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A funny thing happened to checks when the world moved to automated scanning: All the visual security features started going away. Most printed anti-fraud elements either don’t play nice with scanners or disappear when converted to images, so banks started stripping down their checks to more image-friendly designs.

But fraud certainly isn’t going to take a day off because of image problems, so bankers were left to find other ways of detecting fakes and forgeries. One innovative way of doing this is a new twist on a technology that’s been around for a long time: ultraviolet security printing – or what most of us know as “invisible ink.”