Wednesday, 13 July 2011

NFC Establishes Partnerships with APSCA, ARTS, and the Open Mobile Alliance

The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, announces that it has signed agreements to work collaboratively with organisations representing three different industries: the Asia Pacific Smart Card Association (APSCA), the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), a division of the National Retail Federation (NRF), and the Open Mobile Alliance.

APSCA a non-profit, independent association provides information, consultancy, guidance, and networking to organisations in the smart card industry in the Asia Pacific region.

ARTS a retailer-driven international membership organisation dedicated to developing best practices, technology standards and educational programs through collaboration and partnerships exclusively for retail.

The Open Mobile Alliance is the leading industry forum for developing market driven, interoperable standards for mobile service enablers.

"It is gratifying to formalise partnerships with organisations representing these important global sectors," said NFC Forum Chairman Koichi Tagawa. "The interest in collaboration from this range of industries -- retailing, smart cards, and mobile services -- demonstrates how widely the value of NFC technology is recognised, and it points to the far-reaching benefits consumers can expect from broad adoption of NFC. We look forward to working together with our new partners and to the synergies our joint efforts will deliver."

Each agreement executed by the NFC Forum is tailored to the interests of the participating organisations and their members:

Payments Council to keep Cheques and Cancels 2018 Target

The Payments Council announced that cheques will continue for as long as customers need them and the target for possible closure of the cheque clearing in 2018 has been cancelled. The Payments Council Board will continue to focus on security, efficiency and encouraging innovation in all types of payments to ensure customers have options best suited to the 21st century.

Richard North, the Chairman of the Payments Council said:

"It's in the DNA of the Payments Council to consult and listen to all those people who actually make payments and use cheques. Listening to over 600 stakeholder groups, working with the banks and following our appearance before the Treasury Select Committee, we have concluded we should reassure customers that the cheque is staying.

"Over the last two years we have learnt a great deal about what is important to our many stakeholders and we are really grateful to all of those groups and individuals who took the time to talk to us and help us reach this decision. We will use what we've learnt to keep improving existing systems, as well as introducing innovation, so that customers benefit from 21st century ways to pay. Innovation must be at the heart of what we do."

M2SYS Boss Wins InfoWorld's 2011 Technology Innovators of the Year Award

M2SYS Technology has announced that its CEO/CTO Mizan Rahman has won the prestigious "Technology Innovator of the Year" award as given by InfoWorld. Mr. Rahman was among 10 recipients recognised by InfoWorld for, "thinking beyond the obvious hot areas or the tried-and-true to find a new territory to steer their company's technological vision...."

M2SYS Technology boss was honoured for leading the development of Hybrid Biometric Platform- the first scalable, multi-modal biometrics system that supports fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein, and iris recognition all from a single server. Software developers can integrate into Hybrid Biometric Platform once and immediately utilise any of the biometric modalities, minimising risk and lowering their total cost of ownership.

Morpho Acquires Card Manufacturing and Personalisation Centres in South America from Carvajal Group

Morpho (Safran group) has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Carvajal Group's banking card manufacturing and personalisation centres in Colombia and Peru.

With this strategic move, Morpho will increase its regional presence and address the South American banking market as it undergoes chip migration to EMV." This acquisition is Morpho's answer to the increasing demand by the financial market to have local technological and service support for their fast migration to more secure payment transactions based on chip card technology.

Following the closing of this transaction, Morpho will be represented in Latin America with offices, factories and personalisation centres in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico.

This transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing is expected before the year end.

"We believe that thanks to this move, the card business will continue to develop and efficiently support the regional market with the expertise brought by Morpho particularly in the context of bank cards EMV migration," said Ricardo Obregon, CEO of Carvajal Group.

US Bank, Monitise Launched M-Banking Application for ReliaCard Users

US Bank, lead bank of U.S. Bancorp has joined hands with Monitise Americas and FIS, one of the world's top-ranked technology providers to the banking industry to provide a new mobile application for U.S. Bank ReliaCard Visa cardholders.

The award-winning U.S. Bank ReliaCard Visa is a prepaid, re-loadable card for customers who receive recurring cash payments from a government agency related to unemployment, child support or workers compensation distributions. The mobile application provides cardholders of these various government programs, free access to their accounts anywhere and anytime directly from their mobile phones.

ReliaCard cardholders can check balance, pay bills, receive account alerts and view mini-statements on-the-go with ReliaCard mobile banking application. The free ReliaCard application can be downloaded by cardholders from the ReliaCard website. ReliaCard holders can use their card at any place that accepts Visa debit cards and in most ATMs.

Transport for London to Start NFC Payments from 2012

Transport for London (TfL) will introduce NFC payments from 2012 in London's buses and underground tube trains. The NFC contactless payments can be done via NFC-enabled mobile phones and contactless cards. Thus, users of contactless EMV credit and debit cards and NFC mobile phones will get to 'swipe and go' on the London Underground and associated services.

Brian Dobson, manager of technology and systems for TfL's Future Ticketing Project said: "We are now in a position to say that if people come along with a contactless credit or debit card application on their mobile, we can accept it as an NFC payment in 2012. NFC will work on our new systems from the time that we are able to accept contactless cards". According to Brian Dobson, the NFC technology roll-out will be completed during 2013.

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