Monday, 01 August 2011

Two New Co-Chairs to Lead the UKGCVA

The UK Gift Card and Voucher Association (UKGCVA) have elected John Bohan of Marks and Spencer and Kevin Lake of Countdown as its new Co-Chairs.

Bringing many years of retail expertise, John Bohan, New Business Sales Manager for Marks & Spencer, will represent the issuer members as Issuer Chair.

As Chief Executive of Countdown, a company that offers a discount card to organisations to reward employees and customers, Kevin Lake has extensive experience in the reward sector and will represent service members.

John and Kevin have both played an active role on the UKGCVA Executive Board for several years. Recently appointed members to the board include Diane Jackson of CPI Card Group Europe, Steve Bradbery of Ceridian SVS and Siobhan Moore of Salans LLP who are responsible for directing the policy and operation of the UKGCVA.

Andrew Johnson, director general of The UKGCVA, commented: "With our executive committee complete, I am confident that the new board members and Co-Chairs will continue the positive start we have had earlier this year. Our strong representation from the high street, among e-retailers and with industry service providers across the board continues to cement the Association's reputation as the authoritative voice on the industry."

SMARTRAC Reports 16 Percent Sales Growth

SMARTRAC N.V. announced financial figures for the six-month period ended June 30, 2011. The SMARTRAC Group generated revenue of EUR 93.9 million in the first six months of 2011. This represents an increase of 16 percent from the previous year's figure of EUR 80.8 million. Growth mainly resulted from positive development in the business units eID, Industry & Logistics, and Tickets & Labels.

Following strong market growth in 2010, demand as anticipated returned to a more moderate level in the first six months of 2011. The satisfactory overall market development was however accompanied by weakening demand in the Cards business. First signs of this weakening became even clearer in the second quarter of 2011. Especially business with e-payment card inlays for the U.S. market slowed down.

Dr. Christian Fischer, CEO: "Market demand returned to a more moderate level in the first six months of 2011 compared with the magnitude of 2010. This gave us the necessary balance to accomplish strategic projects as basis for the future success of the company. Besides broadening our global footprint, we have also taken steps to further broaden our product and technology range."

NXP Consolidates No. 1 Position in Worldwide ID Market

NXP Semiconductors N.V. has extended its lead in the global Identification market, after eight quarters of consecutive growth in total sales across all market segments using Identification technologies.

In 2010, NXP's Identification business unit posted global revenues of $589 million across its three product lines Secure Transactions, Secure Identity, and Tagging & Authentication, attaining the No.1 position in the worldwide ID market. In H1 2011, NXP reported revenues of $383 million in Identification, firmly establishing its No. 1 position with recently announced Q2 revenues of $194 million.

With its focus on developing end-to-end solutions for security, convenience and connectivity, as well as its strategy of building entire ecosystems for ID applications, NXP is a clear leader in key segments including eGovernment, transportation and access, RFID tags and labels, infrastructure, NFC and payments.

"ABI Research believes NXP is uniquely positioned and differentiated from its peers in that the company supports the full range of RFID frequencies from LF to HF to UHF," said Mike Liard, research director for RFID at ABI Research. "Primary applications supported by NXP's transponder ICs are broad and far-reaching, including automobile immobilizers, security/access control, contactless payment, ticketing, NFC, government ID, asset management, item-level tracking, authentication and many others.

INSIDE Secure and ZTE Working to bring NFC Phones to GSM and 3G Networks

INSIDE Secure has announced it has expanded its partnership with ZTE Corporation to integrate INSIDE's NFC technology into ZTE's GSM and next-generation TD-SCDMA smartphone platform, which is based on the Android OS. The NFC solution INSIDE and ZTE are creating is based on the INSIDE MicroRead NFC controller and the companion Open NFC protocol stack. It will enable consumers in China and elsewhere to use ZTE 3G smartphones for a broad range of secure NFC applications, including payments, transportation, loyalty, ticketing and access control.

This announcement is the latest result of our long-term relationship with ZTE in developing NFC solutions for their handset offerings, which now cover GSM 2G and TD-SCDMA 3G networks," said Simon Hu, chief representative and general manager, Greater China for INSIDE Secure. "We look forward to strengthening our partnership with ZTE to provide best-of-breed NFC solutions as they develop more high-value handsets and continue to expand their operations throughout China and other regions."

Now one of the top five handset vendors globally, China's ZTE Corporation recently indicated that it had sold 90 million handsets in 2010. ZTE has recently started making inroads in Western Europe, where ZTE reported its fastest growth, as well as in Japan and the U.S.

Morpho's First Multimodal Biometric Access Control Terminal to Receive CNIL Authorisation

Morpho's (Safran group) 'MorphoAccess VP', multimodal physical access control terminal, has received its first authorisation from the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes), France's Data Protection Authority. This is the first time that a multimodal biometric device has been approved for access control in a workplace in France.

MorphoAccess VP is the world's first device combining finger vein and fingerprint recognition. The CNIL considered that the device's security features provide a sufficient safeguard against identity fraud, function creep* or the misuse of personal data. From the outset, the product was developed based on the Privacy by Design principle. This means that Morpho worked closely with CNIL experts to ensure the product's full compliance with security and data protection requirements. The authorisation covers use of the device in identification mode, where biometric data is stored in the terminal's internal database.

"In France, companies have to obtain CNIL authorisation before installing biometric systems. I am proud that our MorphoAccess VP terminal is the first multimodal device to have received this seal of approval", highlighted Jean-Paul Jainsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morpho.

(*Function creep: the gradual widening of the use of a technology or system beyond the purpose for which it was originally intended, especially when this leads to potential invasion of privacy.)

New York MTA Selects VeriFone TransitPAY for Bus Tracking Solution

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) awards a four-year $6.9 million contract to VeriFone Systems, Inc. for delivery, installation, and warranty and maintenance services for 1,000 TransitPAY systems to provide real-time bus information to customers on Staten Island buses.

VeriFone will provide ruggedized on-bus hardware, software development, project management, installation, and warranty and maintenance services across Staten Island's fleet of buses. The TransitPAY solution from VeriFone enables bus tracking via real-time information, with the added benefit of supporting future fare payment applications across a common "open standards" hardware platform.

Shipments of the systems will begin in August, installation will begin in October, and the system is scheduled to be operational on Staten Island buses by Jan. 1, 2012. Bus locator information will also be accessible by application developers who are developing apps for smartphones and tablet computers.

VeriFone's TransitPAY is a rugged, reliable and secure solution that can transform the passenger experience and can integrate NFC smartphone-based payments and contactless smart cards.

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