is in cheques. Whereas in Europe you just don't use cheques in business - maybe 95% of business is done electronically. The best way to forestall fraud is to move to a more electronic form of payment."


NACHA has been working for 10 years to promote the popularity of e-billing amongst US firms, and was only last year lamenting a US payment infrastructure that refused to lend itself to electronic billing. But the 2003 news is more upbeat.  


Chris Skaar, executive vice-president of Bank One global treasury service, speaking at a recent CF event, is equally positive about the progress of e-check payments: "Around technology, the move from paper to electronic payments is an interesting one.

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