Friday, 20 May 2011


Here's Quick Tap for UK Shoppers

Orange and Barclaycard have launched a Near Field Communication-based mobile wallet system in the UK. The system will allow users to compensate for purchases around their mobile phones. Dubbed as Quick Tap, the wallet has already gained entry in McDonalds, EAT, Subway, Little Chef, Wilkinson, Pret-a-Manger, and National Trust and in some Boots stores.

The service will be available to Orange customers who use a 'Quick Tap' enabled handset. Launching with a Quick Tap enabled version of the Samsung Tocco Lite, with more handsets expected to follow from a selection of leading manufacturers. Barclaycard, Barclays debit or Orange Credit Card users can transfer funds of up to GBP 100 simply and securely onto the handset's Quick Tap app, after which the phone is ready to make payments of GBP 15 and under in a single transaction.

According to Orange and Barclaycard, later this summer, users will also be able to use the mobile wallet to pay toll fees on the M6 motorway. Currently, there are 50,000 stores with NFC-enabled readers in the UK. with around 12.9 million debit / credit cards in circulation.



AT&T Removes Android App Restrictions

After years of restrictions, AT&T has finally called off restrictions on Android App. It means all Android smartphone customers are now allowed to install applications downloaded outside the official Android Market.

Samsung Infuse mobile phone is the first of AT&T's smartphones capable of installing apps from outside sources, including the unofficial app stores or web links called side-loading.

According to AT&T, after some significant software updates, all AT&T Android smartphones will be capable of side-loading. An AT&T spokesman said: "Over the next few weeks, we will also roll out this capability to existing devices in our base for which an upgrade is possible".

The HTC Inspire 4G, Samsung Captivate, HTC Aria and LG Thunder will receive the over-the-air upgrade, while the company is said to be working on bringing the app upgrade to the Motorola Atrix mobile phone.



Cross Match to Offer Biometric Security Technology to Argentina

Cross Match Technologies, Inc., a leading global supplier of biometric identity solutions, has signed a deal with the Government of Argentina to support the later in its introduction of identity management systems throughout the country.

According to news, the National Public Administration of Argentina is evaluating new biometric systems to support key administration activities. Pedro Janices, National Director of the National Office of Information Technologies said: "Biometric devices will help to enhance existing and forthcoming services provided by the Government".

Cross Match will provide guidance and expertise in the areas of forensic-quality fingerprint and palm-print capture devices, capture systems, multimodal biometric, document readers, software and other associated professional services. The company will also help devise biometric security policies, train human resources, provide technical assistance and conduct research to the Argentinean Government.



US Man Accused of $450 Million Internet Fraud

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking legal action against an internet entrepreneur named Jesse Willms, living in Sherwood Park, Alta., over internet fraud charges. The accused is said to have used deceptive business practices to take more than $450 million from his customers since 2007.

According to a complaint filed in Seattle on May 16 by the FTC, Jesse Willms used to design "risk-free" trial offers to get customers' credit card numbers and then billed them each month for products like tooth whiteners and weight-loss products.

Bob Schroeder, regional director of the FTC in Seattle said: "People who thought they were going to pay $4.95 for shipping and handling, ended up with monthly charges of about $80 a month until they figured it out and got the charges stopped". Consumers used to get bills for things they have never ordered.

The FTC complaint includes 9 different charges including misrepresentation, failure to disclose charges to customers, using false endorsements by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Rachael Ray, and misleading credit card companies.

The FTC has asked the court to place a permanent injunction on the companies to stop their alleged violations and order refunds for consumers. Several business partners and companies controlled by Willms are also named in the complaint.



O2 and Visa to Launch 'Mobile Wallet' in UK

From February next year, O2 will be starting the 'mobile wallet' system in the UK. Visa has become the payment network for the mobile wallet. O2 will launch the new system under the O2 Money brand. The other business partners of O2 include Wave Crest, FIS and Intelligent Environments.

O2 customers can use the wallet to top-up their credit, shop through their mobile phone and send money to their family and friends. Sometime later, the wallet will be installed on mobile devices on sale from the operator.

James Le Brocq, managing director, financial services at O2, said: "We are working with the best partners in their respective fields to bring a high quality service to market under the O2 Money banner. We look forward to unveiling additional partners in the coming months".

O2 also announced: "In the coming months O2 will also re-launch its successful prepaid Visa card product with contactless capabilities. The new O2 Money prepaid cards will also operate on the platform and systems provided by these new partners. Existing O2 Money customers will be given the opportunity to be migrated to the new platform and be issued the new contactless prepaid cards".



Verizon Has A Trophy

Verizon announced its first Windows Phone 7 - HTC Trophy that features a 1GHz processor, 3.8-inch touch screen and 16GB of onboard storage. HTC Trophy will arrive on May 26. People need to pay around $149.99 to get a Trophy.

According to Gartner's research, Microsoft only shipped 1.6 million Windows Phone 7 phones during the first quarter of 2011. Will Verizon's Windows Phone 7 provide a good competition to Microsoft? Only time will tell.




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