Lead Forensics

Image Survivable Features (ISFs)

What is an ISF or Image Survivable Feature?

In the secure document world, an “image survivable feature”, or ISF, is exactly what it says: Any mark, printed or otherwise, on a piece of paper that survives the process of being scanned or imaged, so that it remains legible, and visible, on the image in digital format.

Please choose one of the links below for more information on our range of Image Survivable Features (ISF’s).

Image Survivable Feature

Cheque Fraud Prevention & Image Survivable Features

The addition of Image Survivable Features (ISF’s) onto the face of a cheque can greatly help with cheque fraud prevention and ISF’s are becoming more readily available. Such features enable the cheque data to be captured and encrypted within a unique coded number (UCN) or barcode that can be applied to the original paper cheque, thereby ensuring the validation of the item when the image is scanned within the Image Clearing System (ICS) introduced in the UK in October 2017. Counterfeit items and fraudulently altered items can then be readily identified.

According to the Annual Fraud Report produced by UK Finance, which provides a definitive overview of the payment industry fraud annually, a total of £33 million of cheque fraud was prevented in 2021, a fall of 86 per cent on 2020 and further evidencing the overall reduction in cheque fraud seen in recent years as a result of the advanced security features (ISFs) on personal and business cheques.


TALL prides itself in being at the forefront of security printing and payments solutions, acting as a trusted partner to major banks and financial institutions working together with organisations for nearly 30 years.

In addition, TALL has worked in close collaboration with DIA Europe, whose KAPPA Fraud Prevention platform validates cheques passing through the central image clearing system. This close partnership has resulted in the development of automated cheque fraud prevention tools designed to minimise fraudulent activity, in particular, the counterfeiting of cheques.

Image Survivable Features (ISF’s)

The TALL Group offers participating banks and their customers a range of Image Survivable Features dependent on the type, volume and value of cheques being produced.

  • UCN (Unique Coded Number) – A Unique Coded Number, or UCN, is an Image Survivable Feature (ISF) consisting of an encrypted code number printed on the face of the cheque.
  • UCN Plus®UCN Plus® is an ISF consisting of an encrypted QR (Quick Response) code printed on the face of the cheque.
    • UCN Plus® Solution – TALL has created a simple and comprehensive package, comprising software, hardware, installation services and a supply of cheque stock complete with selected ISF to assist customers of ‘Participating Banks’ who want to infill their own Special Cheques in-house

TALL accreditations