Automated Check Deposit: Best Practices, FAQs & Tips

If you are new to Automated Check Deposit, or have used it for while, we've compiled a list of Best Practices, FAQs and Tips for each part of the Feature experience.


Completing your Underwriting Application

Our integration with Jack Henry is what allows your checks to automatically be deposited to your ministry's bank account. In completing your Underwriting Application with Jack Henry, here are some important things to keep in mind to avoid having your application put in a pending status:




Legal Business Name: Be sure that you are entering your Legal entity name, not a DBA, or simply what your ministry is casually called. Entering anything other than the actual legal name will draw a flag.


Physical Address: This must be the physical location of the business (church/building). A P.O. Box is not acceptable. *A P.O. Box can be listed in the Billing Address line


Phone: This must be the main or primary number of the ministry. A personal cell is not acceptable. *This phone must match the phone number entered into the Customer Service Phone on line twelve.


Website: This is a required field. You must list an active website URL or at minimum an instance of a Facebook page URL. *Note: The Facebook page or website must contain a church/org contact phone, email, and address, available to all donors.



**Person named in this section must be a legal, authorized signer for this account.


% Owned: This should always be listed as zero.


DOB and SSN: These are required fields. This information is only used to verify the authenticity of the account/organization. Address and phone should be owners’ personal information.




  • Maximum Dollar Amount ($) per Transaction = $XX
  • Maximum Dollar Amount ($) per Day = $XX
  • Maximum Dollar Amount ($) per 14 Day Period = $XX
  • Maximum Single Day Count = XX
  • Maximum Count over a 14-Day Period = XX

Velocity settings definitions:

  • The Maximum Dollar Amount per Transaction: largest dollar amount allowed for a single item
  • The Maximum Single Day Count: the number of transactions allowed per day
  • The Maximum Dollar Amount per Day: the total dollar amount allowed in a single day
  • The Maximum Count over a 14-Day Period: the cumulative number of transactions allowed over a rolling 14-day period
  • The Maximum Dollar Amount per 14-Day Period: the total dollar amount allowed over a rolling 14-day period



**The Location name is not the name of your bank but the name of your organization as it appears on your bank account. 

Required document upload:

**Please have these documents prepared for upload to the application.

  • 3 Most Recent months bank statements
  • Most recent December bank Statement
  • Current Balance Sheet (If available)
  • Current P & L statement (if available)
  • 501c3 or EIN Document showing tax exemption


Frequently Asked Questions about Check Scanning

Q. What happens if the check was written incorrectly with one amount in the Number box but a different amount on the amount line?

A. If the amounts are different on the same check, you'll need to contact the donor to write a new check, or just accept the legal amount (the amount written out in words).


Q. What if a check amount scanned doesn't match the intended amount (I.e. the check was written for $300.00, but the system scans it as $3000)?

A. Before beginning to scan checks, administrators are required to enter the Number of Checks (being scanned) and a Total Amount (of all checks being scanned). After the scan is complete, the Total specified, and the Total Scanned should be matching. If they do not, the administrator will have the option to edit the amount for the check in question and resolve the inconsistency. 

If this inconsistency is not caught by the administrator before the batch is closed, and the checks are deposited, the administrator will need to contact Support for assistance in resolving the issue. 


Q. What does ACH mean?

A. Automated Clearing House - the method by which the paper check is converted for processing through the FED. This process is governed by NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association). The paper check is either destroyed or given back to the check writer once it has been converted. You are required to notify donors that their paper checks will be presented electronically. They also have the right to opt out of the ACH conversion. If the donor opts out of the ACH conversion, the check will have to be processed via Check 21.


Q. What does Check 21 mean?

A. Legislation enacted after 9/11/2001 to allow a replacement image, transmitted electronically, to be recognized and processed as legal tender. Check 21 is not subject to NACHA rules, regulations and fees as it is a federal law.


Q. How is it determined if a check processes as Check 21 or ACH?

A. ACH deals only with consumer checks where Check 21 is also capable of processing cashier’s checks, money orders, and business checks as well as consumer checks. Jack Henry software is used to determine if the check is a consumer check and can be processed as ACH. If it cannot be determined, then the check will be processed via Check 21.


Q. What is CAR/LAR?

A. Character (or Courtesy) Amount Recognition and Legal Amount Recognition - is the process by which recognition engines read the numeric and written values on a check to capture and reconcile discrepancies between the two. Please note the written value is the legal amount.


Q. What is the Automated Check Deposit ODFI?

A. The Originating Depository Financial Institution acts as the interface between the Federal Reserve or ACH network and the originator of the transaction. Automated Check Scanning transactions are sent to Jack Henry ODFI, First National Bank Central Texas.


Q. How do returns process for Automated Check Deposit items?

The same as they would for eCheck processing. When Jack Henry is notified of the return the church bank account will be debited, the return transactions information will be sent to the Return Console and the transaction will be reversed from the member’s giving record.


Q. Why do I have a charge for MICR Repair?

A. If the MICR line (bank routing and account number at the bottom of the check) does not come through clearly and an adjustment must be made to the visibility of the check, then a charge per check is applied.


