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Electronic Check Conversion via Merchant Partners Software

With Merchant Partners Check Conversion you can convert your customer's paper check into an electronic ACH transaction and process it using the same gateway process you use for all of your other electronic payments. Just scan the paper check through a check reader at the retail Point of Sale.

Once the check has been converted, it is electronically processed just has if you entered it in directly via the Virtual Terminal. The original check is voided and handed back to the customer --- no paper processing is required!

Both retail POP (Point of Purchase) and back-office ARC (Accounts Receivable Conversion) check conversion transactions are supported.

Advantages:

  • Reduced check processing costs - Check conversion eliminates the costly and time-consuming tasks required to process paper checks. You can also reduce or eliminate check deposits and fees at your local bank.
  • Quicker processing times - Check conversion shortens the time it takes to get funds moving --- transactions are processed at the time of sale rather than having to wait for the paper check to be delivered to the bank.
  • One step NSF processing - Checks processed electronically can be easily reinitiated (re-submitted) using the Online Merchant Center if they are returned because of insufficient funds. Daily reports are available to help you monitor NSF returns and resubmit up to two additional times.
  • Reduced fraud - All of your checks will be filtered through the Merchant Partners ACH FRISK™ system. We maintain and are constantly updating an extensive negative account database to help mitigate fraudulent checks.
  • Consolidated Reporting - All of your transactions (credit card, paper check, retail, mail-order, telephone-order, ecommerce, batch, etc.) are available for viewing online 24x7 using the Merchant Partners system.

What do I need to start converting my paper checks to electronic transactions?

  • A computer with an Internet browser (Internet Explorer or Netscape)
  • An Internet connection, preferable full-time (for example, Cable or DSL)
  • A check reader

To start converting checks at your retail point of sale, you will need to scan the check through a check reader. Check readers are simple devices that attach to your computer via USB, serial port, or keyboard wedge (attaches between your keyboard and your computer). They can also include a magnetic swipe reader so you can swipe credit cards and read checks from the same device.

See the Compatible Hardware List to view all supported Check Conversion hardware.

How does the check conversion process work?

Retail Point of Sale (POP) check conversion process:

  • The Merchant provides notice to the consumer that paper checks will be used to make an electronic conversion. Notice can take the form of a sign posted at the register or a written notice that the consumer is asked to sign.
  • The Consumer presents paper check for payment. The check can be completely filled out, partially filled out, or blank.
  • Using a MICR scanner, the Merchant scans MICR data from the check capturing bank ABA number, personal account number, and serial number (check number).
  • The Merchant adds the payment amount and electronically submits the transaction.
  • The paper check is stamped "VOID" and returned to the consumer (along with a copy of the receipt).

Accounts Receivable lockbox (ARC) check conversion process:

  • The Merchant notifies all consumers that their paper checks will be converted. The Consumers should receive the notice prior to sending in a check.
  • The Consumer writes a check to the merchant for the amount of the payment.
  • Using a MICR scanner, the Merchant scans MICR data from the check capturing bank ABA number, personal account number, and serial number (check number).
  • The Merchant makes a copy of the check (front required, back optional). The copy needs to be retained for 2 years. Merchant Partners can automatically capture an electronic image of the check and maintain that copy online for 2 years.
  • The Merchant adds the payment amount and electronically submits the transaction.
  • The Merchant destroys the paper check within 14 calendar days.

What restrictions are there to converting paper checks?

Merchant Partners has implemented our check conversion services to be fully compliant with National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) Operating Rules and Guidelines. NACHA guidelines specify the following restrictions for processing retail (POP) check conversion transactions:

  • Only personal checks written against a U.S. bank account can be converted. Business checks, goverment checks, cashier's checks, etc. are not accepted.
  • The paper check MICR line must be captured with a scanner/reader. Check data cannot be manually entered or keyed.
  • The consumer must be notified that their paper checks will be used to make an electronic conversion. Notice can take the form of a sign posted at the register or a written notice that the consumer is asked to sign.
  • The check must be stamped VOID and returned to the consumer.

How do I get started converting paper checks?

Contact Merchant Partners customer service and we will activate the check conversion option in Virtual Terminal (VPOS) for your gateway account. After activating your account and connecting your check reader, you can start processing check conversion transactions using the Process ACH option in the Online Merchant Center Virtual Terminal.

Note: Additional fees may apply.

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