First National Bank of Chicago has bought software to let personal computers display signatures in order to help platform personnel and tellers foil check fraud.

First Chicago already has a software verification system for the network of "dumb" terminals at most of its teller stations.

However, like many institutions, the bank is moving toward placing personal computers in all its branch offices.

From Mainframe to PC

The new software, from Datavision, Marlboro, Mass., will allow the new PCs to retrieve signatures from the bank's central database and display them on a screen.

Once displayed, the signatures can be used to verify that a check has been signed by an authorized person.

The software will initially be installed at 100 platform PCs connected through a local area network.

Check fraud has been on the rise in recent years, according to a 1991 survey by the American Bankers Association.

The average bank lost $330,000 to check fraud in 1990.

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