Sharps Pixley is a British bullion house, formed in 1957 when two historic private bullion partnerships merged. In 2015 Sharps Pixley decided to put physical gold back on the streets of London via a flagship high street presence in St James’s Street, just off Piccadilly. In this very special shop, not only can customers buy products but they can also store them on-location in new, state-of-the-art safe deposit box facilities. Sharps Pixley needed to upgrade their ageing control system for their safe deposit box service.

Old biometric system

They were facing a number of challenges with their old biometric system which was substantially impacting customer experience and satisfaction:

  • Capturing fingerprints during the enrolment phase, especially with older clients, would typically take several attempts.
  • During the verification process, the shop operator faced similar issues thus requiring multiple system restarts to get the device working correctly.
  • The software was unstable and would often crash.

New additional functionalities were also required to be able to offer the correct secure services to the clients:

  • Two person authentication to access a single safety deposit box.
  • Manual authentication in addition to biometric identification.
  • Replacing the key fob with a biometric solution.

Access control technology

Arana Security was contracted to help. Operating in the UK and Middle East, Arana Security specialises in biometric solutions, access control technology, surveillance and monitoring systems. They set about to design a new application for Sharps Pixley, to enhance the security, authentication and usability of the system - adding new next-level security clearance and a fresh and improved enrolment of clients’ biometrics.

For the important biometric part, Arana Security and Sharp Pixley selected IDEMIA’s MorphoWave Compact contactless fingerprint device to enable fast, smooth and accurate verification of clients. MorphoWave Compact performs a 3D scan and verification of four fingerprints in less than one second, in a quick, easy and hygienic touchless hand wave gesture. Thanks to advanced algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence, the accuracy is very high, even with ageing fingers.

Contactless biometric devices

The system provided has improved the client’s service and provided a more robust, secure and reliable solution

The implementation of MorphoWave Compact contactless biometric devices meant less time wasted at the desk waiting for confirmation of IDs and less stress on both the clients and employees. The system provided has significantly improved the client’s service and provided a more robust, secure and reliable solution.

Sharps Pixley’s comments: “We approached the Arana team with a particularly unique set of problems to resolve including a security system that used hardware and software originally designed for a totally different purpose. I knew what I wanted but was not sure if it was possible. I was essentially an explorer deep in the jungle with a perfect map in my own head, but with no tools or machinery to hack my way out."

Provides palpable reassurance

"Arana did more than just clear a path for me to get to my destination - they paved the road for me afterwards. MorphoWave Compact device from IDEMIA is the icing on the cake that makes this all possible. Used properly it is refreshingly simple and intuitive. The team here and our clientele no longer struggle to manage or use our access system. The device itself provides palpable reassurance in the technology and that has true value”, says Bruno Garcia, Sharps Pixley.