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Check/Check 21 Services

Freeze periods for Production Check Services

May 15, 2017

The Federal Reserve Banks will implement two freeze periods in 2017 for Production Check Service changes.

The first freeze period will run from June 1, 2017 through June 14, 2017. This freeze is being implemented to support a software upgrade to our current check-processing platform. More information on the software upgrade along with testing opportunities will be distributed in upcoming weeks.

Key dates to remember for the mid-year freeze:

  • May 31, 2017
    Last day for Production Check implementations and changes (i.e., FedForward®,  FedReturn®, FedReceipt® and PDF implementations; delivery, channel and settlement changes; and Payor changes - reject repair, archive, etc.)
  • June 15, 2017
    Window re-opens for Production Check implementations and changes

The second freeze period will run from December 22, 2017 through January 3, 2018. This period is our normal year-end freeze period to support year-end activities and 2018 changes.

Key dates to remember for the year-end freeze:

  • December 21, 2017
    Last day for Production Check implementations and changes (i.e., FedForward,  FedReturn, FedReceipt and PDF implementations; delivery, channel and settlement changes; and Payor changes - reject repair, archive, etc.)
  • January 4, 2018
    Window re-opens for Production Check implementations and changes

Please note that customers will still be able to test during these Production freeze windows. If you have questions, please contact FedACH® and Check Customer Support at (877) 372-2457.

Announcement

The Federal Reserve Banks will implement two freeze periods in 2017 for Production Check Service changes. The first freeze period will run from June 1, 2017 through June 14, 2017, and the second freeze period will run from December 22, 2017 through January 3, 2018. Please note that customers will still be able to test during these Production freeze windows. If you have questions, please contact FedACH® and Check Customer Support at (877) 372-2457.

 

Check Adjustments Tip: Case scenarios help with adjustment requests and debit entries for a PAID ITYP

May 15, 2017

Check Adjustments Tip BannerIn addition to using the Check Adjustments Quick Reference Guide for detailed information on submitting a Paid Item (PAID) investigation type (ITYP), refer to the Check Adjustments Case Submission Requirements for PAIDs (PDF). This document provides guidance for the following common scenarios you may encounter when receiving a Paid Item in a cash or return letter from a Federal Reserve Bank (FRB).

  • Case Scenario #1 - FRB is source for both items
  • Case Scenario #2 - Single item, two different sources
  • Case Scenario #3 - Multiple items, two different sources
  • Case Scenario #4 - Single item, paid over the counter
  • Case Scenario #5 - Single item, Encoding Error (ENC) on one of the items
  • Case Scenario #6 - Single item, paid three or more times

When your institution is the source for the item reported as PAID, you will receive a CA1100 (case open with entry) debit adjustment entry from a Federal Reserve Bank.  To better assist you with understanding the information on the debit entry, refer to the following scenarios in Understanding a CA1100 (case open with entry) Message for a PAID (PDF).

  • Case Scenario #1 - You are source for both items
  • Case Scenario #2 - Single item, two different sources
  • Case Scenario #3 - Multiple items, two different sources
  • Case Scenario #4 - Single item, paid over the counter
  • Case Scenario #5 - Single item, Encoding Error (ENC) on one of the items
  • Case Scenario #6 - Single item, paid three or more times
  • Case Scenario #7 - PAID incident reported by the depositing institution

Also, refer to the Check Adjustments Quick Reference Guide for detailed information on the reporting time frames, Federal Reserve Bank action and case submission requirements for each ITYP as they may have changed in recent years. For example, did you know that a copy of the item is no longer required for an Encoding Error (ENC), a Non-Cash Item (NCH) or a Paid Item (PAID) adjustment? 

The Federal Reserve Banks also offer the following Check Adjustment webinars:

Please contact FedACH® and Check Services Customer Support at (877) 372-2457 should you have questions.

Announcement

In addition to using the Check Adjustments Quick Reference Guide for detailed information on submitting a Paid Item (PAID) investigation type (ITYP), refer to the Check Adjustments Case Submission Requirements for PAIDs (PDF). Please contact FedACH® and Check Services Customer Support at (877) 372-2457 should you have questions.

 

Upcoming Check Services operations freezes

May 15, 2017

The Federal Reserve Banks’ Check Services will be unavailable between 3 a.m. ET, Saturday, June 24, through 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, June 25, 2017. The freeze period is necessary to conduct a Systemwide contingency test.

During the test, Check files will not be processed and Deposit Notifications will not be generated. Check files normally deposited during this period will need to be sent after the test is completed, which is expected to be after 2 p.m. ET on June 25. Additional information will be communicated via email alert notifications and on the Check Services page.

