Thursday, 11 August 2011

Morpho: First to Receive new Official Approval of the German e-health Card

On October 1 2011, Germany will begin the country-wide distribution of its new electronic health card. Morpho (Safran group) is the first manufacturer to have received official approval for production of the card. This was confirmed by gematik (Gesellschaft fur Telematikanwendungen der Gesundheitskarte) - the German association for telematics applications for the e-health card. This means that Morpho can now make the approved e-health card available to health insurers for upcoming distribution. By the end of the year, 10% of all insured persons will receive the new card.

The new e-health card, called "Generation 1plus," is already suited for future online use and has high-security encryption functions.

The production facility at the German manufacturing site in Flintbek near Kiel has successfully implemented the required security measures and is ready to start production. One in three persons in Germany insured under a statutory health insurance program will receive an e-health card produced in Flintbek.

"We are pleased to be the first company to have received full approval for our Generation 1plus e-health card which will be ready for the launch of distribution. At the same time, we are sure the initial rollout will pave the way for a full rollout in 2012 and in subsequent years", said Christopher Goulet, Head of Sales for Central and Eastern Europe, Payment and ID Documents at Morpho, e-Documents Division.

UnionPay overtakes Visa to Become World's Largest Card Scheme

The results of Retail Banking Research's (RBR) latest global payment cards research provide remarkable reading. Several findings stand out, including surpassing a phenomenal eight billion cards worldwide, a fall in the number of cards in North America and more than 10% growth in the prepaid and debit card sectors. The most startling finding however is that China's UnionPay is now the largest payment card scheme in the world, its brand appearing on three in every ten cards worldwide.

Executives at Visa, the scheme that has been usurped at the top of the rankings, can console themselves with the news that cards with their branding are still well ahead in terms of usage and spending, and the fact that most UnionPay cards are found in China. The new RBR research shows that there is still plenty to play for, with 20% of cards worldwide belonging to domestic bank card or private label schemes. This share is falling however, so competition for these cards plus efforts to persuade large issuers to change their scheme allegiances will only intensify.

Ukash Now Available Online by Standard Bank

Ukash has announced that Standard Bank internet banking account holders will now be able to buy Ukash vouchers directly from their accounts, enabling them to shop online without revealing personal details.

Standard Bank is a leader in state-of-the-art customer banking solutions in South Africa and offers the Autopay system that enables its account holders to pay online for goods and services directly from a linked account. Now enabling Ukash, Standard Bank's Autopay allows consumers in South Africa to shop and pay online with "cash" wherever Ukash vouchers are accepted.

David Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of Ukash, explains: "Our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for consumers to use cash electronically, and this relationship adds simplicity to our offer by enabling Standard Bank account holders in South Africa to get Ukash vouchers. The e-cash market is the fastest growing sector in the payments industry across the world and we can see that Standard Bank leads the way for that in South Africa."

Commercialisation of NFC Services to Spur Trusted Service Management Market

Trusted Service Managers (TSMs) are a key partner of service providers and mobile network operators for providing security in the near field communication (NFC) ecosystem. New participants, particularly companies well established in the IT and telecommunications sectors, are set to enter the trusted services market in the short term. During the early stages of NFC, the main core services of TSMs will have a technical character; however, as NFC matures, TSMs will evolve and fulfil a business enabler role.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the revenues derived from the trusted service management for the NFC services market will reach approximately Euro 330 million by 2015, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 74 per cent between 2010 and 2015. Life cycle management of applications and management of the secure element are anticipated to remain the main sources of revenue.

Regardless of the technology that supports NFC or the business model chosen by market participants, the need of having a trusted service manager in the middle to moderate the technical aspects of their relationship will persist. Eventually, TSMs may evolve and become responsible for the management of commercial relationships between participants of the NFC market.

"Payment and transportation applications will push the market during the next five years," avers Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mario Fernandez. "Provisioning of platforms for Digital Right Management and mobile marketing are markets that have not been explored by TSMs, but they could become, if well addressed, a source of tremendous growth."

Multicard Provides Management Solution for Community Transportation Service in Enschede

Multicard a business unit of Identive Group, Inc., announced today it is providing the Municipality of Enschede, The Netherlands with an integrated solution to manage administration of the community's free bus transport service for older residents. Multicard's solution encompasses participant enrolment, the issuance of special passes for the service, management of the database of participants, and the design and management of a web portal that allows the city to monitor the process and flow of the project.

This special transport service is being introduced as a result of agreements between the Municipality of Enschede and the Dutch transportation operator Connexxion. The service allows residents aged 70 and older to use the city's bus system to visit friends and relatives, do errands and take advantage of community facilities by supplying each participant with a free bus pass.

According to Hennie Otto, Connexxion's project manager for the free transportation service, the enthusiasm for this project is considerable and at least 90% of currently eligible residents are expected to participate. To date, Multicard has processed enrolment and mailed out the "70+" free public transport passes to 11,000 elderly residents of the city. Multicard and the Municipality of Enschede expect to continue their cooperation in the future, as the program is ongoing.

"In a country where population aging is a major trend, there is a continual increase in demand for social services for older people - such as the free public transportation program in Enschede," stated Pieter Kooistra, managing director of Multicard Netherlands. "Managing these types of programs requires a secure and flexible platform for safeguarding the data collected from individual participants, as well as the capability to act as an interface between the community offering the program and the residents who will use it."

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