PNC: Thumbprinting Non-Customer Check-Cashers

PNC Bank's Executive Vice President Willam J. Friel has advised that starting July 14, all PNC Bank non-acount holders must register a "fingerprint signature" when cashing checks over $200 at a branch of the Bank.

The object is to combat check fraud, Mr. Friel said in a letter to Associate Treasurer Diane-Louise Wormley, suggesting that the University alert its staff and vendors to the change.

"Check fraud costs millions of dollars every year," Mr. Friel said. "A recent Federal Reserve study found that 1996 losses among all banks nationally from check fraud and counterfeiting were nearly $10 billion."

PNC is implementing the Touch Signature© Program sponsored by the American Bankers Association. It works as follows:

When cashing a check, non-account holders will apply their right thumb to a fingerprinting device that leaves no ink stain or residue. The thumbprint or "touch signature" will be placed on the face of the check between the memo and signature lines.

"Participating banks will not maintain a data bank of thumbprint signatures," Mr. Friel added. "These signatures will be used by law enforcement officials only in cases where fraud is suspected." He also advised that non-account holders will be approached to open an account with PNC Bank to expedite check-cashing if they wish.


Volume 44 Number 1
July 15, 1997

Return to Almanac's homepage.

Return to index for this issue.