While the number of checks processed has declined by 8.3% over the past two decades, the average number of check frauds have increased monotonically. In a recent letter to ABA, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs wrote something similar – “In 2022, banks saw an 84% increase in check fraud, costing consumers an estimated $815 million”. Despite the obsolescence of traditional checks in today’s financial landscape, the specter of fraud looms, tenaciously refusing to fade away.
Financial Institutions (FIs) have continuously grappled with an increased risk of check fraud. With advancements in technology and the nascence of complex algorithms to detect and deter, FIs have been able to combat, but only partially. The reduction of one element (human intervention) whilst over-dependence on the other (technology) has led to more significant inconsistencies than ever. Because of this, they find themselves increasingly susceptible to multi-faceted fraud risk. This situation underscores an immediate need to strike a balance between technology and human foresight.
As per the latest Payments Fraud and Control Survey report, 63% of respondents’ organizations have been prime targets of check fraud. Data from the Federal Reserve revealed that it continues to process gazillions of checks every year. $3.38 Billion in checks were collected last year, with a total value of $8.95 Trillion, making it an easy business for fraudsters. They are not fiddling with brick-and-mortar ways but embracing more sophisticated ways of exploiting customers.
The Anatomy of a Check Fraud
Your customer “Joe” writes a check for $1000 for “John”; the amount gets deducted from his account, but the payee is not the same! Well, this is what check fraud is. It involves the unauthorized use of a check to obtain funds or goods. Perpetrators may forge signatures or manipulate bank account details without you even noticing. A fraudster could steal a legitimate check, change the payees’ name, and deposit it in their account. Alternatively, they could use advanced printing technology to create counterfeit checks. They may even alter the check and increase it from $1000 to $10,000. These fraudulent acts undermine the integrity of financial transactions and raise concerns for financial institutions and customers alike.
While checks continue to be lucrative bait for fraudsters, most financial institutions are likely to fall behind in addressing this challenge. Financial institutions need a multipronged strategy to verify and rectify such malfeasance and restore their customers’ trust.
What’s Your Master Plan?
Legacy systems can disappoint you in the long run in your fight against check fraud. The present need is early detection and action, along with robust integration of cutting-edge technologies and manual intervention. To combat fraud, organizations are prioritizing real-time fraud detection through expert services, Image forensic technologies built on AI, deep learning, and data analytics. Here is why your organization needs to implement the same –
- Enhanced Detection Accuracy: Image forensic technologies use advanced algorithms to detect subtle anomalies and irregularities in check images; manual review further accentuates the decision, improving fraud detection accuracy.
- Efficiency: Automated image forensic tools can quickly process large volumes of check images, flagging potentially fraudulent items for further review. This efficiency allows institutions to allocate their human resources more effectively.
- 360° Forensic Review: Financial institutions get a comprehensive suite of check fraud prevention with experts who draw upon extensive experience, technologies, resources, and AI-driven fraud prevention tools.
- Pattern Recognition: Image forensic tools can identify patterns and trends across a wide range of check images, helping experts spot recurring fraud techniques and evolving tactics fraudsters use.
- Consistency: Manual surveillance can be prone to human error and fatigue, leading to potential oversights. Financial institutions achieve consistent and objective analysis when abreast with Image forensic technologies.
By combining Image forensic technologies with manual expert surveillance, financial institutions create a powerful system that maximizes fraud detection capabilities while minimizing the risk of false positives or negatives.
About Quinte Financial Technologies
Quinte Financial Technologies (Quinte) stands out as a premier provider of services and solutions aimed at optimizing the fraud prevention capabilities of financial institutions. At the core of Quinte’s approach is a harmonious blend of seasoned experts and cutting-edge technologies working in synergy to proactively combat fraud. Quinte extends its expertise through secure, cloud-based software tailored for crime detection and mitigation fortified by round-the-clock expert support. This sophisticated software and comprehensive expert strategy delivers 95% check fraud prevention. The overarching mission of Quinte is to establish itself as an entity dedicated to furnishing tangible operational and strategic advantages to financial institutions.