Visual Basic Project – Positive Pay translation program

Last year the company I work for decided to begin using the Positive Pay process offered by Key Total Treasury*.  The issue we had when we were looking to implement was that we had three separate bank accounts and no easy way to program an export within each system to match the format needed for the Positive Pay file used by Key Bank.  Fortunately though, we could get CSV (comma delimited) check reports rather easily out of each system.  Although I knew next to nothing about programming in any of the three systems that we use, I knew that I could cobble something together in Visual Basic that could translate, or convert, the CSV file formats to the semi-proprietary fixed width format required by Key Bank.  After a period of use, I requested permission to make a more generic version of our translator programs that others might make use of.  In my spare time I acquired enough knowledge about XML programming to put together the program below that uses an XML initialization file: (requires a Live ID I think)

The 2.0 version of the .Net runtime is required, and also although it’s not required I would recommend compiling your own version from the source due to the sensitive nature of the information that the program handles (otherwise the executable is under the ‘bin’ folder).  If you do not have Visual Studio, you can download the free Express version.  If you do not use Windows, Mono’s migration tool states that the program should run under the Mono framework, though I have no experience in that area.

When exporting a CSV from your system the fields will need to be in the following order (unless you change the ‘Read_Exported_File’ method in the program):

  • The first field is the check number
  • The second field is the check date
  • The third field is the check amount
  • The fourth field is the void code
  • The fifth field is the vendor name

With the program is an example of the XML configuration file (ppaysettings.xml) which has the following options:

  • AcctName – generally the bank’s name.  It is used for operator verification
  • AcctNum – the bank account number that will appear in the positive pay file
  • VoidCode – string code in the CSV that designates that a check has been voided (can be blank)
  • NonVoidCode – string code in the CSV that designates that a check has NOT been voided (can be blank)
  • OmitPayee – do not put the customer name in the Positive Pay file.  Required for checks printed with dot matrix printers (True or False only, not blank)

In the not too distant future I should have a more fully vetted version along with some exception conditions that would be related to how wire transfers are handled.

As a note, this version drops checks that are canceled in the same run.  This is typically due to a printer malfunction and since the check is never cut, it is never verified against the positive pay data anyway.

Notes 11/28/2008:

This is an early build and may not be bug free as I haven’t tested it fully.  The information in the Paysettings.xml file is not required, but the file itself is at this time.

*Key Bank/Key Total Treasury does not endorse anything to do with this program

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