The Image Industry Interoperability Group has announced that the Federal Reserve Banks this week started a Check 21 Duplicate Notification Service for financial companies using its FedMail service.

More than 10,000 companies that use FedMail can sign up for the duplicate service by going to the Fed's FRBservices.org Web site, i3G said on Wednesday. The group is an industry collaboration that promotes best practices in check clearing using images.

Fewer than 1% of check image files are duplicated, but image files or items that are presented twice for payment can cause operational and financial disruption when they occur, sometimes taking months to resolve, i3G said.

"Until now, the industry has had no effective way to keep each other informed when a duplicate file has been presented or who to contact to reverse the transaction," Fred Herr, a senior vice president in the Fed's retail payments office, said in i3G's press release. "As we approach over 90% adoption of check image capability in the industry, the Federal Reserve Banks are delighted to be a part of an industry solution that creates more efficient end-to-end processing."

i3G, which was formed in February, includes representatives from the Fed; community, regional and national banks; and credit unions.