Shenzhen Evening News reported that "Secured transport of 13.5 trillion yuan in 20 years, how does this "modern establishment providing armed escort services" do it?"

Hu Ke, chairman of SHENZHEN VPOWER FINANCE SECURITY CO. LTD (“VPOWER”), said that in the past 20 years, VPOWER has expanded from single cash-in-transit service to a variety of services encompassing cash-in-transit, cash processing, first-line maintenance of ATMs, bullion storage, handling and transportation, and cross-border armored transportation. Nowadays, VPOWER is on its 20th anniversary, and will focus on expanding new business such as secured global logistics service on valuables, strengthening cooperation with cash-in-transit companies across the nation, and is committed to building a platform for logistics services on valuables covering the whole nation.

In the operations area of the Meilin Branch of VPOWER, separated by thick glass wall floor-to-ceiling height along 30 meters long corridor, the cashiers are untying the yellow rubber bands bundled with hundred-dollar banknotes and counting the banknotes swiftly. During the Spring Festival every year, they can process cash up to 1 billion dollars every day. Although for VPOWER, this is just the iceberg of its daily business.

On May 17th, 2018 VPOWER held its 20th anniversary and media open day activities at its Merlin and Futian operations facilities which unveiled the mystery of the cash-in-transit industry.

1.         The “Modern Armed Escorts” have an escorting mileage of 210 million kilometers in 20 years.

At 11:15 am on May 17th 2018, at the VPOWER’s Futian operations facilities, the escorts were conducting anti-robbing exercises: a VPOWER’s armored vehicle was on the road at a constant speed. Suddenly, a man on a bicycle followed the vehicle. He touched the vehicle and fell to the ground. Subsequently, the man who got up and threw bricks to the armored vehicle and screamed for stopping the vehicle. A security guard got off the vehicle to sort out the case and the man suddenly attacked and held him up, and called his accomplices to appear, threatening the security guards to surrender their arms. The highly trained VPOWER security guards quickly subdued the gangsters and successfully completed the escort mission.


At the scene of the open day’s activities, it can be seen that a number of armored vehicles have been driven out of the facilities for distribution of cash boxes to various banks. It was described that, VPOWER provides security transportation and the last cash boxes overnight storage services for most of the commercial banks in Shenzhen, and servicing more than 8,000 ATMs.


In 1996, the relevant departments of the State Council conducted a special study on the safety of banknotes transportation. For the first time, the reform proposal for establishment of a professional third-party cash-in-transit company was proposed. The ice-breaking trip chose the frontier of reform and opening up in Shenzhen. After a comprehensive feasibility assessment, VPOWER began preparations in the same year and officially opened in 1997.


Since its establishment, VPOWER has carried out a total of 20 million network points for secured transportation, escorting a mileage of 210 million kilometers, escorting RMB 13.5 trillion, and escorting hundreds of billions of cash per day.


Li Hongbing, a crew leader of the Merlin operations facilities of VPOWER, said that in this "modern armed escort services company", there are more than 2,000 "security crews", responsible for guarding, collection from and delivery to clients and assisting in box-carrying. Most of them are veterans who have undergone specialized armed escort training. In order to maintain the discipline of the escorts, supervising the security crews used military management.


Regarding how to ensure the safety of driving, Li Hongbing said that the company had prepared a plan for the problems that may be faced during the escort. In addition, the company’s headquarters control and dispatch center will grasp the fieldwork movements in real time and provide information such as road conditions for the crews.


Xu Yafeng, head of the control and dispatch centre of the Meilin operations facilities, said that at present, all the armored vehicles of VPOWER are equipped with an in-vehicle network video system, and each vehicle is equipped with a CCTV camera. The staff can conduct all-round, multi-angle real-time monitoring and video recording of all escort vehicles in the control and dispatch center to realize GPS positioning and full-process visual monitoring of the vehicle.


2.         Vaults "a citadel of security" are safe from all foreseeable threats.

In addition to the armored vehicles that are being charged to the fieldwork, the vaults are also the "mysterious and dangerous" place of VPOWER. In Hollywood movies, people often see "the thief" through the heavy infrared protection, into the core of the vault. Wang Jiayong, head of the vaults of the Merlin operations facilities, said that these are just movie plots. It is impossible to enter the vaults in real life without activating the alarms security.


Wang Jiayong introduced that the first line of protection of the vault is the 24/7 monitoring system. The iron gate on the periphery of the vault is tightly locked. When an intruder enters, it will automatically activate the alarms and the security control center will dispatch armed guards to respond the alarms. The second line of protection is the iron gate at the core of the vault. The iron gate is double protected by password and key, and the password will be changed from time to time. The third line of protection is the electronic alarms system, the vibration alarm detectors, and even if a small piece of paper is blown close to the vault by the wind, the alarm detectors will be alarmed. In addition, the vaults also have dozens of other security facilities, and security personnel to guard them 24/7 on their shifts, these security forces make the vaults have a real "citadel of security".


3.         Expanding new frontier of valuables transportation

Since its establishment, VPOWER has actively explored third-party financial logistics service models. From the outsourcing cash escorting by the banking business, to the era of credit card, the business has been extended to the first line maintenance of ATMs business, cash processing and distribution, cross-border secured transportation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, air-cargo logistics, etc., VPOWER always leads the trend of the development of cash-in-transit industry domestically.


In 2009, the service scope of VPOWER was extended to cross-border secured transportation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. In this year, in order to meet the needs of the ever-expanding scale of overseas RMB cash circulation, with the support of the Guangdong Provincial Government, the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government and the People's Bank of China Shenzhen Central Branch, VPOWER has obtained the vehicle licenses for its cash-in-transit armored vehicles on the roads in Hong Kong. In July of the same year, VPOWER signed the Guarding Services Cooperation Agreementand theCross-Border Armed Escort Cooperation Agreementwith Hong Kong Guardforce Limited and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd., and the Shenzhen-Hong Kong cross-border security transportation business was fully launched.


Wang Wei, general manager of VPOWER, said that under the influence of electronic payment, the amount of cash escorting business has a significant downward trend. Statistics from June to December 2016 showed that the company's overall business volume fell by 5% in June and by 8% in July, and the decline volume was increasing. In 2016, the company's overall business volume fell by nearly 10%. This is also a challenge for the national cash-in-transit companies. In the "Internet +" environment, in order to actively respond to the challenges, VPOWER is gradually expanding new business beyond cash, and vigorously develop the air valuables cargo logistics business.

Since 2017, VPOWER has completed the cross-border air transport business of valuables from major cities in China to Shenzhen and then to Hong Kong, becoming a landmark event for VPOWER to actively expand into new business.


Hu Ke, chairman of VPOWER, said that in the future, VPOWER will step into efforts to strengthen cross-regional cooperation, create a nationwide escort network in a cooperative manner, form a fully functional, well-connected domestic and overseas escort service network, and actively develop secured global logistics services on valuables, building up an international financial logistics brand.


 (He Anru, Tang Wenzhao, Lin Bingquan, Zhang Xipor/Writing, Chen Yu /photos)