Lead Forensics

Launch Of New Scanned Cheque Image Quality Tool

The TALL Group of Companies, the UK leader in the provision of secure paper and electronic payment solutions, has developed an API that allows financial institutions to carry out image quality tests on captured cheque images before they are injected to the central clearing infrastructure. Allied Irish Bank (AIB) has become the first bank to utilise the cheque image quality tool, which has now been made available to support the wider banking industry following the introduction of the new Image Clearing System (ICS) in October 2017.

The Image Quality Assessment (IQA) application is available as a component of the CheckMate® fraud prevention software suite, originated and developed by The TALL Group and now successfully deployed by its UK franchise AIB Group (UK) plc.

AIB’s requirement to validate and verify the scanned cheque image quality they are capturing before they are submitted to the Switch is a key feature of their commitment to support the Image Clearing System. This helps the bank to meet the standard set out by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company that states “service participants must apply suitable controls within their processes to ensure the quality of the images are sufficient to allow them to undertake their bankers’ duties”. The standard also determines that if the collecting bank chooses not to undertake IQA at capture, “they do so at their own risk that submitted images may be flagged as non-compliant”.

Under the standard, images are likely to fail the assessment if they contain one of the following faults: undersized or oversized, folded or torn document edges or corners, excess document skew, images that are too light or dark, horizontal streaks present, unacceptable compression size, excessive spot noise.

In his recent white paper, ‘Cheque Fraud Detection in the New Clearing Model’, Gordon Madgwick, ex Operations Director, Cheque & Credit Clearing Company, noted: “The paying bank has to be able to read the images, not only to undertake technical checks i.e. words and figures match, within date and correctly signed but also for their fraud detection image analysis to work. Should the paying bank be unable to read the image then the cheque will not be paid with the need for the beneficiary bank to liaise with the collecting bank (usually the same bank) to recapture the image from the original paper and to represent both the front and rear images together with new data. As the cheque has not been paid due to the poor image capture then there is an unwanted and unwelcome delay for the beneficiary to be credited with the funds. Accordingly, the standard of image collection is important and a pre-submission check should be deployed at the point of capture to reduce exceptions within the ICS and to avoid elongated payment decisions. Rework is time consuming and expensive and can easily be avoided.”

CheckMate® Tool

By using The TALL Group’s application, AIB are able to validate the quality of images within the CheckMate® tool in order to pre-empt any possible elongated payment decisions or reputational damage to ICS deriving from poor quality images. Michael Coffey, Application Owner for Branch IT Systems at AIB, said that AIB was able to integrate the TALL Group API with its own internally developed Teller Application.

“The ability to integrate with our internal systems greatly reduced the development life cycle and enabled us to meet the very demanding ICS deployment schedule. Our decision to use the API and validate the cheque images at the front end of the transaction is also a big advantage for our customers. Having made the decision to rollout the TALL Group Document Reader to all our branches in 2015 it was a natural progression to use the image capability. Working in collaboration with the TALL Group we both benefited from each other’s expertise”.

TALL Group Managing Director Cheque Image Quality

Martin Ruda, TALL Group, Managing Director

Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director of The TALL Group of Companies, said: “The API has been developed and designed to enable the industry to optimise its image capture functionality at source and avoid delays and difficulties with poor scanned cheque image quality being injected into the system. By using CheckMate®, AIB can ensure the quality of the image is qualified at an earlier stage of its journey, whilst identifying those images that fall short of the standard.

“Images that do not meet the standard can affect the integrity and reputation of ICS and the shorter clearing window. Therefore, we will continue to develop our industry-leading portfolio of services and solutions in order to help the financial sector reap the full benefits of the new cheque clearing model.”

The Commonwealth – Business Opportunities and Benefits

Cheshire Commonwealth Association

Cheshire-based businesses are being encouraged to attend a free event that will explore the growing opportunities and advantages of trading with the Commonwealth. Cheshire Commonwealth Association is hosting its inaugural conference at Chester Racecourse on Wednesday 19th June.

Delegates attending “The Commonwealth – Business Opportunities and Benefits” will hear from various speakers who have already enjoyed significant success exporting to those countries, including ICC Solutions, The TALL Group of Companies and Informed Solutions. Additionally, Export Champions will be on-hand during the breaks to discuss their experiences in markets such as Australasia, Africa, India and South East Asia.

