Creating X9.100-187 ICL File

Organizations with development staffs and programming resources can now employ the All My Papers X9 LIB software development toolkit to use captured check images and then turn the check images and associated data into image cash letter (ICL) files for exchange with financial institutions.

In order to successfully turn check images and data into ICL files that will exchange with your bank, care must be taken to ensure that the check images are ready for exchange and that the output ICL file format meets the specific requirement of your exchange partner. See this link Check Image Formatting


Composing Image Cash Letters

The X9 LIB SDK allows groups of conformant check images to be combined with MICR line and dollar amount data for each item into a fully formed Image Cash Letter (ICL) File ready for exchange with banks and other financial organizations.

The MICR line data and dollar amounts for this process can come from an upstream capture process or be extracted from the check images themselves using a companion SDK from All My Papers called ampLIB MICR OCR SDK

Bank-Specific ICL File Formats

While there are just a few standard ICL file formats for interbank exchange of check items, there are currently more than 50 bank-specific ICL format variations in use by U.S.  for Merchant and Remote Deposit Capture applications. Therefore, it is imperative that you obtain and understand your bank’s Remote Deposit or Merchant Capture companion document before embarking on your development program. The X9 LIB SDK can support any of these formats. However, the specifics of your Bank’s requirements must be known in order to properly configure your software calls.

Check Image Quality Requirements

Before a check image may be incorporated into an ICL file, you must ensure that it meets all of the image QA requirements of ANSI X9.100-181 commonly known as the Tough Tiff standard.


The amendment to Reg CC effect July 1, 2018 specifies that the electronic container for exchange check items is the X9.100-181 standard. This standard specifies a complex file format consisting of electronic check images and descriptive data formatted in specific way.

Check Image Requirements

Image Cash Letters contain images of checks and other items. The properties and attributes of the image can seriously impact the capability of the software application to “read” the file. Some of the things that can cause a file to crash a software system, to not open, or to not be accepted are:

No check image (the DSTU X9.37 – 2003 standard does not require an image)
Compression is not Group 4
Wrong type of TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) image (there are over 50 types)
Multiple Stripe TIFF images instead of single stripe images
Resolution other than the 200-240 dpi generally expected
Resolution misinformation can affect image dimension attributes
Byte Order [a sequence of bytes is stored in a computer’s memory. In a big-endian system, the most significant value in the sequence is stored at the lowest storage address (i.e., first). In a little-endian system, the least significant value in the sequence is stored first.]
Not a black and white image (grayscale or color)
Tag information is wrong or missing
Compressed image file does not meet requirements (either too small or too big)
Image orientation is wrong
Wrong image (front and back check images reversed)
Not a check image (deposit slip, batch header, IRD, etc.)
Fill order not one – How the bits in a byte are filled
Sub file not one – Single TIFF image per TIFF file
This is just a partial list of things that can go wrong. Any one of them can stop the process. All My Papers software will detect these problems before they can crash your system.


All My Papers has a suite of software products that creates conforming X9.100-187 files. These products are:

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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 Papers software makes any scanner into a check scanner by finding and formatting the check images in a folder of images. 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 Papers software will create an ICL file and format it for the destination per the receiving FI’s companion document requirements.

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 Papers 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

The following items are neeeded to create an ICL file:

  • Exchange Ready front of check image
  • Exchange Ready back of check image
  • MICR Data 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

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
  • Viewpointe
  • Endpoint


Using All My Papers software with will allow the creation of conforming check Image Cash Letter files that are ready to send for clearing through the check image clearing exchanges or remotely deposited to most of the major banks in the U.S.

For more information about All My Checks software contact

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Contact All My Papers to automate check Image Cash Letter (ICL) file processing.