What Is TeleCheck, and Why Was My Check Declined?


Telecheck is a credit reporting agency that provides check processing services. Their services are used by merchants and retailers that accept check writing as a form of payment.

Telecheck offers the retailers a safe and secure way to accept checks by converting the paper checks into an electronic transaction. With Telecheck accepting a check is just as easy as accepting a credit card, and it’s just as safe.

How does TeleCheck work?

When you present your check to the sales clerk, your check is verified and authorized through TeleCheck. Not only do they capture information about your bank and the amount, but they also verify the check through a database that lets the merchant know the risk in accepting that check.

The basic TeleCheck verification system separates the risk between the good checks and the bad checks by going through its database. This helps the merchants to adopt a more liberal check acceptance policy while reducing the risks of fraudulent transactions from check writers.

TeleCheck works by increasing the efficiency of the transaction. The electronic check is processed faster by the banking institutions. The merchants are guaranteed to have the full amount of the check to be transferred electronically to their business accounts.

If a check that has been verified by TeleCheck is returned, TeleCheck takes on the responsibility of collection from the customers. This saves the merchants a lot of time and effort. They also help in increasing the productivity of the employees as the streamlined process delivers the approval report immediately.

Services That Telecheck Provides

TeleCheck provides the merchants with three services namely, check acceptance, check processing, and analysis of the check transaction. When the retailer accepts the check from a customer, it’s run through the TeleCheck’s database.

TeleCheck analyzes the check with its national database and processes it. Once this is done it then lets the merchant have a printed report. The report explains whether the transaction is approved or denied by the system.

If the transaction is approved, the customer will have to sign a receipt. One copy is given to the customer and another copy is kept by the merchant for his records. If the transaction is denied, a report will be generated. The customer will be asked to contact TeleCheck to find out exactly why the check was denied.

TeleCheck does not check for sufficient funds in the customer’s bank account. Its decision is based on the company’s own risk-based decision model. TeleCheck states that they use various factors in determining whether a check is good or bad. They also analyze several patterns and characteristics to determine whether the check is valid or invalid.

Reasons Your Check May Have Been Declined

There are many reasons that a check may be declined by TeleCheck and all these reasons are based on their risk-assessing system. Since they do not verify the funds in your bank account, they may decline your check due to some negative information being identified with your account.

Lack of Information

They may also decline a check based on lack of information, which means that they don’t have sufficient information about your checking account. This makes it difficult to predict whether it is fraudulent or not.

Victim of Fraud

TeleCheck may also decline a check if your account was reported to be a victim of fraud.

This information stays in their database sometimes for years and even if the issue has been resolved, they may still consider your account to be high-risk. Similar to ChexSystems, TeleCheck will also deny your check if you have a history with them. Even if you have cleared your debt with them, your check may be denied.

Sales Clerk Mistake

TeleCheck may also deny the transaction if the sales clerk types in the wrong driver’s license number or personal information.

Denied By TeleCheck

If your check gets denied by TeleCheck you will automatically be provided with the contact information so that you can solve the problem immediately. This will help you to have your check accepted by the merchant and complete your transaction.

TeleCheck helps to combat check fraud before it is committed by processing and analyzing the check transaction through its database. Its risk analysis helps both the merchant and the customer. If a check gets declined, it could be due to the customer’s account being compromised. It’s a warning for him to take appropriate action.

TeleCheck helps predict where identity theft or check fraud might occur before it occurs. They are very effective in fraud prevention. It’s done based on information that is obtained at the point of sale and historical data.

How TeleCheck Assesses Risk

They cannot predict 100% as to which check transactions will complete or return. However, this system helps the merchants save money that might be lost through fraudulent activity.

In developing its risks profile, TeleCheck looks into things like what items do fraudsters usually buy? What kind of industries or stores do they normally buy from? How fast do they move? How much do they normally spend?

TeleCheck provides a valuable service to the merchants when it comes to accepting a check as a form of payment. It helps them to adopt a policy that not only is good for their business but also lowers the risk of accepting bad checks.

It gives the merchants a flexible verification option whereby they can determine what risk level is acceptable to their business. Furthermore, it also helps the customers to detect ID theft and fraudulent activity connected with their accounts.

How to Get a Free TeleCheck Report

The best way to get a report from TeleCheck is simply to write them. You’ll need to include the following to help TeleCheck confirm your identity:

  • Daytime phone number
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license
  • Your social security number
  • A voided check

Send the request to the following address:

TeleCheck Services, Inc.
Attention: Resolutions Department-FA
P.O. Box 4514
Houston, TX 77210-4514

How to Dispute Your TeleCheck Report

All disputes must be submitted via mail. You can download the dispute form on their website.

Simply fill out the form and the name of the financial institution, account number, and the reason you’re disputing the item.

When you’re ready to send in your dispute, you can mail it to the same address listed above.