One (one) alternative to your check being evaluated for potential fraud by the dispassionate computer program that embodies years of expertise and works the same way every time for everyone that Certegy employs is to have some merchant's minimum-wage, drop-out, shift-working, short-term employee eyeball you and your ID and deciding for themselves based on whatever criteria enters their mind if you and your check look credible. Is that what you'd prefer?
Unfortunately, fraudsters create realistic looking checks and IDs that closely mimic the real thing. No one, and no computer program will always get it right all the time. This is a given. Even calling the check issuer or a bank is unreliable because you cannot always know who you are calling, it doesn't make financial sense (why take a check, in that case) and money can be withdrawn from a bank before the check gets paid.
Ideally, we'd all know our merchants personally, and they us, we would always treat each other fairly and with respect, and we'd never try to get over on anyone, but the reality, I am afraid, is otherwise.