Positive Pay is, quite frankly, one of the best ways to prevent check fraud scams on a business checking account. Basically, a business owner writes checks and if there are any discrepancies between the checks written and the checks clearing the account, the business owner has the option to either pay or return the items. No check will clear the account without going through this process and thus limits the possibility of check fraud scams.
Most business owners understand and appreciate the security of Positive Pay, but feel the process can be too labor-intensive with entering or downloading the check information to their bank. With one of our customers, the objection wasn’t so much about entering the information but more with having to implement the Positive Pay product on all three of their business entities. A recent incident, however, changed their opinion when Positive Pay prevented almost $2,000 in check fraud losses.
Over one weekend, several individuals came into a few 1st Mariner Bank branches, attempting to cash checks written on one of the entity accounts, and because of Positive Pay, the checks were flagged as “exceptions” (possible fraudulent checks). The basic information (date, serial number or amount) didn’t match the information provided by the business owner. This, in turn, prompted additional inquiries from our tellers. Unable to verify the checks with the business owner, the tellers refused to cash the items and, in one instance, alerted the police when one individual was unable to provide the appropriate ID, resulting in an arrest.
With advances in technology forcing business owners to be even more vigilant with their account information, Positive Pay’s check fraud prevention process provides an additional level of security in protecting the cash business owners fight so hard to earn.
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Long time customers are the cornerstone of any successful business and banking is no exception. The customers who stick it out through thick and thin provide us with a sense of stability and allow us to feel like we are doing something right.
Whether volunteering to test pilot a new product or investing in the organization, these customers embody our mission to “become a trusted part of the communities in which we operate and to focus on meeting the financial planning and servicing needs of our customers in a way that is personal and professional”.
It is feedback from our customers, good or bad, that gives us the incentive to continuously improve. Below is some feedback from one of our business clients, Riparius Construction, Inc in Baltimore.
As the Chief Financial Officer of one of the largest general contractors in the Baltimore metropolitan area, Riparius Construction, I am thrilled with the support we’ve received from 1st Mariner Bank. They are extremely responsive to all of our requests and financial needs and they are very proactive in making sure we have all of the latest systems that assist us in streamlining our banking operations
We look forward to a continued mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
Mark L. Luterman
Chief Financial Officer
Riparius Construction, Inc
Thank you to Mr. Luterman and all of our customers for keeping the faith and giving us the opportunity to provide you with “Red Carpet Service”.
I have been working in cash management for over 10 years. In that time various products move to the forefront of popularity. Commercial analysis accounts and overnight investments take the lead when rates are high. Online banking becomes more popular when software companies upgrade their operating systems and Remote Deposit Capture becomes the “must have” product during bad weather. (Yes – there was a silver lining to 80+ inches of snow!)
If you notice, these product sales are reactionary. Event A happens and triggers Event B. The same reactionary behavior occurs with Positive Pay. A company experiences fraud through a stolen or counterfeited check and suddenly Positive Pay becomes the product of the month.
Positive Pay was created to help prevent fraud on business checking accounts. As checks are issued, the payee name, check number, date and amount are entered in an online banking application. As those checks clear through the bank, they are matched up against the initial information entered by the customer. If there are any discrepancies between the actual check and the information entered, the check is considered as an “exception item” and the customer is notified through the online banking application. This notification allows the customer to decide whether to pay or return the potentially fraudulent item.
Over the last 3 years, with our current economic condition, I have seen an increase in episodes of fraud with my business clients as well as a spike in the implementation of Positive Pay. It is true this product requires the customer to actively manage the checks issued from and clearing their accounts, however, the benefits of Positive Pay far outweigh any perceived inconvenience.
Let’s make the implementation of Positive Pay an “action” rather than a “reaction”.