Money handling faces challenge of new coins and notes in circulation

It is International best practice for the security features of bank notes to be upgraded every seven to ten years. Such proactive upgrades endeavour to prevent counterfeiting a new note series.

The current South African notes series was upgraded in 2005, and while the security features remain effective, the South African Reserve Bank recently announced that they will be producing a new South African Bank Note series.

The currency will have the same denominations, sizes and colours but the front of all notes will carry a specially designed engraving of former President Nelson Mandela. The iconic image that will be carried on all the new notes is a tribute to him as one of Africa and the world’s greatest leaders.

The redesign is being accompanied by a significant recapitalisation of the South African Note Company (SABN), which is being modernised with state of the art printing equipment.

The current notes remain legal tender and there will be a programme of replacement with the new notes over time. It is expected that the notes will be introduced towards the end of 2012. South Africa will no longer be making 5 cent coins, however all existing South African 1c, 2c and 5c coins remain legal tender in South Africa. Accordingly, all banks, persons and businesses will be, and are obliged, to continue to accept these coins.

The new currency will impact all money handling machines across the whole country, including vending machines, cash deposit machine teller cash recyclers, Bill validators, discriminators, coin and banknote counters/sorters. The Manufacturers of these machines need to create new software templates for bank notes and all coin acceptance machines will need to be calibrated to accept the new coins.

What will be required from a service perspective is to upgrade all customers’ machines with the new template to authenticate and fitness sort the new currency, as well as to process the old and current currency in circulation. Page Automation currently has an installed base of over 3500 banknote in the field. The new templates will have to be uploaded and calibration on predefined bank branches and cash centres for testing integrity and reliability of templates, before a country roll-out project can be implemented.

The challenge lies in ensuring that all 3500 machines are upgraded on time to meet the SARB release date to market, which is still to be confirmed. All of the manufacturers are based overseas and it takes approximately 30 to 60 days for the manufacturers to make the changes to the templates. It is a lengthy process and they require a minimum of 50 to 100 notes of each denomination for the development which are kept at their premises 3 to 5 years for ongoing research and development.

Our product set enables Page Automation to provide customers with a one stop shop and integrated solution.

Our track record for the highest level of service and quality sets us apart and the fact that we have continued to meet our 95% SLA targets over the last 2 years has ensured our success and customer loyalty.

This project will provide us with another opportunity to prove our capability, strengthen our relationships, forge new partnerships and expand our base even further.