Serge Belamant’s Smart Card
Serge Christian Pierre Belamant is a technology, operations, research, and development consultant, and former Chief Operating Officer at Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. in South Africa. Belamant continues to serve as a consultant at Net 1. Serge Belamant is also currently the director of the board at MediKredit Integrated Healthcare Solutions (Pty) Limited and a director at Aplitec. Serge Belamant has several decades of experience working in the technology sector, including ten years with Control Data Corporation. He developed the Saswitch ATM network in South Africa, and also consulted on a project for UEPS to create the first offline chip debit card–the first of its kind.
The smart card he pioneered with Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. worked on the basis of blockchain technology with all user accounts being validated by the system every 24 hours. This allowed for lower costs than a traditional bank card, and was the first major application of blockchain technology in the commercial sector. Customers could use the smart debit cards at participating merchants where they would use a fingerprint matching system and numerical code to approve purchases. The smart card system was adopted by the South African Social Security Agency as a way to facilitate welfare payments to impoverished citizens.
Serge Belamant has several patents registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In 2001 he registered a patent for a secure smart card system for gaming operating systems which would store player statistics and vital information. The smart card system would allow gamers to play for money from any location without risking security of their accounts. Another patent in 2007 was for a simulated primary account number (“PAN”), which enables secure online processing of credit and debit card information by financial institutions and businesses. Belamant’s patents in 2014 included several identity verification methods for financial transactions including those at ATMs. More information on Belamant’s patents can be found here.
Serge Belamant was born in France, but moved to South Africa with his family as a young teenager. He enjoyed playing rugby and chess, and was quick to learn English. He went on to take classes in engineering and computer science at Witwatersrand University in 1972. Belamant continued his coursework in information technology at the University of South Africa (UNISA)before beginning his career as a computer engineer.