Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Pitt Students, Staff First to Test New Smart Card System

The Port Authority of Allegheny County in USA will begin testing a new "smart card" fare system with the help of the University of Pittsburgh. The trail test will begin from August 1, 2011.

The University is said to have paid the transit agency $6.8 million a year for unlimited bus and light-rail rides for its 40,000 students, faculty and staff. The university has revamped its ID cards to make the cards compatible with the authority's new ConnectCard smartcard system.

Depending on how well it works, the Port Authority will later expand the cashless fare system to other riders. Riders will be able to refill the value of the cards at vending machines or online. Riders will need to tap the smartcards against a fare sensor, which will automatically deduct the fare from their account.

Safran completes the acquisition of L-1 Identity Solutions

After completing all required approval procedures, Safran today announced that it has finalized the acquisition of L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc., a leading identity management solutions provider in the United States, for a total cash amount of $1.09 billion ($12 per share), which was originally announced in the press release on September 20, 2010.

L-1's businesses (biometric and identity management solutions: access control, secure credentialing and enrolment services) generated sales exceeding USD 450 million in 2010. L-1's financial results will be included in Safran's consolidated financial statements, effective today.

L-1 will join Safran's existing security business, operating as Morpho, and will be renamed MorphoTrust.

Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman and CEO of Safran, said: "We are delighted to have finalized this transaction, which is perfectly aligned with the Group's development strategy in the security business. L-1 is a very impressive company, which has become a major player in the identification market in just a few years, especially in the United States".

Hungary to Roll Out New NFC Payments

Hungary's 3 leading mobile operators - T-Mobile Hungary (Magyar Telekom Nyrt.), Telenor Hungary Ltd. (Pannon) and Vodafone Hungary along with its largest commercial bank - OTP Bank, and a local loyalty program operator have joined hands to set technical standards and other measures to smooth commercial launches of NFC. The roll out will begin in 2012. MasterCard Worldwide will be the partner Hungary NFC program.

All the 3 leading mobile operators will form the Hungarian Mobile Wallet Association with OTP Bank, MasterCard and loyalty system provider SuperShop. The plan calls for setting technical standards for NFC wallets and services, likely including rules for how NFC-based mobile-payments and other transactions will take place.

The SIM cards offered by the 3 mobile services providers will be used to store payment and other secure applications. The group might also hire a single trusted service manager to handle all downloads and management of the applications on the SIM cards.

Hungary is the latest country to start NFC roll out. France, the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom and Denmark have earlier formed joint ventures to prepare for NFC rollouts.

Arthur Blank, American Bank Note Co. and Keystone combine into new ABnote North America

Arthur Blank & Co., American Bank Note Company, and Keystone Plastics of Canada, three subsidiaries of the worldwide ABnote Group are uniting under a new brand, ABnote North America.

Jake Jacobs, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ABnote North America said. "Consolidating the brands makes sense given the similarity of the customers and their needs. Utilizing one brand will enable us to present a single united identity to the customer and most importantly, provide for a more seamless customer experience. The transition to the new ABnote North America brand has already started and you can look forward to more announcements on what that means for customers in the near future."

While the Arthur Blank & Co, American Bank Note Company, and Keystone names will remain for an interim period, the brands will be phased out as marketing is transitioned over to the new brand.

The newly branded ABnote North America will be led by Chief Executive Officer Joe Caffarella, with a corporate history dating back to 1795.

VASCO Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Six Months of 2011

VASCO Data Security International, Inc. today reported financial results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011.

Revenue for the second quarter of 2011 increased 74% to $43.0 million from $24.7 million in the second quarter of 2010, and for the first six months of 2011, increased 63% to $79.3 million from $48.7 million for the first six months of 2010.

VASCO is revising its guidance for the full-year 2011. Expected revenue growth of more than 40% for the full-year 2011 over full-year 2010, as compared to expected full-year revenue growth of more than 20% announced at the end of the first quarter of 2011. Operating margins, excluding expenses related to the amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, for full-year 2011 are projected to be in the range of 8% to 12% of revenue, no change from guidance previously announced, but are expected to be at the lower end of the range.

"The second quarter of 2011 continued to show strong revenue growth from our traditional businesses," stated T. Kendall Hunt, Chairman and CEO. "Revenues in the second quarter of 2011 were the highest in the company's history, reflecting strong growth from the banking market partially offset by a decline in revenues from the enterprise and application security market. We expect to report strong revenue growth for full-year 2011 over 2010. We believe that our strong order intake, which includes a significant number of orders, scheduled to ship and invoice in 2011 and beyond, is an important and concrete sign that our business is gaining momentum. We also continued to invest in our DIGIPASS as a Service product line. The addition of Google Apps to our platform was a significant addition and we continue to work on integrating other important SAAS applications into our platform."

Research In Motion Announces Retirement of Don Morrison

Research In Motion Limited (RIM) announced that Don Morrison, currently on temporary medical leave, is planning to retire from his position as Chief Operating Officer, BlackBerry following more than ten years of service with RIM.

"We thank Don for his outstanding service to RIM. We understand and respect his decision to retire after successfully dealing with a serious medical challenge and we wish him a quick recovery," stated Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEO's at RIM. "Don's presence at RIM will be missed."

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