Protect Your Assets

Fraud Tip: Control How You Collect and Handle Money

In your business, every time someone physically handles a check or cash, it increases the opportunity for fraud. To mitigate this risk, consider collecting money electronically — a safer, cheaper, faster and easier way to collect.

Many banks have online services and other tools you can use to control how your business handles and collects money, and eliminate the possibility of false invoicing, a top source of cash fraud.

Businesses and consumers increasingly use some form of electronic payment to pay invoices and bills. In fact, more than 50 percent of payments are made electronically using cards and electronic payments.1 With tools such as digital check scanning, merchant services and electronic billing, electronic payment is safe and secure, reducing your business’s fraud risk.

Consider the following three approaches to better control how you collect and handle money:

1. Accept credit card payments

Avoid check and cash payments. By setting up a merchant credit card processing account, you can receive payments immediately online or over the phone, instead of waiting for checks to arrive. More and more small businesses are putting larger and more valuable purchases on credit cards to earn points and consolidate expense tracking. It is a safer, faster and cheaper way to collect.

2. Deposit electronically

Control deposits safely and securely by scanning checks in your office and depositing them electronically. Many banks offer new scanners that allow you to deposit checks right from your desktop or the point of sale. These check-deposit machines help you speed deposits, eliminate trips to the bank and minimize your effort in depositing and viewing your receivables with pending and completed transactions.

3. Collect electronically

Electronic automated clearinghouse (ACH) transfer is the fastest-growing form of payments. You can cut your receivables by weeks on big transactions by asking larger clients to pay you electronically. Your online banking service should allow you to set-up and execute electronic payments online or over the phone. For example, ask your banker to show you to accept checks over the phone by asking customers for three simple pieces of information.

Following these three steps can help your business fight fraud.

2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study

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