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NJ Community Bank Thwarts Fraud Attempts
SQN Banking System´s signature verification system has proven to be a very wise investment in the 12 years since Gloucester County Federal (GCF) Savings Bank, Sewell, N.J., first installed the DOS-based Veritas system. So it was an easy decision to choose the SENTRY: SignatureTM 32-bit Windows system when a change in the banks´ teller software systems required upgrades of the fraud detection software.
"The SQN system has easily paid for itself," said GCF Senior Vice President Tim Hand. "It´s helped us thwart some significant fraud attempts."
The system may well have paid for itself in one attempt consisting of a fraudulent check "well into" five figures that someone tried to cash at one of the bank´s four branches. Hand credits SENTRY: Signature for stopping that and at least a dozen other fraud attempts, which is important not only for the bank´s bottom line, but also for the bank´s reputation as a safe financial institution in Southwestern New Jersey.
"We´re a traditional Northeastern thrift," Hand said. "We´re very big on security. We don´t allow withdrawals on someone else´s accounts, are careful about split deposits - and in general go to great lengths to verify customer identity. We´ve offered traditional products like mortgages and basic savings accounts. In the last 10 years we´ve expanded to where we now have large commercial and consumer loan portfolios as well as many new deposit account types."
As part of that traditional, secure philosophy, GCF verifies signatures for any check or withdrawal for which the presenter is receiving a certain minimum amount of cash. SQN customized the system for the bank so that it automatically displays signatures on the teller´s PC anytime a check transaction exceeds this limit, prompting the teller to verify the signature, which otherwise could be overlooked.
In addition to enhanced security, the SQN system is more efficient than the older signature card system, Hand added. Rather than retrieving signature cards at a branch or obtaining signatures via fax from another branch, GCF scans in the signatures at account opening for instant retrieval on demand. The scanned signatures are stored on a central database, which is connected to the bank´s branches and operations center via a wide area network.
Hand expects the efficiency to be further enhanced through a recently purchased addition to the base SENTRY: Signature application. GCF bought the Batch Update Module, which automatically updates the SQN database with information from the host system on a weekly basis. This not only helps keep the fraud detection database current, but it also eliminates the need to key new customer account information multiple times.
Another benefit to the new system, Hand said, is the new hand scanner, which replaces the hand-held desktop scanner used with the old system. The new hand scanner looks like a bar code "gun" used at many retail stores. "It´s much easier to use, so it enables us to scan signatures much more quickly and accurately," Hand said.
About SQN Banking Systems
SQN Banking Systems is the largest provider of Signature Verification and integrated Fraud Detection products for the financial industry. SQN´s SENTRY suite of products provides exception item processing, predictive software that detects check and deposit fraud, batch review, signature verification, signature comparison and safe deposit operations management. SQN supports both client/server and host applications and integrates with most PC-based Teller systems. SQN has over 500 customers and is well positioned to meet the needs of financial institutions of all sizes.
In addition to its headquarters in Rancocas, N.J., SQN has five additional offices in the U.S. and actively markets its products through a network of resellers and dealers.
For more information, visit SQN's Web site at www.sqnbankingsystems.com.