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Check Processing Platform Software Upgrade

May 10, 2017

To: All Check Services Customers

In 2012, the Federal Reserve Banks modernized their check-processing platform. This effort resulted in a fully centralized processing environment to support high-quality, efficient check processing.

While regular maintenance and upgrades have occurred since the 2012 install, it is now time to migrate to the next generation of the software. The Federal Reserve Banks have performed extensive internal and external testing on the new version for over a year. The new software is being installed in our customer test (CT/pre-prod) environment and will be available for general customer testing beginning Monday, May 15, 2017. The production cutover is scheduled for the business day of Monday, June 12, 2017.

All image cash letter (ICL) file formats will remain unchanged except for the Reserved fields in the optional Image View Analysis Record (Type 54). In the current software version, the Reserved fields in the 54 Record are populated with ‘0’ (zeros). In the new software version, the Reserved fields in the 54 Record will be populated with ‘blanks’ in accordance with the X9 standards.

Other than the Type 54 Record change above, customers will see no differences or variations. Customers will continue to send and receive files via their current connectivity channel (i.e., the FedLine Web® access solution, Axway Secure Client, Connect:Direct). All deposit deadlines, presentment deliveries, file validations (including image quality), deposit and presentment notifications, adjustments, and settlement will remain unchanged.

Customer Testing

Beginning Monday, May 15, 2017 our customer test (CT/pre-prod) environment will be available for testing the new software version. All financial institutions that send and/or receive ICL files directly with our check processing system, as well as processors and other institutions that send/receive on behalf of other customers, are welcome to test. If you would like to test ICL deposit and/or receipt, please refer to the customer testing procedures included with this communication.

Freeze Periods for Production Check Services

As announced May 1, a freeze period for production check changes will be in place from June 1 through June 14 in support of the new software upgrade. Please see the Check Services Freeze Notice for more details.

Operational Impact During Production Cutover

The implementation of the new software will begin the afternoon of Friday, June 9. Forward deposit files received after noon ET along with Return deposit files received after 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday will be held in queue until file processing resumes. Items held in queue will be presented and will settle on Monday as normal.

Connectivity channels (i.e., the FedLine Web Solution, Axway Secure Client, Connect:Direct) will remain open to allow customers to transmit deposit files Friday afternoon/evening. However, the files will not be processed and deposit notifications will not be delivered (via the FedLine Web Solution or the FedMail® Service) until the software upgrade has been completed. Sending banks should not resend any file simply because the bank does not receive a deposit notification while the software upgrade is in process. Also, depending on when processing resumes, Friday night’s Accelerated (formerly Courtesy) Delivery FedReceipt® Presentment files could be delayed. If we miss the cutoff for accelerated presentment, we will not charge the fee for accelerated processing, and we will present the work at the customer’s next “normal” presentment window.

We will provide updates on any modifications to the schedule and/or times as we move closer to the June production install date. We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to provide efficient, high-quality payments services.

Please direct any questions or concerns to Customer Support at P: (877) 372-2457.

Customer Testing Process/Procedures

Deposit Testing

The CT/Pre-Prod test system is open for Deposit testing 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. No special notice or request is required to test deposits.

  • If you use the FedLine Web Solution or Axway Secure Client software, files should be sent using the Test/Pre-Prod System/URL. This link is different from your daily Production link/URL.
    • For the FedLine Web Solution, you can send via the Test/Pre-Prod system (Off-site)
    • For Axway Secure Client software, you can send your test file(s) over the "Remote Site FedForward FedReturn Test Folder". This folder will have "-pp" in the Default Remote Folder field URL name. The Default Remote Folder field should read as follows:
      /flwsecuretransport-pp/incoming/
  • If you use Connect:Direct or SVPCO, you must send to our Test node.
  • For FedLine Web and Axway Secure Client customers, you will be accessing the Test system with your Federal Reserve Bank provided credentials. If you receive any errors while trying to access the test system, please contact Customer Support at P: (877) 372-2457.
  • Test files should have the Test File Indicator Field set to ‘T’.
    • File Header Record 01 – Field 3…value T
  • Files can contain real items and/or sample/test items/images.
  • You should validate that your institution can view the Deposit Acknowledgements via the FedLine Web Solution or the FedMail Service (if applicable).
  • Your “Accepted” File Deposit Acknowledgement will serve as confirmation that your deposit testing was a success.
  • If you have any issues uploading your file(s) or do not receive your Deposit Acknowledgements, please contact Customer Support at P: (877) 372-2457.

Receipt Testing

The Federal Reserve Banks will need to create Receipt Test files. A 48-hour notice is required to generate and send test files. Please contact an Implementation Manager or Customer Support at P: (877) 372-2457 to schedule a Receipt test.

  • The files will be sent from our Test/Pre-Prod System so please ensure you retrieve your test file(s) as soon as possible. Files are generally available by 7a.m. ET the day of the test.
  • The files will be sent from our Test/Pre-Prod System so please ensure you retrieve your test file(s) as soon as possible. Files are generally available by 7a.m. ET the day of the test.
  • If you use FedLine Web or Axway Secure Client software, test files will be sent to the Test/Pre-Prod System/URL. This link is different from your daily Production link/URL.
    • For the FedLine Web Solution, you can receive your test file via Test FedLine Web (Off-site)
    • For Axway Secure Client software (formally Tumbleweed), you can receive your test file(s) over the "Default Remote Site FedReceipt Test Folder". This folder will have "-pp" in the Default Remote Folder field URL name. The Default Remote Folder field should read as follows:
      /flwsecuretransport-pp/outgoing/
  • If you use Connect:Direct or SVPCO, the file will be sent from our Test node.
  • For FedLine Web Solution and Axway Secure Client customers, you will be accessing the Test system with your Federal Reserve Bank provided credentials. If you receive any errors while trying to access the test system, please contact Customer Support at P: (877) 372-2457.
  • Test files will be sent with the Test File Indicator Field set to ‘T’.
    • File Header Record 01 – Field 3…value T
  • We expect your institution to download the Receipt file(s) and process them into your backend test system (if applicable).
  • If you have any issues with receiving or processing your file(s), please contact Customer Support at P: (877) 372-2457.

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