Back to Basics: An Introductory Guide to EFS Checks

Back to Basics: An Introductory Guide to EFS Checks

December 16, 2021

For years, EFS check payments have been a staple within the transportation industry. Carriers often issue EFS checks to their employees, as this payment method allows the company to limit how and where drivers can spend money. These checks can be used at warehouses, 24/7 repair shops, and other facilities that serve commercial drivers.

If you are involved in the transportation sector or an associated industry, it is vital that you understand how to process EFS checks. With that in mind, we have created this crash course to EFS check payments.

Below, we show you how to use EFS checks, outline some benefits to this payment method, and also highlight an emerging alternative solution.


What are EFS Checks?

The term “EFS” is an acronym for Electronic Funds Source, LLC. This is the company that issues EFS checks. WEX, Inc. purchased EFS in 2016, establishing a major player in over-the-road (OTR) financial solutions. The organization also provides several other payment solutions to carriers and logistics companies, including fuel cards and money codes, but more on that a bit later.

Simply put, an EFS check is a physical payment article that looks and functions much like a personal check. An EFS check will have several blank fields, such as the recipient of the payment and the date of the transaction. It also has several identifying labels so that the recipient knows the check is authentic.

In addition, each EFS check has several unique tracking numbers, which are as follows:

    • Authorization number
    • Transaction number
    • Issuer number

All three numbers are required in order to process EFS checks.


What is a Money Code?

EFS has begun to phase out paper checks in favor of Money Codes. An EFS Money Code is a 10-digit number that drivers can use to obtain funds. These codes are accepted at most financial institutions and truck stops.

With that being said, truck stops limit how much money drivers can acquire using these codes. For instance, Pilot, Flying J, Love’s, and Road Ranger truck stops all have an EFS limit of $999.99. TA-Petro has a much lower threshold of just $300.

Unfortunately, EFS Money Codes may not give carriers as much control over how drivers spend funds. As a result, some companies are hesitant to transition away from paper EFS checks.


How to Use EFS Checks?

Before a driver can make a purchase using an EFS check, they must contact the issuing company. During the phone call, they must specify the exact transaction amount and explain what they need the funds for.

If the company approves of the purchase, they will provide the driver with a transaction number and an issuer number. However, the authorization number is also required for EFS check processing.

Once the driver obtains the first two tracking numbers, they will provide the EFS check to the vendor. The vendor is responsible for contacting EFS and obtaining the authorization number. After they acquire this final number, they can complete the transaction.


Benefits of EFS Checks

EFS checks have remained a popular payment method because they offer several distinct benefits to both drivers and carriers.

EFS checks allow drivers to safely and conveniently acquire funds to pay for essential services while out on the road. These checks are also used for purchasing goods or paying for work-related fees.

Logistics companies and carriers rely on EFS checks for expense management purposes. The specific details of every transaction are tracked and documented by EFS. Carriers can review this information to conduct audits of driver purchases. This allows them to safeguard against fraud or misappropriation of funds.

In short, EFS checks allow carriers to closely regulate how and where drivers spend funds that are provided to them.


Shortcomings of EFS Checks

While there are many perks to using EFS checks, there are also a few noteworthy drawbacks to this widely used payment method.

Perhaps the most significant issue is that the EFS check or Money Code verification process can be quite tedious. Drivers must call the issuing company and obtain the first two tracking codes. Then, the recipient of the EFS check has to contact Electronic Funds Source, LLC, in order to acquire the final code.

If all steps are completed correctly, verifying an EFS check will take a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes. Oftentimes, EFC processing takes even longer because the driver or merchant makes an error during check verification.

24/7 repair shops and after-hours receiving facilities frequently encounter extended EFS processing times. These delays can prevent the driver from getting back on the road, which will result in lost revenue for the carrier.


RoadSync: Streamlining the Payment Process

If you are looking for a better way to pay, RoadSync is the answer. Our innovative technology can simplify payment activities, reduce processing time, and maximize revenue collection.

But don’t just take our word for it. Schedule a free demo and see how our platform can drastically improve your payment processing capabilities. 

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