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October 14, 2011

Historical Echoes: The 1960s View of Modern Banking

New York Fed Research Library

In 1961, the Merchandise National Bank of Chicago produced a film presenting the newest development in leading-edge banking technology: computers.

    The computers enabled bank employees to process checks in a fraction of a second as well as access customer information saved in databases. This modern machinery included magnetic reel-to-reel tape and an automatic typewriter, among other space-age tools, and processed 30,000 transactions in three-to-four hours of computing time. This film provides an illuminating view of the early days of electronic banking.

    Since then, banking has experienced a number of revolutions. Check clearing has evolved into an increasingly electronic format with the introduction of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act. Most checks are now presented to financial institutions as electronic images, changing the way that the majority of checks are processed. For more on current check clearing practices, read about the New York Fed’s role in check processing.


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The views expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author(s).
Posted by Blog Author at 10:00:00 AM in Historical Echoes
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