 

FedACH® Services

Same Day ACH Phase 2 testing begins early summer 2017

May 15, 2017

The September 15, 2017, implementation date of Same Day ACH Phase 2 will enable Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network participants to benefit from same-day processing and settlement of qualified ACH debits in addition to ACH credits.

In preparation for this implementation, customer testing will be conducted in a series of waves based on connection type. FedACH® Services will begin testing in the early summer of 2017. ACH file testing will be supported Tuesday through Friday of each week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

Customers will be contacted via email according to their defined waves in advance of testing windows. Included in this more detailed communication will be a testing script that will support customers during their Same Day ACH testing efforts.

Read the April 18, 2017, Same Day ACH Phase 2 testing announcement (PDF) and bookmark the Same Day ACH Resource Center to stay up-to-date on Same Day ACH information.

Announcement

In preparation for Phase 2 implementation of Same Day ACH, customer testing will be conducted in a series of waves based on connection type. FedACH Services will begin testing in the early summer of 2017. Customers will be contacted via email according to their defined waves in advance of testing windows. Read the April 18, 2017, Same Day ACH Phase 2 testing announcement (PDF) and bookmark the Same Day ACH Resource Center to stay up-to-date on Same Day ACH information.

 

Complimentary, one-on-one onboarding support available for FedACH® value-added services

May 15, 2017

Complimentary, one-on-one onboarding support is available to new and existing customers of the following FedACH® Services:

  • FedACH Risk® Origination Monitoring Service
  • FedACH Risk RDFI Alert Service
  • FedPayments® Reporter Service

The goal of the onboarding support program is to help new and existing customers easily maximize the benefits of these services. This program includes walking through the setup screens used to establish origination caps, email alert criteria and payment information reports. Additionally, customers with a large number of account numbers or Company IDs can request onboarding data entry support.

Existing and new service users can request onboarding support by asking their account executives to start the process for them. To find account executive contact information for your institution, enter your institution’s ABA number into the My FedDirectory® Service.

Learn more about the FedACH value-added services by visiting the FedACH Risk Origination Monitoring, FedACH Risk RDFI Alert and FedPayments Reporter service pages.

Announcement

Complimentary, one-on-one onboarding support is available to new and existing customers of the FedACH Risk® Origination Monitoring Service, the FedACH Risk RDFI Alert Service and the FedPayments® Reporter Service. Learn more about the FedACH value-added services by visiting the FedACH Risk Origination Monitoring, FedACH Risk RDFI Alert and FedPayments Reporter service pages.

 

FedCash® Services

Updated instructional video on packaging contaminated currency

May 15, 2017

In response to customer feedback, the Federal Reserve updated its procedures in January with clarifications on how to submit deposits of contaminated currency to your servicing Reserve Bank office. To further assist cash-handling personnel, a supplemental video is now available on FRBservices.org that provides a brief tutorial on proper techniques for packaging contaminated currency.

The video is available on the Contaminated Currency and Coin page. The video supplements, but does not supersede, the deposit packaging procedures. It demonstrates how to properly double-bag a contaminated deposit and how to package less than a full bundle of contaminated notes in either a fan or linear fashion so that more than 50 percent of the note is visible in the bag.

As a reminder, always refer to the procedures on the Contaminated Currency and Coin page for the complete packaging requirements. In addition, all contaminated currency deposits must include the updated FedCash® Services Contaminated Currency Notification Form (CASH-04) (PDF), which is available on the FedCash Services Forms page.

If you have questions, please contact your local FedCash Services District Contacts.

Announcement

To assist cash-handling personnel, a supplemental video is now available on the Contaminated Currency and Coin page that provides a brief tutorial on proper techniques for packaging contaminated currency. As a reminder, always refer to the procedures on the Contaminated Currency and Coin page for the complete packaging requirements.

 

General

The Ops Stop: Take a look at the FedCash® Services Deposit Visual Reference Guide

May 15, 2017

The Ops StopWelcome to the Ops Stop! This new, recurring feature will provide your institution with a one-stop shop full of helpful operational resources offered by the Federal Reserve Banks. In each article, we will highlight an operational resource that can help provide useful information and tools for your organization.

For the first installment of this series, we will be featuring the FedCash® Services Deposit Visual Reference Guide.

The Federal Reserve Banks maintain depositing and ordering operations to help ensure that depository institutions have sufficient supplies of currency and coin to meet public demand. The Deposit Visual Reference Guide is a resource that can help your institution while making cash deposits with the Federal Reserve Banks.

The Deposit Visual Reference Guide is a supplement to the Cash Services Manual of Procedures (PDF) and is not all inclusive of the requirements. The guide depicts examples of correct and incorrect currency and coin deposits and provides a description of how those deposits should be prepared. Using imagery and a user-friendly format, the guide can help you understand the depositing procedures for a number of different scenarios, including:

  • Handling contaminated currency
  • Preparing a coin deposit
  • Understanding notes facing policies and procedures
  • Determining what containers or bags can be used for deposits
  • Stamping bands of currency

The Deposit Visual Reference Guide is available both online and in a printable (PDF) format.

