South African Reserve Bank mobile app wins international award

14303298228 3cd2986b14 zA South African Reserve Bank (SARB) mobile app has won an International Association of Currency Affairs award

Shortlisted among digital banking platforms from the Bank of Canada and the Reserve Bank of Australia, the SARB currency mobile app has been named the Best Banknote Public Education programme, website, or app.

The app was developed and launched alongside the introduction of the commemorative Madiba banknotes series in 2018, it was developed to drive awareness and education on the various features of the South African banknotes, demonstrating the design, security, technical and quality elements using augmented reality technology.

Local animation, gaming, and augmented reality studio Sea Monster created the app for SARB, working with SARB to develop the app over a three-month period following a rigorous tender and evaluation process.

Sea Monster CEO Glenn Gillis said, “We’re thrilled that SARB elected to go with a local gaming and animation studio, not assuming that only international companies can deliver at this level. SARB used its procurement rules and budget to foster local innovation and creativity.”

“So often we see local corporates and government using procurement processes as an excuse not to innovate and this wasn’t the case here at all. SARB’s confidence in the abilities of the Sea Monster team has clearly been validated through this award,” he added.

The aim of the app is to promote awareness and education on the various features of South African banknotes, demonstrating the design, safety, technical and quality elements.

A salient feature of the mobile app is the augmented reality functionality. When a banknote is scanned using the camera of a smartphone, the banknote features ‘pop up’ virtually, with animation and sound. Although in two dimensions, the user experience remains the same when the banknote is rotated.

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