Friday, 18 March 2011

Visa Account Holders to Pay Each Other for the First Time

Visa Inc. announce that consumers in the U.S. will soon be able to receive and send funds to any eligible Visa credit, debit or prepaid account, anywhere in the world. The breakthrough service extends the utility of Visa's network from enabling payments at the point of sale, to enabling consumers to pay one another.

The new Visa personal payments service, which eliminates the inefficiencies of cash and cheques for payments between individuals, was made possible through technical enhancements to VisaNet, Visa's global payments processing network, and through the introduction of a new Visa transaction type that allows financial institutions to accept incoming funds.

Through the strategic product agreements, CashEdge and Fiserv will have access to VisaNet, enabling them to integrate the Visa personal payment service into their respective person-to-person platforms - Popmoney and ZashPay. This will allow a participating bank's customers to send money directly to a Visa account.

How it Works: Bank customers of participating financial institutions will have the option to select a Visa account as the destination for funds when making a personal payment. By simply entering the recipient's 16-digit Visa account, email address or mobile phone number, consumers can send funds directly from their bank account to a recipient's Visa account. This makes sending money to a niece for her birthday or to a son in college simpler, faster, and more convenient than before.

"For fifty years, Visa has worked to simplify payments at the merchant point of sale; we are now evolving our network capability to make it easier for our account holders to pay one another," said Jim McCarthy, global head of products at Visa Inc. "Through our agreements with Fiserv and CashEdge, we can accelerate the delivery of new and innovative Visa payments services, and better enable financial institutions to extend these services to customers."

Monitise to Develop Mobile Banking App for Blackberry Platform

Monitise plc is developing a new banking app for all UK BlackBerry smartphone users. The mobile banking app, which will be launched this summer, will deliver a high quality look, feel and user experience specifically tailored for BlackBerry smartphones. The app functionality is being developed via Globe, Monitise's technology platform which allows financial institutions, service providers, payment companies and processors to create a wide array of Mobile Money services in both developed and emerging markets.

Welcoming the partnership Monitise Chief Executive Alastair Lukies said: "Entering new partnerships is fundamental to our strategic focus on strengthening the global footprint of our mobile money business. The ecosystem for mobile money is evolving fast with key players across mobile, financial institutions, retail, transport, social media and advertising increasingly migrating towards a richer array of services that create enhanced value for consumers".

Sims4U in UK's Biggest Prepay SIM Card Roll-Out

Sims4U is to roll-out around 500,000 prepay SIM cards to all 30,000 UK newsagents and 800 independent mobile dealers by the end of 2011, claiming to be the biggest SIM card distribution facility in the UK.

The Birmingham-based Sims4U distributes prepay SIM cards for all major networks except Three, as well as MVNOs Virgin Mobile, Lycamobile, Lebara Mobile, Nomi-Mobile and Talk Mobile. Its customers include newspaper and magazine wholesalers Smiths News and Menzies Distribution. Smiths News claims to deliver to 30,000 retailers across England and Wales, while Menzies Distribution claims to serve some 22,000 customers in the UK.

Before each SIM card is supplied to a shop, it is electronically registered on the same in-house tracking system used by Voice Mobile. The system lets the company track where the card is being distributed, how many a shop has in its possession, the ratio at which it is selling and when they are being connected by the agent.

INWI and Gemalto Offers LinqUs SIMessenger in Morocco

Gemalto announces that Morocco-based INWI has rolled out LinqUs SIMessenger, the mobile instant messaging solution that enables users to keep in touch with their community while on the go. INWI is the dynamic new mobile operator in Morocco that has recorded close to 4 million subscribers in 2010. Gemalto's LinqUs SIMessenger is the world's first Microsoft-certified UICC-based application, enabling mobile chatting through any handset.

LinqUs SIMessenger offers an intuitive menu that allows subscribers, using any type of basic or smart handsets, to access their Windows Live Messenger environment with an experience similar to what they get when accessing it from a PC. Its user-friendly interface enables quick and easy navigation, so that users retrieve the messaging service they are familiar with while on the move. It requires no service education, thus guaranteeing high usage.

