Positive Pay is an automated fraud detection tool offered by the Cash Management Department of most banks. In its simplest form, it is a service that matches the account number, check number and dollar amount of each check presented for payment against a list of checks previously authorized and issued by the company. All three components of the check must match exactly or it will not pay.
When Positive Pay is enabled in your Valence account, we automatically provide you with Positive Pay files whenever you perform a check run. We want to make it as easy as possible to keep your money secure. To get started with Positive Pay in Valence, reach out to our support team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Positive Pay requires the company to send (transmit) a file of issued checks to the bank each day checks are written. When those issued checks are presented for payment at the bank, they are compared electronically against the list of transmitted checks. The check-issue file sent to the bank contains the check number, account number, issue date, and dollar amount. Sometimes the payee name is included, but is not part of the matching service.
When a check is presented that does not have a “match” in the file, it becomes an “exception item”. The bank sends a fax or an image of the exception item to the client. The client reviews the image and instructs the bank to pay or return the check.
There is generally a fee charged by the bank for Positive Pay, although some banks now offer the service for free. The fee might well be considered an “insurance premium” to help avoid check fraud losses and liability.