Chase Manhattan Bank has joined group of banks developing a nationwide clearing house to speed check collections and reduce the risk of fraud.

Chase is the fourth New York bank - after Chemical, Bankers Trust, and Marine Midland - and the 40th overall to join the group, called Eccho, for Electronic Check Clearing House Organization.

Eccho was formed in 1990 to combat an expected rise in fraud once the Federal Reserve requirred faster access to funds deposited by check.

Providing Early Warning

In electronic check presentment, which Eccho is pursuing, depository banks transmit check data to the paying bank. That bank can provide an early warning if funds are not avialable in the checkwriter's account. The check itself follows by normal delivery channels.

With the addition of Chase, banks in Eccho hold more than 73% of the domestic deposits of the country's biggest banks, according to J.D. Carreker, a Dallas-based consultant who is executive director of Eccho.

Chase is completing an expansion of its check processing capabilities and is upgrading software and hardware for check processing.

Talks on a N.Y. Operation

Chase also has been active in talks to establish a joint check processing facility in New York, according to sources.

Nine member banks are sending or receiving electronic check data under bilateral arrangements.

J.D. Carreker & Associates Inc., Mr. Carreker's firm, recently contracted with International Business Machines Corp. to market the IBM data network to Eccho members as a way to transmit checks' magnetic-ink data without the need for individual arrangements among the banks.

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