Paying for a purchase or service by check is still a popular method to complete transactions. However, accepting checks has always posed significant risks for merchants because consumers can write “bad” checks.
To minimize their risk while also continuing to accept checks from customers, many businesses have adopted the TeleCheck service. This decision can impact your check writing experience in big ways and can also be an early alert that you’ve been the victim of identity theft.
Here’s how the system works and why it can be useful not just to merchants but to you.
When you write a check, the check and your identification number (usually your driver’s license number) are entered by the cashier.
Instantly, the TeleCheck service goes through the information in its database to analyze how risky it would be for the merchant to accept your check.
The system does not check your bank balance but looks at your past transaction history. If the risk is too high, the computer alerts the cashier not to accept the check for payment.
Of course, errors do occur.
Your check might be wrongfully declined due to errors associated with your social security number or driver’s license number. On the flip side, your account could also have been compromised by identity thieves who have racked up bad transactions under your perfect name.
Even if you have not had your checks refused, it is always a good idea to regularly check all of your financial records for errors so you can get request corrections before you encounter problems.
In compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, TeleCheck offers annual free copies of your report so you can check the records.
- Gather your personal information so TeleCheck can verify your identity. These items include a photocopy of your driver’s license, your social security number, a voided check, a copy of a utility or tax bill addressed to your current residence, and a contact phone number.
- Put all of this information in an envelope.
- Mail the material to the following address:
TeleCheck Services, Inc.
Attention: Consumer Resolutions-FA
P.O. Box 4514
Houston, TX 77210-4514
If you do find errors, contact TeleCheck and they will investigate and help you in resolving the issue.
While checking another financial report may seem like a hassle in a time starved life, identifying and correcting problems now can save you time in the future and embarrassment.
Take a few minutes to request your TeleCheck Report.