Barcode in Banking – A tool to minimize fraudulent documents.

The ‘Barcode’, celebrates its 60th anniversary this week. Barcode is a familiar sight for anybody visiting a supermarket. Majority of the items in a Supermarket are ‘Barcoded’, for ease of billing.

Barcode are distinctive black-and-white stripes which provide details relating to an object you purchase.

The first patent for ‘Barcode’, were filed in US on 7th October, 1952. But, they could make their commercial appearance only in 1974, as the laser technology to read them were not commercial viable till 1974.

In layman terms, Barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data relating to the object to which it is attached.

In the initial phases, Barcodes were chiefly visible in supermarkets. Slowly, they spread to other industries, with Logistics being the early adapter.

Now-a-days, BarCodes are present everywhere, be it Books, Medicines, Postal Packages, Courier Packages, Hospitals, Education, you name the industry and Barcodes have a presence.

Financial institutions too have discovered the advantages of Barcodes. In financial institutions the Barcodes are primarily used for tracking Documents.

However, there are not many innovative applications of Barcodes in the financial institutions.

A common data format for ‘Barcodes’ in Documents valid for POI (Proof of Identity) and Address, will drastically reduce the hazards of  fake documents being part of the process cycle.

The Barcode Information should contain the Address mentioned in the Document.  The address/other details on the Document can be easily falsified, but to falsify the Barcode is difficult.

Of course, there will be always innovative scam-esters to beat the system, but that numbers will be less.

Barcodes can increase the confidence level amongst financial industry staff handling documents under Know your Customers norm.

Utility Bills i.e Telephone Bills, Electricity Bills, Credit Card  Statements, Bank Account Statements, Ration Cards, Driving Licence, PAN Cards, Partnership Deeds, Government Registration Certificates, UIDAI-Aadhaar are some of the documents which can be Barcoded and introduced in the Financial industry.

Of course, there should be common standards which have to be adopted by the respective Document generators.

Additional Resources

History of Barcodes

Barcodes to reduce frauds


Re-disseminated by Prashant N. Banker by daytime, Blogger by night.

Do you want me write on any something specific, if so mail me @ nshantin(at)gmail com







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