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JBS SHIELDED MERCHANTS FROM $150.9 MILLION IN BAD CHECKS DURING FIRST SEVEN MONTHS OF '92, UP 19 PERCENT FROM '91 LEVELS

 JBS SHIELDED MERCHANTS FROM $150.9 MILLION IN BAD CHECKS DURING
 FIRST SEVEN MONTHS OF '92, UP 19 PERCENT FROM '91 LEVELS
 RINGWOOD, N.J., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Although various indicators point to modest improvements in the nation's economy this year, bounced check activity remains on the rise, according to the latest statistics from JBS Associates, one of North America's largest check authorization companies.
 JBS protected its clients from a record $150.9 million in bad or potentially bad checks during the first seven months of this year, up 19 percent from $126.7 million during the comparable 1991 period. The increase came on a 10 percent rise in the overall volume of checks handled by the Ringwood-based company for the year to date.
 Notably, the 19 percent increase for the first seven months of this year is more than double the 7.7 percent rise recorded by JBS for all of 1991.
 The totals include potentially bad checks that registered as "hits" on JBS' negative file and, accordingly, were declined at the point of sale. Also included are checks that were accepted but subsequently returned unpaid -- with payment rendered to the merchants by JBS under its guarantee program.
 JBS services over 37,000 merchant locations throughout the United States and Canada, including retail stores, auto dealers, hotels, auto repair shops and catalog/mail order houses. The company authorized nearly $6 billion in checks during 1991.
 Commenting on the results, Carl J. Williams, president and CEO of JBS, said, "Our seven-month figures clearly indicate that bounced checks have not abated even though the economy is slowly picking up. In our view, a good portion of this upswing in bad check activity stems from the fact that unemployment remains at stubbornly high levels. In most cases, consumers writing bad checks are acting out of financial desperation; they're not necessarily doing this with criminal intent. At the same time, however, our loss prevention department had found that fraud continues to climb."
 Williams also noted that the addition of 11,000 new merchant locations during the past 12 months has led to further gains in the integrity of JBS' negative file, thus preventing more bad checks at the point of sale. "The accurate, timely quality of our negative file enhances our ability to shield our merchants from potentially bad checks within seconds before the transaction is completed," he said. "This is essential to keeping costs down for the merchant and, ultimately, all consumers.
 -0- 9/1/92
 /CONTACT: Carl J. Williams of JBS, 800-526-5380; or Bill Parness, 908-290-0121, for JBS/ CO: JBS Associates ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU:


GK-TM -- NYFNS1 -- 5229 09/01/92 07:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 1, 1992
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