Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Check Fraud: A Guide to Avoiding Losses

Reverse Positive Pay

Reverse positive pay is similar to positive pay, but the process is reversed, with the company, not the bank, maintaining the list of checks issued. When checks are presented for payment and clear through the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve prepares a file of the checks' account numbers, serial numbers, and dollar amounts and sends the file to the bank.

In reverse positive pay, the bank sends that file to the company, where the company compares the information to its internal records. The company lets the bank know which checks match its internal information, and the bank pays those items.

The bank then researches the checks that do not match, corrects any misreads or encoding errors, and determines if any items are fraudulent. The bank pays only "true" exceptions, that is, those that can be reconciled with the company's files.

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