Avenir Registrars Ltd, a provider of CREST registrar services, has today announced that it has added QR codes to each one of its clients’ share or bond certificates.
A QR - or Quick Response - Code is a secure, unique, two-dimensional bar code which can be read by a dedicated scanner, or by using the camera on any smartphone.
Stockbrokers and Global Custodians can now validate the authenticity of a share certificate issued by Avenir Registrars Ltd in a matter of seconds, rather than making time consuming calls, which in many instances of market practice are routed via a premium rate phone line. The functionality, when scaled, would free up resources at the registrar, the issuer and stockbrokers. Moreover it also makes it simple for a holder to check the validity of a certificate.
Avenir Registrars has introduced the functionality in a bid to improve the security of paper securities certificates, which remain entrenched in the UK securities industry. The QR code helps identify any discrepancies before taking any action on a certificate, rather than post-trade, and is uniquely available to Avenir’s clients as a result of the company’s provision of real-time securities registers.
Dr. Hardeep Tamana, Managing Director of Avenir Registrars Ltd, commented:
“At Avenir, we have designed our systems around providing the most up to date securities registers in the industry. Although we always recommend dematerialised holdings, for those issuers who still want to use physical certificates, the QR code leverages the benefits of our real time register and also helps mitigate some associated risks.”
The unique QR codes are printed on each Avenir-issued securities certificate and link directly back to the real time register of legal owners, as maintained by Avenir. Details of the certificate number, the holder’s account number and the size of holding are then returned. Should a certificate have already expired, this is also clearly displayed.
Dr Tamana, added:
“Avenir’s ground breaking use of QR codes on share certificates is yet another sign of our commitment to innovation in the securities registry industry. It reduces the number of inbound inquiries we receive, it saves the broker time and removes an unnecessary burden on the issuer, too.”