5 Paper Check Security Features You Didn’t Know Existed
For a lot of people, checks are an obsolete way of paying for stuff. The sheer convenience of digital wallets and online banking even make credit cards and debit cards seem backdated. However, even with the introduction of new banking payment modes checks are still relevant. Businesses in America continue to rely on cheap multipurpose checks to pay bills, vendors, and employees.
Upon visual inspection, a check might seem as primitive as they used to be 50 years ago. However, check printing firms and banks have continuously introduced new technologies to make check payments more secure. Long story short, Frank Abagnale, the famous check fraudster, would face a much tougher time forging modern day business checks.
As a business or a personal user, you need to know the security features that come as standard. Understanding these technologies will help you make a better buying decision when ordering checks online. Without further ado, following are 5 Paper check security features you probably never knew existed.
Chemical Reactive Check Paper: One of the most popular methods used by fraudsters to alter checks is to remove the amount and payee details using special solvents. Much like the chemicals used in makeup removers, these solvents remove the ink without damaging the paper underneath. When they get hold of a check, fraudsters can change essential details and turn it into a bearer check. This way they can simply walk into a bank branch and get the cash immediately. Thankfully, there is a way to stop them. Checks that use chemical reactive paper stain immediately when subjected to chemicals and solvents. This renders the check useless. Otherwise invisible, this security technology only becomes evident when someone tries to use a chemical to erase the ink.
Fluorescent Fibers: Some modern-day bank checks have fluorescent fibers embedded in the paper. These fibers glow when put under black light, which is used by banks to authenticate checks.
Toner Fusion Coating: This is a simple technology that ensures anything you write on the check is permanently fused to the paper. Ink normally lies on top of the paper and thus can be erased. Check manufacturers often use a special transparent coating that fuses the ink to the paper. This prevents fraudsters from erasing the ink without inadvertently damaging the paper.
Prismatic Effect Printing: While this security technology is easily visible, not many people know its true purpose. Prismatic printing creates a background using two colors. The printing pattern and the combination of two colors are so complex that they cannot be duplicated using even the most sophisticated scanners or printers.
Heat-Reactive Ink: This is a special ink that fades away when rubbed or subjected to heat. How is that a security feature? This ink is used to print a special text (Not payee details and amount). The special ink is not available to the general public, bank tellers can test if the security text fades away when subjected to heat. This allows them to figure out if the check produced is authentic or not.