Just a few notes on check symbology.

For your checks and drafts to be accepted by the banks, and processed properly, you must follow proper printing procedure.  This includes having all of the MICR line at the bottom of the check, exactly as it appears on the original check issued by the bank.



Either of the above formats can be interchanged.  The check number is offset with the C symbol.

The Routing/Transit/Bank number is 9 digits in the US. In Canada it is 8 with a D symbol in the middle. 

The routing number will always be between 

The account number is usually, but not always 10 digits long, but can be as small as 6 or as many as 18 digits.

The best way to take the information over the phone:

When you ask the customer for account information, explain to them how you want the information.

The best, and most accurate way to get the proper formatting for the variety of different banks, is to ask the customer for the least possible amount of information...leave nothing to chance...simply say to the customer this sentence ...

"There is a series of symbols and numbers at the very bottom of the check, starting from left to right, when you see a symbol, say the word 'symbol' and when you see a number tell me what number it is..."

For this example, you want the customer to say the following:
Symbol 001234567Symbol 987654321 Symbol 0101

You will write or type

/001234567/ 987654321/ 0101

Now you have a visual picture of the customer's check so you can code it properly.   Once you take a few this way, you will get the hang of coding over the phone.

Checks that don't fit the 
'Standard' Mold

You may encounter NON-STANDARD Checks.  These checks do not have the check number "off to the side," but incorporate the check number within the account number.

See the following formats:

Bank of America

A122000661A 1234D07456D13245C8C

Many, but not all Bank of America checks have the routing number first, then the check number and account number following.  

To code a check like this, you must use the "Custom Check" line.  You will use the key below to type the account number exactly as you see it, including all spaces and symbols.

A122000661A 1234D07456D13245C8C

would be entered as the following:

A122000661A 1234D07456D13245C8C

Don't forget to include the check number in the check field under "Draft Information" so the check number will print on the top right of the check.

The way you can tell if the check is going to be non-standard, is to ask for the check number first, then you look for the check number to the extreme left or right for a standard check and in the middle for non-standard.

If the account number has a symbol within, this does not necessarily require you use the Custom Check field.

Some banks will have account numbers like this:


This can be typed right into the standard check field as 12345D45678 and will print properly with the
D symbol in the account.

The best way to be positive when coding your check is to have a fax copy of the original.  This way there is no question.  If you take payment by phone, you will quickly learn to distinguish different account types and can relax your phone script.

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