Creating Exchange Ready ICL Files with All My Checks
Many organizations would like a software tool that helps them build a solution to capture checks from any type of scanner and then turn the check images into an image cash letter (ICL) file to send to a financial institution (FI).
All My Checks software makes any scanner into a check scanner by finding and formatting the check images in a folder of images. Usually the objective of scanning a check is to electronically transfer the check image to another financial institution for processing. The mechanism for transferring the check image for processing is to make the check image part of an image cash letter (ICL) file.
All My Checks (AMC) will create an ICL file and format it for the destination per the receiving FI’s companion document requirements.
This AMC solution section will cover the following topics:
- Define an ICL file
- Describe ICL file creation requirements
- Review the options for creating the ICL file
All My Checks does the processing contained within the dotted lines of the diagram below.
Check Image Cash Letter File
A check image cash letter file goes by many different names:
- ICL file
- X9.37 File
- Universal Companion Document (UCD) File
- X9.100-187 or 180 File
- Remote Deposit Capture File
It is the electronic equivalent of paper checks bundled together in a container that totals the number of check items and their dollar amounts. The ICL file has two major types of data components check images and text data:
Check Images – Front and back images of the check. The check images must conform to the standards for exchange. All My Checks software ensures the check images meet these exchange requirements.
Textual data describing the check items in the ICL file - The text is in a hierarchical structure. As shown in the diagram above, an ICL file may contain one or more image cash letters. This text data must conform to the receiving institutions format.
Image Cash Letter Requirements
All My Checks needs the following to create an ICL file:
- Exchange Ready front of check image (supplied by AMC)
- Exchange Ready back of check image (supplied by AMC)
- MICR Data (supplied by AMC) including bank routing number, account number and check serial number
- Dollar Amount
- Destination Companion document for formatting ICL file
- Bundle size
- Optional payee endorsement information
Dollar Amount Entry
There are three ways to add dollar amounts to the ICL file
- External data file with dollar amounts matched to each item
- Manual key entry using the optional X9 VIEWER software
- Automatic CAR/LAR software supplied by All My Papers or 3rd party vendors
For information about CAR/LAR recognition from All My Papers, contact email@example.com
Companion Documents and Destination File Formats
Each destination financial institution (recipient of the ICL file) requires that the file be formatted to their unique requirements. These requirements are detailed in a companion document. These companion documents are usually proprietary.
All My Papers supports Check 21 exchange ICL file formats for
- Federal Reserve Bank
RDC and other Bank Formats
In addition, All My Papers supports over 25 of the major U.S. banks and financial institutions. Many other financial institutions use the older X9.37 DSTU standard or a variation on the newer Universal Companion Document (UCD) for receiving ICL files. To ensure the ICL files are properly formatted for the destination, AMP support should review the ICL companion documents for your target banks prior to implementation.
Bundle Size & Optional Payee Endorsement
Many financial institutions limit the bundle size within Image Cash Letter files. AMC has a mechanism for setting the bundle limit.
AMC also has the capability of electronically endorsing the rear check image with the Payees account information.
Using the optional X9 VIEWER software application, the user can view and edit the ICL file. The software has a tab mode for manually correcting and entering the dollar amounts as well as the MICR data information. The viewer will also total the number of items and dollars.
Using All My Checks with the optional ICL file creation license will allow the creation of conforming check Image Cash Letter files that are ready to send for clearing through the Check 21 exchanges or remotely deposited to most of the major banks in the U.S.
For more information about All My Checks software contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact All My Papers
Contact All My Papers to automate check Image Cash Letter (ICL) file processing.