Working from home? Sign from home – SigniFlow fully digitises the home office

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At a time when it seems things are spinning out of control, you don’t have to lose control of your business. SigniFlow software offers a fully digital, remote business continuity solution.

Business and its workforce as we know it, has changed – suddenly and earth-shatteringly, across the globe.

The COVID-19 virus has forced countless individuals – from executive level, down to entry-level employees – to work from home, a major change in environment that in many cases accompanies unforeseen and unprecedented difficulties.

Doing everyday things that were previously basic, autopilot office tasks, such as signing purchase orders or sales contracts, or internal processes like leave approvals or capex requests, has become impossible under social distancing restrictions.

But working from home does not need to be difficult – at all; you do not need to lose control of your business. SigniFlow offers a failsafe solution for any work-from-home scenario that is simple, fast and sure.

We have seen first-hand how our customers, simply by using the same software they have been using for years, have seamlessly adapted to what was practically an overnight shift from office to home. Whether something straightforward, like leave approvals or claim forms – or higher-level procedures involving legally binding contracts and non-disclosure agreements, SigniFlow users have effortlessly transitioned and, in spite of the disaster that has gripped the globe, are enjoying business as usual.

Internationally compliant and legally accepted, SigniFlow is digital signature workflow software that fully digitises – and enhances – any process that requires a document to be signed or approved. It is process automation software that fits into your environment and works the way you need it to work.

If you have a laptop and internet connectivity at home, SigniFlow can enable your fully digital work-from-home office, literally in minutes. Our software will allow you to send documents for signing, receive and sign documents, and keep an audit trail of every single step of every business process and communication carried out – all 100% remote processes, with no human interaction necessary at any point.

Think of SigniFlow software as a work-from-home smartphone; one solution replaces your printer and scanner, courier services, face-to-face meetings and legal procedures. Whether you run an property agency, are a financial services provider, offer secretarial, tax or admin services – or even in the medical industry, where digital scripts and procedure sign-offs are now a necessity, our suite of digital enablers makes it possible for you to continue operations without anxiety or interruption.

Inevitably, COVID-19 has struck fear into people worldwide and left businesspeople reeling, unsure of how to sufficiently continue daily operations, but it needn’t give you sleepless nights. You do not need to lose time or money, or neglect your business. If you are forced to work from home, sign from home with SigniFlow.

To get more information on how we can enable your work-from-home office with remote signing and contactless business processes, contact us via our website or email support@signiflow.com.

Work from home, sign from home with SigniFlow. Fast, simple and secure.

PBSA SIGNIFLOW CORPORATE STATEMENT – COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS

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PBSA, including SIGNIFLOW global operations, continues to monitor the latest developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which has now been classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a global pandemic. Guided by our core values, we have taken and will continue to take actions that protect the health and well-being of our employees, partners and customers, as our number one concern.

PBSA business, support and service delivery teams have developed agile business continuity strategies that specifically deal with COVID-19 to safeguard the health of our employees and minimise the impact of delivering services to our customers.

A special COVID-19 committee has been formed and the following steps have been taken:

  • Operational Review
    • Individual reviews were conducted with each person in the organisation to assess personal risk, business risk and compile a comprehensive skills matrix.
    • Limitation of contact strategies were reviewed.
    • Work from home strategies were reviewed and feasibilities assessed.
    • Service delivery strategies were reviewed.
    • Support delivery strategies were reviewed.
    • Contingency plans for low, medium and high impact disasters were reviewed.
    • IT readiness infrastructure was reviewed.
  • Policies and Procedures
    • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) under ISO9001:2015 are being implemented to deal with any change in the work environments.
    • A Pandemic Policy is being drafted.
    • Sanitising and hygiene at the workplace have been stepped up.

The following measures have been taken:

  • Sanitising. Awareness around the use of hand sanitisers has been stepped up. Hand sanitiser dispensing units have been installed at all critical points in-and-around the building and all external employees are equipped with hand sanitisers and medical-grade facemasks. Medical-grade facemasks and surgical gloves have also been made available to all staff. 
  • Location and employee segregation. In order to limit human contact and to ensure contingency of management, key personnel and job functions, four isolated locations were identified that will host segregated groups of employees. Group segregation was done strategically in accordance with Personal Risk, Business Risk and Skills Matrix profiles of each person.
    • PBSA Head Office Building (Site A, hosting Group A)
    • SigniFlow Offices (Site B, hosting Group B)
    • PBSA Warehouse (Site C, hosting Group C)
    • DevOps Krugers (Site D, hosting Group D)

The fifth location grouping is known as “Offsite Isolated”, hosting Group E and relates to employees working from home, who have no contact with customers or other personnel.

