What are the pros and cons of high security checks? High security checks are used to protect against check fraud and keep your finances safe. Their key advantages include enhanced security, check fraud protection, reputational protection, a better public image, and greater control compared to traditional bank checks. And, their main disadvantages are their higher cost, longer processing time, and their limited availability. Below we cover all you need to know about High Security Checks Pros and Cons.
Benefits of High Security Checks
What are the advantages of high security checks? High security checks are designed to provide enhanced protection against fraudulent activities and protect your finances. They feature multiple security features that make them incredibly difficult to copy or alter in any way. And, using high security checks comes with many advantages. Let’s take a closer look.
Advanced Security Features
The greatest advantage of a high security check is the increased security it delivers. High security checks are highly effective at protecting against check fraud, counterfeiting, and illicit check alteration.
The number one reason businesses and individuals choose to use high security checks is because they are secure. They contain a wide range of security features that makes them much more difficult to alter or copy compared to a regular check.
For more, see our full article on the Security Features of a High Security Check.
Enhanced Fraud Protection
High security laser checks deliver enhanced fraud protection. This means they help keep your finances safe. Check fraud is a persistent problem around the world and costs businesses millions of dollars in losses every year. One of the simplest and most effective ways of protecting your business from fraud is to begin using high security checks.
These security features that have been designed into these checks make them extremely difficult to copy or alter. And, any attempts made to alter the check triggers chemical reactions in the high security check paper that alert the recipient of potential fraudulent activity.
They also help protect your reputation. If criminals target your business and create counterfeit checks that are used to make purchases or withdraw funds – it reflects badly on your business.
The very fact that you have been associated with criminal activity will cause reputational damage which can be difficult to rebuild. Using high security laser checks deters helps protect your reputation by making it very difficult for check fraud criminals to replicate your checks.
Blank Check Paper Stock – More Secure
Blank high security check paper is more secure. High security check paper is completely blank. If stolen – it doesn’t even look like a legitimate check. It only becomes a check when a laser printer is used to print the check. At this point, the check layout is added and all the details concerning the payee name and value of the check are added using security ink.
In contrast, regular checks come in booklets of pre-printed checks. These are much more attractive to criminals as the check is already printed. All they have to do is add the details and forge a signature.
Encrypted Software Signature vs Signature Card
A key feature when discussing high security checks pros and cons is the use of password-protected encrypted software. High security checks can only be printed using an encrypted software signature. And, an encrypted software signature is more secure compared to traditional signature cards used to verify traditional checks.
Signature cards can be stolen, misplaced, or easily duplicated. However, the software used to print high security laser checks contains multiple layers of digital security. The user must enter a password to access the software needed to print and digitally sign the checks. This makes it extremely difficult to forge or tamper with the check signature.
Project More Professional Image
Using high security laser checks projects a more professional image for your business. They are much more secure compared to traditional checks and help reassure individuals that the check is genuine and can be trusted. And, they look great. When you make a payment using a high security check it makes your business stand out from the crowd and helps build trust.
Another benefit of switching to high security laser checks is that they give you greater control. The checks are printed in-house when and as needed. You have full control over the printing and authorization process allowing you to create checks on demand.
No more having to order pre-printed checks from banks and printing houses. This eliminates the time delay involved in placing an order for check stock and waiting for it to arrive at your premises. Real-time printing also reduces costs, lead-times, and maximizes efficiency.
Customizable Security Features
A key advantage of using high security checks is that they allow you to customize the security features you want included in your checks. High security check manufacturers offer a range of security features that protect against fraud. And, the best suppliers allow you to customize these features to meet your business needs. One of the most popular security features to customize is the watermark. Many companies choose to incorporate their brand colors and logo into the check watermark.
Customizable Layout & Design
It’s not only the security features that are customizable – the check layout and design can be adjusted to meet your individual preferences. This can be done using one of the many secure software packages that are used to print the checks. The software can be used to alter the layout, adjust colors, and add company branding and logo as required.
