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Title: What Does the Future Hold for Check Payments?

Summary: Despite the decline in the use of checks, most companies still use it to pay bills. Know how secure check USA can help expedite the process.

Body:

Over the last few years, check payments has been losing ground in the United States. Still, it is not going to become obsolete for several years down the line.

While the decline in the check payment is neither surprising nor breaking news to most people, majority of them are still curious enough to know more about it. In this connection, a pertinent question is what can one expect from the paper check in future?

Checks are in use till date in the following ways:

  • Between two consumers
  • Between a consumer and a business
  • Between a business and a consumer
  • Between two businesses

Though there has been a decline in the use of checks as the mode of payment between a consumer and a company, it is still popular between businesses. Most companies still prefer to pay their bills by a paper check.

With the approval of Check 21 legislation, emerged a new technology – electronic processing of the check payments. Due to this technological transition, checks have come up in direct competition with other options for electronic payment.

Check payment is here to stay

If necessity and processing innovations are anything to go by, the practice of making payments by check is not going away anytime soon and notwithstanding the way a check processing takes place on the back end. In order to conform to the criteria laid down by the regulators and industry standards, it is of paramount importance to ensure that a check printing solution of a good quality is used for printing checks.

For the sake of avoiding the check fraud, fees and risks associated with displaying of your account number, businesses should lay emphasis in implementing a secure check solution pertaining to check printing – a solution that masks the bank account number.

A secure check printing solution offers the following benefits:

  • It helps reduce the paper costs by an incredible margin of 80% - the use of blank check stock version in place of the pre-printed version makes it possible
  • A check printing solution based on QR technology not only helps make custom check payments but also reduces the time to produce secure documents by 75% lesser time than the one which uses conventional technology
  • Eliminates the possibility of human error, thereby preventing the chances of a check fraud or hefty penalty due to check rejection
  • The feature of automated check issuance, based on secure check printing solution, helps minimize audit fees

If a secure check is your preferred choice for paying your business bills or if you are desirous of exploring the possibilities of using secure check USA for your company, contact QCheque Inc. now!


 

Title - PERSONAL CHECKS - STILL PREFERRED BUT ARE THEY STILL SAFE?

Tagline - How to ensure that your payment process is secure

DESCRIPTION - Although old and considered outdated by some, check payments have still maintained a preferred position among large businesses and individual consumers. But with the rise in fraudulent activities, this particular method of transaction remains at risk of financial frauds. Read on to find out how you can ensure that your payment is safe and secure.


 

Contrary to popular belief, the traditional method of check payments continues to be popular among many. One of the oldest methods of financial transaction, checks have gone through numerous updates, but with speedy digitization of processes and the availability of more secure methods, in today’s day and age, traditional paper check payments stand at a higher risk of frauds especially in the USA where even cyber crimes and online identity thefts are on the rise.
 

The perils of check payment

  • Paper checks allow fraudsters an easier access to your money
  • Modernized methods like authorized signatures are relatively weaker
  • Technological advancements can be used to counterfeit or edit paper checks
  • Fraudsters have discovered finer methods to commit the scam which can possibly put the issuer and depositor on spot for depositing a bad check
  • The biggest issue lies within the check which includes the account holder’s number and the routing number which puts the account’s security at risk

 

The many ways banking information can be misused

  • The routing number and bank account number can be used to process unauthorized payments via internet based services which require no more than basic account information
  • Demand drafts don’t necessarily require a signature and only need the bank’s authorization. By using the information obtained from a paper check, scammers can easily forge a demand draft.
  • Paper checks can be replicated using the account holder’s information
  • A new check can be created with activities such as signature forgery which can again lead to financial frauds.

 

What’s a safer alternative?

  • Cashier checks and money orders, although similar modes of payment are more secure ways as unlike checks, they don’t reveal as much banking information.
  • Choose the option of credit cards over check payments as it’s known to be safer options and can be cancelled and reissued in case of theft or suspicious activity.
  • Opt for a more secure check payment method with QCheque, an innovative technology that masks your account number with a QR code thereby making the transaction process a safe one.

 

Despite all the aforementioned concerns that pose a threat to check payments, even in today’s digital world, checks prove to be a feasible form of transaction. Not only is it practical to issue paper checks for larger payments, it also provides consumers with options like post-dated checks which allow some flexibility in payments and easier cancellation of checks which is not possible in case of cards.

It is hence recommended, that even if you opt to go for check payments, considering its many benefits, pay heed to the said risks and ensure your account’s safety against financial frauds.

 

AI helps US in the fight against check frauds

DESCRIPTION - Financial frauds continue to be a concern of global magnitude, but US seems to be facing the highest amount of risk and therefore, institutions are stepping towards technological advancements to curb the issue.