Attendees will be welcomed to the event by David Briggs, Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire and Patron of the Cheshire Commonwealth Association, and enjoy keynote presentations from Asif Ahmad, British High Commissioner to Jamaica and the Bahamas, and Economic Adviser, Arbuthnot Banking Group, Ruth Lea.

In addition, visitors will be able to network with exhibitors from HSBC, West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce, Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Hub, Skills and Growth Company, and many more.

Looking ahead to the event, David Briggs, Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire and Patron of the Cheshire Commonwealth Association, said: “This conference provides organisations in Cheshire with a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from businesses actually trading with Commonwealth; how to do it and why it’s great for their business. We look forward to welcoming businesses of all sizes to Chester Racecourse.”

Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2018

The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, seen recently presenting the Queens Award to Martin Ruda and Cas Amato of TALL


To secure your free space to this event, register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-commonwealth-business-opportunities-and-benefits-registration-61027451751

25 Not Out For “Loyal And Fantastic” Ann-Marie

Hard working Ann-Marie

Bill Lamb (left) and Ed Starkey (right) presents Ann-Marie with her Long Service Certificate

A loyal and devoted employee from St Helens has earned praise from the directors of TALL Security Print after celebrating a special anniversary. Hard working Ann-Marie O’Neil has racked up 25 years of experience at the Runcorn-based company.

Ann-Marie, who works as a Finishing Manager, joined TALL Security Print in May 1994 at a time when John Major was Prime Minister and Wet, Wet, Wet was at number one with Love is All Around. She was initally appointed to the position of Finishing Operative, before fulfilling other roles including Production Assistant.

Away from the office, located in Manor Park, Ann-Marie enjoys watching all types of sport, including Rugby League – St Helens of course. In her earlier years she played hockey for Lancashire and the North of England. To celebrate the milestone, Ann-Marie received a certificate and a £250 gift voucher,

Ed Starkey, Operations Director at TALL Security Print, said: “We are very lucky to have such a loyal and fantastic employee like Ann-Marie. She joins six other employees in the “quarter of a century club”, with a further three members of staff due to reach the landmark later this year. Ann-Marie has proven to be a fundamental part of our company’s ongoing success, and we hope she stays with us for a long time to come.”

5th Annual Cheque Imaging & Remote Deposit Capture Conference

Check Again

Cheque imaging conference

The 5th Annual TALL Cheque Imaging Conference, Stationers’ Hall, London

The 5th Annual Cheque Imaging and Remote Deposit Capture Conference

Thursday 3rd October 2019

After more than three and a half years of very hard and challenging work which involved hundreds of thousands of man hours, the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company announced that the Cheque Image Clearing System had finally gone live on 30th October 2017. However, the system went live with very low volumes at first but gradually the banks and building societies are connecting in their different deposit channels and as time goes on, more and more customers will benefit from the faster clearing timescales.

As the new Image Clearing System gathers momentum, come and hear industry experts talk about their experiences of truncation and the implications of efficient scanning. The new clearing system relies on the transmission of a suitable quality image of the cheque. Join us to hear our panel of industry experts from Digital Check, the Cheque & Credit Clearing Co. (now a wholly owned subsidiary of Pay.UK), DIA Kappa and the TALL Group of Companies discuss the latest developments in cheque imaging, fraud prevention, Image Quality Assurance (IQA) and remote deposit capture.

Presentation topics

  • International cheque truncation and RDC
  • A bank’s view on implementation of cheque imaging
  • An industry update on the image clearing initiative in the UK
  • Cheque imaging – the software solution perspective
  • Cheque fraud detection and prevention as we approach the ICS
  • The importance of cheque scanner maintenance for image quality


  • Digital Check Corporation
  • Cheque & Credit Clearing Company (Pay.UK)
  • The TALL Group of Companies
  • A Financial Institution (TBA)
  • DIA Kappa

Following the presentations there will be a Q&A session to allow all participants an opportunity to submit questions to the speakers.

