PBSA unveils digital signature tech

itweb_logo_smlPosted by ITWeb on 16 February 2016

PBSA, a provider of customer communication solutions, has introduced a digital signing and electronic workflow solution, in an effort to boost paperless offices.

SignFlow is cloud-based software that reduces the need to print documents to obtain signatures, says PBSA (formerly Pitney Bowes SA). It utilises cryptographic technology to apply verifiable, personal digital signatures to documents, it says.

This comes three years after PBSA introduced digital signatures into South Africa with its CoSign digital signature solution.

But while the CoSign solution solved the problem of businesses having to print, scan and e-mail documents for signing, it did not solve the problem of documents having to be signed by multiple parties, says Leon van der Merwe, PBSA business development manager and SignFlow co- founder.

He says this is where SignFlow plugs the gap. It was designed for workflow documents that need multiple parties to sign or action a document.

According to Van der Merwe, the software product has now officially launched, following its beta release in October.

He says the solution is focused towards a paperless SA and solves one last important and complicated part of digitisation of documents – the signature.

He says the drive to go paperless in most businesses is hampered by the need to obtain a signature on the document.

“This, up to now, had far-reaching consequences as it is not so much just the cost of the paper, but rather the far-reaching costs and environmental impact of processing the paper.”

Van der Merwe points out the amount of money and time businesses spend on getting documents approved and signed is staggering.

“Signflow bridges this gap by offering a secure digital signature workflow solution. It eliminates all the inefficient, costly processes relying on print, scan, fax, e-mail and courier completely.”

According to The Paperless Project – a grassroots coalition of companies focused on transforming the way organisations work with paper and electronic content – the world produces over 300 million tons of paper each year.

BMI-TechKnowledge says printing on paper is costing the taxpayer around R2.3 billion per annum, says Van der Merwe.

This is largely due to paper-based processes or digital processes that still break out into paper at some point, he adds.

He believes SignFlow, together with a good culture to drive paperless initiatives in organisations, can reduce this cost with as much as 80%.

SA definitely seems to be taking longer to adapt to a truly paperless environment, says Van der Merwe. “Our culture to want to touch what we read is definitely still very much a part of doing everyday business – this needs to change.”

Van der Merwe points out turning a paper-based process into a digital one requires commitment and buy-in from all stakeholders.

“It’s truly only a change in culture that is the hardest challenge. We are so used to handling paper, it has become ingrained in our ways and we don’t think about the consequences of using it.”

PBSA chips in for huskies

blog picPBSA (formerly Pitney Bowes) did its part to help some of SA’s furry friends this weekend, by taking part in Husky Rescue South Africa’s (HRSA) first sleepathon, at the non-profit organisation’s (NPO) care facility in Lanseria, Husky Haven.

The facility, which has 25 runs that house up to 50 dogs at a time, managed to raise over R55 000 from the event – an amount HRSA founder Joanne van Niekerk says exceeded expectations.

PBSA “rented” one of the runs, home to two of the haven’s homeless hounds, Salsa and Tango, and also kitted it out with food bowls, blankets and toys – while one of the PBSA team members spent Saturday night, 28 November, with the husky duo.

Salsa (a female husky-cross-chow) and Tango (a male husky-cross-beagle) were kennelled for a year before their owner gave them up. They have called Husky Haven home for about two years now.

According to Dominique Strydom, Husky Rescue volunteer and sleepathon organiser, 15 kennel runs in all were sponsored on Saturday. Apart from PBSA, First National Bank, Silver Star Casino, Mutt Mix, International Training Academy, Minuteman Press, GI Consulting and Dowry Security also participated.

“Great fun was had by all, especially the shelter dogs who thoroughly enjoyed the human interaction and companionship.”

HRSA has been rescuing and rehabilitating Nordic breeds of dogs for over 20 years now. The NPO held the charity event to raise awareness within the community, in the hope of finding forever or foster homes for some of the rescued huskies – a breed the organisation says is often misunderstood.

IT ONLINE – Pitney Bowes provides ‘lucky last mile’

itologoPosted by IT Online on 14 October 2015

In preparation for the running of the national lottery, Ithuba sought to digitise its on-boarding system for retailers and introduce a more efficient, paperless process. The company approached specialists in customer communications and digital signature technology Pitney Bowes South Africa, and is now positioned as South Africa’s first truly digital lottery operator.

