Financial Industry Must Work Together To Fight Fraud
More than 60 delegates from the UK’s leading banks and other financial organisations have been told that the whole sector can work more closely together in order to stay one step ahead of fraudsters. That was one of the key messages shared at The 5th Annual Conference for Cheque Imaging & Remote Deposit Capture, which was held yesterday (Thursday 3rd October) in London.
Operating under The Chatham House Rule, the event was hosted by The TALL Group of Companies, the UK leader in the provision of secure paper and electronic payment solutions, in conjunction with Digital Check Corporation, a worldwide leader in the manufacture of cheque scanners.
The seminar, held at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London, was the latest instalment of the annual event that is designed to help financial institutions, the banking community, building societies and major cheque users, understand the realities of image capture – following the full roll-out of the new Image Clearing System (ICS), which was initially launched in October 2017.
A senior figure from the industry told attendees that the migration of ICS across the UK was now 100% complete, and that the new system’s “philosophy is much more than pure infrastructure”. It was also indicated that the sector has seen a reduction in the number of unpaid cheques since ICS was implemented, whilst tracking image quality continues to steadily improve with capturing banks (those tasked with capturing a digital image of a cheque) having made adjustments to their own capture solutions.
The audience also heard from experts from both the US and France who were able to shed light on the opportunities available to UK-based businesses now the modernised clearing model is now in place. They provided valuable insight into their own respective marketplaces, where cheque image clearing has been in place for a number of years. One speaker, who had travelled to the event from Boston, Massachusetts, explained that whilst the roll out was now complete, “this is certainly not the end”. He said: “The UK is now starting a marathon. The introduction of ICS is the starting point and there are a number of exciting opportunities down the road.”
The speakers also discussed the latest figures with regards to international cheque truncation and Remote Deposit Capture (RDC), as well as providing the audience with an update on how they can clean up their capture processes in order to limit costs resulting from errors, as well as helping to guarantee an exceptional customer experience.
On this topic, Gordon Madgwick, Independent Cheque Expert, from The TALL Group of Companies, explained that Image Quality Assessment (IQA) is in place to avoid the input of poor quality images into the clearing system, which can lead to delays for the end customer, an increase in ‘no pay’ items, and potential reputational damage to Image Clearing System itself and the collecting bank.
He added: “It is important that we, as an industry, get IQA right, in order to minimise disruption, avoid aggravation and to ensure end users remain happy customers.”
Finally, delegates heard from Martin Ruda, Managing Director of the TALL Group of Companies, on how the industry was continuing to invest in the development of cheque fraud prevention tools and Image Survivable Features (ISF). He said: “Fraudsters have specifically targeted the weak spots of ICS, which has led to an increase in losses to fraud since 2017. However, at the same time, the total losses prevented have grown massively too, which illustrates that the industry is doing a decent job. As we move forward, the increased adoption of new cheque fraud prevention techniques will further enhance the payment method. The industry must strive to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters by reinforcing existing anti-fraud features, by investing in the innovative ISF tools currently being developed, and by working more closely together.
“This is the fifth year we have hosted this conference and it is clear the industry’s appetite to attend, network and learn about the latest developments surrounding ICS and image capture from across the world is now stronger than ever. I would like to thank all of our speakers, as well as every delegate, for contributing to a fascinating and insightful event.”