ROBERT J. BAER / 1912-2002

Isle man set up largest
check verification firm

More obituaries

By Rick Daysog

Robert J. Baer, who founded the nation's largest check verification company in Honolulu nearly 40 years ago, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Baer founded TeleCheck in 1964 after a group of local small-business owners complained about receiving bad checks.

Through franchising and computerization, TeleCheck grew into the nation's largest provider of paper and electronic check services with more than 272,000 retail, banking and grocery clients.

In 2000 the company, now a subsidiary of First Data Corp., authorized more than 3.2 billion transactions worth more than $163 billion.

Baer sold his stake in TeleCheck in 1981 to Tymeshare Inc., but continued to serve as a consultant to the company.

"He was ahead of his time," said his grandson, Dan Baer.

A native of Pittsburgh, Baer was a former board member of the Salvation Army, the Hawaii Public Library Foundation and the Honolulu Symphony. He also was a past chairman of the John Howard Association of Hawaii, which promotes prison reform and literacy for prisoners.

Baer is survived by sons Ronald and Jeffrey, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Borthwick Mortuary.

Donations may be made the Salvation Army of Honolulu.

E-mail to City Desk


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