The system will enable Ithuba agents to take on thousands of new retailers in a short period of time using a tablet-based system in which all critical information is captured on site, auto-populated and verified.  This is a ‘first’ in the National Lottery’s history in this country and a ‘feather in the cap’ for Pitney Bowes, which developed and customised the system for Ithuba’s specific requirements through the company’s e-business division, pbVerify.

“The system means Ithuba can now enrol new retailers using a tablet-driven API (Application Programming Interface) system, enabling the company’s field agents across South Africa to auto-populate electronic application forms with verified identity credentials, business information and the exact GPS location of potential retailers,” explains Leon van der Merwe, business development manager for Pitney Bowes South Africa.

“Once the information is captured, the retailers can sign the digital application form with an electronic signature. The back-office system at Ithuba then performs automated CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property) checks, commercial credit checks and anti-fraud checks – digitising the entire vetting process.”

pbVerify specialises in customised solutions that focus on digitising specific, paper-intensive business processes and in doing so, completely eliminating the need for paper. Benefits include faster turnaround times when taking on new clients, error-free digital data capturing, a minimised IT footprint and optimisation of business processes.

“This was a perfect match-fit for Ithuba, which need to take on thousands of new retailers in a short space of time,” says van der Merwe.

This system is cutting-edge in the world of digital on-boarding because it offers a complete, end-to-end digital solution, notes Michael Springer, MD of Pitney Bowes South Africa.

“We solve what we refer to as the ‘last mile’. Even businesses which have adopted some kind of digital on-boarding system still do not have the capacity to integrate real-time verified information. Existing systems eventually need to resort to manual, paper-based processes which require human intervention, printing, signing and scanning of documents,” he says. “pbVerify technology provides the solution through a powerful workflow engine which automates the entire verification and credit assessment end-to-end.”

The pbVerify system has relevance for any business regularly on-boarding new clients or customers, a process which normally involves a substantial amount of documents which are required to be completed and signed by the customer. The system utilises personal and business information drawn from various data sources, such as the Department of Home Affairs, credit bureaus, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and other reputable data providers, to instantly populate digital form fields.

“This saves time, ensures that the captured data is error-free and ultimately enhances the customer experience,” notes van der Merwe. “In the case of Ithuba, this will ensure a highly time-efficient process whereby thousands of new retailers will be able to come on board through the use of tablets. Automated credit checks are generated by the system and accurate geo-locations and installation data captured in the field ensures meticulous management of the lottery system.”

For Ithuba, pvVerify perfectly matched their requirements for a more efficient on-boarding process as part of its preparations to run a world class national lottery network.

“As the official Operator of the National Lottery, Ithuba is excited about the partnership with Pitney Bowes South Africa as it gives us an opportunity to modernise the lottery and to further grow our retailer footprint through technology and efficient service to our retailers,” says Charmaine Mabuza, CEO of Ithuba.

“Thanks to Pitney Bowes South Africa, we have been able to introduce a ground-breaking paperless system which will vastly enhance our processes and interactions with our retail partners,” concludes Mabuza.

“We are pleased that Ithuba entrusted such a critical and innovative process to us,” says Springer.  “The end-product far exceeded what anyone could have imagined just a few months ago. Not only were the boundaries of “going paperless” pushed further, but we also managed to incorporate the latest in electronic signatures and digital verifications which will see Ithuba soar ahead as South Africa’s first truly digital National Lottery operator,” he says.

Online Deed search Tool for South Africa

Need a South African online Deeds search tool? If you need instant, accurate and up-to-date land registration information then it’s time to try out pbVerify. When you register (for free), you only pay per search – there are no monthly subscription fees and no registration costs whatsoever. As soon as you’ve signed up, you will be able to instantly search for any Deeds information you may require through an easy to use web interface.

Our online deeds search tool covers the following registration offices:

  • Pretoria
  • Johannesburg
  • Bloemfontein
  • Cape Town
  • Kimberly
  • King Williams Town
  • Pietermaritzburg
  • Umtata
  • Vryburg

Three reasons why our online deeds search tool is different

1: Online access

Our web-based deeds search portal is part of a web-based system that will also give your business instant access to Credit search, Trace and CIPC company information, adding real value to your business as a comprehensive risk management tool. All you need is internet access in order to sign up and get the information you need with the click of a mouse.