The sixth location grouping is known as “Offsite non-isolated”, hosting Group F and relates to employees, who are designated to work from home, but may have periodic contact with customers and personnel also in Group F.

The seventh grouping is known as “Cape Town”, hosting Group G and relates to personnel stationed in Cape Town. 

The eighth grouping is known as “Durban”, hosting Group H and relates to personnel stationed in Durban. 

The ninth grouping is known as “UK”, hosting Group I and relates to personnel stationed in the SigniFlow UK office. 

The tenth grouping is known as “AUS”, hosting Group J and relates to personnel stationed in the Melbourne Australia office. 

  • Employee contingency groupings. Employee groupings per location were done in accordance with:
    • Segregation of management and key personnel.
    • Segregation in accordance with skills matrix and job function.
    • Segregation of divisional teams – Admin, Finance, Sales, Customer services and Support services.
    • Isolation by location of employees that were identified with higher-risk profiles.
  • Visits to customer premises. For the time being, “Offsite non-isolated” personnel will be permitted to meet at customer premises, upon executive approval only.  
  • Onsite (customer premises) service personnel. No service disruptions are anticipated. For onsite maintenance and support functions, we have business continuity plans in place that are activated on demand. All internal systems, tools and monitors are designed to allow for remote work.
  • Visits to PBSA’s premises. For the time being, limited to executive approval, customers will be able to meet at Site A with anyone in Group A in a demarcated, isolated area. Customers will be requested to sanitise hands before entering the premises and may be asked to wear facemasks during the engagement. 
  • Software Support. Support continues as normal. All internal systems, tools and monitors are designed to allow for remote work.
  • Software Development Support. Support continues as normal. All internal systems, tools and monitors are designed to allow for remote work.
  • Local travel. Suspended until further notice in accordance with local regulatory guidance and restrictions.
  • International travel.  Suspended until further notice in accordance with local and international regulatory guidance and restrictions.
  • Digital Communications platforms.
    • Internal
      • All employees in all locations are connected via Microsoft Teams. All employees have the same access as before to IT systems like ERP and CRM via secure access protocols. 
      • All employees have access to SigniFlow for internal workflow approvals and digital signing of forms, documentation and contracts. 
    • External
      • Microsoft Teams has been identified as the primary means of video and teleconferencing engagements. Others like Skype, WebEx and Zoom will be considered in accordance with customer preference.
      • All employees have access to SigniFlow to distribute contracts, proposals and documentation for approval and digital signing by customers, partners, suppliers and/ or any external party.   

These and other related policies and SOP’s are effective from 18 March 2020 until further notice. It is business as usual, but with a fine touch of digital.

PBSA offers software that assists with business process automation and digitisation. You can learn more about these offerings here.   

Should you have any questions or concerns, please direct communications to: The Compliance Manager deonJ@pbsa.co.za

Support channels (ticketing systems, telephonic support and email systems) remain unchanged.

This statement will be formally reviewed on 3rd April 2020, or sooner if there are any regulatory changes or significant change to the COVID-19 status quo.

Digital transformation in the face of fear

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A lot of the trepidation around digital transformation comes from misnomers & misunderstandings around what it is. We shed some light & offer professional tips to help make the process more doable than daunting.

Whether it’s because you don’t feel ready for disruption, don’t know how worthwhile it is for your business, or you’ve actually tried digital transformation before and failed, you are not alone in your fear of it.

IT experts regard digital transformation (also referred to as DT or DX) as an absolute necessity, given the globalisation and mobility that underpins modern-day business.

But, despite digital transformation being a vital part of companies’ future, many are resistant to it. Change can be scary. Digitalisation is new, daunting and often not seen by businesses as a necessity – and so put on the backburner or pushed to the curb entirely.

Undoubtedly, much of this fear factor stems from misnomers, myths and misunderstandings around what digital transformation actually is, and what it entails.

DX Debunked

To understand what digital transformation is, let’s first look at what it is not.

•             DX is not an immediate change; it is a shift in how you conduct your business – in the long term and going forward. Think of it like a lifestyle change, rather than a crash diet – which it’s no secret, never works.

•             DX is not an IT project; it is a fundamental and gradual paradigm shift that must be understood and taken on board by the entire crew. Businesses cannot designate DX to their IT departments and expect it to transform the way non-IT employees work. Maximum productivity and efficiency require maximum buy-in.

•             DX is not about hanging on to processes because they have worked and been effective in the past, because – in today’s business world – the case is quite the contrary. The “tried and tested” methods of yesterday are outdated, ineffective and cumbersome. This has been proven.

DX Demystified

DX is about how businesses use modern-day technology and processes, in conjunction with their resources, to optimise performance and deliver supreme value to the demanding and digital-savvy consumer of today.

