SOURCE: Zipmark


December 10, 2013 09:44 ET

Zipmark Forecasts 20.2 Billion Paper Checks Produced in 2013; Enough Paper to Chop Down a Wooded Forest Full of Christmas Trees the Size of San Francisco

Replacing Paper Checks With Digital Checks From Zipmark Could Prevent the Logging of 7,072,000 Trees This Year

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Dec 10, 2013) - Zipmark™, an innovative digital check payment platform, announced today that it projected 832 million pounds of paper were used this year to produce 8.32 billion paper checkbooks. Over 7 million Christmas trees (equaling 56.96 acres) cut down to produce those paper checkbooks would be greater than the land mass for the city of San Francisco, which is 46.87 square miles. Paper checks still represent the primary form of payment processed by U.S. small businesses, such as landlords, doctor offices, and accounting firms. Unlike most alternative payment platforms that want to eradicate the check entirely (digital included), Zipmark's digital checkbook only replaces the paper and the costly processes (that average about $7 per paper check) associated with managing the acceptance and processing of paper checks.

In a recent payment industry report, titled "Still Paying With Paper: Small Businesses Continue to Write and Receive Checks," about 50% "of paper checks written in the U.S., not including government checks, involve a small business." Many small professional services businesses such as legal, accounting and landscaping receive a majority of their payments from customers via paper check. With Zipmark digital checks, small businesses can literally send an invoice to a customer on a Monday and receive good funds deposited directly into a business's operating account on Tuesday morning.

"As a society and as a nation we need to move faster at reducing our consumption of wooded forests and trees to continue using paper checks that can easily be replicated electronically by eChecks," said Jay Bhattacharya, CEO and co-founder of Zipmark. "The industry doesn't want to reveal how many trees are being cut down each year to support the production of paper checks so I felt compelled to help educate the public about this hidden cost of writing checks. By replicating the paper check process electronically we can literally save forests that are the size of San Francisco."

How We Performed Our Calculations

According to a 2009 Philadelphia Federal Reserve study, U.S. consumers and businesses wrote 28 billion checks in 2009 and that number, according to the study, will be reduced by 1.8 billion each year. Based on these calculations, Zipmark predicted 20.2 billion checks were produced in 2013. For argument's sake, each personal check book contains 50 checks and weighs 1.6 oz. (without the cover). By combining the weight of each book with the amount of checkbooks (20.2 billion) potentially produced, Zipmark projects 832 million lbs. of paper were used. 832 million lbs. of paper equals 416,000 tons. It takes 17 trees that average 20 years of age to equal 1 ton. So, 416,000 tons multiplied by 17 trees equals 7,072,000 worth of trees (at least 6 inches in diameter). According to a forestry report, an acre of forest that contains 10 inch diameter hardwood trees spaced roughly 15 ft. apart equals 194 trees per acre. Since 640 acres equals 1 square mile; the end result is 36,453.61 acres or 56.96 square miles.

Zipmark vs. Other Payment Platforms

Other online and mobile payment platforms either use credit cards or indirect holding accounts to move money in addition to having to log into their service every time you want to process a payment. Online payment features offered by banks and credit unions frequently take several days to pay a bill because a paper check is oftentimes sent via U.S. mail service or traditional ACH is used. These processes add complexity and "wait" time. Zipmark replaces these hurdles by literally connecting the payer and payee's accounts so money can be received and available the next business day. Paying with a digital check using Zipmark is now as simple as clicking a button, but without all the delays associated with delivery and settlement.

About Zipmark
Zipmark's goal is to remove barriers between businesses and their money by bringing the checkbook into the 21st century: reducing the amount of time and money it takes to make a check payment, eliminating the possibility for bounced checks and taking all risk out of the equation for payer and payee alike. Zipmark was launched in 2010 by Jay Bhattacharya and Jake Howerton, and is based in New York City. Zipmark's investors are Village Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, NYC Seed, High Peaks Venture Capital, Scout Ventures and the New York City Investment Fund.

Disclaimer: Zipmark™ is a registered trademark of Zipmark, Inc. All other copyrights and trademarks within the release are property of the respective brands.

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