Thursday, 05 May 2011

Wireless Carriers Reject Mobile Payment System

The biggest U.S. wireless carriers - AT&T Inc, Deutsche Telekom, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA, have dumped their plan of introducing a separate network for payments on transactions by mobile phones on the pretext of difficulty and time consuming, reported the Wall Street Journal. The joint venture, named Isis, had originally planned to take market share from Visa and MasterCard, by setting up its own payments network and collecting fees on every transaction conducted via mobile phones.

Currently, the mobile phone service providers have resorted to a less ambitious plan to set up a "mobile wallet," that can store and exchange the account information on a users' existing Visa, MasterCard or other some other card. The carriers have engaged in talks with Visa and MasterCard to have them participate in the system in a bid to get as many users as possible, said WSJ.

After Sony Its X-Factor US Database

Hacking seems to be the order of the day, with the personal details of around 250,000 entrants to the X-Factor US competition been compromised. The -Factor US Database is held to be an extension to the already in the news - massive Sony PlayStation Network hack and the earlier attack on Epsilon, the leading US-based marketing services firm.

Andy Kemshall, technical director of SecurEnvoy said: "this is the latest in a string of attacks on corporate servers to extract personal data, suggesting that cyber criminals are now building information profiles on people, rather than developing frauds around available credentials".

As Kemshall has rightly commented, "Previously, frauds were card-centric and built around opportunistic database hacks, but the sheer volume of the system hacks in recent months suggests that there is a longer-term strategy involved. We already know that people's credentials, including their names and unique identifiers such as social security/national insurance and address details, are being bought and sold on underground forums, along with dates-of-birth, email addresses and other personal data".

"It's very easy to dismiss the X-Factor US systems database hack as a one-off incident, but if you look at the hack against the backdrop of a constant stream of corporate hacks in recent months, the reality starts to hit home," Kemshall added.

Watchdata's Cryptographic Algorithm Validated by National Institute of Standards and Technology

Watchdata, a worldwide leader in innovative data security and smartcard technology solutions, has announced that its FIPS-TimeCOS Hardware Cryptographic Library Cryptographic Algorithm has been tested and validated by the US-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as conforming to the Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program (CAVP).

The Watchdata-FIPS-TimeCOS Hardware Cryptographic Library cryptographic module offers a high level of security and reliability to domestic and international clients for their various product developments.

Mr. Larry Lin, Watchdata Product Director of Trustworthy Computing and Security Payment said: "This successful validation is a strong demonstration to our commitment and dedication to improve our products' security level. As a world leader in the smart card industry, Watchdata firmly believes that the key to enhance the market competitiveness is to continue to innovate and produce outstanding products".

The successful validation results are published on NIST's official website on April 20, 2011. The validation numbers, product information and manufacturer's information can be obtained from the CAVP's official website's validation list:

Application Generated Mobile Texts to Exceed $70 billion Revenues by 2016

A new report published by Juniper Research ( forecasts that revenue from Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS will exceed $70bn by 2016. Revenue from these types of messages will overtake that of Person-to-Person (P2P) SMS during that year as the strategic focus for players within the mobile messaging ecosystem shifts from communication between individuals, to sending and receiving service-enabling messages.

A2P messaging - defined as those messages which are sent to or from an application - has a wide variety of use-cases. These include financial services, advertising, marketing, business administration, ticketing, television voting and any other service where information needs to be sent to, or received from a large number of users in text form.

Oberthur to Offer Prepaid Contactless City Cards to Hungary

Oberthur Technologies, a world leader in secure technology solutions, has reinforced its link with OTP Bank, the largest financial institution in Hungary, to provide contactless payment citizen cards to the citizen of Pecs, Hungary's 5th largest city.

The citizen card is an international banking card, which can be used not only for payment but also for other types of transactions. It is accepted by the 150 million merchants in the Maestro ecosystem. The card is issued in a prepaid format and can easily be refilled through the internet or with cash in an OTP Bank branch.

OTP Bank deployed the PayPass contactless banking card payment technology for first time in Hungary in September 2009.

Morpho's Biometric Fingerprint Technology Wins NIST Test

Morpho (Safran group) announced that its fingerprint recognition algorithms have been ranked number one in terms of accuracy and interoperability in the two most recent National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) - in the MINEX II (Match-on-Card) and Ongoing MINEX evaluations.

Morpho's technology previously demonstrated its superiority in the NIST ELFT-EFS and PFT evaluations. With these two additional achievements, Morpho further demonstrates the excellence of its fingerprint technology in all NIST evaluation programs conducted over the last few years.

The results of these evaluations are available on the NIST website at:

CPI Card Group Signs Reseller Agreement with DeviceFidelity

CPI Card Group (CPI), a global leader in financial and commercial card production and related services, has signed a deal with DeviceFidelity, to become an official certified reseller of the DeviceFidelity In2Pay solution.

The DeviceFidelity In2Pay solution is the world's only mobile payment solution that includes the patented In2Pay Personalisation Package to allow mass-market issuance of the solution using current bank issuing processes and leveraging certified secure personalisation facilities such as the ones offered by CPI.

By the agreement, CPI can now offer the In2Pay microSD technology to financial institutions, mobile carriers, transit agencies, access providers and other closed loop payment organisations. Over the last 12 months, CPI and DeviceFidelity have teamed up with major world renowned financial institutions for launching their multiple mobile contactless payments programs.

Currently, both DeviceFidelity and CPI are involved in all microSD based pilots throughout North America, with CPI acting as the card maker and in some cases, the personalisation bureau. CPI has won an innovation award at the Cardware Conference for providing the DeviceFidelity microSD personalised with LIVE prepaid accounts to guests in a special hospitality area during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada.

EMVCo Expands its Board of Advisors

EMVCo has announced the expansion of its Board of Advisors (BoA). Now onwards, the BoA will have elected stakeholders with diverse knowledge in the development of EMV technology. The Board of Advisors provides EMVCo with input on strategic and business issues, and has traditionally comprised representation from payment service providers.

Annually, up to 6 seats on the EMVCo BoA will be reserved for elected EMVCo Technical Associates, which represent all EMV stakeholders with an interest in monitoring the EMV Specifications, providing input to their technical direction and following the activities of EMVCo's working groups.

The names of the first set of organisations elected in this capacity to serve a one-year term are:

  • Ingenico
  • Inside Secure
  • Smart Payment Association
  • Walmart

The remaining seats on the BoA will be assigned to EMVCo's Business Associates, mainly consisting of payment service providers such as card issuers and acquirers, networks and their representative associations.

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