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BNY Mellon Drives Industry Reduction in Paper Checks as Sustainability Goals Ramp Up

BNY Mellon Drives Industry Reduction in Paper Checks as Sustainability Goals Ramp Up 1

NEW YORKApril 26, 2022 BNY Mellon — one of the largest check processors in the U.S. — is leading efforts  to reduce check-based payments as sustainability goals and environmental concerns take root across the globe. To  support U.S. clients’ transition from paper to electronic transactions, the bank is leveraging a series of digital  innovations and financial benefits.

These initiatives include the exploration of carbon-tracking tools that could show clients the true environmental cost  of their paper payments, as well as price discounts on certain digital payment solutions and waivers of some  upfront implementation fees for select clients that commit to the digital journey.

With roughly 2.3 billion checks written annually by customers of U.S. corporations paying their bills, equivalent to  about 455,000 trees, there is an opportunity to make an impact. Checks are not just environmentally unfriendly;  they may also come with potential mail delays. By comparison, digital payment channels provide a host of  efficiencies, including reduced risks of fraud, faster access to liquidity in a rising interest-rate environment and an  improved client experience.

Clients have already reduced the amount of checks they send to BNY Mellon for processing by 3% in 2020 and by  8.5% from 2019 levels, with those check volumes falling to 291 million last year.

“Alternatives to checks are readily available – and have been for a long time,” says Eric Boughner, Chairman of  BNY Mellon Pennsylvania. “While we will continue to support checks, we are now – more than ever – focused on  offering new and enhanced solutions that can help drive the paper-to-digital journey for our clients, as well as  supporting them in their wider sustainability efforts.”

The shift comes as global regulators and policymakers are increasingly issuing guidance on a potential framework  for mandatory reporting of climate risk. Moving from paper to electronic payments is a straightforward step toward  those sustainability goals, but the business reasons for displacing checks are just as clear as the environmental  ones.

“Recent innovations in digital payments are shining a brighter light on the inefficiencies of check processing,” says  Carl Slabicki, BNY Mellon’s Co-Head of Global Payments. “The business reasons, coupled with the environmental  impact, make embracing electronic payments a clear imperative and we are leading the way with tools and  incentives to make that happen.”

The moves are part of the bank’s wider digital strategy in its Treasury Services unit. Recently, the company  launched a first-of-a-kind, real-time electronic bill and payment solution enabling U.S. businesses to present digital  bills to their consumer clients in real-time and receive instant payments via the consumers’ preferred online and  mobile banking channels.


BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial  assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or  individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment and wealth management and investment services in  35 countries. As of March 31, 2022, BNY Mellon had $45.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration,  and $2.3 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to  create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of  The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on  Follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon or visit our newsroom at for the latest company  news.

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