The Electronic Check Clearing House Organization, which promotes electronic check presentment, is seeking to attract smaller banks through a new sponsorship program.

Eccho has named the Independent Bankers Association of America a sponsor, giving its members a say in rulemaking at a fraction of the dues charged to full members.

For instance, a bank with less than $91 million of deposits would pay $100 a year. Eccho's 35 bank members, which have a combined $1.5 trillion of deposits, pay $4,200 to $17,300 a quarter, depending on their deposit size.

The association wants to assure a single set of national rules to govern electronic data exchanges, said David Walker, its executive director. "You can't do that if the cost structure is such that some banks can't afford to participate," he said.

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