Friday, 29 July 2011

M6 Toll Becomes the UK's First Contactless Payment Toll Road

M6 Toll operator, Midland Expressway, has partnered with CreditCall and Barclaycard, becoming the first toll road in the UK to enable drivers pay for their journeys by tapping their contactless cards on new readers installed at the Toll lanes.

With MasterCard and Visa concentrating on increasing usage of contactless technology countrywide, the joint effort between Barclaycard, M6 Toll and CreditCall is not only the UK's first contactless project within transportation but also the biggest outside London.

CreditCall is providing on-site transaction servers connecting with the contactless card readers at each of the toll lanes over a secure network, sending transactions back to the CreditCall network for settlement. The whole process will operate within the scope of PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

Contactless payments will initially be trialled from autumn 2011, rolling the technology out across all M6 card-accepting toll booths in the first quarter of 2012 ahead of time for the London 2012 Olympics.

The new contactless technology will allow convenient and quick payments to be made by M6Toll customers, at the toll booths.

Peter Turner CEO of CreditCall said "We are delighted to have been chosen by Midland Expressway to provide our payment gateway services for such an innovative project. CreditCall's core expertise is in providing secure transaction processing systems. The acceptance of contactless payment for using the M6 Toll road is a significant step forward."

MegaMatcher and VeriFinger SDK Fingerprint Algorithms Received WSQ Certification from FBI Biometric Centre of Excellence

Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification technologies, has announced receiving the WSQ (Wavelet Scalar Quantization) Certification from the FBI Biometric Centre of Excellence for its MegaMatcher and VeriFinger SDK fingerprint compression algorithms.

The WSQ Certification means that FBI has certified these implementations meet the accuracy requirements in the Wavelet Scalar Quantization Gray-Scale Fingerprint Image Compression Specification, Version 3.1.

Neurotechnology is among the first companies to receive FBI certifications for Version 3.1 of the WSQ, which is the latest standard for exchange of fingerprint images within the biometrics and criminal justice community.

According to the FBI, the certification program is designed to facilitate interoperability between agencies and ensure efficient access to FBI criminal justice information services. Also, WSQ certification is required by customers in many other countries and is included in various national-scale AFIS tender requirements. Neurotechnology has received a total of seven FBI WSQ certificates for different platform implementations, certifying that WSQ compression technology in MegaMatcher and VeriFinger SDKs meet FBI standards.

Apple has 142% Record iPhone Growth in 2011 Second Quarter

Apple Inc. has registered a record increase of 141.8 percent year over year in its iPhone shipment. This massive figure has made Apple's growth rate more than 12 times that of the global mobile phone market in the second quarter of 2011.

Yesterday, International Data Corporation (IDC) released the results of its quarterly Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, stating that the worldwide mobile phone market has grown 11.3 percent year over year. In fact, without taking Apple into account, the global market growth is just 7.8 percent. The research group had earlier forecasted a 13.3 percent growth for the 2011 second quarter.

Apple's record shipments of 20.3 million were enough to give it a 5.6 percent share of the market, up from 2.6 percent a year ago. Despite a 20 percent decline in shipments from a year ago, Nokia managed to hang onto the top spot among mobile vendors with second quarter market share of 24.2 percent and shipments of 88.5 million. Samsung's modest 10 percent growth fell behind the market, leaving it with 19.2 percent of the market.

Rounding out the top 5 was the Chinese handset maker ZTE, who registered a 4.5 percent growth of the market on shipments of 16.6 million phones.

FIME to Certify Dual Interface Interac Flash Enabled Cards and Readers

FIME, a global leader in consulting and integration testing services for contact and contactless chip solutions, has achieved Interac Association accreditation to certify dual interface cards and readers. To date, FIME is the only laboratory to achieve dual interface certification agent status, which will support the mass market roll-out of Interac Flash, Canada's new contactless debit payment functionality. This feature is an enhancement of Interac Debit and gives cardholders the ability to carry out point-of-sale (POS) debit transactions, using either the contact or contactless technology on their debit card for smaller value purchases.

Interac Association, Canada's leading debit payment network, launched Interac Flash in 2010. Based on EMV requirements, the specification designed for Interac Flash enabled cards and readers provides consumers with the option of completing a transaction by either 'flashing' their card near a POS terminal, or inserting the card into the terminal and entering a personal identification number (PIN). The specification, which was developed in 2010, offers a standardised approach to delivering dual interface cards within the Canadian market to ensure a secure, interoperable and sustainable infrastructure.

FIME America laboratory based in Montreal will perform evaluations on products before market release to ensure they comply with the specification designed for Interac Flash enabled products. Successful card and terminal products will be issued with the required certification stamps.

Xavier Giandominici, Director of FIME America, adds: "It is an exciting time for contactless payments globally, with many regions looking to achieve mass market deployments to deliver convenient and user-friendly services. With the Interac network, Canada's ubiquitous issuance and acceptance debit payment network, the country is ideally positioned to achieve a comprehensive contactless infrastructure that will provide many benefits to its users. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute our extensive knowledge of contactless technology throughout the development process, and provide our advance testing services to the Canadian market as it prepares for large scale deployment of this technology."

Identive Group to Supply Over One Million NFC Tags for Global Smartphone Campaign

Identive Group, Inc. today announced its selection by a leading mobile handset manufacturer to design and supply more than one million near field communication (NFC) tags over the next six months. The tags will be included in-box with each purchase of an NFC-enabled smart phone to enhance consumers' day-to-day mobile experience with a variety of NFC applications.

"Using the NFC tags is easy," explained Scott Austin, international sales vice president for Identive's Transponder Division. "Touching the phone to an NFC tag automatically triggers on-phone NFC applications, such as linking to a web address or URL, dialling a specific phone number, or having a map pop up to show nearby points of interest. Including the tags in-box is a great way to introduce NFC applications to consumers. We are excited to help pioneer innovative consumer programs that promote the use of NFC for mobile applications."

The industry standard NFC tags incorporate Identive's proprietary antenna design and RFID inlay manufacturing technology and can be read with any standard NFC phone. The tags will be delivered through Identive's Smartag subsidiary.

"The promise of NFC is that it will both simplify and enrich our daily activities, and Identive is helping to deliver on this promise by providing the technology components to build an NFC user infrastructure for the millions of NFC-enabled devices that will become available over the next few years," said David Holmes, Identive's vice president of Mobility & NFC Solutions. "Identive's NFC smart tags and labels are highly differentiated in consumer tangible features such as read range and durability. Our ability to offer high speed printing on sensitive electronic components, a large range of antenna designs and a wide variety of tags including the four standard industry types makes us a logical choice for both global and region-specific NFC programs."

Oberthur Smart Card Sell Off Takes a Step Nearer

Oberthur is in the final stages of an auction to sell large chunks of its business to private equity bidders, in a move that analysts said would provide the French group with fire power to eventually re-launch its bid for troubled UK banknote printer De La Rue according to a report in the Financial Times.

In December last year Oberthur made an 896 million-pound cash offer ($1.4 billion) for De La Rue, which was rejected. In January De La Rue asked the regulator to impose a deadline (February 7th) for Oberthur to make its intentions clear, under a so-called 'Put up or shut up deadline'. After this date Oberthur would be unable to make another attempt to buy the printer for a further 6 months under U.K. takeover rules. This week Advent International and One Equity Partners, the two major competitors submitted their final offer to Rothschild.

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