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Electronic Check Processing FAQs

Questions about electronic check processing

Is electronic check processing secure?

Electronic check processing is not new to the financial industry and is a safe and reliable way of processing payments. It uses technology that has been developed and tested to process your check information securely.

Does electronic processing make my checks clear faster?

As technology and bank operations continue to streamline, check-processing speeds will continue to increase. This means money may be deducted from your checking account faster. Before you write a check, it's always best to make sure your account contains enough money to cover the check.

Can I still get my checks back with my account statements?

Yes. However, you may receive a mixture of canceled original and substitute checks (a printout of an electronic picture of the original check, plus payment information used by the banks). If you receive image statements (pictures of several checks on a single page), you also may notice that some of the pictures are of substitute checks.

Does electronic check processing mean my deposited checks will be available for withdrawal faster?

A federal law (the Expedited Funds Availability Act) specifies the maximum amount of time your bank has to make funds available to you — but most banks (including ANB) make funds available faster than required.

This law requires the Federal Reserve Board to reduce maximum hold times in step with reductions in actual check-processing times. Therefore, as check processing gets faster over time, the Board will reduce maximum hold times.

NOTE: If the bank decides to place a hold on funds that you have deposited by check, this does not affect your interest. Specifically, if you deposit a check into an interest-bearing checking account, we are generally required to begin crediting interest to your account no later than the business day on which the bank receives credit for the funds.

What is Check 21 and what is its basic purpose?

Check 21 is a federal law enabling banks to handle more checks electronically, which should make check processing faster and more efficient. Instead of physically moving most original paper checks from bank to bank, Check 21 allows banks to process more checks electronically.

Banks can capture a picture of the front and back of the check, along with the associated payment information, and transmit this information electronically. If a receiving bank or its customer requires a paper check, the bank can use the electronic picture and payment information to create a paper "substitute check." This process enables banks to reduce the cost of physically handling and transporting original paper checks, which can be very expensive.

What is the difference between Check 21 and programs that convert checks to electronic payments?

A check you write may be processed as a regular check. In that case, your rights are governed by check laws and regulations. Some merchants, however, may use your check as a source of information to create what's called an "electronic fund transfer." (You must receive notice that your check may be processed this way.)

Electronic fund transfers are governed by different laws and have different consumer rights than check payments. For more information, see the brochure "When Is Your Check Not a Check: Electronic Check Conversion" published by the Federal Reserve Board.

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