Monday, September 25, 2006

Checks and answers: Part One

Well, the check post generated much discussion.

Let me run through exactly HOW payroll checks are cashed, which may shed some light on the issues. Questions will be broken down and answered tomorrow. Please feel free to leave comments and questions on this post.

Customer: "I'd like to cash my payroll check."
Me: "Certainly. Have you cashed a check at a Wal-Mart before?"
Customer: "No."
Me: "Do you have a driver license? Do you know your social security number?"
Customer: "Yes & yes."
Me: "Great. Can you sign your check for me."
  1. I hit the 1, the 3 and the <ACTION CODE> button on the keyboard.
  2. The register asks me "SIGNATURE VALID" <ENTER> YES - <TOTAL>" NO I hit <ENTER> because I checked the signature against the driver license.
  3. The debit reader kepyad and the register now prompt "ENTER SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER" - On the keypad, it says "ENTER SSN#"
  4. Me: "Can you enter your social security number on the keypad for me?"
  5. The register asks me "ENTER AMOUNT" I enter the amount of check as $$$.$$.
  6. The register tells me "INSERT CHECK" I put the check into the reader.
  7. The register goes back and forth over the numbers on the bottom of the check and then prompts "RE-ENTER SOCIAL SECURITY #" On the keypad, it again says "ENTER SSN#"
  8. The register now prompts "ENTER BIRTHDATE" I enter the birthday from the license and hit <ENTER> on the keyboard.
  9. The register now wants "ENTER LAST NAME" I enter the last name from the license and hit <ENTER> on the keyboard.
  10. Now, the register says "ENTER ID NUMBER" I enter either the state ID or driver license number.

At this point, the register grinds over the check a couple of times, then either says "AUTHORIZING" or "UNABLE TO PROCESS - PRESS <CLEAR>" After a failure, a piece of paper pops up with a toll-free number to call for the verification service. They will tell you exactly why the check won't go.

It is is good, the check comes out with information printed on the back, presumably bank stuff, and the drawer pops open, I put the check under the till, count out money and everyone is happy.

It if doesn't work, I try again. Sometimes I type it wrong, or they mis-type the social, or the register is acting up, or something just goes haywire. After three times though, I usually give up.


Anonymous said...

Why enter the SSN twice?

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to me. It's not rocket science of course, neither are the customers.

Anonymous said...

Why enter an SSN at all?? You don't need that to cash a check. A Drivers License should be enough to prove identity. The privacy implications of Walmart building a database of ID's and SSN's is huge!

Anonymous said...

What privacy implications? Let me get this straight. You go to cash a check and VOLUNTARILY give your SS# and then are going to complain about privacy? The whole reason they need the DL and SS# is so if the check comes back as bad they will have an easier time prosecuting you with the state attorney’s office and will have all of the information they need. At my Publix we take your fingerprint, your picture, copy your ID, verify funds and employment, and request a 2nd form of ID such as SS #. And guess what? Then we keep all that information on file. My store probably has a check cashing record of over 2000 SS# with their pictures and finger prints and all of their personal info.

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Lindsay said...

I think you should have to enter your SS# after working at a bank, and as much as people try to get away with illegally, I think it is the smartest thing to do!
I so hope people arent bashing you for this.... It is NOT like you made up Walmarts rules!

MavenofMoxie said...

Go to ANY check cashing place and you must supply your SSN. Wal-Mart building SSN data banks?? Why? If they really wanted your info, they could easily afford to buy it. Conspiracy Theories & unintelligent people always seem to go hand in hand and it's never a good mix.

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