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The UK's faster payment project: avoiding a bonanza for cybercrime fraudsters

Jonathan Fisher (London School of Economics, London, UK)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 9 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to consider the increased exposure to cyber crime which would result if one‐day cheque clearance were introduced in the UK.


This paper undertakes a comparative analysis of the UK and US cheque‐clearance systems, examines the enhanced vulnerability to fraud occasioned by a one‐day cheque clearance system and considers the resulting evidential difficulties encountered in US cheque fraud prosecutions. The paper then anticipates the UK experience and examines recent cyber‐crime cases in the UK. Finally the paper explores the possibility of biometric fingerprint authorisation as a prevention strategy.


The introduction of one‐day cheque clearance in the USA heralded an increase in cyber‐crime banking fraud and a reduction of the ability of the prosecuting authorities to bring cases to court because of the paucity of documentary evidence. The same pattern of activity would be likely to occur if one‐day cheque clearance were to be introduced in the UK. Banks should lobby for the replacement of cheque banking with biometric fingerprint authorisation of electronic banking transactions as the best way forward.

Practical implications

This paper indicates the most pragmatic way forward for banks targeted by this type of cyber‐crime and warns the legal profession of the evidential difficulties in US prosecutions.


This paper is of value to legal practitioners, academics, students and financial market professionals with interests in banking, fraud, and cyber‐crime.



Fisher, J. (2008), "The UK's faster payment project: avoiding a bonanza for cybercrime fraudsters", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 155-164.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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