US-based research company, International Data Corporation (IDC), describes DX as, “[The process of] applying new technologies to radically change processes, customer experience, and value.”

Echoing our earlier point that DX is not about solving new problems with old solutions, the company says, “DX allows organisations to become Digital Native Enterprises that support innovation and digital disruption rather than enhancing existing technologies and models.”

In one of SigniFlow’s previous articles, on customer satisfaction – which is one of the profit pinnacles of DX – we said, “Digital transformation is essentially the implementation of new technology and software tools, primarily reliant on cloud computing, to the end of solving problems and delivering solutions faster, with less operating inefficiencies and costs.”

“Organisations that have advanced to the ‘Digital Transformer’ stage are rapidly pulling away from the rest – creating the beginning of a rift that will ultimately leave organizations on either side of the thrivers or survivors.”

IDC

Top tips

Now that we’ve covered the what of DX, here are some pointers on the part that has many businesses befuddled – the how.

Founder and executive director of SigniFlow, Leon van der Merwe, and SigniFlow Americas CEO, Laila Robak, share some tips on how businesses should think – and go – about digital transformation. 

  1. More than IT: It is important to bear in mind that DX is not an IT project; it affects the entire business. DX should not be perceived as uniquely an IT project. We have seen this a number of time with our customers – DX projects are actually led by other departments, such as HR, Legal and Sales, which require efficient and safe processes.
  2. Total buy-in: You need to get buy-in from all stakeholders, from the get-go. Too often we see an IT or business department buying in to a digitisation project, only to find at a later stage that Legal, HR or Architecture were all affected by the project, yet knew nothing about it. This can cause major delays to the project, while implementation could have already started. Think about everyone who will be affected by the project and involve them from the start.
  3. Fear not: Don’t be afraid to take some calculated risks. Any project comes with associated risks and, no matter how much time is spent defining requirements, no one can never be 100% accurate. Adopt an agile approach and use CI/CD practices to minimise the cost of being wrong, rather than spending weeks – or even months – on trying to be right.  
  4. The human element: Nothing changes overnight, especially not people. Good DX systems simply assist humans to work more efficiently. The idea with digitisation is not to get rid of humans, but rather to make them more effective and accurate in their work, so the business can cope with expansion.
    However, humans take time to adapt, to understand and to learn the new processes that have been edged into their everyday lives. Once a process is automated, give the employees time to catch up and understand how things should be done going forward. Give them training and let them see how technology can help them do things better and faster than ever before.
  5. Digital nation: Instil a digital culture in the workplace. Ensure that a digital culture is promoted from the top, down. Put marketing material up against the office walls, promoting employees to “think digital”, even before digitisation starts. Most failed digitisation projects are as a result of employees and executive members not buying in. It is critical that everyone in the business sees the advantages of digitisation, and shares in the vision of the company.
  6. Rome wasn’t built in a day: Do not try to digitise the entire business in one go. Pick a few processes that make sense to start with, and digitise only them. As soon as employees start experiencing the advantages of the new systems first-hand, they will want more and will assist and push to have the rest of the processes digitised.
  7. Never-ending story: Digitisation is never done. Ever. Digitising processes takes time and – once this is done – improving on initial process designs is never-ending.

[REFERENCES]

  1. IDC – Digital Transformation (DX) Research
  2. SigniFlow – Customer satisfaction in the 21st Century: Is your business digitally equipped?             

FICA law in the spotlight after property sales to politically exposed nationals

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A probe into property sales by one of SA’s biggest estate agents highlights the importance of conducting thorough KYC processes in line with FICA legislation.

For businesses that deal with the provision of financial services in any form, the importance of adhering to the financial laws that govern processes cannot be emphasised enough, with repercussions for non-compliance ranging from huge financial loss, to irreversible reputational damage.

The Financial Intelligence Centre Act, (FICA) which aims to combat financial crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing activities, came under the spotlight this week, after one of South Africa’s established real estate players, Pam Golding Properties, allegedly enabled money laundering by facilitating the sale of properties to politically exposed Mozambique nationals.

According to fin24, Pam Golding Properties is being probed by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) in a case involving the sale of two properties worth R50 million to the family of former Mozambican president Armando Guebuza, in a transaction which is apparently raised suspicions of money laundering.

“It is alleged that the company may have contravened financial law by not following the legal requirements in the process of selling the properties in Dainfern and Kyalami Estate to the family.”

In what has been described by the EAAB as a “first of its kind”, the investigation will examine whether Pam Golding Properties violated the conditions of FICA, including whether the agency can be identified as an accomplice to money laundering.

