Repeat Performance? Things Canadian Banks Can Learn from the US Check 21 Experience

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1 February 2013


Canadian financial institutions are preparing for a major payments system initiative: the electronification of checks. Canada can learn from a favorable US experience and do even better.

In the report Repeat Performance? Things Canadian Banks Can Learn from the US Check 21 Experience, Celent provides several guiding principles for Canadian banks to follow based on the US experience and examines the salient similarities and differences between the two systems. The genesis of this report was several meetings among large Canadian banks in December 2012 in which a common question was asked: “What can Canadian banks learn from the US check imaging experience?” Celent contends that Canadian banks can expect a faster transition to check imaging than the US experience would suggest.

“The US Check 21 experience is hugely relevant for Canadian banks,” says Bob Meara, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and author of the report. “However, a number of factors suggest that a mere repeat performance of the US experience would be a worst case scenario for Canadian banks.”

This report begins with a US/Canada comparison to illustrate relevant differences between the markets and environments, with resulting implications for Canada. The report then addresses key considerations that will define the scope of Canadian bank check imaging project plans: image exchange, branch capture, remote deposit capture (RDC), image ATMs, and finally, RDC risk management.

This 42-page report contains 19 figures and six tables.