Checking Account Owner Authentication Service - 2023 Guide:

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What are your options?

A Checking Account Owner Authentication Service (AOA) provides businesses a new fraud mitigation tool that provides real-time insight into whether the person or business whose check payment you want to accept or enroll in a recurring billing plan OWNS that bank account.

The ability to verify bank account ownership plays a key role in reducing the risk of enrolling a new customer with bad check information.


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***Note: New NACHA Guidelines Mandate Ant-Fraud Measures

Currently, ACH Originators of WEB debit entries are required to use a “commercially reasonable fraudulent transaction detection system” to screen WEB debits for fraud. This existing screening requirement will be supplemented to make it explicit that “account validation” is part of a “commercially reasonable fraudulent transaction detection system.” The supplemental requirement applies to the first use of an account number, or changes to the account number. The mandate takes effect March of 2021


To understand why AOA is so important, consider an insurance company enrolling a new client. If they are not using a check verification service and Checking Account Owner Authentication Service what are the potential consequences?

The customer or business is who they say they are but there is a data entry error or the client is purposefully using an account that has been closed, is in an NSF status or does not belong to them.

Their insurance policy is bound and they now have car insurance. They are involved in an accident that day [they are at fault] and a claim of $10,000 is made. The insurance company is obligated to pay out the claim. They have yet to discover the checking account used  to make payment has no money, is closed account or did not belong to the insured. They have a substantial loss and potentially no way to recover the initial premium payment.

It is very likely all of these issues [and more] would be discovered at the point of enrollment with the client using a Checking Account Owner Authentication Service. This could be in an Internet environment or face to face.

For less than $1 per inquiry these risks can be significantly reduced.

The AOA service also validates other data elements such as DOB, drivers’ license numbers and phone numbers among others. There is no other service available today that matches and validates data against records held at the customers Financial Institution.


Consider the work that must be done if there was simple data entry error at the onboarding stage. After finding out the checking account is not valid the customer must be contacted usually multiple times  [typical success rates of contacting and getting correct information are about 5%]. That means additional admin costs and friction points for the customer. It is certainly possible client’s have been lost because of the failure to be able to gain the all important checking account information.

All of this can be avoided by employing a Checking Account Owner Authentication Service.

Bank Account Ownership Verification systems offer your business an easy to use, cost effective risk mitigation tool.

Businesses looking to reduce the risk of accepting electronic of paper checks and especially those enrolling a customer for recurring ACH Payment debits need to look beyond the “account is open and in good standing” check verification service. For many businesses there is a need to know that the consumer “owns” the checking account being provided.

There are over 100 BILLION reasons why as that is the estimated $ loss associated with account takeover fraud over past 6 years.

Here is an example: Fraudsters go to an online payday loan store and use stolen bank account info to get a $500 deposit.  They enter a valid bank account to be debited via ACH Processing network for paying back the loan. They redirect loan proceeds to an account they control. Payday loan company debits the account fraudulently provided for payment. The true owner disputes and the loan company is out the $500.


What can be done?

Recent tech advances have now made a Checking Account Owner Authentication Service available. Real-time checking  account verification and account owner authentication services can confirm a consumer or business owns the account and is authorized to transact.


Key account owner and status information such as name, address, social security number, driver’s license, date of birth, and other relevant data points can help authenticate the consumer or business dda information.


  • Reduce unauthorized access to customer accounts
  • Eliminate the need for account-owner login credentials
  • Improve customer experience and reduce abandonment rates
  • Reduce unauthorized and administrative ACH and check returns
  • Reduce Account Take-over risks

You can also reduce/eliminate false positives by providing additional customer intelligence around business and consumer names: nicknames, birth dates, maiden names, typos, or other data entry errors.

Additional customer insight information is available  providing the ability to either confirm data submitted or query and receive correct information to update your customer info records.



Checking account owner authentication authenticates the consumer utilizing consumer data, matching profiles, and alternative data from multiple aggregation source. For a small one-time fee your business can significantly reduce the risk, added admin work time and improve customer experience.

Costs range from .80-$1.25 with higher volume clients getting custom quotes.

Contact Agile Payments now to learn more about Checking Account Owner Authentication Service

  • Are there requirements for using this service?
    Yes, depending on whether you need a solution that does not require a user to login to their online banking, a monthly minimum billing of $1,000 will apply. It will also require that your organization has revenues greater than $10M.
  • How can AOA be called?
    Web portal or API integration.
  • What data points can be returned?

    Depending on the level of service, the following data points can be called and validated or authenticated.


    • Account open and valid.
    • Account in NSF status.
    • Closed or frozen.
    • Account not located.
    • Account does not allow ACH debits.
    • Account is related to a pre-paid card.
    • Government related account.
    • Stop payments of a check number range.


    • Person or business name matches an account.
    • Tax ID.
    • DOB.
    • Address.
    • Phone number.
    • Drivers license number and state.