"Consumers are most likely to see the effects of this act when they notice that certain checks (or images thereof) are no longer being returned to them with their monthly statement, even though other checks are still being returned. Another effect of the law is that it is now legal for anyone to use a computer scanner or mobile phone to capture images of checks and deposit them electronically, a process known as remote deposit.
Check 21 is not subject to ACH rules, therefore transactions are not subject to NACHA (The Electronic Payments Association) rules, regulations, fees and fines."
- The CHECK21 Act of 2003
Know where Square, Paypal, Stripe, Circle and all the other vaguely-named finance companies came from? They came from CHECK21. Nobody remembers this. Nobody realizes that until 2004, the check had to be literally in the bank's hand before they legally had the money.
On quiet corners of the tarmac, the planes are loaded with bags bearing billions of dollars in checks before taking off on nightly sorties vital to the American economy.
This is the Federal Reserve Board's air force, a little-known armada of chartered planes whose mission is to see that about one-third of the 60 billion checks Americans write every year get to the bank as quickly as possible.
Along with managing the nation's money supply, regulating banks and its other better-known duties, the Federal Reserve spent $35 million last year flying checks around the country with a fleet of 47 planes.
Even in this era of electronic funds transfer and Internet commerce, most financial transactions are handled by paper checks. And paper checks still have to be processed the old-fashioned way: Somebody has to take them to the bank they were written on to get the money.
It took an act of congress to effectively turn every transaction into a wire transfer. It took an act of defiance to turn every house into a hotel and every car into a taxi, though - AirBnB and Uber both said "come at me bro" to every municipality and locality and short-term transportation and housing were revolutionized.
Every non-command economy is looking at crypto, looking at Uber, looking at AirBnB and recognizing the stampede can be steered, not stopped. Get your taxes, protect your consumers, make compliance more cost-effective than defiance and get the fuck out of the way.