The Check ACH Coalition has abandoned a plan to develop a payment system that would have combined check imaging and automated clearing house processing.

In an e-mail message to coalition members last week, Robert Alpert, director of risk advisory services for KPMG LLP and the point man for the group's media communications, said the plan's key backers "determined that further design and analysis of the Check ACH process is not likely to yield significant benefit, and that the hurdles identified will not allow for the overall project objectives to be obtained."

The trade publication Digital Transactions News reported the decision Tuesday. Mr. Alpert declined to comment.

Four major banking companies - Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., and Zions Bancorp. - launched the initiative in May.

About 60 banking companies, vendors, trade groups, and rulemakers attended a meeting in Chicago in October to try to hammer out terms for a pilot test.