FO check accepted as an electronic payment

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FO check accepted as an electronic payment

Postby aclawson » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:03 pm

A FO check was cut and signed but since it came up at the last minute there wasn't time to get it mailed across the country to process before a late fee was levied so it was taken to one of the local corporate outlets. They do not accept physical checks but send you to a kiosk in the corner where you can type in the utility account number, the routing number and the bank account number and the amount and it is processed as an electronic check. As the options were to either proceed or run the risk of having the utility shut off and incurring late charges - not to mention the ding to an already damaged credit report.

So at this point I face the atypical-ness of:

1. I still have the physical check that was cut and signed but was not collected by the utility company. So the question is: what to do with the check?

2. At some point a payment is going to show up in an account somewhere that is not associated with a specific check number as the kiosks do not ask for a check number.

I note that at some point in the relatively near future I expect that this type of thing will come up on a regular basis as it is only a matter of time for utility companies to levy a surcharge for processing actual physical checks. While the initial procedure will inevitably be to just pay the extra money that is a waste that should be eliminated at some point.

I called up finance support in SLC and was told that this has come up a few times but they don't have policies set up to cover this situation yet but are working on it. They also aren't exactly sure what it will look like when it comes through and are curious to know what such things look like on my end.

So for now the best way to process this that I could come up with is as follows:

1. The physical check has been mutilated with the routing and account numbers removed and the signature space on the back voided. This renders the check uncashable but leaves the authorization signatures visible should anybody question the expense in the future.

2. The physical check, the utility coupon and the kiosk receipt are all stapled to the expense authorization form and filed with the others.

3. An extra note describing the situation is added to the expense authorization form and initialed so if anybody has questions they know who to ask.

4. For the next several weeks I will be watching for this expense to show up. SLC asked that when I see it appear to call them and tell them what such charges look like when they are processed because nobody is quite sure what will happen.

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Postby lajackson » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:17 pm

aclawson wrote: SLC asked that when I see it appear to call them and tell them what such charges look like when they are processed because nobody is quite sure what will happen.

What used to happen is that the check would never clear and the utility would not receive the money. The check is a corporate check requiring two signatures, cannot be processed electronically, and must be presented to the bank for payment. The last time I tried something like that (it has been several years) the electronic charge from the utility was not honored.

As you describe your conversation with the Finance Department, it sounds as if that may have changed. We will be delighted hear what happens as well.

In the meantime, it appears you have taken all the notes and filed all the documentation as you should. So you now just await the outcome. If the charge does come through, I would add the MLS transaction number to the paperwork so everything will be linked.

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