We recently hosted a webinar on “The Five Most Important Ways to Protect Your Business Against Check Fraud.” Since then, we’ve gotten great feedback, so we wanted to make our tips available in bite-sized portions you can digest at your leisure. That’s why we’ve put together this five-part series—each post highlights a different tactic to fight fraud and protect your business.
How to Prevent Check Fraud (Part 4): Combine Anti-Fraud Technologies
Fighting fraud requires a combination of secure checks, MICR printing, Positive Pay, and software. No one solution is effective on its own.
Keith Zub: So what we’re talking about with step four–and we have five steps so we’re getting close here–is combining technologies to fight fraud. So first we’ll talk about hardware. When you talk about hardware, you want to make sure you have a MICR printer that has the fonts embedded on it. You don’t want to take this to a regular printer.
I mean, a MICR printer is manufactured to handle the MICR toner. And MICR toner has magnetic properties in it, so that when it goes through a bank scanner, it can read those. And it can tell exactly how much the check is and what account it came from.
So that’s your hardware. When you’re talking about software, you want to have software and you want to have Positive Pay. And Joni, Positive Pay is…
Joni van Gelder: Positive Pay is part of check software, if it’s available. And basically what happens is when you do a check run, it transmits an electronic file to the bank and it tells you the check number and I believe the “pay to the order name” (payee name), and the amount. And when the checks are presented for payment, that file is actually matched to make sure that those checks haven’t been altered.
Positive Pay is hands down one of the best ways to ensure that your checks have good security within them. Certainly, you want to load it up on the paper side, but that’s a technology that’s hard to beat because the bank has the file and there’s not much else you can say about that.
And again, speaking to your previous comment, if you have Positive Pay, and the bank isn’t checking the file, well now you have recourse because again, as a business owner, you have done your due diligence.
Keith: Mhmm. And that $25 check is just $25 and not $2,500 or $25,000. And you know, other software: there’s certainly password security that you can have so that no one can use the printer unless they have that security. Or scanned signatures for certain amounts. Say if it goes up to $1,000–anything after that has to have this scanned signature in there. Or a double signature.
Joni: Or no signature at all in some cases.
Keith: Yup, correct. And we talked briefly about secure check stock, but when you want to layer your features onto your checks, whatever you’re going to do, we obviously Joni, want more than four. I know that’s the minimum, but when you’re talking about four, it’s not a significant cost at all when in-print process to add three or four more.
And like you said, make it harder for the person that’s going to fraud it to say, “whoops, I’m not going to try and do that.” That’s an easy one. So again here, we’re talking about all these gears meshing together to make a program that works for you to protect you and your company from fraud.