Image from page 399 of "Bell telephone magazine" (1922)
Title: Bell telephone magazine
Contributing Library: Prelinger Library
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ing centers, such as this onein Chicago, have the job ot keeping tabs on some five billion longdistance calls and processing about 600 million bills each year. the banks computers and charge the customers ac-count without using any intermediary paper records.Or in the case of the transportation business, theremight be a hookup between railroad and bank com-puters so that a customers payments might be trans-ferred automatically wheneverashipmentis deliveredor a passenger boards a train. Such schemes, thoughthey undoubtedly will not have widespread appli-cation for a long time, would certainly represent theultimate in instantaneous cash transfer. Somewhere between todays system, which in-volves delays of all kinds in processing and movingchecks, and the system of tomorrow, which will in-volve instantaneous transfer of funds, lies a tremen-dous job of organizing systems of data processing andcommunications. If the world consisted of only onebank and one corporation, it might be difficult
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14 enough to do. But in todays society of many banksand many corporations, it becomes a tremendoustask to organize even the simplest system. Consider,for example, what a big project it was to institute theMagnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) systemfor clearing checks. This was certainly a great stepforward but one which took years to accomplish. Infact, only on September 1 of this year were the finalsteps taken by the Federal Reserve Bank to imple-ment the system. Exploiting the full potential ofdata processing and communications will take evenmore in the way of organizing and coordinating thework of diverse institutions. Who will lead this great organizing job? Perhapsthe banks will. To the extent that they do, then corpo-rations will be able to depend on the banking systemto not only receive and disburse funds but also,through forms of processing and communications, tohandle more and more of the flow of funds all theway from customer to creditor. Communications should be simple
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