While non-compliance to FICA laws specifically comes with its own hefty consequences of 15 years’ maximum imprisonment or a fine of up to R10 million, failure to comply with AML laws and regulations and breaches of financial sanctions can have further dire consequences, on top of punitive fines and criminal charges – such as damaged reputations and sanctioning.

What is FICA?

A pinnacle of South African law when it comes to fighting financial crime, FICA came into effect in 2003 after being introduced two years prior, with the aim of combatting financial crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing activities.

More recently, in May 2017, even tighter regulation was introduced with the FIC Amendment Act. Essentially, FICA makes sure that institutions know exactly who they are doing business with – i.e. Know Your Customer, or KYC.

KYC legislation has been introduced in most major financial centres across the globe. Such legislation is driven by recommendations and standards set by the Financial Action Task Force. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

pbVerify & SigniFlow have combined their world-renowned technologies and software to create a fully digital, end-to-end FICA system that enables accountable institutions to carry out fully compliant KYC and onboarding processes, seamlessly and digitally – KYCFactory.

Incorporated in our solution, is pbVerify’s Sanctions, PEP and PIP (Politically Exposed and Influential Persons) reporting tool, which enables businesses to manually screen prospective clients and perform enhanced due diligence on anyone, from any country.

Read the latest on our ground-breaking digital KYC & compliance factory, KYCFactory, HERE.

[REFERENCES]  

  1. IOL – Pam Golding is under intense scrutiny
  2. Fin24.com – Pam Golding in hot water over sale of houses to ex-Mozambican president’s family
  3. Fic.gov.za – Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Legislation
  4. Eaab.org.za – Estate Agency Affairs Board
  5. Treasury – The FICA ACT
  6. pbVerify – Introducing the first fully digital end-to-end FICA system
  7. SigniFlow – KYCFactory enables paperless compliance processes

KYCFactory enables paperless compliance processes

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Compliance is a vital – but very taxing – concern for financial institutions. Kick compliance hurdles to the curb with our fully digital KYC system for accountable institutions.

Compliance, a reality faced by all financial institutions today, has long been approached with great trepidation, due to the time-consuming and costly processes it entails.

Not anymore.

Thanks to ground-breaking software by pbVerify and SigniFlow, two of PBSA’s digital arms, one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to the onboarding of new consumers – compliance with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, (FICA) and the processes it requires – is now easy, seamless and totally digital.

Introduced at the end of 2019, KYCFactory is a revolutionary new FICA product offering accountable institutions a fast and easy means of ticking all the compliance boxes when building customer-facing onboarding systems.

With KYCFactory, paperwork piles, painstakingly collecting mandatory documents and making your customers run around to get all their personal information papers together, are all a thing of the past. KYCFactory requires absolutely no supporting documents, irrespective of whether a business is onboarding a consumer or a business.

Compliance arsenal

Incorporating three comprehensive compliance components, KYCFactory is the only system accountable institutions need to meet the stringent legal requirements of FICA.   

Digital KYC:

FICA requires all accountable institutions to comprehensively and conclusively verify the identity of clients. This is achieved via KYC – or know your customer – whereby a business verifies the identity of its clients and assesses the potential risks of illegal intentions, such as money laundering. Ultimately, it protects against institutions’ services being misused.

pbVerify and SigniFlow’s Digital KYC software delivers a compliant, automated and fully digitised KYC system that caters for both juristic and natural persons, in a manner that is aligned with any RMCP (Risk Management & Compliance Programme), and that can integrate with any rules engine, enterprise services bus (ESB) or workflow engine to trigger events.

KYCFactory can be triggered from any website or forms-based front-end, ESB, rules engine or workflow engine that can communicate via web services. Triggers are sent via the SigniFlow Event Handler to the KYCFactory platform, which then either follows a built-in configuration of events (“IF-THEN” rules for pass and fail events), or every event is communicated back to the origination platform via the SigniFlow Event Handler, enabling it to query its own rules and sequences in order to trigger further events individually, as  micro-components.

The KYCFactory software is delivered in two main process components, defined as Identity Kits (IDK), namely Business IDK and Consumer IDK.

Consumer verification also includes a slick new online 3D liveness test that biometrically matches the person to their national identity document photo, identity data, and alive-deceased data while retrieving their address from over 100 trustworthy SACRRA sources.

Finally, SigniFlow’s digital signature and workflow automation software enables institutions to workflow the KYC process, including all mandatory information, to multiple people who may need to sign a declaration in observance of law.

World Compliance™:

Secondly, KYCFactory incorporates pbVerify’s new Sanctions, PEP and PIP (Politically Exposed and Influential Persons) reporting tool, which enables businesses to manually screen prospective clients and perform enhanced due diligence on anyone, from any country.

