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The Thumbprint Signature Program was created by the Texas Bankers Association to provide a simple, effective and inexpensive method for preventing and deterring check fraud. The deterrent aspect of the program is its strongest advantage.

Over 120 Texas banks participate in the program. This figure does not include the many branch locations that are also using Thumbprint Signature to combat fraud. Additionally, the program has received widespread use on a national level-it has been adopted by 38 state banking associations.

There are currently more than 400 Texas retailers using the program. A large major discount chain, convenience stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, jewelry stores and check cashing stores are among the participants. A number of local law enforcement agencies have also played an active role in promoting the program to area merchants.

How does it work? The program works as a natural deterrent. Persons wanting to cash a check are asked to place an impression of their thumbprint on the face of the check. A small "inkless" touch pad facilitates the process. Although the touch pad looks and operates just like a traditional inkpad, it leaves no stain or residue on users or clothing. The procedure is quick, simple and clean. These signatures are used by law enforcement officials only in cases where fraud is suspected.

Criminals seeking to commit check fraud are unlikely to put their thumbprints on bogus checks. Those who are foolish enough to cooperate leave a positive ID that can be turned over to law enforcement.

Products include:

  • Touch Pads: The pads have a shelf life of 18 months or a minimum of 500 impressions. Be sure to order enough for all your tellers.
  • Window Displays: Post these 6x3-inch "tent-style" display signs at your teller windows as an additional reminder that you participate in the program.
  • Decals: Post decals at all entrances to let people know you are participating in the program and to warn potential criminals that their crimes will not go undetected.
  • Statement Stuffers: These 3.5 x 7.5 brochures explain the mechanics of the program in easy to understand language. Banks should send them as a public service announcement to all account holders at least three times during implementation of the program. Banks should also keep plenty available for anyone who might have questions about the program. Available in increments of 500 only. (Banks only)
For additional information , contact TBA at 512-472-8388.

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