02 Nov 2015

Check Read Errors: What Causes Them

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If you have ever experienced a discrepancy between the amount of the check that you issued and the corresponding amount of the check that was cleared through your account, chances are that it was due to a check read error. This is a frustrating phenomenon that can be caused if the check number, account number, or amount is entered incorrectly by the bank of first deposit.

When checks are deposited, they are scanned at the bank of first deposit so there is a digital record of the check, and then they are shredded. Rabobank receives your checks in the digital format provided by the first bank of deposit, and does not touch the actual check; thus, these errors are not caused by Rabobank, but are introduced during the scanning process where the check was first deposited.

Errors may occur during the scanning process if the scanner misreads the check information, or if bank personnel make an error when keying in the values.

The scanners used to convert the check to a digital format can misread the check if the MICR head is worn out—the special reader for the magnetic ink that encodes the account and routing information at the bottom of checks. Additionally, errors can also arise if the check has weak or non-conforming MICR ink, physical damage to the check itself, or part of the MICR line rubbed out.

Bank personnel can manually override the check data if any of these errors occur; however, they may incorrectly enter the data into the computer, causing an error on the digital version of the check that is sent to Rabobank.

Rabobank proactively reviews the transactions it receives and endeavors to catch and correct any errors made by the bank of first deposit on your behalf. When those errors are found, they will make the appropriate corrections to the check posting entry and send you a notification letter as a courtesy for your files. In addition, the BMS Banking Center reviews all checks against your ledger of transactions the following morning to correct any errors as well.

If you are receiving repeated notifications of check errors, you may want to test the MICR toner used to print onto check stock. To find out where to send checks to test the MICR ink, please contact your BMS Account Manager or the BMS Banking Center.