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Protect your business from cyber threats with Positive Pay

by Mary Francis, Senior Vice President and Cash Management Director

Every day we hear news reports of data breaches, cyber security threats, and large-scale fraud. These issues are all too relevant for small business and large corporations alike. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners' (ACFE) 2014 Global Fraud Study the typical organization loses 5% of revenues each year due to fraud. Internationally, fraud accounts for approximately $3.7 trillion in losses each year. What’s even more concerning for small to medium-sized businesses is that while organizations of all sizes fall victim to occupational fraud, the ACFE says companies with fewer than 100 employees are even more vulnerable than their larger counterparts. 

From identity theft to cybercrimes to credit card scams, the median loss caused by fraud was $145,000, according to the ACFE, and a startling 22% of cases reported losses of at least $1 million. For a small business, these losses can be devastating.

There are steps you can take to help protect your company from fraud, and your banker should be there to assist you. If you have a solid relationship with your business or commercial banker, they will be recommending services such as Positive Pay for checks or ACH transactions.

Here’s how Positive Pay works:

Step 1    You report the checks you issue to the Bank using Business Online Banking (file upload or manual data entry).

Step 2   The Bank compares the check number, issue date, check amount, and payee name on each check presented for payment with your check issue data.

Step 3    The Bank presents you with a report in Business Online Banking of any paid checks that don’t match your issue data. These are "exceptions".

Step 4    You use the Positive Pay module in Business Online Banking to submit your decision to pay or return any exceptions.

You can protect your business against electronic payment fraud with ACH Positive Pay. Like Positive Pay for checks, this service helps protect you from losses due to unauthorized payments and compromised account information. Here’s how ACH Positive Pay works:

Step 1   You create "payment rules" in the ACH Positive Pay module, based on the Company ID of each company that you’ve authorized to debit your account.

Step 2   The Bank compares the Company ID in incoming ACH debits to your payment rules. Any incoming ACH debits that don’t match your payment rules are reported to you as "exceptions" in an ACH Positive Pay report through Business Online Banking.

Step 3   You use the ACH Positive Pay module to update your payment rules and submit your decision to pay or return any exceptions.

These tools are affordable and easy to manage.

For more information, contact Mary Francis, Senior Vice President and Cash Management Director, at 206.442.5319 or Mary.Francis@homestreet.com.