2: Simplicity

Our search tool is easy to use, thanks to the user-friendly web interface. All you need is the information of the person or company you are looking for, such as the following:

  • Individual – Date of Birth, Name or Surname
  • Company – Company Name
  • Deed Number
  • Sectional scheme unit – Scheme Name, Erf      Number, Unit number
  • Erf – Town name, Erf number
  • Farm – Registration division, Farm number,      Portion number
  • Exclusive Area (EUA) – Town name, Erf Number
  • Agricultural Holding – Holding name, Holding      Number

3: Instant, accurate results

Our online deeds search tool has instant access to all the information from the South African Deeds Registration database. You can specify any of the following search criteria:

Person Detail:

  • Name and Surname
  • ID Number
  • Deed Document Number
  • Multi- Owner and Share%
  • Purchase date
  • Micro Reference
  • Registration date

Properties Result:

  • Property Description
  • Scheme Name
  • Scheme number
  • Unit Number
  • Property Size (SQM)
  • Clearance Institution (Municipal)
  • Province
  • Purchase Price and Date

Bond and Document History

  • Bond Number
  • Bond Holder
  • Bond Amount
  • Bond Micro Reference
  • Bond Description

….and much, much more!

Whether you’re running a real estate business, you are a credit grantor (any business selling on account), construction company, law firm, tracing company, or property owner renting out properties, our online deeds search tool will work for you.

Sign up today – Its free to join by visiting www.pbverify.co.za

CREDIT CHECK

BE A SME, BUT THINK LIKE A CORPORATE

How a SME business can manage CREDIT RISK like a Corporate

Credit Check is an extremely helpful tool that allows businesses across South Africa to find out exactly what they are financially getting involved with before entering into any type of credit agreement. You don’t want to end up chasing around your debtors; the Consumer credit check system saves you time and money by preventing you from getting involved with individuals and the Business credit check with companies that have a history of defaulting on payments. It is your right to demand financial transparency whether it’s in relation to an individual credit check or a business credit check and it’s recommended to review all the information you can find before entering into any agreements or deals.

The Credit Check systems are designed with you in mind, as more and more businesses fall victim to scams and scam artists every year. In order to protect yourself and your financial well-being, it’s necessary to know the complete financial history of whomever you are doing business with. In the past it was easier for scam artists to cleverly erase or cover up their dodgy financial history, but with online credit check systems, businesses can be proactive in protecting themselves by ensuring they aren’t dealing with financially irresponsible parties.

How Credit check systems works

Start by digging into the individual or businesses’ financial background reports. Credit bureau data from TRANSUNION, XDS and EXPERIEN combined with data from CIPRO, SARS and the DEEDS OFFICE will prove to be very useful in uncovering any financial defaults and fraudulent information on credit applications and contracts. With these reports you will have access to business registrar and consumer identification information, which you should compare to the potential client’s credit application information to be sure that all the information matches up. You will also be able to see directors details, history, trade and bank history, business default information, listings and judgements containing all information recorded against that business or consumer.

Once you have all the necessary records in your possession and you’ve read and understood the information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision regarding how to move forward. Being proactive and protecting yourself and your business is the best way to defend against a likely defaulter.

For one the most comprehensive online SME Credit Check solutions in South Africa, visit www.PBVerify.co.za

Three easy steps to protect your business against bad debt

Three easy steps to protect your business against bad debt

All facts considdered.

– By Leon van der Merwe – Snr. Consultant at pbVerify

 

The Business Credit Report explained in 3 easy steps
Doing business in the SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) sector has become more complex and more “corporate” than ever before when it comes to protecting your piggy bank. A few years ago it was almost the norm to extend credit to clients on a mere handshake and the pressure to do sales sometimes lead to remarkably bad decisions to extend credit to the wrong people or businesses, but then the opposite has also proved its worth. Let’s take a moment to look at what can proactively be done to prevent bad debt, rather than chasing and tracing the ever illusive defaulters.

1 – Do some digging
Take the time to do some digging into potential customers’ personal and business credit reports. PBVerify provides a world of CREDIT BUREAU, CIPRO, SARS and DEEDS data that empowers you with information to make better decisions. Get the facts and figures required to make confident business decisions and protect your money, reduce liability and prevent fraud.

