Paper Check Conversion
Over the Counter (PCC OTC)

Background

Here is how it works:

  • The bank account information is then compared against a database to verify that the account is in good standing.

  • If the account is approved, the check is stamped "Void - Processed Electronically" and returned to the consumer.

  • The cashier then keys in additional data not collected when the check was scanned (i.e., amount of transaction, Social Security number, et cetera).

  • At this point the agency has all of the information it will need to create an electronic debit to the check-writer's account.

Federal agencies advise that checks received will be converted into an electronic funds transfer. (For more information, refer to 31 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 210, at http://fms.treas.gov/ach.) Checks received at the point of sale (POS) are imaged, stamped "Void - Processed Electronically," and handed back to the check-writer. Checks mailed in or dropped off are imaged and then destroyed by the agency within 14 days. The PCC system automatically dates and time-stamps the item and assigns a unique transaction identifier number.

Once the check is imaged, the agency may enter information into agency-specified configurable fields. All of the check images and associated data are maintained on the hard drive of the computer as well as on a mirror drive, e.g., Zip drive, PCMCIA card until the batch is closed. Once agencies complete their daily balancing and the batch is closed, the images and data are transmitted via a secure connection (128 bit encryption) to the Central Image and Research Archive (CIRA) located within the Electronic Verification and Imaging System (ELVIS).

Treasury/FMS then uses the information to electronically debit the check writer's account via FedACH. Treasury/FMS credits the agency's account in CA$HLINK and emails a confirmed deposit ticket (SF 215) to the designated agency official. It also updates the Master Verification Database (MVD), a negative database, with the check writer's information. For those agencies using PCC OTC at the POS, the information is passed to the agency's Local Verification Database (LVD) when each batch is closed. The LVD is then used to determine the check writer's status and implement an agency's bad check policy if applicable. If Treasury/FMS can't collect the funds upon initial presentment, it may try to collect them through representment up to two additional times on dates designated by the agency. If Treasury/FMS can't collect the funds, it debits the agency's account in CA$HLINK and emails a debit voucher (SF 5515) to the designated agency official.

The agency may search and view any check image and any associated data captured in the configurable fields through the CIRA. CIRA is accessed through the Internet via a secure connection (128 bit encryption) with user IDs and passwords. The user can search on any one of four configurable fields, check writer's account or routing numbers, unique transaction ID, Agency Location Code (ALC), Cashier ID, Amount of Check, or Check Capture Date. This information is maintained for seven years or longer if required by statute or court order.

   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014