The TALL Group of Companies, the UK’s leading provider of secure electronic and paper payments solutions, has partnered with DIA Europe, providers of the Kappa cheque fraud prevention platform used by many leading banks, to create a new tool that is designed to strengthen the cheque industry’s protection against payment fraud. UCN Plus ® – patents pending – will help to ensure that counterfeit, forged and fraudulently altered cheques are robustly and automatically trapped and rejected wherever possible.
UCN Plus ® enables the variable payment data – payee name, amount, date, etc – to be encrypted and hidden within a QR code printed on the face of all cheques issued by the TALL Group on behalf of its cheque bureau customers. Once the recipient has deposited the cheque, Kappa’s profiling and matching tool alerts the issuing bank to any mismatch, and customers can review the item before committing to pay, and still remain within the new two-day clearing cycle.
This reduced clearing cycle forms part of the Image Clearing System (ICS), which was officially introduced across the UK last October. As part of ICS, cheques are now digitised at the point of deposit, and are no longer be transported during the clearing process. The paper document has no legal value once imaged and that image transmitted into the infrastructure, so the integrity of the digital image becomes fundamental to its use as the ‘instrument’ to achieve the funds transfer.
This new system requires the use of Image Survivable Features (ISF), such as UCN Plus ®, to protect against fraud. Overall payments fraud fell by 5% in 2017 compared to the previous year, however the total figure still stood at £731.8m. This is despite £2 in every £3 unauthorised fraud being stopped that year.
Commenting on the launch of the UCN Plus®, Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director at the TALL Group of Companies, said: “As an organisation committed to the safety, security and integrity of the cheque payments system, the collaboration with Kappa has enabled us to deliver a further and critical layer of fraud prevention to the UK’s corporate cheque users. The benefits of the new Image Clearing System will underpin the continuing effectiveness of the cheque as a payment tool, and the TALL Group will strive to ensure the UK payments systems stay one step ahead of the fraudster.”