As the world goes on towards becoming incredibly interconnected, there are also drawbacks that inadvertently become a part of the bigger picture, one of them being, rise in the risk of frauds. With growing connectivity and flourishing businesses across the world, financial transactions are on the rise which are only increasing the risk of financial frauds. Although the same is a rising concern for nations across the world, the issue is hitting US the hardest. It has been cited in the recent past that a massive section of consumers have been victims of fraud.

In 2017 alone, there was a loss of more than $770 million owing to check frauds and US witnessed the third-highest fraud rate worldwide. In order to avoid situations like these in the future, banks are making risk management their top priority and that is where technology comes into play. Along with security, competitiveness is also becoming a factor as more and more Deposit Money Banks are adopting safer methods and moving towards Artificial Intelligence.

Taking long-term consequences and consumer retention into consideration, apart from financial institutions, even regulatory bodies are adopting technological processes to ensure security. The application of AI not only assists in an easier analysis of suspicious transactions thereby avoiding any false positives which may occur when analysed manually, it also streamlines processes, allowing supervisors to narrow down their focus at high-risk financial exchanges.

Another common concern that’s affected a large consumer base in the USA is check privacy and security. Although traditional check processing is a thing of the past, electronic fund transfer has enabled the clearance of checks within a day’s time which has resulted in some section of consumers still relying on the old-fashioned method.

Enter QCheque, an innovative solution to check frauds. QCheque pairs traditional paper checks with technology to ensure safety and security of the account holder and simplifying the processes for banks. On one hand, paper checks showcase the account number which can be easily used for fraudulent activities, on the other hand, QCheque masks the number with an encrypted QR code which results in secure transactions. Where banks are opting for QCheque to increase retention and revenue by enhancing security measures, consumers are also willing to upgrade to the same as it does not reveal the account number and gives them a sense of safety. This stands as another marvellous example of how technology is proving to be of great help as far as curbing the issue of financial frauds is concerned. As more and more institutions are taking up strong measures and updating their processes to level up with technological advances, consumers must also increase their awareness about such methods in order to strengthen financial security.


THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE YOU MAKE ONLINE BILL PAYMENT OR WRITE A CHECK

DESCRIPTION - Check writing has been the most preferred payment method for years now. However, being a relatively traditional process, check transactions have more possibilities of errors and therefore it is essential to be more aware about the ways of processing and what to do in case of errors. Read on to know more.

As the trend of digitization takes over our lives, in this day and age, exchanging paper checks does seem like a thing from an era gone by. It’s interesting to note, that paper checks have indeed made their way into the contemporary times and seems like they are here to stay.

With the speeding up of processes and the initiation of Electronic Funds Transfer, check processing, contrary to popular belief, continues to be the preferred payment method among many.

However, the increase in cases of financial frauds across the globe and especially in the states poses a severe threat to check security and privacy in the USA.

It is therefore necessary to be aware of the fundamentals of check processing in order to avoid the occurrence of errors and keep a check on any suspicious activities.

THE 3 WAYS YOU CAN WRITE A CHECK:

  1. Traditional method - When you write a traditional paper check, it usually takes 2-3 days for the amount to reflect in the bank account. The receiving bank sends the check to the clearing unit which further sends it to the check writer’s bank. This is a lengthy process and is rarely used these days.
  2. Check 21 - This is an electronic method of transaction and the check processed is cleared within a day. The receiving bank captures an electronic image of the paper check and creates a substitute check and then transmits the data to the clearing unit. Check 21 also allows account holders to directly deposit the amount by transmitting the details of the check data instead of depositing a paper check.
  3. Although the awareness and certain precautions are always needed, check payment still leaves a scope for fraudulent activities, the reason being the account number and routing number details clearly visible on the front side which can be misused by scammers. Therefore, if you prefer to write a check, opt for a QCheque which masks your account number with a QR code making the entire process a more secure one.

HANDLING PROCESSING ERRORS:

  • In case of traditional method, each state has specific procedures which allows you to file a claim regarding any errors that might have occurred. Consult with your bank to know about which particular procedure is to be followed in case the need arises.
  • Check 21 gives you the provision of an ‘expedited recredit’ which is a special refund that you can avail in case of an unauthorized transaction. On suspecting an error, contact your bank within 40 days from the date of substitution of the check. The bank will investigate the matter, and on validation of the same, the amount will be credited into your account immediately.
  • For ACH transfers, ATM withdrawals and even online transactions done using debit cards, if a possible error shows in your bank statement, contact your bank within a month’s time for the bank to begin the investigation. The process can take as long as 45 days and once the error has been detected by the bank, the amount is duly credited into the account.