When: 3rd October 2019 @ 9.30am – 4.00pm

Where: The Worshipful Company of Stationers & Newspaper Makers
Stationers’ Hall
Ave Maria Lane

Sign up to the 5th Annual Cheque Imaging Conference now.
Please email seminars@tallgroup.co.uk or call 01455 623701 to register a place. Alternatively visit, Eventbrite, to order a Free ticket

Printing Firm Celebrates As Entire Team Passes Leading Data Security Test


GDPR success in a Lisburn-based printing firm has been highlighted by its commitment to data security after making a significant investment in a company-wide training programme. Every employee at DLRT – from the Managing Director to the Cleaner – has been awarded a ‘Staff Awareness’ certification after successfully passing an assessment on GDPR regulations.

Colleagues took time out of their busy schedules to undergo the training course before taking part in an online assessment, organised by IT Governance. Each team member passed this test with flying colours, achieving marks above the 75% pass rate. Even Violet Burns, DLRT’s longstanding cleaner for more than 15 years, took the test and achieved an excellent score.

Violet GDPR SuccessViolet said, “I am delighted, I was nervous at first but the sense of achievement is great, I have told all my Grandchildren how well Nanna has done!! It also helps me understand how important personal information is and why we are so good at managing it”

Peter Thomas, Managing Director at DLRT, said: “We manage data on behalf of our customers and this is underpinned by the existing ISO27001 Information Security Management Standard, as well as Cyber Essentials Plus. However, these to an extent are structural, and we wanted to ensure our staff are fully aware and enabled when it comes to understanding our obligations to our customers, their data and how it is stored. I’m very proud of my team and the level of engagement they each showed to pass this difficult assessment with top marks.”

Director of the Year Award Finalists Announced for the IOD in Northern Ireland

The Director of the Year Award for the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland has been announced. Lisburn-based DLRT are proud to have Peter Thomas, Managing Director listed as one of those in contention to win an award.

Each year, the Institute of Directors highlights the most effective leadership in business across the UK with its regional Director of the Year awards. This year will see stiff competition for the top spot, particularly in the IOD Northern Ireland Director of the Year Award, with the awards set to take place at a gala ceremony in The Merchant Hotel in Belfast in May.

Peter has led DLRT since before its acquisition by the TALL Group in 2015. With an established customer base, albeit in a declining market, Peter has managed to drive the business forward using all of his management skills to retain customers and continually provide them with exceptional customer service. This is clearly demonstrated in the annual success with major customers such as Santander and Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank Group where DLRT has been awarded top supplier status.

CYBG Spotlight Awards
Peter Thomas (Middle) receiving the CYBG Spotlight Award for outstanding Customer Service to CYBG

DLRT Ltd was formally known as DLRS Ltd and was established in Northern Ireland, in 1985 by a joint venture between De La Rue, the world renowned security printer, and the Jefferson Smurfit Group.

In May 2016, DLRS (NI) Ltd became DLRT Ltd reflecting the company’s continued integration into, and strengthening business relationships within, the TALL Group of Companies.

Providing a total end to end solution to its clients, DLRT Ltd – a CPAS accredited printer – is an active member of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company (formally APACS), offering consultancy services on counterfeit and fraud, with design, secure print and personalisation of the standard ranges of cheque and credit book products supplied. In addition, DLRT Ltd produces secure documents for government applications.

TALL Group Wins Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year Award

High Sheriff of Cheshire Business Awards

The TALL Group of Companies, the UK leader in the provision of secure paper and electronic payment solutions, has been named Winner of the Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year 2018/19 Awards.  The organisation was also named as one of the finalists in the High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise category.

The awards, now in their 13th year, recognise successful businesses across Halton, Warrington and Cheshire, highlighting outstanding achievement by local companies with a turnover of at least £500,000 and between 5 and 250 employees.

The TALL Group of Companies beat off stiff competition to secure the award, which was presented at the Annual Awards evening on 28th March 2019 at the Chester Racecourse, Chester.

Martin Ruda, Managing Director of the TALL Group, said: “We are extremely proud to win the award for export which is testament to our work overseas.  We successfully export a wide range of highly secure documents, ranging from cheques to vouchers and from certificates to electoral ballot papers all around the world  from Australia to Ascension Island, Swaziland to Sudan and Ireland to Iraq.”

