You may have heard the term but what is positive pay exactly? In simple terms, positive pay is a proactive fraud prevention tool offered by banks and used by companies to prevent unauthorized checks from clearing their bank account. Sometimes it is referred to as Account Reconciliation but the process is basically the same. When issuing a check or a batch of checks, companies submit a positive pay issue file to their bank or financial institution. The file formats required vary, but the contents typically include check number, check date, check amount, and/or payee name. The bank stores that issue file information and compares all checks presented on the account against that data. If the presented check was not included in an issue file, your bank will generate an exception. Exceptions are handled differently by banks but typically the bank will seek your approval before paying the check. At a time when check fraud seems to be running rampant, this is an invaluable service to have on your checking account.
Positive Pay Benefits
Positive pay is an invaluable tool for businesses, especially those who issue and mail large numbers of checks. Without it, a company may not realize that a fraudulent check was presented and paid until they reconcile the account. Depending on bank rules, this could be too late and very costly. Most banks provide some form of reconciliation services to assist in your monthly check reconciliation process. They often issue several reports which may include issued checks, issued but not paid checks, cleared checks, check exceptions, checks paid but not issued, etc.
If you already have a check-writing account that utilizes positive pay, we can work with you to automatically generate and submit your issue files to your financial institution each time you submit a check mailing file to us for processing.
ACH Positive Pay
ACH Positive Pay is another fraud prevention tool you can use to protect your bank account from illegal ACH withdrawals you did not initiate. Banks can implement filters and blocks to manage authorized debits posting to your account.
Contact us for more information about opening an online check mailing account with positive pay.
Positive pay is a fraud prevention tool offered by financial institutions to their business customers to prevent unauthorized checks from clearing their bank account. When issuing a check, or a batch of checks, companies submit a positive pay file to their bank or financial institution. If an unissued check is presented, an exception is generated and the account holder notified.