Lead Forensics

Financial Industry Must Work Together To Fight Fraud

Cheque Imaging & Fraud Prevention

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.”

Digital Check, TALL Group to Host 5th Annual Cheque Imaging Conference



Cheque imaging conference
The 5th Annual TALL Cheque Imaging Conference

Digital Check Corp. and the TALL Group of Companies, together will host their fifth annual conference on the state of cheque imaging and truncation.  The one-day event will be held in Stationer’s Hall, City of London on 3rd October and will cover a variety of subjects, including document digitisation, fraud prevention, image quality, and the general state of the UK cheque clearing system since the truncation initiative was introduced in 2012. The event is open to financial institutions and large business processors of cheques throughout the country.

This year’s agenda features a special focus on truncation in remote deposit capture (RDC), mobile remote deposit capture (mRDC), and corporate capture, in addition to its slate of operations-related sessions.

“Cheque truncation in the UK has evolved to include many new use cases and opportunities for greater efficiency,” said Alex Trombetta, Digital Check’s vice president for international sales and the event’s co-host. “Digital Check and the TALL Group of Companies have been present from the outset, helping to educate the industry and give banks a running start with image capture technology.”

Originally introduced in a 2012 mandate by the government, cheque truncation went live in late 2017. Since then, it has virtually eliminated all exchange of paper cheques between banks, and has lowered cheque clearing times substantially. More than 200 million cheques are expected to pass through the new electronic clearing system per year.

Martin Ruda, Managing Director, The TALL Group of Companies, said, “ Since our first event in 2015, the cheque clearing system in the UK has transitioned from a mere idea into a fully realised payments system producing tangible benefits and cost savings per day. 

As its capabilities continue to evolve, the TALL Group and Digital Check are ready to help guide our current and prospective clients and partners to take full advantage of them”, he added.

Please email seminars@tallgroup.co.uk or call 01455 623701 to register a place. Alternatively, visit our Eventbrite registration page at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/5th-annual-cheque-imaging-conference-tickets-60804166900

The TALL Group Strengthens Relationship with Handelsbanken

The TALL Group of Companies, the UK leader in the provision of secure paper and electronic payment solutions, has further extended its long-standing partnership with Handelsbanken after securing an initial three-year contract with the leading financial organisation for the provision of cheque books.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Group’s Lisburn-based subsidiary DLRT Ltd will print and personalise cheque and credit books for the bank’s customers, which incorporate a range of sophisticated security features designed to help prevent fraudulent activity, including a Unique Coded Number (UCN).

The UCN is applied to the cheque as part of the personalisation printing process. It works in combination with the MICR (magnetic code line) and is created as an arrangement of digits, characters and symbols that can be decrypted by certified personnel using a ‘secret key’. UCN is just one of a range of Image Survivable Features (ISF’s) designed and developed by The TALL Group as part of its cheque printing solutions, in order to provide effective fraud prevention following the first phase rollout of the new Image Clearing System (ICS) in October 2017.

The most recent contract builds on an existing relationship between Handelsbanken and The TALL Group’s Hinckley-based company Checkprint. The bank continues to deploy the Checkprint Banking Assistant solution to benefit from increased control and visibility over how it manages a significant number of incoming cheques. Moving forwards, Banking Assistant will now incorporate innovative cheque validation software to capture the UCN from incoming cheques before authenticating the items.

Handelsbanken Banking Assisstant

The new printing contract was secured following a rigorous review and testing process, with The TALL Group also putting in place a complete cross-site contingency plan for the fulfilment of all forecasted orders.

Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director of The TALL Group of Companies, said: “We are proud to strengthen our relationship with Handelsbanken who will now deploy a range of services and solutions from our dynamic and innovative portfolio. It is positive to see the bank commit to incremental fraud prevention features to further protect itself and its customers in light of the introduction of ICS.”

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 accreditations