Growing number of High Street banks adopt UCN Plus fraud prevention tool

Martin Ruda

Martin Ruda

The TALL Group of Companies is working with a growing number of High Street banks that have all signed up as early adopters of UCN Plus in a move designed to strengthen the industry’s protection against cheque fraud within the UK’s payments system.

Martin Ruda, Group managing director at The TALL Group of Companies, said: “The fundamental change to the UK cheque clearing system with the introduction of cheque imaging in October 2017 has seen more attempts at fraud as criminals proactively look for opportunities in the new Image Clearing System (ICS). We’re delighted that major High Street banks, including the Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, are participating in the UCN Plus initiative and helping to ensure that counterfeit, forged and fraudulently altered cheques are robustly and automatically trapped and rejected wherever possible within the clearing process.”

UCN Plus (patented GB2569173) is an Image Survivable Feature (ISF) that has been developed by The TALL Group in partnership with DIA Europe, provider of the Kappa cheque fraud prevention platform used by many of the leading cheque clearing service providers. It enables the variable payment data – payee name, amount and date, etc – to be encrypted and hidden within a unique QR Code printed on the face of all ‘special’ cheques issued by The TALL Group on behalf of the cheque bureau customers of the ‘early adopters’, together with those who wish to infill their own cheques using in-house software capable of printing cheques or through The TALL Group’s established ‘Checkprint Solution’ software for corporate and SME cheque issuance.

The information held in the encrypted QR Code provides validation of the details on the face of the cheque and can greatly help with fraud prevention when the cheque image is scanned and verified within the new ICS.

In a move designed to support the fight against fraud in the UK’s cheque clearing system, The TALL Group has also announced that it’s making the UCN Plus fraud prevention tool available across the accredited cheque printing sector at no charge.

Ruda added: “As a Group, we strive to assist our customers and provide solutions that can improve their operations. We’re actively engaged in a programme of product innovation and new customer services to build on the requirements for ISF and will be announcing further developments as we move through 2020.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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