The proliferation of electronic payments, popular with businesses and consumers alike, is catching up with the Federal Reserve Bank.
The nation's central banking system is consolidating paper check processing at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, according to a recent announcement by the Fed. The movement of all paper-related correspondence and check activities will begin their transition to the Atlanta location on December 17 and will be complete by December 31, 2012. The Fed announcement cited "rapidly declining paper volumes and paper adjustment activities" as the reason for the restructuring. Other paper-related items that will be consolidated for processing in Atlanta will be Canadian and other foreign paper transactions, United States savings bonds, U.S. Department of Treasury items, postal money orders and over-the-counter transactions. The Federal Reserve system is comprised of 12 regional financial institutions that are responsible for regulating the activities of commercial banks in their districts and implementing the monetary policies of the federal government. According to the Federal Reserve Payments Study, the growing use of prepaid stored value, debit, credit and ACH cards has led to a pronounced reduction of paper checks and cash by the general public and businesses.