View FedCash Services Depositing and Ordering for more information about depositing and ordering procedures with the Federal Reserve Banks. Also, visit the FedCash Services Currency and Coin Processing page to find resources that will help your institution make informed decisions regarding currency and coin.

Announcement

The Ops Stop: The Deposit Visual Reference Guide is a resource that can help your institution while making cash deposits with the Federal Reserve Banks. The guide is a supplement to the Cash Services Manual of Procedures (PDF) and is not all inclusive of the requirements. View FedCash Services Depositing and Ordering for more information about depositing and ordering procedures with the Federal Reserve Banks.

 

Treasury Services

Improving the paying agent experience with Savings Bonds News You Can Use

May 15, 2017

Savings Bonds News You Can UseThe Department of the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service and the Federal Reserve’s Treasury Retail Securities Site are providing savings bond paying agents with access to information on the U.S. Savings Bond Program redemption process through multiple Federal Reserve Bank Services communication channels, including FRBservices.org, FedFlash and FedFocusSM. We want to inform you that a dedicated Savings Bonds News You Can Use page has been launched that features a variety of resources we have gathered to assist you. We encourage you to bookmark the page and check back often for updated content.

Examples of what you’ll find on the News You Can Use page include:

  • Savings bonds tips
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Related communications
  • Contacts who can help answer your questions

Savings bonds news
Look for savings bonds news – such as the topics below – to appear quarterly in future FedFlash issues.

  1. Conversion is not necessary for redemption: Did you know that paper bonds do NOT need to be converted into electronic form for a customer to redeem them? You can process redemptions and pay the customer just as you have always done. Paper bonds may no longer be available to purchase, but the redemption process has not changed. Conversion is for customers who want to continue owning their bonds but do not want the hassle of keeping paper savings bonds. Those customers can convert their bonds into electronic savings bonds in TreasuryDirect.
  2. Virtual Paying Agent Stamp (VPAS) is now available: When a customer redeems a paper savings bond at your financial institution, you have to stamp the face of the bond with various redemption information. Now, instead of physically stamping each bond, you can place an electronic overlay on the image of the redeemed bond. VPAS helps us by providing a more consistent bond image, and it can help you streamline bond redemptions for your employees. A signed agreement is required to test the VPAS at your institution. For more information, please contact Customer Support for Redeemed Savings Bond Clearing at (844) 284-2676.
  3. Retention Requirements: Did you know that Fiscal Service requires paying agents to retain redeemed savings bonds for only 30 days – just one month? Of course, financial institutions may establish a different retention schedule for other reasons, so be sure to check what your institution requires. Now you know!

We encourage you to submit any comments or suggestions regarding the U.S. Savings Bond Program redemption process via the online form (Off-site Link) or by phone at (844) 284-2676.

Announcement

The Department of the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service and the Federal Reserve’s Treasury Retail Securities Site want to inform you that a dedicated Savings Bonds News You Can Use page has been launched that features a variety of resources we have gathered to assist you. We encourage you to submit any comments or suggestions regarding the U.S. Savings Bond Program redemption process via the online form (Off-site Link) or by phone at (844) 284-2676.

 

Ninth District

Reminder - Register to attend a 2017 Fraud Symposium

May 15, 2017

Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota… Brought to you by the Upper Midwest Automated Clearing House Association (UMACHA), the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the Financial & Retail Protection Association (FRPA), the 2017 Fraud Symposium will provide you with the latest information regarding financial crimes and the most up-to-date solutions for fraud prevention.

This symposium is jam-packed with useful information to help your institution stay ahead of the fraudsters. Potential topics include: an update from local law enforcement, crime trends, card fraud mitigation methods and more! This event is your go-to resource for understanding how to combat fraud within the industry.

Register online for your preferred location via the links below or download the mail-in registration brochure (Off-site Link) from UMACHA’s website.

Reminder

Ninth District - Brought to you by the Upper Midwest Automated Clearing House Association (UMACHA), the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the Financial & Retail Protection Association (FRPA), the 2017 Fraud Symposium will provide you with the latest information regarding financial crimes and the most up-to-date solutions for fraud prevention. Register online for your preferred location or download the mail-in registration brochure (Off-site Link) from UMACHA’s website.

 

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FedFlash is your source for the latest Federal Reserve Financial Services operational news. Each bulletin keeps you informed of issues critical to your day-to-day operations, providing you with National and District updates regarding our products and services, processes, technical protocols and contact information.