TALL Group Export Award

TALL Group Directors, Peter Andrew and Bill Lamb, with TALL Security Print Director, Brian Evison receive the Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year Award

TALL Group Directors, Bill Lamb and Peter Andrew, with TALL Group Marketing Manager, Lynton Buxton receiving their second certificate of the evening

High Sheriff of Cheshire Business Awards Finalists

High Sheriff of Cheshire Business AwardsFINALISTS! The TALL Group of Companies have been shortlisted for the High Sheriff of Cheshire Enterprise Awards! The two award categories that TALL have been shortlisted for are the ‘High Sheriff Award for Enterprise’ and the ‘Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year’. Representatives of the TALL Group are looking forward to meeting all the other finalists at the ceremony at Chester Racecourse on March 28th. This is the third year in a row the TALL have received nominations for these prestigious awards.

The High Sheriff of Cheshire Business Awards were introduced in 2006 by the then High Sheriff of Cheshire David Briggs, MBE, KStJ, to recognise outstanding achievements by enterprises in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington, and have grown to become Cheshire’s prime business awards event.

They acknowledge and celebrate the endeavours and success of so many businesses and individuals across the county and their much valued contribution to the regional economy.

The role of the High Sheriff has a long distinguished history. The ‘Shire Reeve’ used to be responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order and the collection and return of taxes within the county but whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today.

The High Sheriff actively lends support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector and is also able to highlight and recognise many aspects of success in the county.

The ‘Shire Reeve’ used to be responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order and the collection and return of taxes within the county but whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today.

The High Sheriff actively lends support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector and is also able to highlight and recognise many aspects of success in the county as demonstrated by the High Sheriff of Cheshire Business Awards


Runcorn-based TALL Group achieve regional growth accolade

TALL Group Fastest 50 Award

The TALL Group of Companies has been named as one of the 50 fastest growing companies in Greater Manchester.

The company is listed in the Ward Hadaway Greater Manchester Fastest 50 for 2018, a run-down of the fastest growing businesses in the region put together by UK Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway.

The Ward Hadaway Greater Manchester Fastest 50 highlights and celebrates the achievements of fast-growing, profitable companies in the region by publishing an annual list of the 50 fastest growing privately-owned businesses across Greater Manchester.

The TALL Group of Companies has made it into the 2018 list after achieving three years of strong turnover growth whilst still remaining profitable.

The TALL Group of Companies will now go forward to the Ward Hadaway Greater Manchester Fastest 50 Awards 2018 on Friday 18th May.

The Ward Hadaway Greater Manchester Fastest 50 has been published every year since 2014 and is compiled and organised by law firm Ward Hadaway, which has offices in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

Paul Johnson Executive Partner at Ward Hadaway’s Manchester office, said: “We would like to congratulate The TALL Group of Companies and every company in the Ward Hadaway Greater Manchester Fastest 50 for 2018 for their successes in making this year’s list.

“The Fastest 50 shows what tremendous companies we have in the region and underlines what a great place Greater Manchester is to do business.”

Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director at the TALL Group of Companies added, “We are delighted to have been awarded this accolade coming on the back of our success in being positioned 6th in the Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 and proudly achieving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2018 on Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday in April.

We have come a long way as a Group in such as short time. From printing paper cheques, we have moved with the times and now offer a full range of additional products and services with electronic payments solutions, business process outsourcing and cheque scanning fulfilment services driving our growth. A tribute to our hardworking and dedicated staff.”

TALL Group Wins Prestigious Queen’s Award For Enterprise: International Trade

Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2018 logo

The TALL Group of Companies, the UK leader in the provision of secure paper and electronic payment solutions, is honoured to have secured the UK’s highest official accolade for business success. Her Majesty The Queen has approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation that the organisation should receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category this year.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses and are globally recognised. Now in their 53rd year, the awards have a long history of recognising exceptional UK businesses. The Queen’s Award to Industry, the scheme’s original title, was instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965, with the first Awards announced in 1966. It later became known as the Queen’s Awards for Export and Technology in 1975, before becoming the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 1999.

Each entry is judged by a specialist panel that makes a recommendation to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee. Her Majesty the Queen then decides the winners, who each receive an official grant of appointment and an invitation to a reception at Buckingham Palace.

