SUBJECT: Electronic Funds Transfer for Checks WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2003 -- Beginning Oct. 15, 2003, all checks mailed to the Commodity Credit Corporation will be converted into electronic fund transfers. This notice explains the new imaging process for checks that are sent to CCC under the Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102), the Intermediate Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-103), the Supplier Credit Guarantee Program (SCGP), the Facility Guarantee Program (FGP), the Export Enhancement Program (EEP) and the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP).
Authorization to Convert Your Check: If you send a check to make your payment, your check will be converted into an electronic fund transfer. "Electronic fund transfer" is the term used to refer to the process in which CCC electronically instructs your financial institution to transfer funds from your account to the CCC account, rather than processing your check. By sending your completed, signed check to CCC, you authorize CCC to copy your check and to use the account information from your check to make an electronic fund transfer from your account for the same amount as the check. If the electronic fund transfer cannot be processed for technical reasons, you authorize CCC to process the copy of your check.
Insufficient Funds: The electronic fund transfer from your account will usually occur within 24 hours, which is faster than a check is normally processed. Therefore, you should make sure there are sufficient funds available in your checking account when you send your check. If the electronic fund transfer cannot be completed because of insufficient funds, CCC may try to make the transfer up to two times.
Transaction Information: The electronic fund transfer from your account will be on the account statement you receive from your financial institution. However, the transfer may be in a different place on your statement than the place where your checks normally appear. For example, it may appear under "other withdrawals" or "other transactions." You will not receive your original check back from your financial institution. For security reasons, CCC will destroy your original check but will keep a copy of the check for recordkeeping.
Your Rights: You should contact your financial institution immediately if you believe that the electronic fund transfer reported on your account statement was not properly authorized or is otherwise incorrect. Consumers have protections under a federal law called the Electronic Fund Transfer Act for an unauthorized or incorrect electronic fund transfer. Furnishing check information is voluntary, but a decision not to do so may require you to make payment by some other method.
Privacy Act: The Privacy Act of 1974 establishes controls over the collection and use of personal information by the federal government, and guarantees certain rights and protections to individuals. You can order a copy of the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579, from the U.S. Superintendent of Documents (http://bookstore.gpo.gov).
Attached to this notice are answers to frequently asked questions about the check conversion process.
Information regarding GSM-102, GSM-103, SCGP, FGP, EEP and DEIP is available on the Internet at http://www.fas.usda.gov/export.html or by calling the Operations Division, Export Credits, Foreign Agricultural Service, at (202) 720-3224 or (202) 720-6211.
FAS news releases are available on the Internet at http://www.fas.usda.gov . For additional information about Web access, contact FAS Public Affairs Division at (202) 720-7115.
Frequently Asked Questions
On Paper Check Conversion
What is check conversion? The Paper Check Conversion System (PCC) is a process for converting checks into electronic fund transfers. When you send a completed, signed check to CCC, the information from your check is scanned into the PCC computer and used to generate an electronic transfer of funds from your account. By sending your completed and signed check to CCC, you authorize the conversion of your check into an electronic transaction in this manner.
How quickly will funds be transferred from my account? The electronic transfer of funds from your account will occur within 24 hours. Therefore, you should be sure that you have sufficient funds in your account to process the transaction. If you do not have sufficient funds, CCC may initiate the transaction again.
How will this transaction appear on my account statement? The electronic transfer of funds will be reflected on your account statement. The transaction may be recorded in a different place on your statement than where your checks normally appear, such as under "other withdrawals" or "other transactions." The name of the check cashing location should be indicated on the account statement.
What are my rights if there is a problem with the transaction? You have protections under federal law for an unauthorized electronic fund transfer from your account. You should contact your financial institution immediately if you believe that the transaction reported on your account statement was not properly authorized or is otherwise incorrect.
What if the electronic transaction cannot be processed? In rare instances, an electronic funds transfer cannot be processed for technical reasons. In these cases, CCC will use the stored check information to create a paper version of the original check, which CCC will present to the financial institution for payment.