Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Nexus Launches a New Travel Smartcard for Tyne and Wear

Popping onto Metro or bus is about to get much easier with the launch of the biggest smartcard initiative outside London.

Pop is the name of the new travel smartcard from Nexus set to be rolled out across the Tyne & Wear region this year. Yesterday Pop CardNexus bosses unveiled the Pop card brand on a Metro train at St James station.

Nexus is investing 15million-pound from Government funds in smart ticketing, all part of the Metro: all change modernisation programme. This will include the replacement of 225 Metro ticket machines and the introduction of gates at key stations and 'smart' validators across the system.

The investment forms one part of the North East Smart Ticketing Initiative (NESTI), a project led by local councils across North East England to spread smart ticketing across all local public transport from the Tees Valley through to the Scottish border.

Nexus passengers will start to get their regular season tickets and under 16 identification cards replaced with Pop cards now. Over the next year a phased rollout will allow more and more people to travel with a Pop card, whose functionality will develop into a full 'pay as you ride' option with stored cash balance on cards in 2012.

Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus, said: "Smartcards will soon be used by hundreds of thousands of public transport users, and we are one of the first regions in the UK to fully embrace the future of travel.

Gemalto Integrates Smart Card Security with Microsoft U-Prove

Gemalto announced today that it has integrated its smart card technology with Microsoft U-Prove for enhanced security.

U-Prove is a privacy-protecting cryptographic technology that helps address the need to protect identity-related information online by allowing people to disclose minimal amounts of identifying information when they can access applications and services. It provides multi-party security in that U-Prove issuers, users and relying parties are all protected from outside attacks as well as those originating from each other.

With the integration of Gemalto's technology, users will need their smart card in order to use their U-Prove tokens containing their information and attributes. Gemalto's tamper-resistant smart cards prevent attacks on users' U-Prove tokens, and offer additional benefits like helping to enforce various security policies such as non-transferability and unauthorised use of limited-use or expired tokens.

"U-Prove with Gemalto smart card technology offers protection and security for online identities," said Tom Flynn, vice president, Online Authentication and eBanking for Gemalto North America. "We see this identity solution as a critical component for securing the digital future, as both private and public sectors continue to embrace e-services."

MasterCard, Symantec and NagraID Security Team Up to Provide Further Payment Card Security Features

NagraID Security, MasterCard Worldwide and Symantec Corp. have teamed up to introduce the MasterCard "Display Card," bringing strong authentication functionality on a payment card to the United States.

Recently piloted and launched in Europe and Asia, the "Display Card" complements existing card security features through the use of Symantec's VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) Authentication Service and NagraID Security card technology. By building this authentication technology into debit and credit cards, cardholders, issuers and merchants are further protected from online fraud and identity theft.

The MasterCard "Display Card" looks and functions like the same magnetic stripe card consumers have relied on for the past 50 years, but features a built-in display that enables cardholders to generate dynamic one-time "passwords," providing strong authentication. The one-time password can be activated by card issuers as a dynamic card verification code (CVC2) or as an on-card activation of MasterCard SecureCode, an online security service to guard against unauthorised use of a consumer's MasterCard card while shopping online.

"After a highly successful adoption by Asian and European banks and their customers, we are thrilled to introduce the MasterCard display card to the U.S. market at the RSA Conference 2011. With Symantec and their cloud-based authentication service, banks can now easily and rapidly deploy the MasterCard display card to their clients," Cyril Lalo, CEO of NagraID Security. "As the world leader in online transactions, the U.S. is a great market for this new payment display card. The MasterCard display card will enable card issuers to fully step into the new era in card payments and strengthen their online services."

Qualcomm Announces Next-generation Snapdragon Mobile Chipset Family

Qualcomm Inc. yesterday announced its next mobile processor architecture for the Snapdragon family. The new processor micro-architecture, code-named Krait, in the next-generation Snapdragon will redefine performance for the industry.

The latest family of Snapdragon chipsets will include the single-core MSM8930, the dual-core MSM8960 and the quad-core APQ8064. All chipsets in the family will integrate a quad-combo of connectivity solutions. The software compatible chipset family will share the same 28nm technology and new, purpose-built CPUs and GPUs for the best mobile performance at the lowest power consumption.

The dual-core MSM8960 is the world's first dual-core solution with an integrated multi-mode 3G/LTE modem and was designed to meet the requirements of multi-tasking smartphones and tablets. It will include dual asynchronous CPU cores which can be independently controlled for maximum efficiency. The MSM8960 will also support dual-channel LP DDR memory and will feature the Adreno 225 GPU which delivers eight times the performance of the original Adreno.

"We believe we have an incredible line-up of chips and software, representing a single platform that OEMs can utilise to create new devices ranging from mass market smartphones with integrated LTE, to tablets, to next generation computing and entertainment devices," said Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president and group president for Qualcomm.

Samples of the MSM8960 are anticipated to be available in Q2 2011 and samples of the MSM8930 and APQ8064 are anticipated to be available in early 2012.

Orange Accelerates the Deployment of Mobile Contactless Services with launch of the Samsung Wave 578 in Europe

As the first European operator to announce that they would deploy a new generation of SIM cards and handsets to facilitate mobile contactless services, Orange has extended its successful and long-term relationship with Samsung to deliver handsets enabled for NFC, firstly in the UK, France, Spain and Poland. The Samsung Wave 578 will be launched by Orange in Spain, Poland and France from Q2 this year before being rolled out to the wider Orange European footprint. It will be the first in a series of NFC-enabled handsets that will include devices from LG and Nokia, amongst others. Orange expects that by the end of 2011 over half of all new smartphone models to be added to its range for Europe will be optimised for mobile contactless services.

The Orange Samsung Wave 578 is equipped with NFC connectivity. It runs on bada 1.1, Samsung's operating system. Wave 578 enables fast data rates and easy information with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, and USB 2.0, the device will also feature Orange Signature services. The inclusion of SIM-secured contactless capabilities will lay the foundations for Orange to enable a tranche of new services from partners in the future, ranging from mobile payment to ticketing and transportation.

Anne Bouverot, Executive Vice President, Mobile Services, Orange, said, "We are spearheading the third biggest revolution in the mobile arena, after mobile voice services and the explosion in mobile data. Mobile contactless services will change people's daily lives".

"Samsung provided us with the 'Player One Cityzi' handset which enabled the Cityzi service in Nice to become one of the world's first mass-market commercial contactless services," added Bouverot. "With the availability of new NFC-enabled devices from Samsung, and many more from our other handset partners to come in 2011, we are moving closer to a world in which we believe mobile contactless services will soon become the norm."

mBlox Successfully Delivers 4.4 Billion Transactions Globally

At the 2011 Mobile World Congress, mBlox, the world's largest mobile transaction network, announced deployment of 4.4 billion application-to-person transactions in 2010, which represents almost a billion more transactions than the previous year. Globally, the company processed 26% more transactions than in 2010, and mobile transaction revenue across Europe grew by 12% compared to the previous year.

The new mBlox services provide merchants with an array of tools to produce secure, location-based applications for consumers, to allow increased consumer relevance and utilisation while facilitating broader mobile commerce. Products to be publicly launched this spring will enable leading brands and application developers to interact and transact with consumers on the move and process payments via a broad range of financial instruments.

Highlighting mBlox's organic growth, the company launched mBlox PayMobile solution in France, allowing content providers and advertisers to reference, promote and monetise their service offerings on the search engines of all three French mobile carriers. As a result, revenues in France grew by 29% over the previous year.

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