X9 Returns

X9 Returns is a Windows-based enterprise software system for automating the processing of return transit items.

X9 Returns ingests X9/ICL return files and automatically matches them to the original transit transactions. Return items can then be re-deposited based on business rules or routed to internal departments for processing.

X9 Returns operates on a Windows Server platform with a SQL database. X9 Returns will receive and store X9 Image Cash Letter (ICL) files received from different sources:

  • Forward presentment transit items
  • Return files from the Federal Reserve Bank or other exchanges

X9 Returns includes a web server application for operational and research activities. ICL files are stored in a SQL file system database.



Available Product Functions

  • Forward/Return item linking
  • Duplicate file and item detection
  • Auto-representment of eligible items
  • Auto-item routing to business units
  • User review/disposition of returned items
  • On-screen research and viewing of items
  • Print IRDs and/or advice letters
  • User rights/roles administration


  • Provides efficient and automated transit returns processing
  • Shortens return item cycle time thus reduce reserve requirements
  • Improves accuracy of returns processing by automatic match to original
  • Reduces fraud lost by automatically flagging items for quick review
  • Accelerates returns process to meet regulatory compliance deadlines
  • Scales for large or small financial organization
  • Reduces technology risks by using standard database and file formats


  • Automatically imports transit X9/ICL files and stores data in SQL database
  • Support for X9 file format variants including X9.37, UCD, CPA 15 and 50 bank remote deposit files
  • Enables research and return processing of received items via web browser based application
  • Automatic generation of redeposit items and ICL files
  • Automatic workflow routing for departmental processing
  • Scalable to more than 125 users

Forward Presentment Workflow

In forward presentment, the bank's check item processing system adds the depositor's account number to the forward presentment ICL file containing transit items and routes it to X9 Returns.  X9 Returns stores transaction data in its SQL database.  then it recreates the forward presentment ICL file (this time without the depositor's account number for privacy) and makes it available for transmission to the bank's exchange partner.  This is shown below.

forward presentment workflow

Return Item Workflow

When returned items ICL files are received from the bank's exchange partner, X9 Returns captures all of the returned item data and matches it up with the original forward presentment item.  Depending on local rules and configuration, the item may be automatically incorporated into an ICL file for redeposit.  Items not eligible for automatic redeposit are  routed to operators who can perform on-screen data completion and/or routing to the appropriate department for further disposition.  Item that will be returned to the depositor as unpaid may be printed as IRDs with or without an advice letter.  This is shown below.

returns workflow



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Automation of Inclearing Return Items - A Case Study

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While check volumes in the U.S. have been steadily decreasing over the last 20 years, even at today’s volume, more than $86 Billion in transit items are returned to Banks of First Deposit (BOFD) each year. The introduction of image processing to the clearing of checks has increased the efficiency of the exchange system such that the Federal Reserve Bank now processes all checks at a single location eliminating the concept of a “nonlocal” check, reducing the clearance time and the opportunities for holds on deposited funds. These changes require that returned transit returns be processed as efficiently and expediently as possible to reduce risk of financial loss.

In 2014, All My Papers (AMP) was approached by a large regional financial institution seeking help to automate their transit check image return processing. Even though the Bank had adopted check imaging for exchange early in Check 21 era, their transit item return processing system was still largely paper-based. This system, which made use of printing and re-imaging of check items, physical routing of paper and use of disparate in-house generated computer applications did not scale well as the Bank grew.


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