Yes, Walmart does use both Telecheck and Certegy in 2023 to verify personal checks before accepting them as payment. These leading check verification services allow Walmart to reduce risk from fraudulent checks and minimize losses from bounced checks through advanced analytics and databases.
As an experienced ecommerce seller, I often get asked about major retailers‘ payment policies. There seems to be some confusion around Walmart‘s current use of check verification systems – so I wanted to provide a detailed guide walking through how it works.
Whether you‘re a frequent Walmart shopper or small business owner bringing merchandise there, you‘ll likely need to have checks verified by Telecheck or Certegy during transactions. By understanding their process, you can avoid hassles or surprises next time you pay by check.
Overview: How Check Verification Services Operate
Before we dive specifically into Walmart, let‘s look briefly at what Telecheck and Certegy are and how they operate.
These are third-party services that provide check risk assessment and guarantees to merchants like Walmart. Here‘s a quick rundown:
- Maintain massive databases of consumer check writing history, updated from scans of IDs, checks, and transaction data
- Use advanced statistical algorithms and data science to analyze risk factors and detect potential fraud or non-sufficient funds (NSF) checks
- Provide near real-time recommendations to the merchant to accept or decline checks
- Guarantee reimbursement to the merchant for any approved checks that bounce
According to recent data, Certegy processes around 2.7 billion check transactions per year across 160,000 merchant locations.
Telecheck is even larger, handling 9 billion transactions annually across more than 350,000 merchants.
Between them, they have declined over $40 billion in potentially bad checks, preventing huge losses.
Step-by-Step: How Walmart Checks Your Check
When you go to pay by check at any Walmart store, here is exactly what you can expect:
The cashier will request your government-issued photo ID when you present your check
They will scan your ID through a device that captures your name, license details, address, and other identifying information
Next, they scan the check itself to record details like the checking account number, routing number, date, and amount
Within seconds, this data is sent to Telecheck or Certegy (whichever service the store uses)
Their system immediately runs the check details against their database and proprietary scoring algorithms to assess the risk
They provide a recommendation back to Walmart to either approve or decline the check
You receive your ID, the check, and a printed receipt with a verification code indicating whether your check passed or was denied
The process takes about a minute and all happens behind the scenes after the cashier scans your info. It‘s virtually invisible to customers.
Telecheck and Certegy Do NOT Check Your Balance
Here is an important note about what Telecheck and Certegy can actually see when they verify your check. They do not check your current bank account balance.
Neither service has access to your up-to-date funds or ability to withdraw money from your account. They are solely focused on risk analysis.
Their recommendations are based entirely on their databases of past checking behavior and sophisticated statistical models. They look for patterns and anomalies to detect potential fraud or bounced checks.
According to Certegy, less than 1% of checks are declined. For most customers with a positive history, there is minimal risk of issues using a check at Walmart.
Top Reasons A Check Gets Declined
Through my own retail experiences, here are some of the most common reasons Telecheck or Certegy may decline your check:
Limited history – If you have no previous checks in their databases, they may not have enough info to confidently approve it. Building history helps.
Previous bounced checks – Past insufficient funds or fraud will get flagged in their systems quickly. This raises red flags.
Inconsistencies – If your identification details don‘t match their database, it can trigger extra scrutiny.
Suspicious factors – Their algorithms may detect transaction factors that match patterns of fraudulent checks. This could lead to a denial.
High dollar amount – Very large checks often get declined, as Telecheck and Certegy take on the financial risk. A smaller check may get approved.
Here are some examples of check amounts that could lead to a denial:
|Check Amount||Risk Level|
|$1,000+||High risk of denial|
|$500 – $1,000||Moderate risk|
|$200 – $500||Low risk in most cases|
The larger the amount, the more verification needed to approve it. For high dollar purchases, a card payment is recommended.
Finding Out Why YOUR Check Was Declined
If you do get the unfortunate news that your check was declined at Walmart, don‘t panic. Here are some steps you can take:
Review the receipt – It should contain information to contact Telecheck or Certegy support directly. Call them to find out why your specific check bounced.
Update your data – Make sure Telecheck/Certegy have your current identification information, address, and contact details on file. This prevents false declines.
Fix issues – If you have unpaid debts or fees from past checks, resolve these first before attempting to use new checks.
Start small – Try paying with a smaller check first to establish positive history in their systems, then work up to larger amounts.
Use a debit card – For high dollar Walmart transactions, using a debit card avoids the check verification process and guarantees payment.
Learning the exact reason your check was denied allows you to take appropriate action to avoid it happening again in the future.
Which Service Does My Local Walmart Use?
In your area, some Walmarts use Telecheck, while others utilize Certegy for verification – so how do you check which one your nearby store uses?
You have a couple options:
Call the customer service desk at your specific store and ask them directly which service they use.
Visit the store and look for signage at the registers indicating Telecheck or Certegy. Or ask a front-end cashier or manager while you‘re there.
Use the Walmart store locator tool online to find your local store‘s phone number. Call the overall store line and ask an associate which system they use.
Reach out to Walmart‘s corporate customer support line at 1-800-925-6278. Give them your store location and they can tell you over the phone whether it is Telecheck or Certegy.
Finding out the specific check verification service ahead of time allows you to prepare appropriately and reduce chances of a surprise decline.
Tips to Prevent Check Denials
Based on my own retail experiences, here are some tips to avoid the headache of denied checks:
Always ensure Telecheck and Certegy have your most up-to-date identification, address, and contact info. This prevents false red flags.
Start building positive check history – use them for smaller routine purchases and build up over time.
Resolve any old debts, fees, or other issues from past bounced checks ASAP. Don‘t let them stack up.
For large purchases, use debit or credit instead whenever possible to sidestep the verification process.
If declined, follow up promptly to determine the reason and take corrective action before your next check.
Be patient and understanding with staff if denied. Realize it‘s just the automated system flagging a potential issue.
Prevention is ideal, but following up quickly if you do get that surprise denial can help resolve problems for next time.
Do Other Major Retailers Use Telecheck and Certegy Too?
Walmart is far from the only major company using Telecheck and Certegy to verify checks. Many top retailers utilize the same services, including:
- Sam‘s Club
- Home Depot
- Best Buy
In fact, if you routinely shop at large national retail chains, you‘ve likely had your checks verified through Telecheck or Certegy even without realizing it.
Wherever you shop, understanding how these systems work can help ensure a smooth payment process.
The Bottom Line
Check verification services like Telecheck and Certegy allow retailers to accept personal checks with greater confidence by reducing losses from fraud and bounced checks.
Walmart relies on them today in 2023 to protect profits while also providing customers with flexible payment options. As an experienced seller myself, I recommend keeping the above tips in mind to avoid potential issues when using a check for your Walmart purchases.
Knowing in advance how Walmart checks work can help you prepare and prevent headaches! Let me know if you have any other questions.