Thumbprint Signature Program

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Check fraud costs banks and their customers millions of dollars each year. To combat check fraud among Missouri financial institutions, MBA sponsors the Thumbprint Signature Program. This program provides a simple, effective and inexpensive method for preventing and deterring check fraud.

How does it work?

Banks participating in the program ask noncustomers requesting to cash "on-us" checks to apply a thumbprint (using an inkless pad that leaves no mess) to the face of the check, in addition to examining the standard forms of identification. The thumbprint serves as positive ID for use by law enforcement if the check is fraudulent. However, the primary purpose of this program is to serve as a deterrent.

Banks do not maintain a data bank of Thumbprint Signatures. These signatures are used by law enforcement officials only in cases where fraud is suspected. The program works as a natural deterrent. Criminals seeking to commit check fraud are unlikely to put their thumbprints on bogus checks. Most likely, they will try their schemes elsewhere. And, those who are foolish enough to cooperate leave a positive I.D. that can be turned over to law enforcement.

Success Stories

The Thumbprint Signature Program is used by more than 100 Missouri financial institutions and retailers. The success of the Thumbprint Signature Program, which originated in Texas, has prompted 38 states to adopt similar programs. 

The Thumbprint Signature Program has received widespread support from local law enforcement agencies. Although the program is most effectively used as a deterrent, it has actually been used to help apprehend and identify criminals. The Thumbprint Signature Program dramatically speeds up the investigation’s identification process, and perpetrators can sometimes be identified in less than 48 hours.

How do we get started?

Other than supplies, there is no cost to participate in the program. MBA offers discounted prices on the inkless pads and will send a packet with general information and recommended operating policies to assist your bank in implementing the program.

Can my retail customers use Thumbprint Signature?

Yes! Convenience stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, jewelry stores and check cashing stores are among retail participants. Some local law enforcement agencies also have played an active role in promoting the program to area merchants. Be sure to request a retail information packet if you have customers who would benefit from using the Thumbprint Signature Program.

Thumbprint Signature Program Products

All items feature the Thumbprint Signature Program logo printed in two colors on a white background.

  • 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.
  • Teller Window Displays - Post these 6" x 3" 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. You also may want to post decals in your drive-through stations.
  • Statement Stuffers - These 3.5" x 7.5" brochures explain the mechanics of the program. Send them as a public service announcement to all your account holders and make sure to have plenty on hand for anyone who might have questions about the program. sold in increments of 500

For More Information

Contact MBA at 573-636-8151.

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