3. Check Cashing Function

Activity – Member comes in to cash a check and the teller uses the check cashing function which does not write out a transaction on the member’s account. Four issues: First, in most states this is prohibited on business accounts. Second, when reviewing BSA activity the auditor must also review the teller audit log. Third, when required to provide transaction information to legal authorities, most credit unions provide copies of the member statements and certify that this constitutes total activity on the account. If they do not consider audit logs as part of the information they provide they are signing the certification incorrectly. Fourth, if the check comes back NSF it is difficult to find what account to apply it against as it is not part of the transaction history.

Solution – Needs to be discussed further. Top of mind suggests that when the transaction occurs we would write out a zero $ transaction record to the member’s base share. Will require focus group interaction to determine the scope of this potential project.

Status – Specs submitted: awaiting development. Review prototypes for the project. Updated 11/7/2012

5 Responses to “3. Check Cashing Function”

  1. Dawn Moore, CU*Answers VP Product Design

    We are currently working on a design to enable CU*BASE to write out a permanent record to member accounts when a member cashes checks at the teller line. In addition, we will be adding some new flexibility to the current “Warning: Member has transactions today” alert message that credit unions can activate at the teller line, so that credit unions can choose to look further back than just today, and can define exactly which type of activity triggers the alert.

    While the fraud alert enhancements are pretty easy to envision, the addition of $0 memo transactions for cashed checks isn’t quite so clear. Here are some questions we’re working through as we develop the specification:

    • Exactly what is meant by a “cashed” check? What if the member deposits a little bit of the money? (Although in that case there is a deposit transaction, it doesn’t necessarily reflect all of the checks that were presented, and whether some of them were cashed.) One solution: Always write separate “check/s in” and “cash back” memo transactions?

    • Should/can in-house drafts be handled differently from outside checks?

    • Should the system also provide $0 memo transactions when cash is taken in? (Tracking for counterfeit bills, etc.)

    • We will plan to include an on/off flag so credit unions can opt out of the $0 memo transactions altogether if they wish. Should there be other conditions (i.e., individuals handled differently than organizations), also?

    • Our intent is to combine all checks processed during a single teller interaction under the same $0 memo transaction, with the total amount noted in the secondary trans description. This avoids potentially hundreds of 2-line transactions from being added to transaction history (remember that CU*BASE lets you enter up to 588 checks per teller transaction!), while still tracking separately situations when a member visits a teller more than once in the same day.

    • Memo transactions would generally be posted to the 000 base share account, and they would be considered as activity for the purposes of dormancy monitoring.

    Check cashing and other cash-only activity is already stored for 90 days and is available via the teller audit logs. It can be viewed one teller at a time via the Teller Audit function, and some CUs have developed custom Queries of the files as well. We’re also looking at possibly developing either a new canned Query or a new dashboard that would allow a CU to see this activity aggregated for all tellers.

  2. Dawn Moore, CU*Answers VP Product Design

    After much debate and several design prototypes, we have begun development on a new Teller Activity History inquiry tool that will work as a companion to the regular transaction history to show all teller line actions for a single member. It’s similar to the existing Teller Audit tool, except instead of showing all member activity for a single teller ID, this new inquiry will show a single member’s activity across all tellers. Up to 90 days history will be available.

    We are also enhancing the existing optional SARs/Fraud Alert so that the CU can define how many days’ activity the system should look at, and which origin codes (Teller, ATM PIN-based, Phone, and ARU/online banking). This warning will appear in a pop-up window, from which the new inquiry can be accessed.

    NOTE: We had considered a technique for writing out a $0 memo transaction record to the member’s regular trans history every time they cash a check. However, we discovered that determining what is meant, in CU*BASE terms, by a “cashed check,” turned out to be a significant roadblock. Not all teller interactions are cut-and-dried: a member walks in, hands the teller a check and says “give me cash for all of it.” (Partial deposits of checks, cash-for-cash transactions, on which suffix should the memo be posted?, handling reversals, etc.) Since teller audit data is already retained online for 90 days and available via Teller Audit and independent Query, the new inquiry will add yet another technique to make this research easier for CU MSRs as well as for AuditLink and auditors.

  3. Dawn Moore

    After being put on hold during the File Expansion Project, development has resumed and we are hopeful the project will be released during the latter half of 2015. One change recently made was to add cash-only activity to the SARs warning message (meaning that a cashed check would prompt the “member has prior transactions” message similar to a transaction on their account).


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