Increasing Security With Smart Checks

Security is a fundamental issue when you are printing checks. This is why PrintBoss, a QuickBooks® check printing software, comes with a battery of check fraud security features. From the check stock you print on, to the printing process, to the check fraud deterrents you engage with your bank, check security is something that is often overlooked… unless you have PrintBoss. When creating PrintBoss, we considered security throughout the check printing process. By doing so, we created a QuickBooks® check printing software that is not only the most secure system in the market, but also affordable to all businesses.

To consider security effectively and better understand how PrintBoss secures your checks, it is useful to separate security into three categories in the check printing process: check stock, the printing process, and bank related deterrents.

Check Stock:

There are many security features that can be incorporated into the check stock you use to print checks. First of all, you need to decide if you are going to use “blank check stock” or “preprinted check stock”. With the advent of QuickBooks® check printing software like PrintBoss, blank check stock provides significant convenience and security over preprinted stock. With blank check stock, you have the convenience of one check stock to order and inventory regardless of the number of bank accounts or companies for which you print checks. The security advantage of blank check stock is that if someone steals a piece of blank stock they have no information, whereas if they take a piece of preprinted stock they have both company information and bank information.

There are many other security features (from thermo chromic ink to holographic printing) that can be incorporated into check stock, all of which are available with PrintBoss check stock. But the check clearing process is changing. It is moving toward electronic clearing which will compromise many of these traditional check security features. For example, today it is common to submit a check for payment by taking a picture and sending the picture to the bank. If your check included security features like thermo chromic ink or micro printing, when you clear a digital image of the check these features become moot. As a result of these new check clearing processes, we have focused on two things:

  1. Visual deterrents to manipulating data, and
  2. Bank related deterrents.

1. Visual deterrents to manipulating data

If data is changed and there is no evidence of change, it is almost impossible to detect fraud. So, we have focused on deterrents that will leave evidence of any attempt to change the data on the check.

These physical security measures are effective in making sure that the original physical check is not copied, but as you consider check stock security it is important to evaluate security features in light of the new technology used to clear checks.

With new technology in mind, one of the most important security features you could add to your check stock is chemical reactivity. This refers to bleach and oxidizer reactivity as well as polar and non-polar class solvents which produce a brown or a black stain if any chemical is used to try to alter the printed characters on the check. So, if someone tries to alter the payee or the amount of a check it will result in a brown or a black stain on the check which will prevent a check from clearing even if a digital picture is used to clear the check. Wellspring Software check stock comes equipped with security features for both digital and paper check clearing.

The Printing Process:

Often check security is overlooked when people think about the QuickBooks® check printing process. There are several procedures that every check printing process should incorporate to maintain security. The check printing process should include blank check stock (see above) so that bank account information is not added to the check until the check is actually printed. Also, checks should be digitally signed. PrintBoss can not only print digital signatures on checks, but it can print them in accordance with various signing rules. For example, a company might want checks under $1,000 to get one signature, checks over $1,000 get two signatures and checks over $5,000 get no signatures as larger checks are hand signed. PrintBoss can do this and much more. Read more about PrintBoss’ signature feature here.

Finally, make sure only authorized employees have the ability to print checks. Set up passwords requiring employees to sign in to print checks. Once signed in, PrintBoss has the ability to record a security stamp on the printed check, which includes the date, the amount, and the employee’s name who printed the check. PrintBoss allows for these procedures and more in the setup process of the software.

2. Bank Related Deterrents

It is often overlooked that your bank can help you create the most effective check security feature available and PrintBoss makes this bank sponsored feature easier to use. This feature is often called Positive Pay and it is the only check security feature that is impenetrable because it includes direct communication between you and your bank. For every check run, you tell your bank the payee, check amount, check date, and check number of each check printed. When the check is being cleared, the bank tests these fields on the check against the information you provided to the bank and if any field does not match, the check is not cleared. The problem is how to send your bank the check clearing information. The answer is, PrintBoss. PrintBoss, as your QuickBooks® check printing software, will automatically create a Positive Pay file to the specifications required by your bank. The file is automatically created and all you have to do is send it to your bank via whatever method they require. The Positive Pay file is usually associated with a fee from your bank to provide the service but it absolutely protects you from check fraud.