Japanese bank uses RFID for document security

NEC has signed a contract with a Japanese bank for a radio frequency ID-based document management system.

NEC has signed a contract with a Japanese bank for a radio frequency ID-based document management system.

The company claims this is the first time RFID has been used for this. The system will be introduced by the Bank of Nagoya in April 2005.

The system will use omni-directional antennas attached to bookshelves and filing cabinets that communicate data from RFID tags embedded in documents to a software system that offers real-time document tracking.

NEC spokesperson Motofumi Yamamuro said the system is designed to be combined with other security systems to provide comprehensive and detailed document protection.

When combined with employee identification systems using cards or fingerprint sensors or tags, the RFID system could help enable real-time recording of which employees are removing or replacing which documents, whether authorised or not, from a filing cabinet or room.

"We see this system working on top of, or in combination with, a number of other systems to provide high-security document protection," Yamamuro said.

A survey of 450 wireless developers in March by market research company Evans Data reported that RFID security and access control applications are the most likely RFID technologies that companies will deploy over the next two years.

The company predicted that the global market for RFID-based security and access control applications could grow 450% over the next 12 months and a further 95% in 2006.

NEC claims the system will aid workflow management and inventory. For example, in a case study conducted for the Bank of Nagoya that assumed the system used 100,000 tags, NEC calculated the bank would save about ¥6m (£30,000) per year for inventory checks compared to having staff manually conduct the process using bar codes and readers.

A key feature of the system is its ability to read data from a number of already commercially available RFID tags and chips, said Yamamuro. 
Paul Kallender writes for IDG News Service

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