ACH Alert, an award-winning provider of electronic payments fraud prevention technology for financial institutions of all sizes, today announced that it has been granted U.S. Patent No. 10,115,106 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for various fraud prevention solutions. This latest patent, combined with ACH Alert’s existing patented technology, expands on and reinforces the company’s mission to providing financial institutions with innovative, proven fraud detection services.
“The 2018 AFP Payments Fraud Survey revealed that cases of fraud have escalated to a record high, with nearly 80 percent of organizations experiencing fraudulent activity in 2017”
The new patent is directed to several improvements in fraud detection and related banking services, such as enabling financial institutions to specify if account holders will be notified before or after a transaction posts to their account. Generally, institutions either block transactions and systematically return them from unknown companies, or they post everything and the account holder is required to detect any suspicious items by reviewing online banking activity after the transaction is processed. ACH Alert’s patented systems and processes provide its clients with a broad range of fraud detection and prevention options, including features for disputing unauthorized transactions either before they post or after, with ease.
Additionally, the new patent is directed to features that provide account holders with the ability to define their own custom notification criteria by account. For example, the account holder can specify who received alerts, how they receive alerts and the conditions that prompt an alert. Most ACH positive pay systems simply alert via email for exceptions or require that the account holder login daily to look for exceptions.
The latest patent is also directed to features for enabling account holders to easily identify trusted trading partners (as transactions arrive) and add them to an approved list without contacting them in advance of the transaction to obtain company identification. This feature thus eliminates the need for account holders to then ask their financial institution to set up filters on their behalf. Transactions are not systematically returned until the account holder can review them. Most ACH filters return items not set up in advance and the account holder is not notified. Most ACH positive pay systems and ACH filters require account holders to contact trading partners in advance and ask them what company ID they will put in the batch header record of the ACH file they will generate. Once they receive that information, they provide it to their financial institution to manually set it up to allow the transaction to pass. In contrast, the patented ACH Alert system allows account holders to simply press a button and the company ID is pulled from the data in the ACH file to automate the setup of the company. The patented ACH Alert system also allows account holders to set additional parameters such as a maximum amount, start and end date, and frequency.
Finally, the new patent grant further strengthens ACH Alert’s existing patent rights to systems and processes which enable the complete automation of the dispute resolution process, from collection of an electronic written statement of unauthorized debit when applicable to creating properly coded ACH return items within ACH files and creating an offset file to make the account holder whole for items they return. If the ACH transaction being returned requires a Written Statement of Unauthorized ACH debit, account holders must generally visit their financial institution to complete a form. Often, there is up to a 10-day waiting period before funds are restored to the account. With ACH Alert’s patented systems and methods, the account holder can complete the form electronically and funds can be restored same day (if the transaction posted before the notification went out). If an account holder visits a branch to complete a form, an operations employee must manually create a return entry and an offset to the account holder’s account.
“The 2018 AFP Payments Fraud Survey revealed that cases of fraud have escalated to a record high, with nearly 80 percent of organizations experiencing fraudulent activity in 2017,” said Deborah Peace, chief executive officer of ACH Alert. “As instances of fraud increase, financial institutions must recognize the need for more effective security measures to protect account holders from unauthorized activity. The issuance of this patent emphasizes our role in the fight against fraud as we are determined to arm financial institutions with fraud prevention tools that ensure enhanced security, visibility and control for account holders.”