How Serge Belamant Became a Thought Leader in Technology-Driven Banking and Financial Services

How Serge Belamant Became a Thought Leader in Technology-Driven Banking and Financial Services
How Serge Belamant Became a Thought Leader in Technology-Driven Banking and Financial Services

Have you ever wondered how the little gold chip on your debit or credit card can communicate with your bank? Have you ever wondered who was responsible for the very first electronic purse that used this little gold chip?

Well, the answer to these questions and more about technology in the banking and financial services sector can be summed up quite easily. The answer is the ingenious mind of Serge Belamant, the founding father of blockchain technology.

Now you are wondering about Serge Belamant and his influence on the banking and financial services sector. Well, simply put, without the creativity of Belamant’s mind and knowledge of disruptive technology that was invented by him, the banking world and financial services sector could still be in the Dark Ages.

For years since his upbringing in South Africa, Belamant challenged the status quo in order to invent spectacular tools that have enhanced the banking world. Case in point is how the little gold chip on your debit or credit card could be used. But we will get back to the little gold chip in a few.

The First Blockchain Technology

Serge Belamant is a pioneering patent holder of the first blockchain technology. The technology is mind blowing and is based on creating an encrypted ledger of records that are interconnected with each other. These specific ledgers supply specific data which is essential to the banking and financial services sector. The data the ledgers contain ranges from a time stamp to user identity to financial institution to merchants. He developed the first blockchain technology to enhance transparency by increasing the security of the users-financial institutions and the customer as well as increase the accuracy of the data from the time of use.

Not only has Belamant’s blockchain technology helped banks and the financial services sector protect against fraud, the technology is also useful in various other applications such as retail operations which rely on complex supply chains.

As you will see, Belamant and his blockchain technology ideas have helped millions of people in a positive way by changing the antiquated banking and financial services of the world.

Early Banking and Financial Services Technology Invented by Serge Belamant

Throughout his life, Belamant has been on the leading edge of creating, inventing, and testing numerous new technologies for whatever company he worked for at the time. One of his greatest early achievements helped the Republic of South Africa (RSA) banking institutions when they were thrown into chaos with world-wide sanctions in the 1980s. The RSA banks were in trouble with their ATMs because the infrastructure it ran on was now unavailable to upgrade. Belamant was instrumental in developing a new ATM switch while he was employed at SASWITCH. Through his out-of-the-box thinking Belamant created the second largest ATM switch in the world.

So What Was So Important About the Switch?

When the RSA was hit with sanctions, the RSA banks ran their computing system on Christian Rovsing computers which would not do business within RSA due to the sanctions created by apartheid. Belamant went to Europe and secured a contract for a new computing system that would be run on Stratus computers. Once the new system was in place Belamant went on to do what he does best and that is develop new technologies that would enhance millions of people lives over the years. The process was quite complicated but in essence, Belamant reversed engineered the communication between banks in order for banks to communicate more efficiently with each other. In doing so the RSA banking system was able to grow with better security, transparency, and easier transactions between financial institutions and ATMs.

Creating the First Electronic Purse

Once referred to as the Henry Ford of Information Technology, Serge Belamant was instrumental in developing the Universal Electronic Payment System (UEPS) which is considered to be the first electronic purse or wallet. UEPS is unique technology where electronic funds transfer is based on off-line operation. The technology is smartcard based and functions like an electronic wallet and checkbook that allows a customer to load money on a card that is held by a bank or installed in an ATM. Once the card is loaded a customer can use the card for purchases from merchants by transferring money to a merchants card who then in turns deposits in their bank by way of an ATM or POS.

The technology is based on two levels of security that authenticates the card. The electronic check has two digital signatures with the first signature known by the issuing bank and the customer’s card. The second signature is created by the clearing house and placed on the card before the card is given to the bank for use. The UEPS invented by Belamant would prove to be very valuable in future banking and financial service products.

How Did the Little Gold Chip Come into Existence?

The next breakthrough in banking and financial services technology created by Belamant was the Chip Offline Pre-authorized Card or COPAC. By merging his proprietary technology of Fund Transfer System (FTS) and UEPS, Belamant was able to develop new technology for Visa which had contracted Belamant and Net1 Technology. The new technology provided Visa with increased security against fraud, misuse of credit, and verifying personal identification numbers. The little gold chip lives on today as one of the world’s greatest security measures in the banking and financial services sector.

In conclusion, Serge Belamant is still creating stunning technology for the banking and financial sectors of the world. After leaving Net1 Technologies, a company he founded in 1989 after developing the SASWITCH, Belamant has gone on to create Zilch Technology Limited with his son Philip. We can only imagine that an inventor like Belamant has plenty of new ideas up his sleeve to help change the lives of millions of people around the world.

Learn More: How Serge Belamant’s Patents Led to the Development of Blockchain


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