Thursday, 27 January 2011

Visa Europe Moves Forward with iCarte

Visa Europe will have a pre-commercial launch of another iPhone attachment - iCarte in Turkey and an internal trial in the UK. Visa Europe hopes iCarte will enable consumers to tap their iPhones to pay where Visa payWave is accepted.

iCarte is made by the Canada-based Wireless Dynamics. Visa Europe has not yet certified the attachment, which has apparently taken longer than expected. That type approval process for the iCarte is ongoing, a Visa Europe spokeswoman told NFC Times.

The device is the second so-called NFC "bridge" technology Visa has announced for iPhone users, following the announcement of certification by Visa Inc. in last December of an attachment for the iPhone that works with contactless microSD cards. Visa also certified one smartphone model apiece made by Samsung and Research in Motion, the BlackBerry makers.

It is not clear whether Visa has an exclusive agreement to market the iCarte, as it does with DeviceFidelity's In2Pay technology. Visa Europe is also planning to market the DeviceFidelity product

UK Fraud Accounts to 38 Billion-Pounds a Year

According to The National Fraud Authority (NFA) estimates, UK economy loses 38billion-pounds a year due to fraudulent activities. NFA said that if the total cost was broken down, every UK adult would be 765pounds worse off.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude stated, "21billion-pounds cost of public sector fraud could pay for 800 secondary schools or 615,000 nurses". To him, "Contrary to what many people think, fraud and error is not just confined to benefits and revenue".

He believes in the UK, fraud is affecting every government department and posing impacts on the "government's ability to deliver better public services, while strip the civil service of vital resources".

The cost to the private sector was 12billion-pounds and charities lost 1.3billion-pounds, the NFA reported, while individuals' losses were estimated at 4billion-pounds. Frauds included marketing scams, bogus operators, fake lotteries and online ticketing and rental crimes.

First Data Wins Polish Bank Contactless Deal

First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, announced of its partnership with Getin Noble Bank SA, one of the leading financial institutions in Poland. First Data will provide card issuing and payment processing services for the bank's new contactless card programme.

The MasterCard PayPass debit cards, which will be issued and processed by First Data on behalf of the bank, feature the added convenience of contactless technology. Cardholders can use the cards to make payments of up to 50 zloty (11 pounds) at thousands of retailers across Poland, simply by pressing the card against a special terminal reader. No PIN or signature is required.

Clear2Pay to Boost South-Africa's EMV Contactless Public Transport Program

Clear2Pay, the international technology provider of next generation payment solutions for financial institutions, has signed an agreement with Techso (Pty) Ltd., appointed by the South-African National Department of Transport (NDOT), to develop the functional test solutions for the public transport specific EMV contactless cards and payment terminals.

Additionally, Clear2Pay will deploy a certification laboratory in Cape Town in collaboration with its local partner Iplex, enabling banks and third party vendors to locally qualify their cards and devices. This will support the strategic objectives of facilitating Automated Fare Collection (AFC) via bank issued contactless payment cards.

Built on field-proven EMV technology, the new contactless cards can be used for low value retail payments as well.

New Fingerprint Readers for Banking & Corporate Segments

Biometric systems are no longer reserved for Government users. Enterprise markets such as Banking and Corporations are increasingly seeing the benefits offered by biometric solutions. To accommodate these new opportunities, Precise Biometrics launches a new generation of competitive fingerprint readers which are designed to meet a range of specific but different customer demands. The name of the new family of fingerprint readers is Precise Sense.

Precise Sense is available in various designs focusing on different types of requirements. In total Precise Sense will be available in six different designs - of which three are launched now. Among the options, you will find combined smart card and fingerprint readers, but also readers that don't require a smart card. All readers will be available with touch or swipe sensors.

Cost is a major focus of corporate customers, which can be difficult to accommodate from a vendor's point of view when products are simultaneously required to be very versatile and include substantial functionality. We have however solved this problem with our new reader series as the readers are based upon a modular design where the customer can choose between 6 different variations to cover his specific demand, says Thomas Marschall, CEO at Precise Biometrics

We are very much looking forward to this product launch which is also eagerly awaited by many of our global partners. Let me also say that the readers have a great design, Thomas Marschall adds with a smile.

Readers for contactless card with NFC functionality will also be launched later this year depending on customer demand. NFC is a contactless technology developed for mainly the mobile phone industry. The market for NFC is expected to take off during 2012.

India's Central Bank Considers National Migration to Chip and PIN

The Indian central bank in April last year, has proposed of an increased IT governance and cyber-security following growing worldwide operational and technology risk.

In an extended passage devoted to information security issues, the central bank report states that "in view of the proliferation of cyber attacks and their potential consequences, banks should implement two-factor authentication for critical activities like fund transfers and changing customer related details through internet banking facility".

The working group further goes on to recommend that the RBI "consider moving over to chip based cards along with requiring up-gradation of necessary infrastructure like ATMs/POS terminals in this regard in a phased manner".

In a brief statement accompanying the release of the report, the central bank says, "The Reserve Bank will begin implementing the recommendations of the working group shortly".

Facebook Boosts Security with Social Authentication Feature

Yesterday, Facebook introduced 2 new security features - to encrypt your Facebook session at all times and an easier account authentication process.

At this point, Facebook uses a technology known as HTTPS whenever your password is sent to the social-networking site. HTTPS keeps data encrypted as it travels between your web browser and servers and is mostly used for banks and credit card company websites.

"You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from public internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries or schools", wrote Facebook security engineer Alex Rice.

Rice said "The option will be rolling out slowly in the next few weeks. When it's live, you can go to "Account Security" in Account Settings and click the 'Secure Browsing' option". Also, Facebook authorities hope to introduce HTTPS as a default whenever users are using Facebook sometime in future.

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