The Image Industry Interoperability Group, a recently launched collaboration among several major financial institutions, is pushing for standards that would further the adoption of check image exchange.
The group, which calls itself i3G, said Tuesday that it is recommending best practices — such as an industry event notification — and guidelines for other requirements, such as the magnetic ink character recognition line on imaged items.
Brian Egan, the vice president of retail payments at the office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said in a press release that i3G's goal is to bring image exchange up to speed with the efficiencies that paper item processing has developed over its lifetime.
"The paper-based U.S. check system has had over five decades to perfect its rules and operational procedures to achieve near-seamless efficiency," Mr. Egan said. "While the industry has come a long way in the four short years since Check 21 was enacted, we have all experienced many costly operational 'hiccups' like cleaning up the aftermath of large-scale duplicate file events."
Members of i3G include the Federal Reserve banks, Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., U.S. Bancorp, Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc.'s Frost Bank, Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union, and the Independent Community Bankers of America.
Some of these same organizations spent much of 2006 promoting electronic clearing through a group called the Check ACH Coalition, but that effort foundered, in part because of incompatibilities in the rules for checks and automated clearing house transactions.