This service instantly reports on over 2.5 million detailed PEP profiles and detects individuals, organisations and vessels linked to more than 50 risk categories, including Sanctions, Foreign Officials, and State-Owned Enterprises.

The second part of our Sanctions screening service relates specifically to sanctions and embargoes – i.e. political trade restrictions put in place against target countries to maintain or restore international peace and security. KYCFactory automates reporting on business with individuals who pose a threat and are listed on OFAC (The Office of Foreign Assets Control) Mission.

Intelligent Digital Onboarding:

Our World-class digital Onboarding that is verified and free of errors.

Agreements and credit applications for credit require a considerable amount of information to be captured, which is not only time- and effort-consuming, but also prone to errors.

pbVerify Intelli-forms eradicate errors and increase process efficiencies by automatically populating forms from limited information entered.

For example, a new client needs only enteir their ID number and business registration number, and our form will do the rest.

That person’s identity information will be verified against Government source data and the form will be automatically populated. The business registration number will be verified against CIPC and all company, director and auditor information will be automatically populated – in real-time, verified and free of errors.

KYCFactory is available via API & integrates seamlessly with business systems, according to individual KYC and compliance management methods and policies.

Go to our YouTube channel to witness this ground-breaking digital compliance software in action.

To find out more, give us a call on +27 (0)10 300 4898 or email support@pbverify.co.za.

pbVerify is a registered Credit Bureau in terms of section 43 of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005. Its data-systems, data-security and data-processing protocols are audited annually in accordance with the NCA. pbVerify follows strict ISO9001:2015 quality management processes that are audited and internationally certified by TUV Rheinland Germany. pbVerify engineers are certified in ISO27001 IT Security Management.

Introducing the first fully digital end-to-end FICA system

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KYCFactory is the first fully digital end-to-end electronic FICA/AML solution that requires no supporting documents, whether a business is onboarding a consumer or a business.

As a chief provider of customer verification and risk management services, pbVerify understands time is too valuable to spend on onerous KYC processes.

The pursuit of compliance today, particularly in the financial services industry with its stringent regulation milieu, has many businesses troubled. It is something that consumes an enormous amount of their time – not to mention energy and resources.

Perhaps one of the biggest headaches, is the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, (FICA) which came into effect in 2003 after being introduced two years prior, with the aim of combatting financial crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing activities.

More recently, in May 2017, even tighter regulation was introduced with the FIC Amendment Act. Essentially, FICA makes sure that institutions know exactly who they are doing business with – i.e. Know Your Customer, or KYC.

Because the pbVerify team understands how valuable time is in today’s business world, we have introduced a revolutionary new FICA product that offers businesses a fast and easy means of ticking all the compliance boxes when building customer-facing onboarding systems: KYCFactory.

Fully digital FICA compliance

Launched this year and developed by our pbVerify software team, KYCFactory is the first fully digital end-to-end electronic FICA/AML (Anti-Money Laundering) solution on the market that requires no supporting documents, irrespective of whether a business is onboarding a consumer or a business.

KYCFactory’s consumer verification comprises configurable, automated processes, including a slick new online 3D liveness test that biometrically matches the person to their national identity document photo, identity data, and alive-deceased data while retrieving their address from over 100 trustworthy SACRRA sources.

Thanks to SigniFlow’s advanced digital signature and workflow automation software, KYCFactory offers businesses the ability to workflow the KYC process, including all requisite information, to multiple people who may need to sign a declaration in observance of the applicable laws.

In accordance with the FIC Amendment Act of 2017 (which accountable institutions had to comply with by April 2019), KYCFactory takes care of compliance for all juristic persons via a brand-new approach to FICA verification – an electronic declaration that caters for Directors, Signatories and UBOs (Ultimate Beneficiary Owners).

Sanctions screening

KYCFactory incorporates pbVerify’s new Sanctions, PEP and PIP (Politically Exposed and Influential Persons) reporting tool, which enables businesses to manually screen prospective clients and perform enhanced due diligence on anyone, from any country.

This service instantly reports on over 2.5 million detailed PEP profiles and detects individuals, organisations and vessels linked to more than 50 risk categories, including Sanctions, Foreign Officials, and State-Owned Enterprises.

The second part of our Sanctions screening service relates specifically to sanctions and embargoes – i.e. political trade restrictions put in place against target countries to maintain or restore international peace and security. KYCFactory automates reporting on business with individuals who pose a threat and are listed on OFAC (The Office of Foreign Assets Control) Mission. Read more here.

