Substitute check

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Substitute Check

A digital image of the front and back of a check with the words "this is a legal copy of your check" appearing next to the image. A substitute check can be transferred electronically, while a regular check cannot. This can expedite the payment process of a check; that is, it reduces the amount of time it takes for the check to clear. Like regular checks, substitute checks can be used as proof that payment was made. Substitute checks are normally kept on file at the bank where they were deposited, but an account holder can usually receive a copy for a fee. A substitute check is also called an image replacement document.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Substitute check.

Substitute checks are digital copies of the fronts and backs of paper checks that provide the same legal protections and obligations as the originals, including serving as proof of payment.

Each check is formatted on a separate piece of paper a little larger than the original with the words "This is a legal copy of your check� appearing next to the image.

Using digital copies, which can be transmitted electronically, allows banks to process payments faster and more efficiently than they could when paper checks had to be routed through the check clearing system. Most banks destroy original checks once they've archived the substitutes, which means that you probably no longer receive cancelled checks with your bank statement.

Your bank may send you substitute checks but is more likely to provide either a line item statement or an image statement that has photocopies of the fronts and backs of cancelled checks grouped on a page. These are not substitute checks, although they can often be used as proof of payment.

If you need an actual copy of a substitute check, you can request it from your bank. However, there may be a fee.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A substitute check is the legal equivalent of the original check and includes all the information contained on the original.
All customers (consumers and businesses) are affected by the Check 21 Act in that they have the potential to receive a substitute check.
The proposed CTA would facilitate check truncation by creating a negotiable instrument called a substitute check. Depository institutions would then be able to truncate original checks, deliver the check information electronically, and print and deliver these substitute checks to institutions and their customers who want to continue receiving paper checks.
To facilitate check truncation and electronic check exchange, the Check 21 Act authorizes a new negotiable instrument called a substitute check. A substitute check is a paper reproduction of the original check that contains an image of the front and back of the original check and can be processed just like the original check.
In the U.S., one result of the September 11th event was that Congress, in 2003, passed legislation known as Check 21 (Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act) that permitted a printed copy of the digital image of a check (a "substitute check") to have the same legal force as the original item.
With agreements between banks and their customers, except where the banks have agreed to provide canceled checks in their statements, the Check 21 Act permits the banks to provide either the original check or a "substitute check" (defined below) "oc by agreement, information relating to the original check (including data taken from the MICR [magnetic ink character recognition] line of the original check or an electronic image of the original check), whether with or without subsequent delivery of the original paper check" (Check 21 Act, [section]3(18)).
(90) While banks were within their rights to use ECP before the Act, Check 21 permitted banks to present a "substitute check," a paper copy of a digital version of the original paper check, to banks that did not accept digital copies.
Check 21 authorizes a new paper negotiable instrument called a "substitute check," which contains a printed image of the front and back of an original paper check and is suitable for automated processing.
Signed into law in October 2003 and taking effect in October 2004, Check 21 allows a collecting bank to present a legally equivalent paper copy of an original check--called a "substitute check"--if the paying bank requires a check to be presented for payment in paper form.
Because the image and a substitute check may be in circulation simultaneously, this may increase the chances of a duplicate debit occurring.