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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 - three-fourths of organizations currently using checks will continue to do so. More than sixty percent of financial professionals say their companies have been affected. (2023 AFP Payments and Fraud Control Survey) That’s why there’s Positive Pay.

An Introduction to 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 Positive Benefits of Positive Pay

The benefits of Positive Pay include more than just check fraud detection. Positive Pay also:

  • Automates check reconciliation
  • Easily reconciles your business's payroll
  • Simplifies your accounts payable process
  • Improves audit control 
  • Improves accuracy of deposit balancing
  • Reduces disbursement risk
  • Streamlines check storage and retrieval
  • Saves your business time and money!

Payee Positive Pay

How It Works

Similar to Check Positive Pay, Payee Positive Pay (Payee Match), adds security for your business’ treasury management, but with additional layers of protection to help further enhance risk mitigation and fraud. Our system uses a powerful optical engine to match the payee name in the issue file to the payee name on the check presented for payment to provide enhanced control.

Provide Provident Bank with an electronic file of check information including check number, dollar amount and payee name(s). Provident Bank will compare checks that are presented for payment against your check issue file. We'll notify you of any suspicious items that do not match what is listed in your issue file. This enables you to review and return fraudulent checks early in the payment process.

With Payee Positive Pay, you benefit from:

  • Increased security for your treasury management
  • Daily (business day) reports and easy-to-review exceptions
  • Multi-layered fraud prevention

Ready to enroll?  To learn more, and to enroll in Payee Positive Pay, please contact our Treasury Management Support Team at [email protected].

Positive Pay and You

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.