Total technology             

In addition to the aforementioned technology that makes KYCFactory the world-class, comprehensive FICA solution it is, other platforms used to authenticate customer identity beyond a shadow of a doubt include:

  1. Government source data ID Photo Biometric Verification
  2. Google Geolocation & Street View
  3. CIPC Company & Director Verification
  4. SACRRA Address Source Validation
  5. Social Media for Business (Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn)
  6. Website Verification (SSL Authentication)

KYCFactory is available via API & integrates seamlessly with business systems, according to individual KYC and compliance management methods and policies.

Say goodbye to time-consuming manual & paper-based FICA processes, and find out how headache-free compliance can be: Give us a call on +27 (0)10 300 4898 or email support@pbverify.co.za.

pbVerify is a registered Credit Bureau in terms of section 43 of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005. Its data-systems, data-security and data-processing protocols are audited annually in accordance with the NCA. pbVerify follows strict ISO9001:2015 quality management processes that are audited and internationally certified by TUV Rheinland Germany. pbVerify engineers are certified in ISO27001 IT Security Management.

REFERENCES

  1. Fic.gov.za – Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Act No. 38 of 2001) [PDF]
  2. SigniFlow – KYC
  3. The Banking Association of South Africa – Financial Intelligence Centre Act
  4. SABRIC – FICA (KYC)        
  5. Law Society of South Africa – FIC Amendment Act published
  6. Financial Intelligence Centre – Who are we?
  7. BBrief – FICA amendments deadline fast approaching
  8. International Compliance Association – What is compliance?
  9. Financial Action Task Force – Who we are

Dalimfundo & PBSA honour little learners

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Dalimfundo Day Care & Preschool Graduation 2019

PBSA Compliance Manager Deon Joubert (left) and Dalimfundo Grade R Teacher Nokuthula Masango with some of the school’s young graduates.

As part of its Socio-Economic Development Programme, PBSA assists one of Mpumalanga’s NPO institutions prepare SA’s children for the future workforce.

“Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth who care for and protect our people.” – Nelson Mandela, June 1995.

As a company committed to ensuring the economic longevity of our business, to the benefit of our employees, our clients and our home country, South Africa, at large, PBSA believes it needs to proactively foster the development of the future workforce.

As such, our company is proud to be able to contribute to the success of Dalimfundo Day Care & Preschool, which honoured 2019’s young graduates on 23 November.

Situated in Botleng, a rural township outside Delmas in Mpumalanga, Dalimfundo is a non-profit organisation (NPO) that was founded by local leaders, with the aim of providing a future for the children in their community.

Dalimfundo not only fulfils the crucial role of providing quality education and training to the children of South Africa, it is ultimately responsible for helping lay the foundations of the country’s future.

As an NPO, the institution is wholly reliant on donations to carry out its good work. In a bid to do our part, PBSA contributes to the institution on a monthly basis, with donations going towards the school’s daily nutritional programme that ensures its learners have a healthy meal each school day.

It is a privilege for PBSA to be a small part of our children’s education, and we salute the founders and staff of Dalimfundo Day Care & Preschool for their ongoing commitment to our nation’s greatest asset – its children.

 

International firm opens office in Horsham

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Published by West Sussex County Times on 15 November 2019

SigniFlow Directors AGS 2019

After opening their first UK office in Horsham on September 1, SigniFlow, celebrated in style this week, by holding their official launch event at the South Lodge Hotel.

With SigniFlow top management flying in from South Africa, Australia and the United States to attend, there was no doubt as to the significance of the UK launch for this international company.

South African director, Leon Van Der Merwe, was quick to commend the warm reception the team received from the Horsham business community, before asserting that ‘modern businesses had to move forward with technology in order to survive in the modern world’.

Attended by many of SigniFlow’s existing Sussex customers, along with local businesses keen to modernize their procedures and increase productivity, the launch event was abuzz with talk of digital innovation. SigniFlow, which has its roots in South Africa, rapidly reduces the costs, time and money spent on processing, managing and physically signing paper documents, through the use of unique, legally approved cryptographic digital signatures.

“Located in the heart of Sussex, with the county being widely recognised as being a hub for technology and digital advancement, Horsham is the perfect fit for us,” said Greig Orrell, Director of GB and EU Sales and Business Development. “Our worldwide ethos is to support our local and regional communities and our Horsham team will be expanding in the months to come. This is the first of many satellite offices, and we look forward to seeing our team continue to develop and grow accordingly, as they have across the world.”

Already benefiting from SigniFlow’s next generation E-Signer and Document Management technology, Anthony Neal from Maylark Property Management, was keen to talk about how the solution had already worked for their business, just months after deployment. “This unique system has saved us a huge amount of time and its ability to track, file and document our workflows is impressive. All signature requiring documents can now be emailed, and our clients are able to securely and digitally sign the paperwork without the need for an appointment. And, we can access this web-based service from all of our phones, iPad or PCs, so we can respond and sign paperwork whilst out of the office too.”

