To process payments faster and more efficiently, many banks no longer transport paper checks, but replace them with digital images - called substitute checks - that can be transferred electronically, in a system called check truncation.
When you receive your account statements, the bank may send you substitute checks in place of cancelled checks, each formatted on a separate piece of paper, with the words "This is a legal copy of your check" appearing next to the image.
Most banks destroy original checks once they've archived the substitutes. However, many banks send out either a line item statement or an image statement with photocopies of multiple cancelled checks on each page.
If you need to verify a payment, you can request a substitute check from your bank. There may be a fee for this service.
- Browse Related Terms: Check 21 Act, Check truncation, Encoding, Reconciliation, Substitute check, Substitute Check or Share Draft
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