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CHECKS BY FAX--THAT EVEN THE BANK WILL HONOR

THERE HAS BEEN MUCH TALK lately about the new forms of electronic payment, including complex schemes that create various sorts of ``digital cash.'' But meanwhile, the old methods are finding new lives. For instance, Micro Business Software in Plainview, N.Y., has come up with a way for companies to accept checks by fax.

First, a customer writes a check in the regular way and faxes it to a merchant. Then, using Micro Business' $169 Chax software, the merchant enters the fax's data into a computer and creates a duplicate check that gets printed out on paper--using a standard laser printer. But instead of putting normal toner in the printer, the merchant uses magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) toner, which Micro Business also sells. This makes it possible for banks and clearinghouses to process the check automatically.

Micro Business officials say the Uniform Commercial Code allows this type of transaction, even without the customer's signature on the newly minted check. One early user: The Dallas Morning News.

EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY


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Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.
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