About pbSecure™

Imagine a document so intelligent, it remembers its original content, on every copy...
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Solution Overview

Organisations deal with large quantities of information and documentation on a daily basis. Unless verified, fraudulent documentation and information passes through your organisation without your knowledge. This has a drastic negative impact on business related to financial losses, human resource related issues and business reputation.

Manual verification is often time consuming, costly and potentially unreliable. pbSecure™ works as an evidencing solution to address these concerns. It provides proof that important documents (or copies thereof) are genuine, thus reducing time and effort required for verification.


Pitney Bowes is a fortune 500 company and world leader in customer communication technologies, listed on the NYSE since 1950, represented in more than 100 countries with over 26,000 employees and more than 3,500 patents, ranging from printing to encryption technologies.

Apart from many historic innovations, including the first commercially used barcode system (1976), AddressRight address & barcode printer (1991), the first in-line weighing and metering system (1992), the first secure digital postage meter (1995), the first ink jet postage meter (1996) and the Digital Document Deliver (D3) platform (1998), Pitney Bowes continues to innovate in the field of digital technologies and software. Our secure metering (aka franking) solutions, originally designed and patented by Arthur Pitney and Walter Bowes in 1920, today digitally secure more than $25bn in global money transactions and over R60mil in South African postal resets annually.

pbSecure™is an evolution of our secure metering platform and another world first, retaining all state-of-the-art security features and adding a software platform with Windows interface.

pbSecure™ vs. physical, paper-based security

Companies and Governments are using paper-based physical security solutions to prevent fraudulent copies being made, i.e. foil security threats, watermarks, high quality paper and plastics, special printing and edging, gradient colouring, micro text, holograms etc. These are all good physical security measures for i.e. money notes where the original is always used, but in the case of most other documents, i.e certificates, diplomas, reference letters, contracts and other important documentation where copies are also produced, all physical security is lost when copied.

pbSecure™ technology addresses the data content contained in the document, using cryptographic technology to sign and secure the data. This enables the content of the original document to be verified at any point, even from a copy.

pbSecure™ is ideal for
  • Educational Documentation: Degrees, Certificates, Diplomas, Reference letters and Transcripts
  • Identity verification: Birth certificates, Death certificates, Identity documents & ID cards, vehicle identification
  • Law enforcement: Contracts, Letters, Original document evidencing
  • Assets: Logistical tracking and verification of original product
  • Information Technology: Securing database data at point of origin

pbSecure™ in practice

The hardware (a USB device) hosts Pitney Bowes' patented Cryptographic Accounting Model (CAM) security chip technology. The device (known as a VAULT) has two USB ports that connect to any computer system, printer and/or any 2D barcode scanner. It uses asymmetric Public Key Infrastructure (KPI) technology to produce a cryptographic 2D pbSecure™barcode (Quick Response (QR) code) that is printed on the original document or item.

This complex QR code on the document contains the original data linked to an encrypted data string that, when decrypted with pbSecure™ will verify the contents of the original document, the institution that issued it and whether the data and/ or the pbSecure code have been tampered with in any way. The original document containing the pbSecure code can be copied and the copies can be used to verify the originality of the content, no need to have the original document present and no need to have contact with the originator, whether online (Internet) or off-line from anywhere.

Using document evidencing (or securing) as an example in practise;

The original data content is compiled via pbSecure™ software connected to a pbSecure™ VAULT. The VAULT produces the encrypted QR Code that is merged with the data and any document template into a printing format (i.e PDF) for commercial or desktop printing.

The document can be printed on any paper, the security lies within the pbSecure™ bar code printed on the document, thus the document can also be copied as many times as desired as the pbsecure™ code is transferred to each photocopy.

The original document, or a copy of the document can be verified in any of the following ways:

    Off-line (No Internet needed):
  • Via a standard 2D barcode scanner, connected to any computer that has a pbSecure verifying unit or pbSecure™ verifying software configuration loaded.
  • Via a mobile phone running the pbSecure™ smart phone application.

    Online Web-service:
  • Via a pbSecure™ verification web service. The document can be easily verified via the Internet portal. The Internet portal does not store client data, everything needed to verify the document is contained in the pbSecure barcode. The Interner Portal is merely a platform where any document created with pbSecure can be verified by scanning the pbSecure barcode and having our online service verify the original contents of the document.
Security Advantages of the pbSecure™ technology
  • Client data is not stored in a centralised database
  • Each private key is unique and is burnt into the physical hardware chip in the VAULT device.
  • The VAULT self-destructs when tampered with
  • The VAULT is not on a network (no network or public access)
  • The VAULT is not backed up (private key is always protected)
  • Verifications can be done in an off-line environment

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