2 – Understand the information
There is no point in drawing a credit report if you do not understand the information you are looking at, or more importantly what you are looking for. Let’s focus today on the TransUnion Business Credit Profile obtainable to registered clients of pbVerify which will contain the following information:

Business identification information
Details of the registration of a particular business, including registration number, address, date of registration and any previous names that the business may have been registered under.

  • – Carefully examine this information and compare it to the client’s credit application information pertaining to the business name, registration number, address etc. Any differences in the comparison should be noted and further investigated.
  • – You can go one step further and do a CIPRO (Company and Intellectual Property Commission) Company and/or Director search to obtain real-time data direct from the registrar.

Bank history
Details of previous and current bankers and bank codes obtained on the business by TransUnion (ITC).

  • – Check for the appropriate bank codes related to previous amounts enquired for.

Bank Codes explained:
A = Undoubted for the amount of enquiry
B = Good for the amount of enquiry
C = Good for the amount quoted if strictly in the way of business
D = Fair trade risk for the amount of your enquiry
E = Figures considered too high
G = Paper occasionally dishonoured
H = Paper frequently dishonoured

Business default information
Negative information (non-payment of accounts information) recorded against a business by other subscribers held on the TransUnion database.

  • – It is important to realise that a credit report is much like a “criminal record”, meaning only negatives are recorded, a clear report in terms of Listings, Defaults and Judgements means the client has a clean credit record.

Principal details
Information on the principals of a business such as name, surname, ID number, as well as an indicator of adverse information (e.g. civil court record – ‘Y’or ‘N’).

  • – If a red (pbVerify report only) “Y” appears next to the principal’s (Directors and Members) detail, it means that there is a negative record recorded against this person in their personal capacity. It is highly recommended that you then draw a Consumer Credit Profile on this person to determine the extent and value of the adverse information.

Trade information
Business Payment information on the way a business pays its debts with other creditors.

Enquiry history
A history of enquiries that has been made on the business by other businesses over the past three years.

3 – Make an informed decision
Institute measures that specifically suits your organisation and resembles your organisation’s approach to acceptable risk. As impossible as it is to predict the future, the last thing you want to do is reject a potentially good client’s credit request because your measures are set without considering all facts. Even in today’s unemotional world of business, I believe personal relations should still count for something. Knowing your client is key, so by all means take the time to do some digging and gather facts, but also make time to get to know your clients, their business, goals and objectives; – and make an informed decision based on all facts considered. Accepting or rejecting a client’s request for credit is a simple denial or approval for doing business, taking into consideration the possible risks associated in doing so.

 No one can predict the future, but those with all-embracing information at hand – combined with some good business sense dramatically increases the odds of a successful future.

For more information on pbVerify, please contact 011 516 9400 or send an Email to support@pbverify.co.za

Pitney Bowes SA launches pbVerify

On the 1st January 2013, Pitney Bowes SA launched pbVerify – Online Credit, Trace and Deeds search services for small to medium sized enterprises (SME) on www.pbverify.co.za

pbVerify is a web-based system that was also designed to cater for Pitney Bowes’ pbSecure anti-fraud document security solution and is extremely feature-rich, providing businesses with instant access to various Credit check, Consumer trace and registrar information. The system was originally designed as an online credit vetting tool for businesses to do background credit checks and analysis of their debtors and prospective credit clients. Today the system features so much more, with added functionalities that include:

  • Business registration verification through CIPRO
  • Business Director verification through CIPRO
  • Business VAT number verification through SARS
  • Consumer ID verification through Home Affairs
  • Deeds Search (seven different types)

The system offers credit bureau reports from three of South Africa’s largest credit bureaus, namely:

The credit bureau searches include:

  • ID Verification
  • Consumer Trace
  • Consumer Credit Check
  • Business Credit Check

pbVerify also boast with one of the most comprehensive Consumer Trace systems on the South African market, used by tracing agents and businesses to locate Consumers and Directors whom have defaulted.

Part of the pbVerify offering also includes an Application Programming Interface (API) access to ID verification data on the Pitney Bowes Information System (PBIS) SOAP server that can integrate with any application. This allows system integrators instant live access to XML ID verification data.

For more information on pbVerify or pbSecure, please contact Leon van der Merwe, Senior Solutions Consultant at Pitney Bowes South Africa on 011 516 9400