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IMS tips on using technology to safeguard your banking activities

Positive pay and reverse positive pay are both effective measures used by businesses to prevent check fraud and unauthorized transactions. Here's a description of each along with other similar protections:

1. Review your online banking activity everyday – this will enable you to catch any unauthorized or suspicious activity before it’s too late.

2. Positive Pay: Positive pay is a service provided by banks where a business submits a list of issued checks to the bank electronically. When a check is presented for payment, the bank compares the details of the presented check (such as check number, amount, and payee) against the list provided by the business. If the details match, the check is cleared for payment. If there is a discrepancy, the bank contacts the business for verification before processing the payment. Positive pay helps prevent check fraud by ensuring that only authorized checks are paid.

3. Reverse Positive Pay: Reverse positive pay is a variation of positive pay where the bank provides the business with a list of checks that have been presented for payment. The business reviews the list and notifies the bank of any checks that appear unauthorized or suspicious. This allows the business to detect fraudulent checks before they are paid and provides an additional layer of protection against check fraud.

4. Payee Verification: Payee verification involves confirming the legitimacy of the payee named on a check before processing payment. This can be done through various methods such as contacting the payee directly or using third-party verification services to validate the identity of the payee.

5. Check Stock Security: Businesses should use secure check stock with built-in security features such as watermarks, microprinting, and security holograms to prevent unauthorized duplication or alteration of checks.

6. Dual Authorization: Implementing dual authorization for large or unusual transactions requires approval from multiple authorized individuals within the business before the transaction is processed. This helps prevent unauthorized transactions and reduces the risk of internal fraud.

7. Account Reconciliation: Regularly reconcile bank statements with internal accounting records to detect discrepancies or unauthorized transactions. Promptly investigate and resolve any discrepancies to prevent further financial losses.

8. Real-Time Fraud Monitoring: Utilize real-time fraud monitoring systems provided by banks or third-party vendors to detect and alert businesses of suspicious banking activity, such as unusual transaction patterns or unauthorized access attempts.

9. ACH (Automated Clearing House) Filters and Blocks: Implement ACH filters and blocks to control and monitor electronic payments initiated through the ACH network. Filters allow businesses to specify criteria for authorized transactions, while blocks prevent unauthorized transactions from being processed.

By implementing these protections, businesses and nonprofits can significantly reduce the risk of financial fraud and unauthorized transactions, safeguarding their assets and maintaining the integrity of their banking activities.

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