Cheque Imaging – UV & other Security Features Verification:

1. A number of features are available to support verification of validity of cheques. Of these features, Background UV images and 2D bar code are features which provide accurate and machine recognizable check on mutilation and tampering of instruments.

2. For the purpose of control through UV background, a pattern is printed in UV ink over the cheque. This may be a simple pattern such as stripes or waves, or a more complex design involving logos and small print. Typically designed to be destructible, so that the background will show a "hole or smudge" if part of the visible-light writing on the cheque is erased. This provides an excellent protection against chemical or mechanical alteration of cheques.

3. The goal of UV cheque scanning is an automated validation process, However, it will still be a human operator who makes the final decision on the validity of the payment instrument. The desirable outcome for a bank is that fraudulent cheque be detected in real time at the branch (or any other capture point), so that the suspicious item never enters the clearing process. It is evident that a visual inspection is, invariably, necessary to confirm or override the machine's decision after review of an item as pointed out as suspicious.

4. The UV-equipped scanners being provided by NIFT create a separate UV image of the check, which can reveal if the areas printed with UV inks have been altered or tampered with in any way. The image provides an indication of fraud when chemicals have been used to alter information or if the check is not an original, but rather a high-quality copy. In either case, the absence of UV ink is easily visible on the image.

5. NIFT is facilitating capture of these UV images for verification of payment instruments and collecting indications of forgery/mutilation.

6. NIFT has established special arrangements to support verification at paying end too; all UV images captured employing NIFT’s software will be ported to the web portal for verification by payer employing NIFT’s payment facilitation. (The UV image will not be placed in the X9.37 file).

7. While image capture technology has improved efficiency in the check-clearing cycle by providing very accurate display of the UV readable on the cheque, physically inspecting each paper check is impossible; hence, a machine analysis is needed.

8. There will be two forms of verification; visual and analyzed:

  • Visual verification is straightforward, NIFT capture software allows visual display of the UV image during capture and inward system will display UV images during pay/no-pay decision.
  • For analysis, NIFT will compare the UV on each image with a standard reference image. By comparing the copy of the cheque image, with the standard image, we can determine and isolate risky items with reasonable accuracy. Essentially the system will translate the difference of two images as a percentage value and based on a threshold of choice the system will provide useful alerts.

9. The scanning software reads the amount of UV ink present and creates a fraud risk index ranging from 1 to 99 (indicating a highly suspect check). Images of the suspect items can be reviewed at any time in the clearing process.

10. Below a given threshold (say 10%) in the form of a difference percentage, instruments will be accepted and above this value, user must view and verify the cheque image and UV. The threshold may be altered by the bank.

Branch Outward Capture Screen

1. At the outward capture, the scanner verifies the cheque UV image and calculates the UV threshold difference percentage and shows it in the grid. If the difference percentage is greater than 30% then it goes red indicating that user must verify this cheque.

2. If PKI encrypted 2D-barcode present in the cheque image then the scanner read the 2D-barcode and shows the decoded text on the capture screen.

Branch Inward Screen

1. At the inward return marking screen, the utility verifies the cheque UV image and calculates the UV threshold difference percentage and shows it in the grid. If the difference percentage is greater than 30% then it goes red indicating that user must verify this cheque.

2. If PKI encrypted 2D-barcode present in the cheque image then the utility read the 2D-barcode and shows the decoded text on the inward screen.