Is your check in the mail? Ask Harland Clarke. The company produces billions of checks and deposit slips annually. In addition to checks and check-related products (such as business cards and stationary), Harland Clarke offers direct marketing services, delivery and anti-fraud products, and contact center services to financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and securities firms. Harland Clarke maintains about 20 manufacturing and administrative facilities throughout the US and Puerto Rico. The company became Harland Clarke in 2007 after holding company M & F Worldwide, the owner of Clarke American Checks, bought rival printer John H. Harland and combined the two companies' check-related operations.
The check printing industry has been in decline since the mid-1990s as the number of checks written in the US shrinks, due to the shift to electronic payment methods and, more recently, the economic downturn and turmoil in the financial industry. Harland Clarke and its competitors have diversified to compensate for the decline in check volume. The company provides direct marketing services, delivery and anti-fraud products, and treasury management supplies such as deposit products, customized deposit tickets, and security bags. It also provides contact center services to its financial institutions. Such services include helping clients acquire new accounts by phone and on the Web.
Harland Clarke accounts for nearly 70% of M & F Worldwide's revenues. Net revenues for the Harland Clarke segment decreased by $34.8 million, or 2.8%, in 2010 compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily due to volume declines in check and related products. In response the company is focused on growing its non-check related products and services. As part of these efforts, in 2011 it launched enCompass, an integrated marketing strategy and campaign execution program for banks and credit unions. HarlandClarke developed enCompass in partnership with sister company Harland Financial Solutions; enCompass integrates Harland Financial's business intelligence offering with Harland Clarke's marketing services.
Clarke American Checks' roots go back to 1874. In 2005 the company's former parent Novar was purchased by Honeywell. Honeywell quickly divested the check printing operations it acquired in the deal, selling Clarke American Checks to M & F Worldwide for $800 million in a transaction that closed at the end of 2005. Less than two years later M & F acquired John H. Harland Company for a whopping $1.7 billion. M & F is controlled by billionaire Ron Perelman. – less