Lead Forensics

UCN Unique Coded Number

The UCN printed in two positions on the face of the cheque

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.

TALL has worked in close collaboration with technology partners such as 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 an automated cheque verification tool, based on a UCN (Unique Code Number), designed to minimise fraudulent activity, in particular the counterfeiting of cheques.

A UCN provides the bank and its cheque-issuing corporate customers with a robust and comprehensive cheque fraud prevention platform which fully survives the imaging process of the ICS. The UCN is currently being applied to some banks’ personal cheques and can also be applied to Corporate ‘Special’ Book and Computer Cheques in the same way.

The TALL Group UCN encrypts the individual Cheque Number, Sort Code and Account Number into a simple alphanumeric string, a unique coded number, using a secure encryption algorithm which is printed onto the cheque in two designated positions. The UCN is always printed in two locations to ensure capture even if a receipt stamp has been used or it is otherwise obscured.

Cheque Fraud

What are the benefits of adding a UCN?

According to UK Finance ‘Fraud the Facts 2019’, cheque fraud losses increased to £20.6 million in 2018. This is the first rise in cheque fraud reported in seven years. A total of £218.2 million of cheque fraud was prevented in 2018, up by three per cent on 2017. This is equivalent to £9.14 in every £10 of attempted cheque fraud being stopped before a loss occurs. This remains the highest proportion of attempted fraud prevented across all types of payment fraud.

TALL accreditations