I've seen a check declined by Telecheck and accepted by Certegy. It just depends on the information on file at each company.Will Bailey. Not all places that take checks use Certegy. So saying "Retailers would not accept checks at all" is incorrect. In the past Certegy didn't exist. I remember stores called the banks to see if you had the money in the account.
This one person went to Walmart & a grocery store. Walmart uses Certegy & grocery took telecheck
Guess where the check was accepted the grocery store without a problem. Wal-mart it was denied.
As far as stores calling banks to see if you have money in the account, that is not possible today. If I stole one of your checks, I could pretend to be from Acme Industries and say you presented me a check for $100,000 and ask if you have enough money in the account. If they say "no", I would ask how much you have. and create a fake check for that amount to drain your bank account. If they wouldn't tell me how much you have, I would just keep calling back with different amounts until I could figure out how much you have. I would keep monitoring your account until I determined when your paycheck was deposited so I could coordinate my fake check to get the most money. Fortunately, banks won't talk to you about any account information unless you give them personal identifying information like your zip code, SSN or last 4 digits, date of birth, mother's maiden name, etc.
Most retailers would not accept checks without a check authorization company to insure their checks because of all the check fraud.