Wednesday, 30 March 2011

TransLink Digital Smart Card to Finally Get A Name

TransLink or the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority will probably announce the name of its new electronic fare card tomorrow - March 31. The new card is said to debut in 2013. TransLink authority said the design of its new smart card will be shown to the morning riders by its employees.

Earlier, TransLink held a fare-card naming contest during the fall, from which it selected the best 3 names and put them for a public vote earlier this year.

Total cost of the new electronic fare smartcard is estimated to be around $170 million. The British Columbia government has offered $40 million, while the federal government is providing $30 million. The rest $100 million will be paid by TransLink itself.

Omni-ID and Extronics Sign RFID Global Partnership Agreement

Omni-ID and Extronics Ltd., a UK-based manufacturer of intrinsically safe and explosion-proof equipment, has signed a RFID Global Partnership Agreement. The deal is expected to accelerate adoption of passive UHF RFID tags for hazardous environments worldwide.

Extronics will certify Omni-ID's entire range of products for compliance to safety and performance standards for ATEX in Europe, Class 1 Div 1 in the U.S. and IECEx worldwide. The first product of the agreement will be unveiled in early April this year at the Hannover Messe 2011 trade show to be held in Germany.

Barclaycard to Trial Its Contactless Payments System at Wilkinson

25 Wilkinsons stores will be the first across the estate to undergo a contactless payments trial to be introduced by Barclays and Barclaycard. Wilkinsons believes, with the final roll out of the new contactless payments system, its 4 million customers a week will have quicker and easier paying option for their purchases.

Earlier, Barclaycard had conducted a survey that showed two fifths of shoppers refuse to stand in queue for longer than 2 minutes, while two-third of them regularly abandon purchases for fear of paying in long queues. Further, about 51% of shoppers refuse to even enter a store if they see a queue.

Barclays and Barclaycard's contactless payments system will let people pay for goods and services that cost less than GBP 15, by simply waving their credit cards over a contactless reader set at the Wilkinsons stores.

Intercede and Microsoft Becomes Enterprise Credential Partners

Intercede has introduced the Intercede MyID Management Agent (MA) for Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM), that will offer enterprise customers with today's most comprehensive credentialing solution.

The Intercede MyID Management Agent will allow Intercede MyID to act as a 'plug-in' for FIM. The process will simplify the task of adding smart card and credential management capabilities to any Microsoft FIM enabled environment.

With the help of FIM, organisations can now take additional advantages of Intercede MyID to strengthen their defence tactics against cyber attacks and identity fraud. The system also let companies to issue smart cards to employees for smart card logon, email signing, VPN access, encryption, BitLocker encryption and such other enhanced security features.

Richard Parris, Intercede Chairman and Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted that Microsoft has recognised the advantages that Intercede MyID brings to any corporate identity management infrastructure built around FIM. Our key message is that Intercede MyID in combination with Microsoft's FIM enables our joint customers to easily increase productivity through the use of MyID and FIM's integrated identity management business processes, to enhance security with smart card and token based windows logon, and to save money by fully utilising their existing investments in Microsoft technology".

Gemalto Mobile NFC Payment Application First in the World to Get MasterCard Certification

Gemalto announced the world's first UICC-embedded software application compliant with Mobile MasterCard PayPass M/Chip 4, the brand new MasterCard payment specification designed for mobile near field communications (NFC). The software application and the UICC have both successfully achieved the compliance assessment and security testing certification in accordance with MasterCard's highest chip security requirements.

Jean-Claude Deturche, senior vice-president of mobile financial solutions at Gemalto said: "This new certification from MasterCard makes Gemalto the first on the market for this mobile product and will enable banks and wireless operators to offer a secure, innovative and convenient payment means to their entire customer base".

The major breakthrough paves the way for mass commercial rollouts of NFC payment across the world. In the UK, Gemalto is already partnering with a global, first-tier financial institution and a world leading mobile operator, to implement the new MasterCard certified mobile payment application and carry out the solution's first mass commercial roll out.

Gemalto's software application embeds the Trusted Service Management interface for PayPass. The feature enables mobile account issuance and over-the-air management. Its user-friendly handset interface makes mobile NFC payment extremely convenient, for example enabling consumers to easily manage the new payment means and check transaction history. It also allows consumers to define their mobile Personal Identification Number (PIN), a code of their choice, through their mobile phone. The mobile PIN is a new cardholder verification method used notably to secure operations such as account top-up from the mobile phone.

The Gemalto mobile NFC payment application can be configured to cover all card portfolios including debit, credit and prepaid. In the latter case, the software application enables consumers to top-up their prepaid accounts directly from their mobile phone.

Vivotech to Offer New Mobile Payments System

CEO of ViVOtech Inc., Mr. Mick Mullagh revealed plans of offering mobile payments platform to customers next year. During an interview, the CEO said ViVOtech wants to capitalise the worldwide increasing demand for mobile phones payments technology, and hence working towards introducing payment systems that rely on mobile phones instead of cash or credit/debit cards. The company has even raised $80 million in capital over the past several years for implementing its program.

ViVOtech is even dreaming of capturing a lion's share of mobile payments market and becoming profitable by mid-2012, as more and more internet companies, banks and retailers move towards accepting payments though mobile phones.

There is news of Google already using a few ViVOtech hardware and software to test its mobile-payment systems in various US cities.

New York Times Makes Reading Costly

From last Monday onwards, The New York Times has started charging its readers for an extended access to its website -, in a bid to generate subscription revenue from readers who are willing to pay. The New York Times already earns revenue from advertising displayed on its web pages.

Avid readers will have to pay for every 21st article they want to read on the newspaper. Times officials have stated that 20 articles come for free every four weeks, but to read article number 21, readers have to pay up $15 (every four weeks) for unlimited online and smartphone content, $20 for the iPad tablet app and $35 for full digital paper.

Managing editor Jill Abramson said: "I believe strongly that the quality of our journalism is at such a level that people should be willing to pay to read it. I don't know if there are that many other general interest newspapers that are offering that same kind of highest-quality journalism, so I'm not sure that everyone else is going to dive into this pond".

Before The New York Times, it's the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times who have started charging for their online content.

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