This is the second time that The TALL Group has been accorded the Queen’s Award after Hinckley-based Checkprint Limited received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2005 for its cheque printing software applications.

Now operating internationally, The TALL Group successfully exports to over 20 countries, with products ranging from cheques to vouchers and from certificates to ballot papers for elections around the world. The growth of this international trade has established The TALL Group as a market leader for highly secure and top-quality print products and services. This has encouraged organisations around the world to rely on the organisation’s committed workforce in the UK to provide a wide range of secure documents.

Indeed, The TALL Group achieved record sales over the judged period for the award, boosted by an order for 25 million ballot papers for elections in Uganda.

2nd Queen’s Award win by TALL

Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director, said: “We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award for the second time. This new award recognises companies that have demonstrated significant commercial success through the development of international business for products or services supplied from the UK.

“The TALL Group’s core business is built on printing special cheques and credits and whilst the use of the cheque is changing we have thrived due to our ability to position ourselves in new markets, making use of new technology and developing our business internationally.

“As a Group, we have been able to utilise the collective experience of our teams, based in our three sites, to grow our export sales activity avoiding reliance on one product stream. By being innovative we have not just survived in this business but have also been incredibly successful.

“This new award is a testament to all the hard work and dedication of our staff across the Group and marks their commitment to growing the business both here in the UK and worldwide.”

For more information, go to www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise

Checkprint Finalists in the Leicester Mercury Business Awards

Hinckley-based Checkprint have reached the finals of the Leicester Mercury Business Awards for the second year.

Winners of the Customer Service Award in 2017, Checkprint were nominated in the Excellence in Science & Technology category of the awards that took place in Leicester on the 12th April 2018.
Up against strong competition from other local entrepreneurs, Checkprint came away with a Finalist trophy on this occasion.

All the finalists were praised by the organisers for their use of the latest technology in developing products and systems within their respective operations. Checkprint has seen major investment in new IT infrastructure to enable it achieve the Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation. In addition, ongoing in-house product development of cheque fraud prevention software tools has seeen the Hinckley business create new sales opportunities both within traditional and new market sectors.

Lee Howitt, Director of Finance, Checkprint Ltd said, “Whilst we did not win our category this year, the fact that we made it to the finals is testament to the hard work and dedication of our team in Hinckley. We can be rightly proud of our achievements over the last couple of years and look forward to the opportunity of entering the Awards again next year.”

See the event on the official highlights video, (click here), https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/business/gallery-pictures-2018-leicester-mercury-1453007

Leicester Mercury Business Awards

TALL Group Receives Re-certification to ISO27001

ISO27001 accreditation logo

ISO27001 Accreditation

The TALL Group of Companies, the UK leader in the provision of secure paper and electronic payment solutions, is celebrating after being re-accredited to the ISO 27001 standard. This distinguished re-certification applauds the effectiveness of the organisation’s information security management systems (ISMS).

This marks the 12th time the TALL Group has attained the standard after first securing the certification in 2006. ISO 27001 has been developed “to provide a model for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and improving an ISMS”. Following an independent assessment by ACS Registrars, the organisation was recognised for its excellent standards and the latest accreditation is valid for a further three years.

Cyber Essentials Plus Accreditation

The TALL Group of Companies consists of Runcorn-based TALL Security Print, Checkprint, located in Hinckley, and DLRT, which is based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Last year, the organisation received praise from Lord David Blunkett for its “unwavering commitment to fight cyber crime” after it secured the Cyber Essentials PLUS certification, just months after obtaining the standard Cyber Essentials badge. Lord Blunkett is Chairman of the government-led scheme that is designed to help organisations to safeguard themselves against the most common cyber attacks.

Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director, The TALL Group of Companies, said: “This was an extremely comprehensive audit covering all aspects of our Information Security Management System over a three-day period and with two auditors on site. This fantastic achievement is the result of a lot of hard work and ongoing investment and I would like to congratulate all employees involved in this process. We have a commitment to our customers to be as robust, resilient and secure as possible, and this re-certification, alongside our Cyber Essentials PLUS standard, illustrates this perfectly.”

TALL accreditations