Monday, 22 August 2011

iPhone Users Most Keen to Bank via Their Mobile

Intelligent Environments, a digital banking provider, reveals that one in five (21%) Brits would pay their bills through a mobile phone if they had the choice. A quarter (25%) of GB adults would transfer funds using a mobile phone while 36 per cent would be keen to check their balances via the device.

iPhone users emerged as the most eager to access banking services via their phones: 69 per cent would check their balance, 46 per cent would pay their bills and 62 per cent don't mind transferring funds, all through their mobiles.

James Richards, Director of Mobile at Intelligent Environments, said: "Smartphones are increasingly becoming the norm in the UK and the Ofcom report shows how obsessed Brits happen to be with these new 'must-haves'. Consumer demand for real-time access and information is going beyond just social networking and is now expected in all walks of life, including financial services. As consumers grow to be more comfortable with mobile advancements and purse strings tighten due to harsher economic conditions, it is no surprise that financial management has moved up Britons' agendas and the number looking to access banking services via a mobile phone is on the rise."

BlackBerry Smart Card Reader Achieves Advanced Security Certification for U.S. Federal Government

Research In Motion (RIM) announced today that the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader has achieved FIPS 140-2 certification level 3 - the highest certification achieved by any wireless smart card reader on the market. Smart cards support security programs like the U.S. Department of Defence's Common Access Card (CAC) program and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) which calls for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government to its employees and to the employees of federal contractors. FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) certifications are assigned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"Our customers value the robust security provided with BlackBerry products and services and smart card readers are particularly important within the government sector," said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion. "This advanced certification of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader for the U.S. Federal Government demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meet and exceed the expectations of our government customers."

The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader is designed to work with personal identification cards issued by government organisations or other high-security organisations. Users insert a smart card into this lightweight reader and wear it on a lanyard as a two-factor authentication device for secure access to BlackBerry smartphones, desktop computers and facilities. BlackBerry smartphones and desktop computers automatically lock when the user's smart card is not in proximity.

FIPS 140-2 level 3 certification of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader also verifies advanced security features of the smart card reader itself, such as tamper evidence and self destruction of critical security parameters upon device breach.

Winter AG Obtains Gematik Approval for the new German Electronic Health Card

Winter AG has obtained the approval to supply the new Electronic Health Card which was granted by Gematik. Until the end of the 2011 year, the public health insurance institutions intend to furnish 10% of their customers with an electronic health card. By the end of 2012, the rate shall be at 70%.

This newly obtained approval by Gematik extends and underlines the outstanding technological competence of Winter AG in the area of e-health (public health services). The approval applies to the online-compatible G1+ version and is therefore already compatible for later application options of the card. With the first roll-out phase for 10% of the insured, Winter AG receives an order volume of 10 million cards. The follow-up supplies will guarantee more, long-term orders in this area. Winter AG is also commissioned with the digitalization and optimization of pictures, which will rule out misuse of the cards. '"The approval to deliver the eGK is an important step for the future growth of our company," says Robert Wolny, CEO of Winter AG.

Southern Railway Trials Smartcard Technology

Southern is to trial new smartcard technology - an alternative to paper tickets - making it easier and quicker for passengers to buy and use tickets.

Called 'the key', the new smartcard is reusable and can be recharged again and again with various types of ticket including seasons, singles and returns.

The trial will be at all stations on the line from Brighton to Seaford where work has started on installing the equipment required to support the smartcard system. 100 passengers will take part, reporting back on their experience of the system so that Southern can refine it before rolling it out elsewhere. The trial is due to start in September.

Southern's Development Director Alex Foulds said: "This is just the start. The key smartcard will evolve over time with many possibilities for the future. For example in time we will be able to tailor ticket products such as 'early bird' season tickets for those who travel earlier than the morning rush hour, or perhaps a carnet-style season ticket for less frequent travellers. There will also be opportunities for integrated travel tickets such as rail-bus tickets."

The key is the brand used by Go-Ahead Group companies such as Brighton & Hove Buses which already operates smartcard tickets.

The key is based on ITSO (, a Government backed specification which is being used across the country's public transport for all future smartcard schemes. With all transport providers using the same ticketing system, integrated transport will be easier to promote with the potential for operators to link up and provide more multi-modal ticket products.

Avalon Wins Worldwide Contract for Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Argentina

Avalon has signed a contract with the prime contractor VALID/Argentina to deliver its state-of-the art Biometric Enrolment System "BioCap" & "Visalon" to provide quality assured live enrolment & data capture capabilities in line with international standards and best practice recommendations for all embassies & consulates around the globe for the personalisation & issuance of all kinds of travel & ID documents.

This tender was published and managed by the UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) and the solution offered includes 160 workstations that are running worldwide "BioCap" & "Visalon", customised for the Republic of Argentina. The system collects general and biographical data and biometric information such as photo, fingerprints and signature as well as the archiving of supporting documents that are linked to the specific application. The system will be integrated with the data exchange system of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for secure online data exchange via encrypted communication channels.

The system will be delivered for functional and integration testing at the beginning of September 2011. The embassies and consulates worldwide will be fully operational at the beginning of the 4th quarter of this year.

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