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Sometimes a branch number or the account number are printed below the fraction form; branch number is not used in processing, while the account number is listed in MICR form at the bottom. In the case of a MICR line that is illegible or torn, the check can still be processed without the check digit.
Typically, a repair strip or sleeve is attached to the check, then a new MICR line is imprinted. Either or with a hyphen, but no check digit may be printed, and both are 9 digits. The former with check digit is preferred to ensure better accuracy, but requires computing the check digit, while the latter is easily determined by inspection of the fraction, with minimal clerical handling.
The ABA RTNs were originally assigned in the systematic way outlined below, reflecting a financial institution's geographical location and internal handling by the Federal Reserve. Following consolidation of the Federal Reserve's check processing facilities, and the consolidation in the banking industry, the RTN a financial institution uses may not reflect the "Fed District" where the financial institution's place of business is located.
Check processing is now centralized at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The first two digits of the nine digit RTN must be in the ranges 00 through 12, 21 through 32, 61 through 72, or The first two digits correspond to the 12 Federal Reserve Banks as follows:. The third digit corresponds to the Federal Reserve check processing center originally assigned to the bank.
The fourth digit is "0" if the bank is located in the Federal Reserve city proper, and otherwise is 1—9, according to which state in the Federal Reserve district it is. The fifth through eighth digits constitute the bank's unique ABA identity within the given Federal Reserve district. The ninth, check digit provides a checksum test using a position-weighted sum of each of the digits.
High-speed check-sorting equipment will typically verify the checksum and if it fails, route the item to a reject pocket for manual examination, repair, and re-sorting. Mis-routings to an incorrect bank are thus greatly reduced. The following condition must hold: . In terms of weights, this is This allows one to catch any single-digit error incorrectly inputting one digit , together with most transposition errors.
These do not catch transpositions of two digits that differ by 5 0 and 5, 1 and 6, 2 and 7, 3 and 8, 4 and 9 , but captures other transposition errors. As an example, consider which is a valid routing number of Bank of America in Virginia. Applying the formula, we get:. The fraction form looks like a fraction , with a numerator and a denominator. The numerator consists of two parts separated by a dash. The prefix no longer used in check processing, yet still printed on most checks is a 1 or 2 digit code P or PP indicating the region where the bank is located.
The numbers 1 to 49 are cities, assigned by size of the cities in The numbers 50 to 99 are states, assigned in a rough spatial geographic order, and are used for banks located outside one of the 49 numbered cities. The denominator is also part of the routing number; by adding leading zeroes to make up four digits where necessary e.
There might also be a fourth element printed to the right of the fraction: this is the bank's branch number. It is not included in the MICR line. It would only be used internally by the bank, e. The prefix 55 no longer has any relevance, but from the remainder of the fraction, the first 8 digits of the routing number can be determined, and the check digit the last digit, 5 in this example can be calculated by using the check digit formula thus giving This table is up to date as of One weakness of the current routing table arrangement is that various territories like American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands share the same routing code.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Code used in U. For the Canadian bank routing number system, see Routing number Canada. The numbers are also used in Fedwire transfers, and each digit making up the ABA routing number plays a role in the process. In , due to the frequency of mergers and acquisitions of banks, these numbers may not represent a physical location. The next two digits represent the Federal Reserve bank that is being used to route the electronic transaction.
The seventh digit in the number identifies the assigned Federal Reserve check processing center for the bank, and the eighth represents the Federal Reserve district the bank resides in. The last digit represents a complex mathematical equation that uses the first eight digits.
The checksum is a safety measure. If the first eight digits do not equal the final digit, the transfer is marked as questionable and rerouted for manual processing, a far lengthier process. If you are unclear about your bank's ABA transit number and don't have a check handy, simply call the bank. They can give you the institution's ABA number over the phone. The ABA routing number appears in two forms on most checks: as a machine-readable nine-digit number on the bottom left followed by the checking account number , and as a fraction at the top.
The first form, known as the magnetic ink character recognition MICR form, is the one used to process checks. The second is a holdover from when checks were manually processed and contained most of the same information in a different format. The second form is still used as a backup in case the machine-readable format is illegible.
The number in MICR form, whether magnetic or not, allows computers to "read" or recognize the numbers. To qualify for an ABA transit number, a financial institution must be eligible to hold an account at a Federal Reserve bank. ABA transit numbers are useful for receiving automatic payments, like a paycheck.
In that case, you give your ABA transit number along with your checking account number to your employer. The banks will take care of everything else. In the past, physical paper checks were mailed to the recipient or the recipient's bank, which took considerably more time than sending a check electronically. In , the Check 21 Act , allowed checks to be cleared electronically and almost automatically versus having to wait for a check to arrive, and then clear in an account.
The ABA transit number plays a vital role in the expediency of check processing. An ABA number is a set of nine digits that identify specific U. They are usually found on the bottom left-hand corner of a check or the information portal of an online account. The number is used for facilitating financial transactions, such as wire transfers and direct deposits. Yes, all banks have an ABA number that is used to identify the specific bank and facilitate financial transactions.
The ABA number is found on a check issued by the bank as well as through a bank customer's online portal. No, an ABA number is also known as a routing number and consists of nine numeric digits to identify specific U. American Bankers Association. Checking Accounts. Financial Literacy. Your Money.