Reducing Your Risks with Checks
September 2, 2023
Many of our clients have chosen to use checks as little as possible, in fact some do not use them at all. If you must use checks, proceed with caution, and look for alternate payment methods, as available.
For Our Commercial Clients:
Falling into the Wrong Hands
There is really no way of ensuring the proper handling and security of that check. Mail theft is common or theft after mail and checks can be stolen at a business, even after they have cleared. The thief can steal the information from any check and create their own checks from the information on the face of the check. If you are a commercial check user, consider using secure courier delivered mail where packages of checks must be delivered or explore the use of lockbox banking. The goal with these alternatives is to enhance payment security by minimizing the handling of physical checks and thereby reducing the risk of theft or loss during the payment collection process. Contact your First Western banker if you would like to hear more about Lockbox at First Western.
Minimizing Unauthorized Transactions
Another payment method to consider is Automated Clearing House or ACH. ACH account features could prevent unauthorized debits or credits from posting to your business account and can minimize electronic payment fraud or financial loss.
Positive Pay is another method to avoid check fraud. With Positive Pay, your business cuts checks, you transmit a list of the issued checks, including the number of the check, the dollar amount and the payee’s name, to First Western. We store this information and match each check presented against the list you provide. If items presented do not match, they will be declined and not clear saving you from financial loss. User-friendly imaging services allow your employees to view checks online to verify your account activity.
Eliminating checks may not be possible. Ask your First Western banker about any of these services.
For our Consumer Clients:
Use Person-2-Person for that wedding or birthday gift or use other online options available. When at all possible, avoid sending any checks in the mail. If you are expecting a distribution from an investment or other fund, request a wire or ACH.
We value your security. First Western will never initiate an unsolicited request for your sensitive account information. Keep your personal information under lock and key. Use caution when emailing any business or bank about your accounts. Never put your social security number or other sensitive information in email and do not give out this information to anyone calling and posing as a bank, business, or government agency. Fraud against consumers continues to be a consistent problem. For these and other tips to keep your accounts secure, contact your First Western banker.