IT company helps bank stamp out fraud

June 2003 News

Standard Bank has saved millions of rands in the past two years with a fraud prevention system designed by Visual Information Systems (VIS), a custom software development company in the Lithotech Group. Managing consultant at Lithotech Consulting, Oostewald Immink, says, "Standard Bank approached us for a document-based solution to prevent international fund transfer fraud. On evaluation, we realised that a paper-based system did not offer sufficient security. We approached Visual Information Systems to collaborate with us on a 'mixed media' solution, ie, computer as well as paper-based, to protect both customers and employees of Standard Bank, who are faced with threats by syndicates for information. The system was accepted by Standard Bank and implemented two years ago. No fraud has taken place since."

Business development manager at Visual Information Systems, Theo Ferreira, says, "Standard Bank required a high level of security and a customised solution to meet its specific needs. VIS's experience in providing e-business solutions to companies such as NASA, Koeberg, Siemens and the Liberty Life Foundation has equipped us with the skills and knowledge to provide this solution."

The web-based international fund transfer fraud prevention application uses an authorisation scheme and printed documents with barcodes, reference numbers and pin numbers to reduce fraud. A database with encrypted information to duplicate physical documents enables the bank to check each document that is presented for payment and to verify passwords and pin numbers.

To date, Standard Bank has put about 10% of its customers, mainly large corporates, onto the system. Says Petrus Robbertze, Standard Bank's manager, special projects, "The system is working very well. We previously had an average of three or four fraud attempts per month; where the system is in place there are now none. In addition, the new application has saved us considerable time as this bar code system is much quicker at verifying transactions than other systems."

Added security is ensured by the fact that there are only four people at Standard Bank controlling the bar codes. In each company there are only one or two people in control so that in the event of something going wrong, the people involved can be pinpointed. VIS was restrained from selling or advertising this system to any other institution for a two-year period, which has now expired.

For more information contact Theo Ferreira, Visual Information Systems, 011 706 6751.

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