Is Check Payment System Reliable?

 

 

 

 

In today's society, fraudulent activities are so prevalent as if people have forgotten moralities like kindness, fair play and honesty. Greed and selfishness has clouded people's conscience and so they have become blind enough to understand the heinous repercussions of their vile acts.

Fraud and dishonesty has plagued the check payment system specially in the US causing a decline in the check usage but not in the frauds.


 

Check Fraud

In 1659, Nicholas Vanacker (an English trader) signed the first check in the UK. Ever since, the check has been considered a reliable payment method for both consumers and businesses worldwide.

But unfortunately, there has been an ongoing decline in the numbers of consumers and businesses using checks as a payment method due to the recurrent fraudulent activities making check system n unsafe and unreliable method.

Check fraud involves making the unlawful use of checks so that illegal acquiring or borrowing of funds can be done that do not exist within the account balance or account-holder does not legally possess.



Types of Check Fraud

There are three most commonly known main types:

  • Counterfeit: writing of fake checks that are not authorized by the legal account holders
  • Forgery: when stolen checks are signed by someone else instead of the account holders
  • Fraudulently altered: when checks are issued by account holders, but then intercepted and altered to change the amount or beneficiary

 

 

Check Fraud in the US

According to the Payments Fraud Survey by the AFP’s (Association for Financial Professionals) in 2017, checks are the most common method for payments fraud in the U.S.

75 % of the companies that are hit by payments fraud fell a victim to check fraud in 2015. Fraudulently altered checks are the most common type of problem in business where the beneficiary’s name or an amount is altered on a check before paying it.

 

This is quite an alarming situation as in one of the most developed countries such activities are being observed. It is quite disappointing.

The advancements in technology is somehow allowing the vendors to reconcile accounts more quickly, pay faster, and eliminate frauds associated with check payments.

 

Checks still in use

It is quite surprising that although the use of checks is becoming less in the U.S., they are still largely being used for transactions. In 2015, almost 12 billion checks were written. Also, one-third of transactions were based on checks in the same year.

 

 

The Future of Paper Payments

Although the use of checks as a payment method has fallen dramatically over the last decade, some smaller businesses and consumers are still inclined towards its use.

In the early 2000’s, the payments industry had announced that the use of checkbook should be stopped by 2018 but many argued that paper-based forms of payment such as checks should not be stopped to use entirely until some better alternatives for older people were introduced as they find it difficult to cope with the latest technologies.

However, the irony is that the security issues with new technologies are also a concern for some. Many people fear a clearing out of their accounts if some sophisticated thieves gain access to their bank cards or mobile phones.


 

Decline in Check Usage NOT in Fraud

As there is a decline in the use of checks in the U.S, it is natural to expect that there must less risk of check fraud, but NO!

Instead the number of check fraud cases drastically increased by 19% between 2012 and 2014.

There are almost 1,500 cases of check fraud in the U.S. every day which is a huge figure.

 

 

How to avoid Check Fraud

Here are some tips:

 

  • Use checks less often. Instead go for electronic payments like direct deposit, wire payments, and pre-authorized payments.
  • Be mindful about who you are accepting checks from. Also, do not spend money from any check until the money has been cleared from the financial institution (credit union or bank) the check is being drawn upon.
  • Keep your checks in a safe location. Do not leave them in a vehicle or area where they can be easily stolen.
  • Reconcile your statements as soon as they are received. Report any discrepancies immediately.
  • If you suspect that your checks might have been stolen or lost, notify your bank immediately.



Tokenization Service

Technology has always tried to make life simpler and easier however the sad truth is that the cyber criminals and hackers misuse it which diminishes the advantages at times.

Millions of precious data records including payroll information of employees and personal and financial details of customers are being stolen from employers as well as service providers such as retailers and financial institutions.

Technology experts and leaders have been making tireless efforts to make data storage and transfers more secure.

Tokenization is an extensively used software as a security tool. Tokenization works in a way that it substitutes sensitive information or data with non-sensitive data. Tokenization is used to create dummy information which does not make any sense to unauthorized users and trespassers. This information reveals the exact original identity or message after reaching its destination.

Tokenization has achieved a much higher sophistication and popularity by creating unrecognizable data identity for sensitive information in the digital era,. This sensitive information can be an identity of a person, transaction details, an account number or a combination of all these etc.

 

 

Conclusion

Strict and effective measures are required to lessen fraud risks as much as possible. Those who commit fraud do not realize how much loss they cause to the sufferers. Hence, in order to deal with them people themselves should also become more aware and prudent when indulging in money related issues (depositing, transactions etc.) They should keep a check on their savings in the bank and make sure the bank does the same.