What is Check 21?
Check 21 is short for "The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act", a new federal law that goes into effect October 28, 2004. Passage of the law was accelerated after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when delays in the processing of paper checks were caused by restrictions in air transportation. Check 21 will reduce the number of paper checks that must be physically transported through the banking system through increased electronic transmission of check information and check images between financial institutions.
How will Check 21 affect me?
Beginning October 28, 2004 if your cancelled checks are returned in your monthly account statement, you may receive a special new type of copy of your check, called a "Substitute Check", in your statement in place of an original check. Additionally, some of the checks you write may be processed more quickly. That means the funds may be withdrawn from your account more quickly, too. As always, you will need to make sure you have enough money in your account when you write a check.
- Detects Fraud Faster - Since check clearing is faster, fraud can be detected and investigated sooner which brings about a quicker resolution.
- Faster Check Clearing - You get a more accurate picture of your account balance.
- Quicker Response - Check images can be accessed faster to resolve questions.
- More Secure Check Information - Checks do not have to be physically transported via truck, train or plane.
What can I do to help manage my account more easily?
First National Bank of Bellville offers free online banking and telephone banking to help you monitor your balances and transfer funds 24 hours a day. Through our online banking you can also choose to have FNB automatically send emails alerting you when your checking account falls below a balance level you've selected. With Direct Deposit of your paycheck or government checks, you can ensure that deposits are made as quickly as possible.
Will I still receive my cancelled checks?
If your cancelled checks are returned in your account statement, this service will continue. You may receive a Substitute Check instead of your original cancelled check from time-to-time.
What does a Substitute Check look like? Click Here to see a sample.
A Substitute Check will have a "picture" of your original check but the image will be smaller and in black & white. It will also include a statement that it is a "legal copy" - the equivalent of your original check for all legal purposes.
What happens to my original checks?
A digital picture of the original check is made for electronic transmission with the Check 21 process. Since a Substitute Check can be printed from this image, the original paper check may be destroyed. Because Substitute Checks are the legal equivalent of your original check - there is no need to save the original.
How can I get more information?
As the October 28th Check 21 starting date approaches, additional information will be provided in your monthly account statement. You can also call 1-800-235-5737 for assistance.
Get more detailed information