October 29th, 2004

Breaking News

Floating checks

I don't often do public service announcements here. Mostly cause I'd rather see the rest of the world including all of you, completely screw up your lives so that my path to total domination is clearer. I mean that. But in this case, I see another opportunity. An opportunity to start a whisper campaign that spreads, and while my name won't be attached to it for long, I'll have the silent pleasure of watching everyone be my sheep.

Or not.

Anyway, as of yesterday banks are allowed to process checks completely electronically. For ages, to process them they needed to present the check to the bank at which you've intended to draw funds. That means shipping millions of checks per day across the country. And time. Meaning you could float checks for a day or two before the funds would be withdrawn from your account. Rent due today but you get paid tomorrow? No problem. Write a check and make sure you get your paycheck deposited before 3 p.m.

No more.

The new law, Check 21 as it's known in the banking industry, means that once the bank gets its grubby hands on it, they can scan it and process everything electronically and throw the original paper check away. Electronically means immediately, more or less. If your landlord deposits today, the money comes out today.

No problem right? Instant means like an ATM card? Not quite. You still get bounce fees. And you'll get it today, instead of tomorrow. Hastening your slide into bankruptcy and softening your will for my eventual takeover.

Do you want me to assume power? I thought not.