Sovereign Bank Provides Business Customers a Higher Level of Check Fraud Protection with Payee Positive Pay
Sovereign Bank announced today, at the 2007 AFP® Annual Conference, the official launch of their Payee Positive Pay service for commercial customers. This service adds an important new fraud protection component to Sovereign’s existing Positive Pay and Teller Positive Pay services by helping to detect altered payee names on presented checks.
“Check fraud continues to be a concern throughout the financial services industry. Criminals are now using the latest technology to alter the payee name on stolen or counterfeit checks,” said Florence Lenoel, Senior Vice President of Sovereign’s Global Solutions. “Sovereign’s Payee Positive Pay greatly decreases the risk of loss from check alterations – helping to save our customers, and the bank, significant dollars.”
With the Payee Positive Pay service, customers send Sovereign a file containing their issued check information as often as checks are drafted. The new system compares the payee name and several other fields on the presented checks to the customer’s issued file. If mismatches or ‘suspect’ items are detected, they are reported to the customer via Sovereign’s Web-based Information Reporting & Initiation Services (IRIS) system. From IRIS, customers can also view check images and instruct the bank to pay or return ‘suspect’ items, allowing items to be returned within 24 hours.
Checks that are presented for encashment at any one of Sovereign’s nearly 750 Community Banking Offices throughout the Northeast are also protected by Payee Positive Pay. Tellers verify the payee name to that on the customer’s issue file, and do not cash mismatches.
Lenoel also notes that Sovereign has made significant investments in technology and workflow infrastructure to offer customers the most comprehensive protection against check fraud. “Our straight-through-processing environment expedites delivery of ’suspect’ items to our customers and the check issue information to our tellers, improving accuracy overall,” she said.
Sovereign offers Positive Pay and Teller Positive Pay as free enhancements to their Full Account Reconciliation service. Positive Pay, Teller Positive Pay, and Payee Positive Pay services are also available to commercial customers that do not use Sovereign’s reconciliation programs. In the near future Sovereign will be introducing Positive Pay Alerts, which securely notify customers through cell phones and emails when they have exception items that need pay/return decisions.
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