Friday, 04 February 2011


Cubic to Test Open Payment Technology on PATCO

PATCO High Speed Line customers will be able to pay transit fares with their credit or debit cards in 2011 under a pilot agreement between Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc and the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO).

The PATCO commuter line connects to two other major transit systems that serve the northeast corridor -- New Jersey Transit and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Cubic's new "open payment" technology will be integrated across PATCO's 14-mile line between Lindenwold, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, and will simplify how customers pay their fares by eliminating the need to carry a separate transit payment card.

Today, over 70 percent of PATCO customers use the FREEDOM card, the smart card used in the PATCO ticketing and revenue management system developed by Cubic. The pilot will operate in parallel with the current system, and FREEDOM card payment will not be affected by the pilot.

Transit agencies are interested in open payment as a way to reduce the costs associated with managing and distributing their own fare media. They also want to bring the retail experience to transit and make fare payment as convenient as any merchant transaction, by paying for all purchases with one credit or debit card.

"The dominant focus at Cubic is ensuring that the same levels of speed, security and reliability we have built into previous generations of card-based fare collection systems are achieved for open payment," said Philip Dixon, director of new product development for Cubic Transportation Systems. "We're looking forward to introducing our bank card processing system into the PATCO system."

For the first half of the year-long pilot, Cubic's banking partner will issue a branded reloadable prepaid card with a contactless interface that can be used for PATCO rides in addition to retail purchases where branded prepaid cards are accepted.

During the second half of the pilot, any bank card with a contactless chip will be accepted on the PATCO system.



Fingerprint Biometric On-Card Matching Security from INSIDE Secure

INSIDE Secure announced the availability of biometric on-card matching capabilities for its SecuRead system-in-package NFC solution, enabling manufacturers of mobile NFC devices to provide enhanced, two-factor security and greater personal privacy for a variety of mobile applications.

Based on advanced fingerprint identification software from Neurotechnology running on the SecuRead secure element, the new solution will debut on TazCard, the NFC electronic wallet from TazTag.

Bastien Latge, senior product manager, secure element and mobile applications at INSIDE Secure said: "Privacy is ensured because once the user's fingerprint is stored in the secure element of the SecuRead device, all subsequent fingerprint matching operations are processed there, too, and the original fingerprint data is never exposed again. By combining something you have - the TazCard - with something you are - your fingerprint - we are able to achieve strong two-factor user authentication, which then enables the TazCard or other device to unlock the secured application in our secure element".



Hacker Planned to Steal Poker Chips Worth GBP 7.4 Million

At Exeter Crown Court, Ashley Mitchell admitted penetrating the systems of online gaming firm Zynga to steal billions of poker chips that had a face value of $12 million (7.4 million-pounds). He planned the hack via a series of Facebook accounts in a bid to escape being caught.

Between June and September 2009, Mitchell acted as an administrator for the Zynga Poker game on Facebook in order to get at the computer systems to steal the chips. The hacker sold about one-third of the 400 billion chips, charging 430 pounds per billion. He is said to have resorted to hacking after becoming obsessed with online gambling and the Zynga Poker game in particular.

The sheer amount of chips going missing made Zynga aware of the theft, and a sting was set up to catch the thief. Ashley Mitchell is pleaded guilty to 5 charges brought under the Computer Misuse Act and the Proceeds from Crime Act. He was remanded until a date was fixed for sentencing.



Secure POS Vendor Alliance Announces New Board

Secure POS Vendor Alliance (SPVA), a non-profit organisation which works with the multiple stakeholders of the payment value chain announces its 2011 Board of Directors and welcomes new member, Accelerated payment Technologies.

"Over the past two years, the SPVA has established itself as a place for all PCI stakeholders to unite for a common interest: payment security. In 2011, we expect to grow membership, address the rapidly expanding mobile space and release a whitepaper from our Threat Analysis Technical Working Group. I look forward to working with the board and Technical Working Group chairs to further SPVA's mission of security awareness and best practices," says SPVA Chairman Paul Rasori.

