An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:
Man tries to pay water bill with toilet paper cheque
A US man, disgruntled by a hike in the cost of his water rates, yesterday tried to pay off his outstanding bill with a cheque written on toilet paper.
The Binghamton NY Water Department could have stymied the individual's attempt to short-circuit the payment of his bill (and get some publicity along the way) if they were hooked up to their bank via a remote capture connection. In the US, remote capture
of this kind could take advantage of Check-21, whereby a paper check (in this case, a check on toilet paper, still paper) can be scanned at a bank branch, in an ATM, or at a bank customer, the image of front & back sent into the bank along with codeline (MICR)
& other data, sent through the payments system to arrive at the paying bank either as a digital image or as a substitute check (which carries a picture of the front & back of the instrument & is MICR encoded). Or the remote capture could take advantage of
one of several check-to-ACH conversion opportunities, probably the one called Back-Office-Conversion (BOC), where much the same process occurs at the remote site, but the payment information flows through the payments system to the paying bank as an 80-byte
record & is posted to the check-writer's account as an EFT. My assumption is that the Binghamton Water Department does not have too many of these weird toilet paper situations (although, with all the publicity, they may have a few more). But this ought to
be a clarion call to their bank to approach them about remote deposit. It has many benefits to offer, quite aside from this particular situation.