SecurID Company's Anti-Hacking Division Hacked

EMC Corporation's RSA Security division says the security of the company's two-factor SecurID tokens could be at risk following a sophisticated cyber-attack on the company. RSA's computer security products are widely used by corporations and governments worldwide.

In a note published on the company's website late yesterday, RSA Executive Chairman Art Coviello said his company is "actively communicating this situation to RSA customers and providing immediate steps for them to take to strengthen their SecurID implementations".

According to Coviello, the cyber-attack was a so-called Advanced Persistent Threat incident. This is the type of attack that compromised systems at Google and as many as 100 other companies in late 2009. Hackers use e-mail-based or web-based attacks to get a foothold in the company and then move about the company's internal networks looking for sensitive data to sneak out.

In yesterday's case, the hackers found information on RSA's SecurID products, which are used on PCs, USB devices, phones and key fobs in about 25,000 corporations to provide an extra layer of security beyond a username and password for people logging into programs or networks.

"Having access to RSA's internal networks and the SecurID source code might give criminals some subtle way of attacking SecurID users, but it shouldn't give them a way of completely breaking RSA's encryption", said Thorsten Holz, an assistant professor at Ruhr-University Bochum who studies computer security.

However, from RSA's statement, it is not clear exactly what the hackers were able to learn off the company network. According to Nate Lawson, a cryptographer and the founder of Root Labs, there's simply not enough information available to tell how bad the problem really is.

RSA representatives did not immediately return calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Biometric Signature ID Scores an Outstanding 99.97% Accuracy against Identity Fraud

Yesterday, Biometric Signature ID, Inc. (BSI) announced that the patented BioSig-ID signature gesture biometric technology for identity authentication received an outstanding 99.97% accuracy in identifying and stopping imposters from a successful log in from The Tolly Group, an independent third party IT testing company.

Additionally, the BioSig-ID software was able to identify legitimate users and permit access at an extremely high rate of 99.78%. Combining these results with a 99% positive user experience rating validates BSI as the newest solution available in the market for identity fraud reduction. BSI is the only software company with this patented technology that exceeds NIST requirements in the $12.6 Billion Identity and Access Management (IAM) authentication market.

About the 3rd party testing, all testing was completed by The Tolly Group, a premier independent IT test lab. BSI's BioSig-ID software uses a standard mouse and requires no additional hardware. Test subjects were asked to register and enrol in the patented BioSig-ID software and create a password consisting of a combination of numbers, shapes or letters. After they created their password, it was stored in an encrypted database and users were asked to validate their identity against this stored password. Test subjects were also asked to challenge the system and "spoof" 20 other users' passwords. Passwords were as simple as MOM. Tolly engineers measured the effectiveness and accuracy of the BioSig-ID software with 93 test subjects over 3 days. Over 15,000 logon attempts were made during testing.

BioSig-ID software measures the unique behavioural characteristics of the way an individual draws with their mouse, stylus, touchpad or finger. Metrics such as speed, angle of strokes, direction, order, or length are unique to the individual when they sign or draw. BioSig-ID can even distinguish subtle differences amongst users. In contrast, most security solutions including passwords, pins, tokens, or security questions do not authenticate the true identity of the person attempting to log into or access devices.

Australia's Senetas Corporation Makes EMEA Solutions Its Qatar Partner

Senetas Corporation Limited announced that it had appointed experienced Middle East systems integrators and professional services consultants, EMEA Enterprise Solutions WLL, as a reseller of its data protection solutions based on globally certified high-speed encryption technology.

Senetas CEO and acting chairman, John DuBois said: "the presence of Senetas in Qatar through the EMEA group was a significant move since Qatar is one of the world's fastest growing economies and enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the world due to its rich oil and gas resources".

According to John, EMEA Solutions had already identified opportunities in Qatar to secure high-speed business communications, and to provide Software as a Service secure cloud applications in order to develop new data security solutions.

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