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CeBit: Softpro presents State of the Art in e-Signing and Check Fraud Detection

02-25-2009 09:21 PM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: SOFTPRO GmbH

Signaylze - a sophisticated toolbox which visualizes the various aspects of dynamic (biometric) signature characteristics

Signaylze - a sophisticated toolbox which visualizes the various aspects of dynamic (biometric) signature characteristics

Fraud Detection and e-Signing specialist Softpro presents her solutions at the leading IT-event worldwide - Cebit. The Signature experts will showcase their holistic fraud prevention suite "SignPlus" as well as their next generation signature tablet "SignPad" at the Signature Pavilion in hall 17, stand G04 - along with their highly innovative end-to-end electronic account opening application.

Signatures experience a comeback as they offer what Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or other Biometrics such as finger prints can not: They are a non-intrusive proof of intent. They are culturally accepted and understood. Their invisible biometric characteristics such as the different levels of writing pressure can not be spied out and signing is the most personal way for authentication. Reasons enough for more and more companies to get serious about signatures.


Trustworthy e-Signing with the Handwritten Signature

Softpro is showcasing the next generation signature tablet, named SignPad eSignio, introduced to the market 15 months ago and now one of the most popular pads for e-signing worldwide. 2008 was the year of the breakthrough for e-signing in various verticals. Thousands of SignPads were rolled out at tellers of banks, counters of telecommunication companies and at cash terminals of large retailers. "Paperless signing" is a reality now as customers sign directly on the display of the SignPad using Softpro’s SignDoc electronic signing software.

The upcoming release of the SignDoc product suite sets the next milestones in combining convenience and security – in the most efficient way. SignDoc Web enables the signing of PDF documents directly in the web browser through an ultra thin client. The client side footprint is minimized and SignDoc Web can be disseminated with web-like convenience.

E-Signing with SignDoc is at least as secure as signing on paper: Besides the static image of the signature that is familiar to everyone on paper, signature tablets and Tablet PCs also capture dynamic signals. These signals are created throughout the signing process and may be used as additional security features. The different levels of the writing pressure, speed and velocity throughout the writing process are very unique to the individual signer. They can be verified automatically on demand.

Checks are still alive and Check Fraud is on the rise

Although the rate of online banking is increasing hundreds of billions of checks are written every year throughout the world. The affinity to checks is not diminishing in the "check countries". The relative importance of checks as a payment instrument is outstandingly high in Singapore (73,3% in 2006), Turkey (66,6% in 2005), the United States (54,7% in 2006), Brazil (40% in 2005) and Canada (35,0% in 2006). Areas with exceptional economic growth such as the Gulf countries or Australia even reported increasing numbers in check usage in recent years.

For financial institutions worldwide, check processing and clearing is a significant cost factor in the payment process. However, reduction in processing costs leads to higher check fraud risk exposure. Check fraud is consistently rising year-over-year and is expected to continue rising as fraud perpetration using other payment instruments such as credit cards becomes increasingly difficult.

The use of checks as a vehicle for fraudulent transactions is a global phenomena. The figures about check fraud worldwide are impressive. However only a few organizations are publishing figures about fraud cases and money lost due to check fraud.

- According to the American Banker's Association check fraud accounted for more than $12.2 billion in 2006 (up from 5.5 billion in 2003 and $4.3 billion in 2001). Check fraud losses incurred in 80 per cent of the banks (up from 75 percent in 2003).
- According to French police reports, check fraud cases have increased by 85% between August 2005 and July 2006 in Paris alone.
- In Australia the average cheque fraud damage in 2005 was A$ 0.03 in every A$ 100 (0.0003%) = A$ 540 mil (approx. 300 mil EUR) lost to the financial industry in total.
- In the UK, check fraud attempts increased by 20% between 2003 and 2004
to a total of £665 million in potential fraud losses. Unfortunately no newer figures have been published so far.
Arguably the motivation for perpetrating check fraud crimes is the low risk of being caught.

Holistic Check Fraud Prevention is highly important

These losses can be avoided. Searching for fraud amongst the billions of transactions may seem like searching for a needle in a haystack. However there is one holistic and sustainable way to address all relevant aspects of check fraud and effectively lower the operational risk. Leading financial institutions around the globe cope with this challenge in using Softpro's SignPlus product suite and securing millions of transactions every day. Up until now, the challenge to fighting this fraud has been to reduce check processing costs while increasing, rather than decreasing, protection against fraud losses.

At Cebit Softpro showcases the latest features SignPlus Edition II. Banks enjoy substantial savings for back-office check processing centers by automating tedious and error-prone manual verification while significantly improving the detection of fraudulent items. This solution enables banks to take necessary precautions to secure the paper-based payment process and prevent losses from check fraud in a truly cost-effective manner. Softpro has a proven track record with her systems for the validation of handwritten signatures and fraud prevention in payment processes. The company provides the SignPlus suite of products, which were initially conceived in cooperation with a consortium of the largest U.S. banks. The solution is considered by many of the US Tier 1 banks to be a "best practice industry initiative" to combat check fraud and has been successfully deployed at many of the world's largest financial institutions since its inception.

The SOFTPRO Group is the worldwide leading vendor of systems for capture and verification of handwritten signatures. The company is based in Boeblingen, Germany with local subsidiaries in North America (Bear, Delaware), the United Kingdom (London), and Asia-Pacific (Singapore).

The group currently employs an international staff of over 60 people, enabling more than 200 companies worldwide to streamline their document and transaction workflows.

With its "eSign Workflow" product line, SOFTPRO provides solutions for securing the authenticity and integrity of documents within electronic processes, such as those required for legal contracts. For this purpose, a unique signature technology is used to extract and evaluate both the static and dynamic (biometric) characteristics of handwritten signatures.
SOFTPRO’s "Fraud Prevention Solutions" portfolio provides a holistic approach to detecting and preventing fraud in paper-based processes (such as payment transactions), as well as increasing operational efficiency using signature management and verification solutions.
Among SOFTPRO’s customers are American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Discover Financial, Ingolstadt Hospital, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds TSB, SEB, Standard Bank of South Africa, UBS and Wachovia.
Since 2002, the offer to secure electronic documents with handwritten signatures extended the customer portfolio of SOFTPRO to other industries such as banking and insurance, health/pharma, retail, government, automotive and logistics.

Frost & Sullivan, one of the leading growth consulting companies worldwide, presented SOFTPRO GmbH with its "Customer Service Leadership Award 2007" for having excelled in serving its customers and gaining superior customer satisfaction levels. This award recognizes the company that has gained the best insights into customer needs and product demands.

SOFTPRO's shareholders are GE Capital (since 1998), AdCapital (since 2001) founders and management.

SOFTPRO's partners include: A2iA, Adobe, Beta Systems (Kleindienst), Disoft, Fujitsu Siemens Computers / Fujitsu, Gateway, Gijima AST, HP, IBM, Interlink, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motion Computing, Toshiba, TeleCash (First Data), Unisys and Wacom as well as APP Informatik Davos.

Please contact us for additional information:

Joerg-M. Lenz
Manager PR
mailto:jle@softpro.de

SOFTPRO GmbH
Wilhelmstrasse 34
71034 Boeblingen
Germany

Phone: +49 7031 6606 0
Fax: +49 7031 6606 66

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