Where users are often the weakness in physical security (e.g. leaving doors unlocked etc) the same is often the case with cheque security.
RW Pierce manufacture cheques containing multiple authenticity & fraud detection features, as standard. This is one of a series of shot guides to assist our customers achieve maximum protection against fraud

Best Practice Guidelines

For Using Business Cheques

About these Guidelines

These Guidelines are for all businesses, including schools and public bodies, who use cheques.

It contains advice to minimise the risk of cheque fraud.

Chosing a printer to infill cheques

  1. Essentially, there are 3 options available:
    • Inkjet Printers
    • Laser Printers
    • Impact Printers

    Inkjet Printers

    Choose a “Photo” printer that uses “Pigment Inks” for best fraud protection

    Laser Printers

    Choose a printer listed on the “SmithersPira list of those approved for infilling cheques” at www.chequeandcredit.co.uk.

    Inpact Printers

    Choose a printer that uses multi-strike ribbon – (avoid total transfer ribbon printers)

Consumables

Inkjet Printers

Use OEM inks – to guarantee ongoing use of “Pigment Ink”

Laser Printers

• Toner and other consumables (e.g. drums and maintenance kits) must be renewed regularly, preferably more frequently than the manufacturer’s recommendation.
• Only use OEM toner
• Do not keep excessive stocks of toner, as it will deteriorate over time.

Inpact Printers

Use OEM ribbons and ensure that print quality is dark

Storing and Handling Cheque Stock

  • All paper is vulnerable to variations in temperature and humidity. This can cause changes to the inks used in the security background on the cheques, paper distortion, and consequential problems with print quality. If the paper is cold and/or damp then printing is likely to have more paper jams etc & the adhesion of laserprint toner to the paper is compromised (i.e. reducing cheque security).
  • Although it may not always be practicable to provide the ideal storage and print room
    conditions, in order to ensure the most secure printing results we recommend that you
    comply with the following top tips:
  • Keep cheque stock sealed in original wrapping, (at similar temperature/humidity to the printroom) overnight, before printing.
  • Remove unused cheque stock from the printer after the print run and carefully reseal
    in the original wrapper to minimise moisture absorption from the atmosphere.
  • Always use stock in rotation: first received, first used.
  • Create a secure location within your business to house both the printer and stored
    cheque stock.
  • Ideal cheque storage conditions should be a maintained temperature of between 18-24°C, with a relative humidity of 40-60%.
  • Keep all identifying batch/delivery labels in case of problems, and always check the wrapping of each delivery to make sure it is undamaged.
  • Store wrapped boxes of cheque paper off the floor, e.g. on a pallet or shelf, to avoid damage and to reduce the possibility of moisture absorption. When stacking pallets, use top boards to reduce distortion due to uneven load, and do not store heavy items on top of cheque paper stock.
  • Make sure paper is stored away from extremes of temperature and humidity, i.e. away from radiators, air conditioning grilles and direct sunlight.
  • Avoid excessive use of anti-static chemicals when cleaning printers and keep them well away from cheque stock.
  • Never use cheque stock which appears damaged, whether torn, stained, curled or with ‘wavy’ edges. This can not only affect print quality, but also cause paper jams and misfeeds, leading to omissions and duplications.
  • If possible, introduce an independent audit function to monitor the receipt of cheques from your supplier and the infilling and distribution of completed cheques.

Infilling Cheques

Cheques must be infilled in a way that deters fraudulent alteration.

Payee Name

  • The payee (i.e. beneficiary’s) name should always be left-justified. The payee name may be terminated by adding the word ‘only’ after it or the space to the right of the name should be filled with asterisks or ruled through, preferably with a pair of horizontal parallel lines.
  • Where two lines are allowed for a payee name, the second should be treated as a continuation of the first and asterisk filled or ruled through, even if the name does not overflow into the second line.
  • If a name and address appears on the cheque, e.g. for use in a window envelope, then the payee name must appear separately even if it is the same as the name in the address field.
  • Make sure the name of the payee is correct as this will help ensure that the cheque is paid into the correct account.
  • Use the largest font available to fill in as much space as possible.

Amount in Words

  • The amount in words should spell out in full the value in Euro/Pounds, with the cents/pence written in figures, eg. ‘Forty three thousand five hundred and forty Euro 60c.
  • It is recommended that the amount in words is printed on a single line rather than adopting the practice of having separately printed boxes to be filled with values If they are used, however, then all boxes must be completed with values ‘Zero’ to ‘Nine’, as appropriate, to reduce the risk of fraudulent alteration.

Amount in Figures

  • The amount in figures should be preceded and followed by two asterisks and left-justified in the Amount Box, taking care that the leftmost asterisk does not touch or overwrite the ‘£’ symbol which is to the left of, and just outside the Amount Box.
  • The amount should not include commas and the Euro/cents  or Pounds/pence separator should be a hyphen (without spaces). e.g **43540-60**.

RW Pierce has been manufacturing cheques since 1964.