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The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (or Check 21 Act) is a United States federal law (public Law 108-100) enacted into law October 28, 2003 by the 108th Congress. The law allows the recipient of a paper check to create a digital version, thereby eliminating the need for further handling of the physical document. It paves the way for the industry to save billions of dollars and increase the speed in which checks are processed. The Check 21 Service directly links a merchant with their participating bank. This allows merchants to securely send their checks/ transactions through the Check21.com system in real-time. However, before a transaction is submitted to the participating bank for processing, it passes vigorous verification processes.