Crescent Foods owns and operates two independent Piggly Wiggly stores in North Carolina; one in Mt. Olive, and the other in Faison. Crescent Foods abides by Piggly Wiggly’s motto of people make the difference, and is committed to their community. The two stores serve a diverse customer base, including the unbanked community.
The high level of customer service and breadth of financial services (check cashing, bill pay and money orders) provided by these two Piggly Wiggly locations offers an enhanced shopping experience and bring customers into the stores.
Paycheck Secure provided the added security we were looking for; and the simplified, comprehensive record keeping provided ensures that we stay compliant with state regulations. – Scott King | General Manager, Piggly Wiggly
Crescent Foods was seeking a solution to combat bad check writers, and increase efficiency and control. Their hand written lists of bad check makers and check cashers made it difficult to manage and control risk, making them susceptible to repeat fraud. Around the same time, the state of North Carolina started regulating them as a check casher, subjecting them to more rigorous record keeping requirements and other regulations.
In September 2005, Crescent Foods implemented Paycheck Secure, to address the challenges. The key Paycheck Secure features that help Crescent Foods, include:
Power of Biometrics
- Paycheck Secure uses biometric technology to accurately verify a person’s identity and confirm their check cashing history using a nationwide negative check maker and check writer database. Crescent Foods customers enjoy the benefit of not having to carry their ID; and the biometric also acts as a deterrent to potential criminals who might otherwise have cashed checks. “We were lucky,” recalls King, “a group was working the area passing counterfeit checks, and several other retailers and a local bank had been hit pretty hard. Because we were using the Paycheck Secure system, our losses were minimal.”
- Complete, detailed customer and transaction information is available via a secure internet site 24/7 for both stores. King noted that Paycheck Secure has been a tremendous resource to ensure his two stores comply with state record keeping regulations. For instance, one of the state’s regulatory policies is to send inspectors into stores to review transactions. With web reports, King can quickly and easily pull reports for review. What used to take an entire day now takes minutes.
Returned Item Reports
- The Returned Item Report helps merchants prepare for bad check recovery, and includes the bad check writer’s photo, fingerprint images, contact information and images of the check. King says, “these reports are invaluable and a huge time saver, enabling us to quickly escalate incidents of check fraud to law enforcement.”
Since installing the biometric Paycheck Secure system, Crescent Foods has seen peace of mind, reduced fraud, happier customers, and increased store traffic.
“We’ve greatly reduced our overall check losses,” says King, “and we benefit from a consistent fee revenue stream from happy, loyal check cashing customers.”
In the 25 months that Crescent Foods has used the Paycheck Secure system, they have processed $42 million in check cashing transactions and generated over $500,000 in fee revenue.
In closing King noted that “stores with similar monthly volumes of $1-$1.5M in check cashing transactions will see a minimum of $5-10K savings from fraud upon installing the Paycheck Secure system.”