South Africa has a somewhat colourful history when it comes to attacks aimed at financial institutions. One might even say that we produced one of the most famous (or infamous) bank robber gangs in modern history, dubious distinction though it may be.
While it has now been three decades since the notorious Stander Gang led by Andre Stander (immortalised by actor Thomas Jane in the 2003 eponymous film) terrorised banks in the Johannesburg area, the threat faced by this industry has anything but diminished. If anything, it has increased as criminals become more ruthless in their onslaught in the wake of an economy that has seen better days.
The advantage that banks and other financial institutions of today have over those of Stander’s time is that they are spoilt for choice when it comes to the solutions available for securing human and monetary assets. The financial access control market has seen such remarkable innovations in the last couple of years that it becomes difficult to even draw parallels between the technology of today and the technology that was available as recently as the early 2000s.
As a South African manufacturer, Centurion Systems is in tune with the security and access control needs of the country’s various markets, including those of the seemingly always-at-risk financial sector. The company offers a diverse range of access control solutions, including proximity and biometric systems, GSM devices and keypads, all incorporating identification technology and tailor-made to cover even the most prominent of security vulnerabilities.
An undisputed heavyweight in the area is biometric technology; widely regarded as the one of the most effective and secure ways of controlling access in banks (or in any sector, really) and with good reason. Not only do biometric access control systems offer identification through unique physical characteristics (mostly fingerprints), but they also provide a means of logging transactions and capturing users activities, further enhancing the institution’s site monitoring capabilities.
Access to high-security areas within the bank itself can be controlled by means of a SmartGuard access control keypad, a device which can accommodate up to 1000 unique one to ten digit user codes. The product has been enhanced by the addition of a wireless model, the SmartGuardair, which can be mounted, paired with up to 15 compatible devices (such as electromagnetic locks and alarms fitted with Centurion’s code-hopping receivers). Keypads free bank employees of the burden of having to carry keys and tags around with them, and come with a built-in panic feature that can be inconspicuously activated under duress.
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