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.
HOW PAYROLL CHECKS ARE CASHED
Customer: "I'd like to cash my payroll check."
Me: "Certainly. Have you cashed a check at a Wal-Mart before?"
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."
- I hit the 1, the 3 and the <ACTION CODE> button on the keyboard.
- The register asks me "SIGNATURE VALID" <ENTER> YES - <TOTAL>" NO I hit <ENTER> because I checked the signature against the driver license.
- The debit reader kepyad and the register now prompt "ENTER SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER" - On the keypad, it says "ENTER SSN#"
- Me: "Can you enter your social security number on the keypad for me?"
- The register asks me "ENTER AMOUNT" I enter the amount of check as $$$.$$.
- The register tells me "INSERT CHECK" I put the check into the reader.
- 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#"
- The register now prompts "ENTER BIRTHDATE" I enter the birthday from the license and hit <ENTER> on the keyboard.
- The register now wants "ENTER LAST NAME" I enter the last name from the license and hit <ENTER> on the keyboard.
- 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.