Core Retail, the leading supplier of pre-paid SIMs and mobile accessories, has become the first organisation to deploy a brand-new payments tool that automatically flags and rejects counterfeit, forged and fraudulently altered cheques. UCN Plus ® – patents pending – was officially launched last month by The TALL Group of Companies, the UK’s leading provider of secure electronic and paper payments solutions, and DIA Europe, providers of the Kappa cheque fraud prevention platform.
The communications specialist has a long-standing relationship with Checkprint (a member of the TALL Group of Companies) to securely print, personalise, infill and mail their cheques through the Checkprint Bureau Service. As part of the updated agreement, Checkprint will now incorporate UCN Plus ® as part of its service offering to Core Retail.
UCN Plus ® enables the variable payment data – payee name, amount, date, etc – to be encrypted and hidden within a QR code printed on the face of all cheques issued by the TALL Group on behalf of its cheque bureau customers. Once the recipient has deposited the cheque, Kappa’s profiling and matching tool alerts the issuing bank to any mismatch, and customers can review the item before committing to pay, and still remain within the new two-day clearing cycle. This reduced clearing cycle forms part of the Image Clearing System (ICS), which was officially introduced across the UK last October. As part of ICS, cheques are now digitised at the point of deposit, and are no longer be transported during the clearing process.
Jonathan Lovell, Chief Financial Officer at Core Retail, said: “We are delighted to be working with Checkprint and the inclusion of the UCN Plus® on our cheques adds an extra level of security. We have always put innovation and serving our customers at the heart of what we do. We believe this will continue to ensure Core’s expansion well into the future. By embracing this innovative approach to cheque security, we are matching our own future ideals.”
Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director at the TALL Group of Companies, said: “As an organisation committed to the safety, security and integrity of the cheque payments system, the collaboration with Kappa has enabled us to deliver a further and critical layer of fraud prevention to the UK’s corporate cheque users. The benefits of the new Image Clearing System will underpin the continuing effectiveness of the cheque as a payment tool, and the TALL Group will strive to ensure the UK payments systems stay one step ahead of the fraudster.”