United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 23, 2023

§ 5002.
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

The term “account” means a deposit account at a bank.

The term “bank” means any person that is located in a State and engaged in the business of banking and includes—
any depository institution (as defined in section 461(b)(1)(A) of this title);
any Federal reserve bank;
any Federal home loan bank; or
to the extent it acts as a payor—
the Treasury of the United States;
the United States Postal Service;
a State government; or
a unit of general local government (as defined in section 4001(24) of this title).
Banking terms
Collecting bank

The term “collecting bank” means any bank handling a check for collection except the paying bank.

Depositary bank
The term “depositary bank” means—
the first bank to which a check is transferred, even if such bank is also the paying bank or the payee; or
a bank to which a check is transferred for deposit in an account at such bank, even if the check is physically received and indorsed first by another bank.
Paying bank
The term “paying bank” means—
the bank by which a check is payable, unless the check is payable at or through another bank and is sent to the other bank for payment or collection; or
the bank at or through which a check is payable and to which the check is sent for payment or collection.
Returning bank
In general

The term “returning bank” means a bank (other than the paying or depositary bank) handling a returned check or notice in lieu of return.

Treatment as collecting bank

No provision of this chapter shall be construed as affecting the treatment of a returning bank as a collecting bank for purposes of section 4–202(b) of the Uniform Commercial Code.


The term “Board” means the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Business day

The term “business day” has the same meaning as in section 4001(3) of this title.

The term “check”—
means a draft, payable on demand and drawn on or payable through or at an office of a bank, whether or not negotiable, that is handled for forward collection or return, including a substitute check and a travelers check; and
does not include a noncash item or an item payable in a medium other than United States dollars.
The term “consumer” means an individual who—
with respect to a check handled for forward collection, draws the check on a consumer account; or
with respect to a check handled for return, deposits the check into, or cashes the check against, a consumer account.
Consumer account

The term “consumer account” has the same meaning as in section 4001(10) of this title.


The term “customer” means a person having an account with a bank.

Forward collection

The term “forward collection” means the transfer by a bank of a check to a collecting bank for settlement or the paying bank for payment.

Indemnifying bank

The term “indemnifying bank” means a bank that is providing an indemnity under section 5005 of this title with respect to a substitute check.

MICR line

The terms “MICR line” and “magnetic ink character recognition line” mean the numbers, which may include the bank routing number, account number, check number, check amount, and other information, that are printed near the bottom of a check in magnetic ink in accordance with generally applicable industry standards.

Noncash item

The term “noncash item” has the same meaning as in section 4001(14) of this title.


The term “person” means a natural person, corporation, unincorporated company, partnership, government unit or instrumentality, trust, or any other entity or organization.

Reconverting bank
The term “reconverting bank” means—
the bank that creates a substitute check; or
if a substitute check is created by a person other than a bank, the first bank that transfers or presents such substitute check.
Substitute check
The term “substitute check” means a paper reproduction of the original check that—
contains an image of the front and back of the original check;
bears a MICR line containing all the information appearing on the MICR line of the original check, except as provided under generally applicable industry standards for substitute checks to facilitate the processing of substitute checks;
conforms, in paper stock, dimension, and otherwise, with generally applicable industry standards for substitute checks; and
is suitable for automated processing in the same manner as the original check.

The term “State” has the same meaning as in section 1813(a) of this title.


The term “truncate” means to remove an original paper check from the check collection or return process and send to a recipient, in lieu of such original paper check, a substitute check or, by agreement, information relating to the original check (including data taken from the MICR line of the original check or an electronic image of the original check), whether with or without subsequent delivery of the original paper check.

Uniform Commercial Code

The term “Uniform Commercial Code” means the Uniform Commercial Code in effect in a State.

Other terms

Unless the context requires otherwise, the terms not defined in this section shall have the same meanings as in the Uniform Commercial Code.

(Pub. L. 108–100, § 3, Oct. 28, 2003, 117 Stat. 1178.)
cite as: 12 USC 5002