Document capture company Parascript and data manager Bull are looking for mistakes on checks in Brazil, a market in which payments fraud can be particularly complex and vexing for banks.

"There is a concern about the accuracy of checks, whether the mistakes are accidental or intentional," says Don Dew, a director at Parascript, which is based in Longmont, Colo.

Parascript worked with Bull, a Paris-based company, to develop a system to read the information on checks to spot mistakes or fraud. The companies hope to leverage Bull's existing client base in Brazil, which includes a number of local banks and insurance companies that use Bull's technology for data management and integration between systems.

Their technology enables companies to read and convert printed and handwritten checks into an electronic file containing the document's signature, payee name, date and value. It detects mismatches in check amounts in different fields to issue red flags for fraud or honest mistakes. These checks can be returned, inspected manually or rejected.

Signatures on checks can also be compared to signatures in an account holder's database to spot inconsistencies. Parascript and Bull have jointly implemented the Sentry SigCheck signature verification system in Brazil. SigCheck extracts signature images from checks and verifies the signatures using Parascript's SignatureXpert, which uses artificial intelligence, holistic analysis of a signature and signature segmentation to compare check signatures to those on other documents.

"The table stakes in Brazil is to provide assurance that checks are accurate and secure," Dew says.

Fraudsters in the country operate with a fairly high level of sophistication. Card accounts are also a target in Brazil, with 30% of Brazilians experiencing card fraud in the past five years. The U.S. Citizens Service in Brazil recently issued a payments fraud warning for people traveling to watch the World Cup.

"The counterfeit and fraud issues are different across regions and it can be very challenging for service providers entering these markets," says Avivah Litan, a vice president and security expert at Gartner. "This is especially true in Brazil where fraud attacks are also very advanced, executed by local gangs, and which often display unique patterns not seen in other geographies and countries. Banks in Brazil demand that their technology suppliers have extensive knowledge of the local crime trends because of this phenomenon."

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