Who Uses Certegy?
As of 2014, over 535 retail chains use Certegy to verify checks and stop bad check writing, including department stores, catalogs, supermarkets, drug stores, home centers, apparel specialty stores and shoe stores. Some of these businesses include Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Nordstrom, Big Lots, Fred Meyer, CVS, Foot Action, Toys "R" Us, IKEA and Barnes & Noble.
Seventy percent of all checks authorized in the United States are processed using Certegy. Certegy annually processes almost 3 billion checks worth a total of over $161 billion.
Certegy has been in business since 1984, and retailers use a check reader at the point-of-sale to ensure the customer is not in the database. Certegy then answers within eight to 10 seconds with an accept or decline message for the customer. If the check declined, the retailer requests an alternative form of payment and gives the customer a number to call to inquire about the reason for the decline.
The cost to use Certegy is 25 cents per check with a $20 monthly minimum. Using Certegy reduces a retailer's chances of accepting a bad check by up to 80 percent, according to figures provided by No Bounced Checks. Turning down a single bad check per month or quarter can pay for the cost of the service for an entire year.