Does Target Use Telecheck Or Certegy? (Your Full Guide)

Many check-verification services such as Telecheck and Certegy have grown in use among big-box and retail chains to prevent losses caused by fraudulent checks.

Since Target, one of the largest retail chains in the U.S., allows customers to pay for their purchases through checks, you may be wondering – does Target use Telecheck or Certegy? Here is what I’ve found out!

Does Target Use Telecheck Or Certegy?

Target uses Certegy for processing check payments and may deny checks for reasons such as insufficient information on file, negative history, and unpaid debts. Some Target locations might also have Telecheck services that work in a similar manner to Certegy.

If you want to learn more about the way Certegy processes checks at Target, why your check might be declined by Certegy, and what you should do in that case, keep on reading!

Why Does Target Use Certegy?

When you pay for your purchase with a personal check at Target, you have to authorize Target to process the check electronically.

Since Target does not have direct links to financial institutions to process the check, they rely on a third-party risk management company to assess the check’s safety.

By doing this, Target saves itself from accepting potential fraudulent checks that would bounce when processed and cause Target a lot of inconvenience (to track the customer and obtain the payment) or loss (if it decides not to pursue the case).

How Does Certegy Work At Target?

How Does Certegy Work At Target?

When you present a personal check at the sales register at Target, Certegy analyzes the check against its records and provides an ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ recommendation using its risk assessment technology.

In short, the risk assessment involves a range of statistical analyses that look at past transactions and patterns of check writing, and compare these with other checks that have already been processed by the system.

Note that Certegy does not look at your credit card usage, credit score, or history with other payment methods.

If the payment is accepted, the money is transferred out of the customer’s account by the next business day.

Moreover, Certegy closely monitors market trends and the financial sector to ensure they recommend the best option for each personal check.

Why Would Certegy Decline Your Check At Target?

Although Certegy’s risk assessment models are proprietary with details not publicly available, the company has shared some pointers regarding why your check may be declined at the POS terminal:

  • Certegy simply does not have your records on file and so will flag you as a risk
  • You have a history of unpaid debts with a financial institution
  • You have a negative history with Certegy, i.e. you tried to use a check in the past without having sufficient funds
  • The cashier mistakenly entered incorrect information and your identity was confused with someone else
  • Other ‘risk factors’ that are not explained publicly by Certegy but are a part of its risk assessment model

What Happens If Certegy Declines Your Check At Target?

Since Target is not involved in approving or declining your check, you will have to check out with a different payment method and contact Certegy if it declines your check.

You can contact Certegy’s customer care department at 1-(800) 237-3826 to get more information on the issue, find out why your check was rejected, and verify the accuracy of your file.

Additionally, you can use Certegy’s free declined check lookup service by providing the reference number (or the transaction date) on the receipt you get from the sales register and the check number.

Note that the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers the right to view all their reports for free every 12 months.

Therefore, you can always contact Certegy and view your report and files to investigate check rejections and correct your details with Certegy.

To learn more, you can see our related posts on the Target shoplifting policy, and if Target monitors its cameras, and the Target lost and found policy.


Target uses Certegy as a third-party risk assessment service for all personal check payments at checkout.

This electronic assessment service provides an immediate recommendation to Target to either accept or decline your check, making the payment process quick and safe.

If your check is declined or you believe Certegy has made a mistake, you can contact them directly at 1-(800) 237-3826.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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