We hate to add to your list of worries as a business owner, but check fraud, one of the oldest forms of payment fraud, is still alive and kicking. In fact, it is rampant. A staggering average of 1.2 million fraudulent checks enter the system every day and losses are growing 2.5% annually (American Bankers Association). 87% of financial professionals say their companies have been affected. That’s why there’s Positive Pay.
Often combined with reconcilement services, Positive Pay is a check fraud detection service that allows you to take control of your business's payment processing. You can monitor checks processed for payment and match them against your account. This affords you the opportunity to reject unauthorized payments before incurring loss.
You must simply transmit a file of issued checks (an issue file) to your financial institution whenever your business writes checks. When checks are presented for payment at the bank, they are compared to your issue file by account number, check serial number, and dollar amount.
Any discrepancies are flagged as exception items and sent to you for review. Exception items can include paid-no-issue (a paid check doesn't exist in the issue file), amount mismatch (the dollar amount of a paid check doesn't match the issue file), duplicate paid (a paid check is a duplicate of a previously paid item), and paid void (a paid check matches a voided check in the issue file.)
Typically, you receive an email alert prompting you to view an image of the item(s) and reply with a pay/no-pay decision.
The benefits of Positive Pay include more than just check fraud detection. Positive Pay also:
Check fraud is heinous; despite the decline of total check volume, fiscal loss from check fraud continues to climb. This crime poses one of the greatest challenges for businesses and financial institutions, its tendrils reaching countless organizations in nearly every industry. And it can have costly - and devastating - repercussions on its victims.
Positive Pay is one of the strongest defenses in your check fraud prevention arsenal. Meant to complement your internal security measures, it can significantly mitigate the effects of check fraud. Ultimately, what makes it so appealing is that it gives you back control - and peace of mind.