Wednesday, 25 May 2011

PXT Payments Launches PXT Money App for Smart Phones

PXT Payments, an electronic payment solutions provider, has announced the launch of PXT Money, a stored value app for consumer smart phones and a transaction settlement system for merchants. PXT Money is mobile, digital, transferable stored value at consumers' fingertips that replaces the need for credit cards, debit cards, and merchant loyalty cards in any local environment.

Wherever there is Internet access, consumers can pay for any item, restaurant bill, or professional services of any kind by clicking on the PXT Money icon. Consumer's give their cell phone number to the merchant and approve the resulting transaction with their PIN on their own cell phone. Merchants receive the payment authentication from the PXT Money system, and then receive payment through PXT Payments' fully secure transaction settlement system via the Federal ACH network.

When consumers need more cash on their phones, they can load more using the PXT Money web site either directly from their bank accounts or using their credit/debit cards.

"With consumers and merchants now sharing the same access to the banking network, the reinvention of money is imminent. The cash in your pocket now means digital stored value, with limitless options for discounts, transfers, and exclusive offers," said John Regan, CEO and founder of PXT Payments.

PXT recognizes that security is key to any mobile payment system. Regan was responsible for launching the Visa Signature Card program for Merrill Lynch, and since then has been an advocate for secure payments.

"We never used magnetic stripes in our smart card iteration, and in the same vein we are not settling for Near Field Communications (NFC)," Regan said. PXT Money relies instead on the safer, more flexible PIN-based, two-factor authentication.

ACT and sQuid Signed $87 Million Deal

UK contactless payment companies - ACT and sQuid will very soon form Smart Transactions Group, in a merger valued at GBP-53.3 million or ($87 million). ACT and sQuid offers contactless, smartcard payment solutions in the retail and public transport sectors in the UK. With the new deal signed, the companies will start exploring NFC and mobile payments space, and hope to roll out pre-pay travel purses, integrating transit and eMoney cards. eMoney is offered by sQuid as an alternative to debit and credit card networks across the country.

The two firms already account to 85% of UK's smartcard market. ACT support 80% of ITSO transit cards issued in the UK, while sQuid handles 1.7 million transactions per month by Q3 2011 and 10 million transactions for the year. The newly formed Smart Transactions Group will now be looking to expand into new markets in Kenya and the UAE by offering small value-based smartcard payment services.

Northrop Grumman Wins $141 Million Biometrics Task Order

Northrop Grumman Corporation is awarded a follow-on task order worth up to $141 million for continued work of the U.S. Department of Defence Automated Biometric Identification System. Northrop's work includes providing military personnel with reliable and timely identification of individuals suspected as threats to U.S. national security.

As per the agreement, Northrop Grumman will provide systems engineering, software development, infrastructure and performance engineering, modelling and simulation support. The company will have primary development responsibility of DoD-ABIS, including program management, systems engineering, software development, integration, training, disaster recovery, case management, system sustenance, scalability and interoperability.

The follow-on task order was awarded under the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions 2 Services by the U.S. Army Contracting Command - National Capital Region. Work will be conducted over one base year with four one-year-option periods in Fairmont, W.Va. and Fairfax, Va.

Northrop Grumman will work jointly with Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, Six3 Systems, SRA International, E&M Technologies, NEW-BOLD Enterprises, Ultra-scan Corporation, MPL Corporation and STS International.

Heartland Payment Systems' CIO Elected to PCI SSC Board of Advisors

Steve Elefant, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Heartland Payment Systems, has been elected to the 2011-2013 Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) Board of Advisors. Comprised of 21 members representing a range of organisations, the Board will provide strategic and technical guidance as the Council continually develops security standards and seeks to raise awareness and compliance with its guidance. Heartland Payment Systems is one of the USA's largest payments processors.

Bob Russo, general manager, PCI SSC said: "As we continue to strengthen the standards and their adoption globally, this group will play a leading role in the protection of cardholder data against security threats worldwide". In turn, Elefant commented: "Strong, effective security standards and industry collaboration is mission critical in our collective fight against international gangs of professional cybercriminals, and I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and the Council to help safeguard all stakeholders in the payments ecosystem."

Steve Elefant is an industry expert in payment card security and was in charge of Heartland's progressive data security initiatives since 2008, when he joined the company. He pioneered Heartland Payment Systems' innovative E3 end-to-end encryption technology that combines layers of physical and logical security, including tamper-resistant hardware and the application of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

Heartland's Chief Security Officer - John South, will serve as an Alternate Advisor.

U.S. Banks Giving Online Payments Services to Customers

From yesterday onwards, three of USA's largest banks - Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have started offering online payments services to their customers. Now, customers simply need their e-mail address or a mobile phone number to send money using an e-mail address or a cellphone number to use their checking accounts to send each other money. The new service from Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. takes aim at the popular PayPal offering.

Mike Kennedy, a Wells Fargo executive who is also the chairman of the venture believes now the banks will be able to hold more influence over consumers, who are increasingly rejecting cheque and cash over other ways such as using credit/debit cards for paying.

Watchdata is the "Best Supportive & Cooperative Business Partner

Watchdata has been awarded as 'The Best Supportive & Cooperative Business Partner in 2010' by Huawei, a leading telecom solutions provider. This is in recognition to Watchdata's innovative solutions and high quality service which has shaped the strategic collaboration between Watchdata and Huawei.

Huawei's "Best Supportive & Cooperative Business Partner Award" is specifically awarded to outstanding business partners who have contributed significantly to the performance and service quality of Huawei. Watchdata, with its advanced solutions, innovative delivery process, responsiveness and professional teams, has worked closely with Huawei to create more business opportunities globally.

Watchdata has begun its collaboration with Huawei since 2009, providing leading business solutions in the telecommunication field based fundamentally on SIM OTA, DNA (Dynamic Number Activation), HomeZone to Huawei. Currently, Watchdata is expanding in a number of projects in Europe and Africa. Watchdata has grown rapidly in 2010 and the company is expecting a higher growth in 2011 as well.

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