The 2011 Board of Directors are:

  • Paul Rasori - SPVA Chairman (VeriFone, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing)
  • Christopher Coonen - SPVA Vice Chairman / Chief Technical Officer (Ingenico, EVP, Global Solutions, Sales & Marketing)
  • T.K. Cheung - SPVA Secretary / Treasurer (Hypercom, VP Global Quality & Security)
  • Robert Carr - SPVA Associate Member Director (Heartland Payment Systems, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer)
  • Thomas Xu - SPVA General Member Director (PAX Technology, Ltd., Vice President, Marketing & Sales)



Now Real-Time Ericsson Money Services for P2P Mobile Payments

Swedish telecommunication giant Ericsson will set up a new business unit that will concentrate on person-to-person (P2P) mobile payments, in both the developed and emerging markets through Ericsson Money Services. The service will be launched after 2 years of perpetration and proof of concept in Europe and Asia.

Ericsson says it has already developed an end-to-end system and associated business and operational model, fulfilling all necessary regulatory, legal and security requirements, in cooperation with its operator customers and financial sector players.

Through Ericsson Money Services and its Money Interconnect Service, mobile operators, financial institutions and other service providers, wishing to extend their offering with mobile money services, can easily get connected to a real-time, cross-border, cross-currency switching network.

Semir Mahjoub, head of Ericsson Money Services, said: "A new market is opening up consisting of consumers whose first meeting with banks will take place over a mobile phone and who may never own a plastic credit card. People who may never enter a bricks-and-mortar bank now have the opportunity to "walk" into a virtual bank using their phone".



MasterCard Europe 2010 Reports Show Increasing Demand for e-Payments

Yesterday, MasterCard Europe announced its fourth quarter 2010 operating results for the Europe region. Maestro reinforced its position as Europe's leading debit card brand in 2010, with 300 million cards now in issuance across the region, more than any other debit brand across Europe.

For the fourth quarter 2010, the European region reported MasterCard gross dollar volume for Europe of $225 billion, an increase of 14.0%, compared to the fourth quarter 2009. Purchase volume was $168 billion, growing 13.0% during the quarter. From 1 October through 31 December, European cardholders made more than 2.1 billion purchase transactions with their MasterCard-branded cards, an increase of 13.7%.

As of 31 December 2010, 212 million MasterCard-branded cards (excluding Maestro and Cirrus) had been issued by MasterCard customers across Europe, an increase of 6.9 % compared to the same quarter in 2009.

In addition, the Maestro brand mark appeared on 300 million cards. Consumers can now make point of sale purchases with their Maestro cards at 7.1 million merchant locations throughout Europe and at 13.1 million merchant locations worldwide.

Javier Perez, MasterCard Europe President, said, "Electronic payments continue to gain preference with consumers in Europe. In 2010 MasterCard continued the momentum in debit led by Maestro, Europe's only global SEPA debit brand. Maestro continued to be a compelling domestic debit card offering, gaining traction as consumers opted for greater choice with security, added-value and acceptance both for brick-mortar and online purchases. Recent breakthroughs include Belgium, with over 500 online merchants and near 100% of Maestro cards in the market eCommerce enabled. No other debit brand offers such inclusiveness in this space - the next SEPA frontier for Europe."



L-1 Identity Solutions Stockholders Vote to Approve the Merger with Safran SA

L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. announces that its stockholders have approved the previously announced merger transaction with Safran SA. The L-1 shareholder approval of the transaction was one of the conditions to completing the Safran merger. Having received L-1 shareholder approval and notification from the Federal Trade Commission that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, applicable to the merger has terminated, completion of the merger remains subject to approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), completion of the previously announced sale of the L-1 intelligence services businesses to BAE Systems Information Solutions Inc. (BAE Systems) and the satisfaction or waiver of other customary conditions.

Approval of the proposal to adopt the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger dated September 19, 2010 with Safran SA, and the acquisition via merger of L-1 by Safran contemplated thereby, required the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of L-1's common stock. Approximately 99 percent of the shares voting at yesterday's special meeting of stockholders voted in favour of the proposal, which represented approximately 70 percent of the total outstanding shares of L-1 common stock as of December 27, 2010 (the record date for the special meeting).

Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, L-1 stockholders will be entitled to receive $12.00 per share in cash upon closing of the Safran merger, for an aggregate enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion, inclusive of outstanding debt.

L-1 continues to expect the Safran merger to close during the first quarter of 2011, subject to the timing of the CFIUS process in respect of the Safran merger and completion of the BAE Systems transaction, and assuming satisfaction or waiver of all other applicable conditions. L-1 continues to expect the BAE Systems transaction to close during the first quarter of 2011, subject to the receipt of confirmation of a planned contract novation from a U.S. government customer and assuming satisfaction or waiver of all other applicable conditions.




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