It's Critical to Monitor Your Financial Transactions Daily
Article By: Deirdre Tumm, Treasury Management Officer
Businesses continue to see increased fraudulent attacks upon their financial relationships (credit cards, debit cards, checking accounts, etc.) Every day fraudsters loom out of site, eagerly seeking their next target. The importance of regularly monitoring your financial portfolios is at an all time high. Unlike consumer financial relationships, which allow clients to review and dispute unauthorized transactions within a 60-day period, a business' window to do the same is far lessened. A business' timeline for disputing an unauthorized transaction on their depository account at any financial institution is "next day" thus leaving only a 24-hour window. With such a short period to work with their financial institution to complete dispute documentation, the urgency for a business to daily monitoring their financial transaction history is critical.
Many financial institutions offer identify theft protection services to their consumer base. Credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) offer consumer identify theft protection services, but businesses need to be just as mindful of the theft protection services offered by their financial institution(s). Many financial institutions offer Positive Pay Services as a tool to combat check and ACH fraud. ACH Filtering also is a tool that financial institutions may offer to monitor ACH fraud. Financial institutions offer various forms of online banking services and mobile banking services where users may be granted specialized or restricted access, an opportunity for more eyes to monitor a business accounts daily transaction history. The importance to a business in daily transaction review cannot be emphasized enough.
POSITIVE PAY SERVICES
Financial institutions may offer Positive Pay Services specific to only checks, or they may offer the service for both checks and ACH debits. When a client utilizes the Positive Pay service, they generate a worksheet/file detailing checks drawn on their account and/or ACH debits authorized to clear their account. This worksheet/file is uploaded by the client, and the financial institution and the institution's processing system compare the checks/debits clearing the client's account against the same. Any check/debit clearing the client's account that was not included in the client's uploaded worksheet/file is considered an exception and must be reviewed and approved timely by the client in order for the item(s) to be approved.
ACH FILE FILTERING
Some financial institutions also may offer ACH Filtering when they do not offer Positive Pay services for ACH debits. With ACH File Filtering the business client provides the financial institution with a detailed listing of any company that they have approved to debit their account. Company names and company ID numbers are assembled and added to an ACH file filtering listing by the financial institution. Should a company attempt to debit the client's account that is not referenced on the client's ACH filtering file, that debit is considered an exception and must be reviewed and approved timely by the client in order for the item(s) to be approved.
SFB offers both Positive Pay and ACH File Filtering services. For more information on how these services may benefit your business, contact Deirdre Tumm, SFB's Treasury Management officer, at 715-930-7025.