Protection From Legal Costs
High security checks can help protect you and your business from eye-watering legal costs. High security checks are much less likely to be counterfeited, altered, or copied. And, this means you’re much less likely to get caught up in a check fraud legal case. Avoiding criminal proceedings and an appearance in court means you won’t have to hire an attorney or seek legal advice concerning any criminal case.
Peace of Mind
Perhaps the greatest advantage of high security check paper is the peace of mind they create. When you use these checks you know your finances are being protected by the most advanced security measures of the day. These checks are incredibly difficult to forge, copy, or alter.
This level of difficulty effectively deters criminals from attempting check fraud on high security checks. The confidence and reassurance you feel when using secure checks is an often overlooked topic on the list of high security checks pros and cons.
Disadvantages of High Security Checks
What are the cons of high security checks? Now that we’ve covered the pros, let’s take a look at the key drawbacks of high security checks. Here’s what you need to know about the disadvantages of high security checks.
The most significant disadvantage of using high security checks is the additional cost. High security checks are more expensive than traditional checks. This is a deterrent for some people. These checks are designed and manufactured to include advanced security measures and this comes with an unavoidable extra cost.
In general, high security checks cost 20-30% more than regular checks. However, you need to consider the extra security these checks give you – in terms of protection from potential check fraud. And, many businesses consider this great value for money.
Longer Processing Time
High security checks take longer to verify and clear compared to regular bank checks. This is because there are a series of security features that need to be examined before the check is approved and the funds are released. Longer processing times can be an issue if you need to process a payment rapidly and avoid delays.
Limited Design Options
Some high security checks have limited design options. While most allow you to tailor the check layout and color pallet, others have limited capability when it comes to design input. If you want a check that allows you to tailor it to your brand, be sure to choose a check and software package that meets this need.
Complex Verification Processes
The process of verifying that a high security check is genuine can be complex. And, not all financial institutions have the ability to examine and verify the security features embedded in the security check paper.
The institution receiving the check may need to use specialized equipment or an external verification service to approve the payment. For more on the review and verification process – check out How a High Security Check Works.
Availability Can Be an Issue
Another disadvantage of secure checks is that availability can be an issue. If you want to upgrade your check operation to high security laser checks – you have difficulty sourcing a local supplier. Not all banks or check printing vendors supply secure checks. You may have to source them online or outside your local area.
What Advanced Security Features Do They Have?
Now we’ve covered high security checks pros and cons – let’s take a look at the advanced security features they use. High security checks employ a range of security features to protect against fraud and counterfeiting. Here is an overview of the most common security features found in secure checks.
Watermarks are images or patterns that are embedded into the paper of the check. They are visible when the check is held up to a light. They are very difficult to replicate and they cannot be produced using traditional copiers or scanners.
Foil holograms are one of the most prominent features of a high security check. They are added using laser technology and are embedded with complex security features. They are incredibly difficult to reproduce and highly effective at deterring and detecting fraud.
High security checks are printed using a special type of ink – known as security ink. This ink is very difficult to alter or remove. Thermochromic ink reacts when exposed to heat to flag any attempts at alteration. And, toner adhesion is used during printing to adhere the ink to the check, making it very difficult to remove.
Secure checks use microprinting to combat counterfeiting. This involves adding tiny characters, patterns, or images to a check that can be examined using magnification. Microprinting is too small to read with the naked eye and is difficult to reproduce. It is an effective measure in deterring check duplication.
For more, check out our full guide to High Security Check – Security Features.
About the Author
Jason Roth: Editor in Chief
Jason is editor in chief at My LLC Guide. He holds a wealth of business management experience and has been advising companies on business formation issues for many years. Jason specializes in resource planning management, staff utilization, and productivity consulting.
He has worked predominantly in the west coast area where he graduated from the Marshall Business School at the University of South California. When he’s not working in his business advisory role, Jason likes to climb on his Indian Scout motorbike and enjoy the open road.