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What is check verification?

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Quick Answer

Check verification is a process in which a retailer uses a third-party service provider to determine whether or not a customer can present a check as payment for purchases. This can include verifying the check is valid or that the account holder has a positive check writing history.

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What is check verification?
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Full Answer

There are a number of companies that provide check verification services, and each has its own method of checking information. A company can check the routing and checking account numbers to determine if an account is in good standing, and in some cases, the issuing bank itself can be contacted.

Databases are also available that include information regarding a consumer's history of writing checks, specifically information about checks that have been returned for insufficient funds. This information is often tied to a consumer's drivers license number. If the customer has a history of writing bad checks, the transaction can be declined, and another form of payment is requested by the retailer.

Customers that have a check declined are typically given a phone number to call that puts them in touch with the check verification company. The customer can then call to find out why the check was declined.

Examples of check verification companies in the United States include Telecheck, ChexSystems, Certegy and Forte Payment Systems.

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