Banks asked to tighten security features of cheques

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has advised banks to tighten the security features in their cheques provided to the accountholders to protect them from fraud.


In a circular issued on Thursday, the SBP directed banks to ensure that the paper security by every cheque must carry a bank’s logo or name as a standardised watermark visible only if the cheque is placed against a light source.


Banks are instructed to use single or multi tone watermark. However, no part of watermark should appear in area specified for magnetic ink character recognition line.


Further, the paper used for cheques must contain at least one invisible ultraviolet security feature, such as UV fibers, UV Hi-lites or any other, said the circular.


It said the space on the cheque allocated for the amount and name of payee must contain anti forgery ink. The name of the accountholder should be printed using the bleed-through technology.


According to the circular, banks are advised to acquire pre-shipment verification of CBS-1 paper being imported for the printing of cheque. Besides, banks must ensure that Pakistan Security Printing Corporation grants no objection certificate to the paper used for the printing as per the import policy. The SBP also emphasised the training of bank’s staff about the security features and on assessment of cheque’s genuineness.


The instructions will take effect from June 30, 2014. The stock of cheques issued till enactment of these instructions will, however, be considered valid, said the circular.