Q. Why do I have a charge for Balancing Correction (per deposit)?

A. If the amount of the batch entered does not match the actual amount, then a correction must be made and there is a charge per batch correction applied.


Q. How does the Additional Location fee work?

A. For your first location with Jack Henry there is no fee. If you choose to add additional locations, you will be assessed a $5.00 fee for each location added.


Frequently Asked Questions about the SmartPay Business Portal (SPB)

The SmartPay Business Portal is where you will scan, batch, and complete your check deposits. You'll access SPB through your Giving Platform. The following list includes a few of the common questions on SmartPay Business that have been posed to our Customer Support teams. You may have similar questions as you begin to use the application.

Q. Where is the link to log out?
A. In the application, links to access frequently asked questions (FAQS), My Settings, and Logout have been placed within your username drop-down

Q. What do the lock icons in the reports do?
A. This is a freeze function that will lock in the header to one of the top three spots.

Q. What is Guided Payments?
A. Guided Payments, a new feature that will aid users in identifying the right product for heir transactions, takes you through a short series of questions in order to help you determine the type of payment you are making.

Q. Do you have any tips for printing reports?
A. Landscape mode is the preferred orientation for printing. To ensure that information is not cut off the page, be sure to choose this orientation when taking the option to print reports.


Q. Where is Payment Wizards?
A. The Payment Wizards function is now included under ACH Processing and credit Card Processing. Here, users will have a choice between Quick Pay and Add/Search Customer.


Q. What is the proper zoom percentage for SPB?
A. The SPB application works best when the webpage is set to 100% zoom.

Q. How long should I keep a check after I have scanned it?

A. We suggest that checks are kept in a secure place for a minimum of 90 days after they have been scanned and deposited. Checks should be shredded when you're ready to dispose of them.

Q. How do I change my password?
A. Go to your username pull down at the top-right of the webpage and click My Settings. Retype your current password. The next screen allows you to change your password.


Q. How do I reset another user's password?
A. Go to the Admin tab on the left side of the webpage. Click Users, find the user's profile, and then click Edit (the pencil icon) to the left of the user's name. On the next page, you will see a green box titled Reset Password at the bottom under Update User Settings.


Q. How do I export a report?
A. The export pull-down box is listed at the far-right, top of the Report page and allows you three export options: CSV, TSV, and Microsoft® Excel®.


Q. When scanning items I have noticed that the icons for editing, deleting, or rescanning items is not on the screen. I have to scroll to the right to see them.
A. You may resize your screen by selecting the gear icon in the upper-right corner and setting your zoom to a smaller percentage until the icons display. Or, you may hold down your ‹CTRL› button while scrolling the wheel on your mouse forward or back to increase or decrease your screen size.


Q. How do I void an item that is in Approved status? I no longer have a link off to the side.
A. Select the item that you wish to void and then select the pull-down arrow on the Actions button that is next to the print icon. A green Void button will appear. You can resolve your item in the same fashion.


Q. I used to be able to perform bulk check operations before. Where do I find them now?
A. Select Transactions. You will find Bulk Operations listed there.


Q. When viewing an item in Approved status, is there an easier way to view a different item other than selecting Dashboard again and then Approved to get the list to display?
A. Yes. There are breadcrumbs listed at the top of the page that will show where you are. Selecting Results displays the list again.

For additional FAQs, Tips & Tricks, see the complete resource in your SmartPay Business Portal under Resources. 


Miscellaneous Fee Descriptions

Check 21 Return: A transaction that is deposited via a check and returned for insufficient funds, closed account etc. 
Re-presentment (optional service): Jack Henry offers an optional service where when a transaction is returned for NSF or Uncollected Funds the transaction can be represented automatically at a specified time (i.e., 15th and 30th of the month).
Re-presentment with Collected State Fee (optional service): If your state permits and/or limits the re-presentment state fee and you wish to add that fee to the re-presented transaction this fee will apply. 
Check 21 Adjustment: If a customer is sending Check21 images via APIs and the paying bank detects an error between the transaction amount included in the file and the amount the check is written for, the paying bank submits a request to Jack Henry for a Check 21 adjustment and this fee applies.  This is a manual process to resolve. 
Correction of Duplicate Deposits: If a customer is sending Check21 images via APIs and erroneously sends duplicate transactions/files and requests that Jack Henry correct the duplicate file this is a manual process, and this fee will be assessed.
Debit Blocks: Most financial institutions place ACH Debit Blocks on Commercial accounts.  Authorized ACH processors can be whitelisted.  If a customer fails to whitelist Jack Henry and Jack Henry receives a Debit Block return item this fee will be assessed.
Failure to Notify of Bank Account Change: If a customer changes their bank settlement account used by Jack Henry and a settlement attempt fails. this fee is assessed.
Research Charge: All transactional data is available on Jack Henry's platform for two years for Ministry Brands to access.  If a customer requests research assistance (not normal daily support this fee will be assessed.  Example:  Customer is subpoenaed for transaction data that dates beyond 2 years.
Return Against Settlement Account: If Jack Henry attempts to settle a transaction to a customer's settlement account and it returns (NSF, Account Closed, etc.) this fee will be assessed.

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