Electronic Check

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DEFINITION of 'Electronic Check'

A form of payment made via the internet that is designed to perform the same function as a conventional paper check. Because the check is in an electronic format, it can be processed in fewer steps and has more security features than a standard paper check. Security features provided by electronic checks include authentication, public key cryptography, digital signatures and encryption, among others.

Also referred to as an "echeck".

BREAKING DOWN 'Electronic Check'

Electronic checks have been developed in response to the transactions that have arisen in the world of electronic commerce. Electronic checks can be used to make a payment for any transaction that a paper check can cover and are governed by the same laws that apply to paper checks.

This is the first form of internet-based payment that the U.S. Treasury uses for making large online payments.

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