Recently lauded as being one of the most revolutionary women in IT security, SigniFlow Americas CEO Laila Robak – who is also head of SigniFlow’s cyber security development – is a firm believer in the “better safe than sorry” approach when it comes to the security of companies’ data. And for businesses that do have cyber security as one of their primary concerns, SigniFlow has you covered, with solutions that have been developed by some of the greatest minds in the information technology arena.

For more information and a free trial of the SigniFlow solution, please contact Greig Orrell on 07395 650738, email uk@signiflow.com , or visit http://www.signiflow.co.uk.

Airtight security introduced for airline boarding passes

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airport-1515431Because airline boarding passes can be issued up to 24 hours before a flight departs, and due to security gaps in existing boarding pass technology, fraudsters with even limited technical know-how could tamper with and gain access to the information they contain.

The problem

While measures around privacy and security within the air transportation industry have remained largely unchanged over the years, fraudsters’ modi operandi have not. In fact, fraudsters have become more sophisticated with the rise of digital and the proliferation of data – putting both airlines and their passengers, today more than ever, at significant risk.

Airline boarding passes, in particular, have seen numerous systems put in place over the past decade, to help authorities and airline officials identify fake boarding passes, with most of these relying on advanced printing techniques.

The bar-coded boarding pass (BCBP) became widely available in 2010 and comprises a 2-dimensional (2D) bar code printed on a paper boarding pass or sent to a mobile phone for electronic boarding passes (e-boarding passes).

The BCBP standard was originally published in 2005 by the body responsible for global standards for airlines’ safety and security, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which updated it in 2008 to include symbologies for mobile phones, and again a year later to include a field for digital signatures in mobile bar codes.

While the move to BCBP has made travelling more convenient, in many instances, for travellers who are able to use mobile boarding passes, the technology behind it has not eliminated the risk of ticket fraud or identity theft, because data is not encrypted.

Not only does unencrypted travel material leave it susceptible to being tampered with and being used unlawfully and dangerously, it also leaves passengers wide open to identity fraud, given that airline tickets contain a great deal of personally identifiable information (PII).

SigniFlow Americas CEO, Laila Robak, explains: “Besides the risks involved with ticket fraud, even companies that apply digital signatures to its boarding tickets do so only from a ticket integrity point of view. However, there is still unencrypted data within those tickets, and anyone with access to the bar code has access to the passengers’ data, creating a risk of identity fraud, which is certainly a security and compliance concern.”

The solution

With a team of cryptographic experts and experienced engineers behind it, the SigniFlow solution, which operates in a cryptographic signing environment, is a natural fit to build, develop and enhance the available technology behind boarding passes, and to irrevocably seal the data they contain.

According to IATA’s BCBP Implementation Guide, which outlines the existing barcoded boarding pass solution: “Bar Code on Printed Boarding Pass: the default Bar Code presented on printed boarding pass is a 2-dimensional Bar Code in PDF417 standard containing a structure data message (SDM). On the request from the Airlines version 7 extend the standards to allow Aztec, Datamatrix or QR code formats on printed boarding pass those formats are currently used on Electronic (Mobile) Boarding Pass only.”

SigniFlow Director of Development Eugene Smit explains: “SigniFlow’s microservice architecture allows for signing, encrypting and verifying data on all boarding passes, enabling the generation of datastreams, signature streams or image-based bar codes, such as Aztec, QR, PDF417 and Datamatrix.

“The system produced by SigniFlow, allows a ticket\pass generator to issue a unique private key for the signer, using our microservices, and the signer is then able to sign any datastream, and use complimentary methods to produce bar codes of the data.”

SigniFlow offers two solutions, both of which extend on and secure existing boarding pass technology:

  • The Full Package solution: SigniFlow integrates with the airline’s existing system. When passenger data is inputted, SigniFlow collects the data string, creates the 2D bar code (Aztec, PDF417, QR, Datamatrix), embeds the data string, then encrypts and signs with an ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography) certificate, after which it is sent back to the airline for the boarding ticket.
  • Data string encryption & signing: In this case, the airline continues to use its current 2D bar code generation system, and SigniFlow integrates via API to collect passengers’ data, encrypt and sign the string, and then send it back to the airline, which will embed it in the bar code.

Either way, explains Robak, the idea is to provide not only the required digital signature itself, but also encryption of the data, so that only electronic devices – terminals and readers – will have the ability to recognize authenticity, and to decipher the embedded data.

“We also provide the instruction and processes to the certified authorities for access to the public key through either a key distribution to its devices, in case of no network connectivity, or the public key to be included in their key store system where devices can access it and recognize/decode the data.”

