SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. â June 29, 2005 â Primary Payment Systems, Inc. (PPS), an affiliate of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), today announced that its Early WarningÂ® databases, which help mitigate losses associated with payment and identity fraud, now cover an estimated 90 percent of all open and active U.S. transaction accounts. To achieve this 60 percent increase in coverage, financial institutions now contribute information on previously unreported accounts to the databases. This growth enables PPS to offer unprecedented depth and breadth in deposit and payment fraud risk assessment to financial institutions, check acceptance companies and credit card issuers.
The near total coverage is expected to help save U.S. financial institutions an additional $100 million or more in fraud losses this year. Powered by the databases, the Early Warning deposit and payment risk assessment services help prevent fraud-related losses by notifying users of high-risk deposits and payments via transaction accounts, such as checking, demand deposit, negotiable order of withdrawal, automatic transfer service and credit union share draft accounts. The databases, which are used exclusively for fraud prevention, receive daily updates with non-public secure information regarding accounts, transactions and identities.
"Weâre well positioned to help all financial institutions, regardless of size, realize the value of implementing fraud detection services with extensive national coverage. Early results show 94 percent of items submitted to PPS for review match accounts contained within the Early Warning databases, enabling financial institutions to have exceptional fraud coverage," said PPS CEO Paul Finch. "The vast reach of our deposit and payment risk services provide a highly compelling and profitable business case for banks and credit unions interested in implementing fraud protection measures."
"The expanded coverage from PPS enables Wachovia to review a greater volume of deposited items each day, positively impacting our ability to reduce return item losses," said Russ Clark, vice president in the risk systems division of Wachovia. "The scope of the Early Warning services enables us to ascertain even more relevant data, such as the last return reason and whether there have been âmultiple returns.â"
With the passage of Check 21 and expected shortening of check clearing windows, there is industry concern about increased losses at the point-of-presentment. The expanded scope of information from PPS, coupled with the potential to access this information in real-time at the teller platform or point-of-sale, will help enable the industry to combat this trend more effectively.
"An unforeseen benefit we discovered while testing the expanded databases was the detection of check fraud patterns we had not seen before," said Jim Martin, vice president, risk services at Union Bank of California. "As hold times continue to shorten, fraudsters will persist in trying to take advantage of the system. With the data provided, we will significantly increase our ability to deter fraud before it compromises our institutions."