International Reference Systems (IRS), a Netherlands-based provider of document verification solutions, has appointed IMX South Africa as a business partner for sub-Saharan Africa.

The two companies will work together to deliver IRS’s banknote verification solutions to companies in South Africa and the rest of the continent. These solutions will help cashiers at retail-foreign exchange bureaux and banks to easily verify the authenticity of any banknotes that are presented to them.

Cashiers at client companies will be able to access high resolution images of banknotes from the IRS online database. In addition to the high resolution images, IRS provides detailed information on security features such as watermarks, microprints, protective foil, security threads, UV reactions, intaglio and anti-copying devices including holograms and kinegrams. Cashiers can also see real-time reports on which banknotes are in authorised circulation. This will enable cashiers to more quickly and easily detect counterfeit notes, reducing risk for the business and speeding up transaction times. IRS also provides a comprehensive database of passports and identity documents for all countries. This includes validation of the machine readable zone (MRZ) on passports – greatly assisting the detection of fraudulent documentation.

IMX Software has integrated IRS directly into its market-leading retail foreign exchange point of sale system, GTS Retail. This will allow cashiers to go straight from the GTS trading screen to the images of and information about the currency they are working with, streamlining the business process with the click of a mouse.

Says Rob Stansell, managing director of IMX South Africa: “Up until now, most firms that trade banknotes through retail outlets have depended on cumbersome printed guides to authenticate banknotes. This approach is unsatisfactory, given how rapidly banknotes and their security features evolve.

“With IRS, cashiers can quickly validate any banknote under normal, UV and infrared light against the IRS database and view all the security features. This ensures they can process transactions more quickly while being sure that they’re not allowing any fraudulent notes to escape their attention. IRS already has all the central banks in the region using its service. We plan to extend this footprint into the commercial banks and bureaux de change companies.”

“We’re excited to bring this solution to Africa, helping retail forex firms to reduce the risk of fraud during currency exchange,” says Joost Vlek CEO of IRS. “As the leading supplier of banknote trading and retail foreign exchange systems in the region, IMX South Africa is the natural choice to take IRS into the sub-Saharan African market.”