Visa USA and SafeCHECK to combine check conversion services

Visa USA and SafeCHECK announced this morning that they’ve agreed to combine their check electronification efforts.

The combined service, to be run by Visa, will form a bank-owned, integrated electronic check processing solution that can significantly reduce the billions of dollars of paper check handling costs incurred by merchants and financial institutions annually.

The press release also cites NACHA statistics reporting that merchant adoption of check conversion at POS is growing at a rate of six per cent each month.

Yesterday, an article in Bank Systems and Technology by Celent analyst Gwenn Bezard reviewed the current state of check conversion at the point of sale in the US.

Although there are signs that the complex alchemy of turning a check into an electronic payment will become mainstream at the lockbox, it is unlikely to happen in the next two to three years at the point-of-sale. This should encourage the industry to think beyond the “conversion” box, and consider other alternatives, such as financial incentives and disincentives.

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