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U.S. banks will be changing the way checks are processed Thursday under a new federal law called Check 21.

Check 21 allows banks to transmit electronic images of checks rather than physically transport them from one bank to another.

The changes are expected to make checking more efficient, speeding up the gap between when a check is written and when the money is taken from an account, according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Banks will turn the electronic images into a substitute check, a paper copy of the original. These checks will work as proof of payment and may appear in monthly statements with original checks since not all checks will be converted.

Your Community Bank, operated by Bank of America for military overseas, will be phasing in the change over the next 12 months, said a DFAS release.

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