Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: Payments Group forbids software-created cheques (June 24)

Your article on the policy statement on tele-cheques issued by the Canadian Payments Association (CPA) board of directors

may have inadvertently left the impression that pre-authorized debits (PADs) will be affected by the prohibition of tele-cheques. I want to clarify for your readers that this is not the case.

PADs have long been an accepted payment option under the CPA’s clearing rules. They are generally used for recurring payments, such as mortgage and utility payments, insurance premiums, and the types of rental or leasing arrangements cited by one of the sources quoted in your article.

A key difference between PADs and tele-cheques is that, under the clearing rules, prior to initiating any PADs, the biller must first obtain an agreement signed by the account holder specifying the terms and conditions under which debits may be processed to the account. This signed agreement is a contract that provides a means of verifying that the payment has been authorized in the event of a dispute. An overview of the rules that apply to PADs is provided in “”A Biller’s Guide to Pre-Authorized Debits,”” available in the Publications section of the CPA’s Web site.

A tele-cheque, on the other hand, looks like a cheque but is created by someone other than the account holder, usually based on information obtained over the telephone. Consequently, it lacks the account holder’s signature as evidence that it is legitimate. Further, it doesn’t qualify as a PAD, since it doesn’t meet the applicable rule provisions, most notably the need for a written agreement signed by the account holder authorizing withdrawals from his or her account.

The prohibition of tele-cheques reflects a concern about the heightened potential for fraud associated with them, given that there is no practical means for a financial institution to verify that its customer has authorized funds to be taken from his or her account. The CPA Board has adopted the policy in view of its mandate to ensure the safety and soundness of the Canadian clearing system and the unacceptable level of risk that these items pose to both account holders and financial institutions.

Roger Dowdall
Director, Communications and Education
Canadian Payments Association

Re: Is the pen mightier than the PDA? (June 17)

I love my tablet, but I find the act of writing sluggish. I’m not sure what it is but it just doesn’t feel the same. I have noticed that I am irritated by the thickness of the stroke and the lack of script resolution. Perhaps if they concentrated on making the act of writing on the screen more pleasant, adoption of PDAs and tablets would pick up.

Scott White

Re: Is the pen mightier than the PDA? (June 17)

Have you actually USED a tablet computer? What a joke!!

Philip Day

Re: SARS infects IT community’s resolve (June 11)

I thought your article was well done! I agree that our American friends are painting us with a very large brush and so are some fellow Canadians. Keep up the great work!

Denise Woods
International director, Canada

Re: SARS infects IT community’s resolve (June 11)

Any seasoned traveller wants to know if a city/country can provide professional medical care in case of an emergency. In Toronto, one could end up getting “”shuttled around”” in a time-critical situation.

As for the health authorities, they are not guilty of being “”too comfortable,”” they are simply watching the bottom line with isolation periods that are too short and a mayor that’s too long-winded on matters that are over his head.

Stephen Byers

Re: Corel: Pragmatism led to acceptance of Vector bid (June 9)

I hope that Corel would have the common sense to tout the advantages of the million row Quattro-Pro spreadsheet. It can also hold twice as many nested “”IF”” statements in a Function as the Lotus Millennium spreadsheet from IBM.

Rodger Lucas

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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