The differentiator

Not only is the SigniFlow solution steeped in cryptography, which eliminates tampering and identity theft risks altogether, it also offers seamless integration into companies’ systems.

Because the solution allows companies to add security component to tickets without having to replace their existing systems, but rather by simply adding a new security module, it is simple and safe, and SigniFlow enables them to be compliant with several industry, national and international standards.

“Stronger policies in national security have been enforced in many countries and companies that issue tickets, whether for air travelling, other transportation methods or entertainment, also need to comply with data privacy standards, such as the GDPR. By using our solution they can target both,” says Robak.

How it works

  • Secure cloud HSM where the keys are stored
  • SigniFlow Hybrid server deployed within client control
  • Signing request issues to the SigniFlow Hybrid server
  • Verification Requests issued to the cloud HSM or to a centralized public key store

There are two main Public Key Encryption algorithms: RSA (Rivest–Shamir–Adleman) and ECC (Elliptical Curve Cryptography). While SigniFlow is compatible with both, the ECC certificate has been specifically identified by the IATA for boarding pass signing requirements.

ECC is, in simple terms, an encryption algorithm with higher capacity and lighter weight than the RSA encryption algorithm, which means you need less bits to for stronger keys. Because the keys are smaller, it means it needs less processing, leading to better efficiency and lighter “documents”. For example, the most commonly used RSA encryption algorithm size is the 2048 bit keys, which is the equivalent in security and strength to a 224 bit ECC key.

To find out more about SigniFlow’s cryptography-based solutions, visit www.signiflow.com or contact us on the relevant number below:

International Contact Centre: 002710 300 4899

South Africa: +27(0)11-516-9403

Americas: +1-603-717-4248

United Kingdom: +44(0)208-611-2681

 

[REFERENCES]

  1. IATA – Technical Peripheral Specifications
  2. US Department of Homeland Security – Credential Authentication Technology/Boarding Pass Scanning Technology
  3. IATA – Airlines Complete Move to Bar-Coded Boarding Passes
  4. IATA – Passenger Services Conference Resolutions Manual
  5. Red Goat – The Not-So-Secret Life of Boarding Passes
  6. Tech Target – Personally Identifiable Information
  7. Wikipedia – Boarding Pass
  8. com – Ticketprinting.com Security Features
  9. Wandera – Are Airlines Putting Your Data at Risk?

Customer satisfaction in the 21st Century: Is your business digitally equipped?

Featured

24-7-2019 customer satisfaction SOCIAL MEDIAA happy customer equals a happy bottom line – but without digital transformation, neither of these are attainable.

The advent of digital has not only changed the way business is done, it has also significantly changed what is undeniably the most important factor responsible for the running of a successful business – customer satisfaction.

In today’s fast paced, digitally charged world, customers want – and indeed, expect – an extremely high quality, and personalised experience from the companies they choose to spend their money with.

As well as dictating the modern-day customer’s escalated expectations, the pervasiveness of digital has prompted companies to be far more accountable, with consumers no longer hesitant to voice their dissatisfaction publicly, thanks to the plethora of social media platforms they have at their fingertips.

It really is a dog-eat-dog digital world out there and, for businesses to thrive – and even survive – they need to offer their customers convenience, speed and seamless service – not to mention assurance that their personal data is 100% secure.

This is where digital transformation comes in. Digital transformation is essentially the implementation of new technology and software tools, primarily reliant on cloud computing, to the end of solving problems and delivering solutions faster, with less operating inefficiencies and costs.

For many businesses, especially those with high levels of bureaucracy, digital transformation may appear to be a long road, but partnering with the right solution provider will facilitate a swift and smooth ride – with the guarantee that your business will come out on the other end more empowered, and able to deliver a far richer customer experience.

As a leading provider of digital solutions that are enabling businesses across the globe to successfully transform their operations, SigniFlow has seen first-hand how the advantages of digital transformation outweigh any change management issues that go with effecting the change.

The benefits, to mention only a few of the most prevalent, include increased profitability, improved customer satisfaction, reduced risk, heightened levels of compliance and more streamlined processes.

The bottom line: Digital is the new oxygen. In order for companies today to firstly survive, and to keep up with their competitors and their customers’ evolving expectations, digital transformation is an absolute must.

SigniFlow is a core workflow and cryptographic digital signature engine that works either on its own, or fully integrated with existing core business systems.

Using only the most advanced & trusted digital signature technologies known to man, SigniFlow offers powerful workflow functionality and ease of document distribution to automate any business process.

To find out how SigniFlow can help your business achieve digital transformation, visit www.signiflow.com or contact us on the relevant number below:

International Contact Centre: 002710 300 4899

South Africa: +27(0)11-516-9403

Americas: +1-603-717-4248

United Kingdom: +44(0)208-611-2681