Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Oyster-style Travel a Step Closer to Reality in Scotland

The first operational elements of a new Oyster-style multi modal transport system have been commissioned ahead of schedule for Glasgow and the West of Scotland's smart travel scheme.

The new system will enable passengers to top up cards or buy and download travel tickets online or at multiple locations throughout the area such as bus stations, rail and Subway stations and shops. In addition, customers will be able to access data about their travel habits, ensuring they can target best value products which suit their needs

The highly secure system will be fully operational in advance of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and allows for future inclusion of additional services onto the cards including delivering travel and events tickets to mobile phones, providing credit card-style payment services and a number of Council services such as travel passes for schools.

The system represents the first step in enabling technology for passengers to use smartcards instead of paper tickets on all modes of public transport in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport ('SPT') area.

The Paragon Transport system will essentially provide a back office system to validate and record smart journeys on buses, ferries, trains and the Subway using the same smartcard or smartphone and forms the backbone of a fully integrated smart travel programme.

The system's operator, Ecebs, say the technology could be applied to any transport system in Scotland immediately because it is accredited by the U.K. Government's technical standard, ITSO. According to Ecebs, the activity could pave the way for operators to benefit from a simple, cashless smartcard system across the country, building on the concessionary Bus Travel scheme deployed by Scottish Government.

Tyfone to Deliver Next-Gen Mobile Wallet Services to CVCU

US financial services company CoVantage Credit Union (CVCU) has selected Tyfone mobile wallet services for its members. CVCU will implement a suite of mobile wallet services based on Tyfone's u4ia platform. The company has 64,000 members and 9 branches located throughout Wisconsin and Michigan areas of USA.

Tyfone's u4ia platform is a memory card-based mobile payments service that has an integrated NFC chipset and an integrated antenna for carrying on mobile contactless payments. The technology operates in any standard memory card slot and is compatible with both GSM and CDMA mobile phones.

Credit union members will be able to access a mobile banking service that includes an account aggregation option, in order to view and manage multiple accounts in a centralised place, and a secure ID management via Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) technology. In addition, the service provides users with NFC payments and mobile remote deposit capture services.

Integrated with the Symitar Episys core, Tyfone's mobile banking solution offers credit unions the ability to provide more value to its members by delivering relevant mobile data efficiently and intuitively. In addition to standard features such as balance, history, transfer, and bill pay, Tyfone's multi-mode mobile banking (SMS, App, Web) will also allow CVCU members enjoy account aggregation, rate watch, Regulation D counter, bill pay, etc.

Citi Hires Samsung CTO Omar Khan

Citi bank, the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, has appointed Omar Khan to lead its mobile technology business. Khan was the CTO of Samsung Electronics before joining Citi.

Omar Khan as the global head of mobile technology will report directly to Mark Torkos, CIO, Global Consumer Technology. He will have interesting projects to handle, including Citi's role in the Google Wallet.

In a statement commenting on the hire, a Citi spokeswoman said: "In line with Citi's goal to deliver the best customer experience across all channels and products, and to be the number one digital financial services company in the world, we created a mobile technology leadership position to lead our mobile development and delivery efforts globally. We are very pleased that Omar Khan will fill that role".

Will Vodafone Deliver Micro Payments?

Yesterday, Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners announced that the company is in discussion with banks to deliver Near Field Communication (NFC) or micro payments.

While speaking at the Trans-Tasman Business Circle function, Stanners said: "The infrastructure is there, we've been talking to banks about how you bring this on. The actual time frame would depend on how the devices start to embrace near field communications. These are just coming online right now".

The Trans-Tasman Business Circle is the premier, executive network for both Australia and New Zealand for building sustainable business relationships between business leaders and government.

Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners spoke about MasterCard's trialling of contactless payments for small dollar amounts during the Rugby World Cup, to be held from 10 September to 22 October 2011.

In New Zealand, the banking systems are in place to adopt NFC technology and the recent upgrade of eftpos terminals means they are capable of accepting contactless payments in future.

Russell Stanners stated: "Our interest is to make it based on using the SIM card, because SIM cards means you can take it to any phone".

Fujitsu and MCS Partner to Delivers a Biometric Palm Vein Solution to Eliminate PINs and Reduce ID Theft

Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc. and MCS Software announce that Pinellas County School District (Florida) is deploying the Fujitsu PalmSecure palm vein authentication solution. The PalmSecure technology has been integrated into the existing MCS Software's Point-of-Sale system to provide a more reliable, hygienic, accurate, and secure authentication solution that is also easier to use and maintain.

The fully integrated solution combines PalmSecure biometric technology and the MCS POS system to provide enhanced security without student PINs or fingerprint scanners and replaces them with a user-friendly PalmSecure palm vein authentication solution. The use of palm vein biometric scanning for food service program transactions has many advantages. For example, a simple palm vein scan rapidly identifies the student, assuring the students identity thereby reducing waste and impersonation.

The Fujitsu PalmSecure sensor uses a near-infrared light to capture a student's palm vein pattern, generating a unique biometric template that is matched against the palm vein patterns of pre-registered users. Unlike other readers, a PalmSecure device does not come into contact with the skin, making it extremely hygienic, non-intrusive and unrestricted by external factors such as skin types and conditions.

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