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A Thing Electronic Check Conversion Factoid

Electronic Check Conversion Factoid

By John H. Beebe

My purpose for each Electronic Check Conversion Factoid article is to inform and educate our industry about the real truth behind Electronic Check Conversion (ECC). Knowing the truth and the facts arms you with the knowledge to close the sale, and, more importantly, to increase your company’s revenue and residual income.

Fiction: Check transactions at points-of-sale have been rapidly declining for years due to the onset of debit cards, check cards, smart cards, and newly issued sub-prime credit cards.

Fact: The Federal Reserve has estimated that a minimum of 18 billion checks are written to pay for goods and services at the point-of-sale every year in the United States alone. Seventy-four percent of all non-cash transactions are made by check. That means that all credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners, Carte Blanche, etc.), debit cards, smart cards, and check card transactions combined represent only 26% of the market. Check writing has continued to increase 2-3% every year and is expected to continue at this growth rate for the next few years.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan put it all into perspective with the following comment: “As we look forward, the Federal Reserve recognizes that whatever innovations develop, the check will likely be with us for many years. Americans still write about 68 billion checks per year, and the numbers are expected to grow.” (source: Federal Reserve Board of Governors, April 2000)

Sixty-eight billion checks.  How much of the 74% do you want? Checks are an untapped market —almost three times the size of the entire credit/debit/smart card industry combined. And Electronic Check Conversion is your chance to capture your share of that market. If you think about how much revenue is derived from just 26% of the market, then what is the real potential for 74% of the market?

Someone is going to be the first to capture the market share in the check industry —74%, just as someone will capture their share in the credit card industry —26%. Will it be you and your company? Global eTelecom, CrossCheck, First American Payments Systems, EFG, and others provide complete Electronic Check Conversion (ECC) programs and private label programs compatible with a wide variety of payment platforms and terminals. For further information on how to sell or market ECC, please contact one of the above companies, or check The Green Sheet’s Resource Guide.

John H. Beebe is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global eTelecom. To contact Beebe, call (877) 454-3835 or visit his corporate Web site at

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