Friday, 11 February 2011


Mobily and Gemalto Teamed for World's First Commercial Rollout of Bio-Sourced SIM

Gemalto announced that Mobily, the leading mobile operator in Saudi Arabia has started deploying its bio-sourced SIM, made with renewable material and easily recyclable. Mobily is one of the fastest growing wireless service providers in the world with more than 18 million subscribers. This represents the world's first commercial deployment of its kind.

The Gemalto product is fully compliant with telecommunications standards and its card body is certified 100% compostable. The new card enables Mobily to convey their visual identity by displaying their branding with colours and graphics of the highest quality level, while keeping their logistics and warehouse processes unchanged. This eco-friendly initiative demonstrates that reducing environmental impact can be a springboard for both innovation and business development in the telecom industry.



Released Worlds' First Fully Integrated NFC Cellphone for Consumer Diagnostics and Social Networks Apps

GENTAG, Inc. has announced the commercial availability of a low-cost NFC cell phone for RFID sensor applications, including consumer diagnostics. The technology integrates NXP's PN544 NFC IC technology with the full open ISO NFC spectrum and was co-developed in Asia in collaboration with NXP and other partners. It is directly compatible with the disposable NFC sensors and devices produced by GENTAG and therefore can be "bundled" with specific diagnostic kits or sensor markets. The phone is also directly compatible with NFC-Facebook type social network applications (direct phone-to-phone data exchanges).

This low-cost cell phone will be about one fourth the cost of a current "smart" NFC cell phone in market, and is specifically targeted to the needs of people who are concerned only with basic voice communication, mobile payments, social networks, and diagnostics using a low-cost mobile wireless device.

Dr. John P. Peeters the founder of GENTAG is highly optimistic about the device and said: "We believe this combination of wireless technologies creates immediate global market opportunities for us in Asia, Europe, South and North America and India. We plan to rapidly follow the release of this first phone with an NFC tablet and new types of Android-based cell phones, and we look forward to an expanded collaboration with NXP".

The cell phone is available for distribution worldwide via selected wireless or distribution partners under a licensing agreement with GENTAG. Volume production is anticipated for March 2011.



NTT DOCOMO and Symantec's Data Protection Tips on Lost or Stolen Laptops

NTT DOCOMO, Inc. announced yesterday that they will offer their customers a new 3G-mobile managed service featuring Symantec's PGP Whole Disk Encryption with Remote Disable and Destroy, powered by Intel Anti-Theft Technology. The service will enable DOCOMO customers to protect sensitive data in their laptops, deter thefts and protect systems. The 3G-mobile managed service is expected to reach Japanese customers by the second quarter of 2011 beginning this April.

Based on joint development between Symantec and DOCOMO, the service will allow DOCOMO customers to remotely disable a laptop computer by either locking it or destroying the data on its hard drive. Administrators can remotely disable a lost or stolen laptop via a secure SMS message, sent either via the DOCOMO 3G network management server or a roaming network if the computer is lost overseas.

DOCOMO customers will also be able to remotely block the boot process and prevent access to encrypted data, even if the computer's main power is switched off. With Symantec's PGP encryption technology, DOCOMO customers can ensure that their data are safe no matter if the computer gets lost or even if the thief knows the user's password. If the lost or stolen laptop is recovered, the system can be easily reactivated and the data fully recovered in just a few moments.



You Think the ATM Channel is about to be Displaced by a Cashless Society and Mobile Banking? Look away now...

Those of us in the ATM space are quite often asked where we stand in an industry increasingly talking about 'e-'this or 'm-'that. It's a shame that more such sceptics weren't listening to Flora Hamilton's presentation at Wincor World recently, where the European Head of ATMIA presented a perspective on the ATM of the future. So, anyone that thinks the ATM channel is about to be displaced by mobile payments, e-commerce and a cashless society, look away now...

The number of banknotes in the Eurozone is growing by about nine per cent per year. Cash still accounts for around 78 per cent of retail payments in Europe and in America, 'even if cash usage was to decline by 17 per cent every five years, the use of cash still wouldn't fall below $1billion before the year 2205.' So, myth number one dispelled; cash isn't going anywhere!

La Caixa in Spain recently launched its first pilot of contactless at ATMs. La Caixa hopes to involve 5,000 contactless cards, 1,000 mobile phones and achieve 8,000 transactions by offering customers the choice of contactless and PIN or traditional card and PIN to drive the transaction. With the next iPhone set to include 'wave and pay' and the rest of the telecoms community set to follow suit, this is an interesting option.

Through Dynamic Currency Conversion and the introduction of solar powered ATMs, Flora then highlighted the use of ATMs for international remittances. In Egypt, for example, where 75 per cent of the population are 'unbanked', the Arab African International Bank is offering non-customers services via its ATM network including 'person-to-person' transfers. In the same way, Kenya's successful mobile phone payments service, M-Pesa, now includes cash withdrawals at ATMs.

Innovations such as these, along with other commercial initiatives, explain in part why we are seeing so many banks investing in the channel at the moment and either renewing outdated infrastructure or investing in technology that enables increased functionality and improved customer service.

The key to the ATM of the future is not about competing with mobile payments or a move towards a cashless society; it's about working together, utilising a channel proven for more than 40 years, to enable greater access to these new technologies.



Oberthur SIM Cards Will Now Have MIFARE

NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Oberthur Technologies announced a licensing agreement for NXP's MIFARE technology. This agreement enables Oberthur Technologies to integrate MIFARE into its SIM cards globally. This will further drive the adoption of NFC-enabled phones in infrastructures such as public transit, event ticketing, customer loyalty programs and access control worldwide.

Under this agreement, Oberthur Technologies will expand its existing UICC product portfolio adding MIFARE DESFire and MIFARE Plus technology. This will lead to increased availability of UICC cards incorporating MIFARE technology, allowing mobile operators and service providers to broaden their offerings in mobile contactless services. MIFARE is the most widespread contactless smart card technology worldwide, providing the benchmark for performance, flexibility and security.



Visa Boosts Merchant Adoption of EMV Chip for Dynamic Authentication

Visa announced a new Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance program that will increase dynamic data authentication through the continued merchant deployment of EMV-compatible chip terminals capable of processing either contact or both contact and contactless payments.

An industry first, Visa's Technology Innovation Program (TIP), will eliminate the requirement that eligible merchants annually validate their compliance with the PCI DSS for any year in which at least 75% of the merchant's Visa transactions originate from chip-enabled terminals. To qualify, terminals must be enabled for contact or dual contact and contactless interface chip acceptance. All merchants outside USA are eligible for the new program from March 31, 2011.




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