"It's changing folks, whether we like it or not," said Rudet Fountain, national sales manager at American Check Management (ACM).
"We're kind of powerless.There are a lot of forces driving the trend and unfortunately it's not our companies, nor is it us individually."
The trend to which Fountain
refers is the ongoing move toward predominantly paperless business and the increasingly frequent use of payment instruments like electronic funds transfer (EFT), B2B credit cards and automated clearing house (ACH) payments.The development of paperless business has already proven its worth in the consumer arena and its growth in the business world has been greatly influenced by the consumers, banks and, most notably, the federal government.
One specific event that pushed the government further toward paperless business was the series of attacks carried out on September 11, 2001.Not only were nearly 3,000 lives lost that day, but all planes were grounded, the New York Stock Exchange
was closed and, in essence, the country shut down for five or six days."All of the sudden it was even more magnified because this country came to a screeching halt," said Fountain
"Say John Smith writes a check," said Fountain
."Is John Smith
authorized to give you permission to convert that check?It might be John Smith Enterprises
and even then he
might not be authorized to do that."Due to questions of account and business ownership, Check21 has yet to have a real effect on the B2B market.Still, it indicates the government's distaste for paper checks and their eye is currently set on encouraging business to go paperless."The feds think that by 2010, more B2B payments are going to be made electronically than by paper check," said Fountain