ATMVerify is an additional, optional service that provides additional verification of the EFT account number to be debited. These “preauthorization” searches (also called “checks,” not to be confused with a financial “check”) are performed automatically for subscribing merchants (no additional fields required in authorization messages). There are two levels of the ATMVerify service. They can be used in conjunction with each other for maximum coverage and accuracy.
This service consults the status reported by the bank to see if the account is valid and in good standing. The response will indicate if the account is open and valid, closed, NSF or one of the other conditions listed in the table below. There is no charge for transactions involving non-participating banks. (Most tier I & II banks are participants but some local banks and smaller credit unions may not be.) Transactions not receiving a definitive response (such as POS or NEG) may then be checked against our national negative check database. Note that the status of the account may change between the bank’s report and settlement.
This service searches a large national database for any negative reports against the account in question. If there are negative reports, the type of report (i.e., NSF) and a phone number for inquiries will be included in the response in the pg_preauth_neg_report field.
The service uses an online inquiry service against a very large experiential database that includes information on 158 million accounts. This database is usually used for accounts that do not participate in ATMVerify. 130 million contain positive information and 28 million contain negative information.
The only definitive responses received from ATMVerify Level 4 are:
P20 There records of one or more are previous bad transactions or checks not reimbursed or “made good P21 There were no reports of previous bad transactions or checks in the database
P20 There records of one or more are previous bad transactions or checks not reimbursed or “made good
P21 There were no reports of previous bad transactions or checks in the database
If ATMVerify searches are performed there will be up to four additional response fields (see below). The most important field is pg_preauth_result which will indicate the result of the verification. POS will indicate a positive response from a verification service just as NEG will indicate a negative response. UNK means nothing more is known about the account (for various reasons).
pg_preauth_result – The value in this field may cause a transaction to be declined, depending upon your setup. Values which may appear include POS, NEG or UNK.
pg_preauth_description - This field provides additional information about the status of the account. It is the current state of the account as provided by the verifying agent.
pg_preauth_neg_report - This field is used with negative database responses and will normally contain the negative report details and (usually) the name and phone number of the reporting entity.
The following values are returned in the result and description fields listed above. The possible results are grouped by service level. The Sandbox will normally generate a POS result for any account (no participating bank check is performed). The test account numbers below may be used on the Sandbox (with any valid ABA number) to force the indicated response.
Level 2 Responses
Level 4 Responses
ATMVerify applies only to Sales, Auth Only and Verify Only transactions (types 20, 21 and 26). Transactions with a NEG ATMVerify result will normally be declined for that reason. Those with UNK and POS responses will not be declined and may be subject to other checks. This means that UNK and POS will normally be approved. If the merchant is only using Verify Only transactions they may want to use pg_preauth_result instead of pg_response_type for their decision making.
For ACH transactions, it is helpful to understand how the PG system works with ATMVerify, and how authorizations are approved based upon the responses received.
Within the PG system, you may set up multiple levels of account verification for ACH items. Each ATMVerify level described in the previous pages is one action available to use in setting up your verification model, and actions can be strung together to obtain the results you want.
In all cases…if the final response is positive, UNK, or account is not found the transaction will be APPROVED. If the final response has negative reports, the transaction will be DECLINED.
Example: Account verifications can be performed in order you prefer:
In this example, the client has chosen to use only ATMVerify Levels 2 and 4, so the system is set up to look only to those levels for verification.
Action 1 Perform ATMVerify Level 2
Result 1 Response UNK received, or account is not a participant,
This model specifies the PG system should go to…
Action 2 Perform ATMVerify Level 4
Result 2 Response received.