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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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3–39. Use the Universal Payment Identification Code

Companies frequently avoid giving out their bank account information on the grounds that it can be used to debit their account without approval, or because they change bank accounts with sufficient frequency to require constant notifications to those customers making electronic payments. These issues can be avoided by using the universal payment identification code (UPIC).

The UPIC is a banking address used to receive electronic credit payments. It is a unique number that is assigned to a company’s bank account, and is essentially a mask for the real account number. It is combined with a universal routing/transit (URT) number, which routes all incoming payment information for the associated UPIC to the Clearing House Payments Company, which in turn translates this information into the company’s actual bank account information for payment purposes.

With the UPIC, only ACH credits can be initiated, with all debits blocked. Given this high level of security, a company can print its UPIC on invoices or display it on the Internet with no fear that the information will be used to extract money from its account. Of course, this feature is already available through debit blocking, but the next feature is truly unique.

The company keeps the same UPIC even if it changes bank accounts within the same bank, changes banking relationships entirely, or if its bank is involved in a merger. To do so, the company merely links its new bank account ...

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