Wednesday, 20 October 2011

Smartcards Help Kenyans during Food Famine

SOS Children's Villages has partnered with a Kenya-based company Pay stream Limited to introduce smartcards that will allow villages affected by drought and famine to purchase food and cash directly from local shops.

The new smartcard system is the result of hard work from SOS Children's Villages in Kenya, community elders, government authorities, and the shop owners ensuring that effected families are able to access essential food items quickly and efficiently. This also helps make sure that the funds are distributed fairly.

"We are delighted to partner with SOS Children's Villages and to be able to come up with a safe, reliable card-based solution to help food aid get to the right people," said Sam Ndegwa, CEO of Paystream Limited.

Anderson Zaks moves its Card Processing operations into The Bunker

Innovative international card payment provider moves to The Bunker for increased security, business continuity and PCI DSS compliance

Anderson Zaks, one of the leading suppliers of international card payment processing software and services has moved its credit card transaction processing to The Bunker. From its data centres in Kent and Berkshire, The Bunker will be providing Anderson Zaks with ultra secure managed hosting and co-location services for its RedCard managed service. The Bunker offers ISO 27001 accredited and PCI DSS compliant services, so is an ideal match for Anderson Zaks which has over 1,000 merchants using its managed services including supermarkets, High Street chains, airlines, travel companies, theatres, garden centres, pharmacies and corner shops.

Consumer awareness of mobile payments security is growing

This latest survey from Intersperience shows how aware consumers are and how much importance they are placing on security. The survey focuses on the more often talked about side of mobile payments security - the possibility of data being compromised on the phone or intercepted mid-transaction. However, as my colleague has talked about in previous posts, there are a number of other security considerations that are not as widely reported.

Firstly, as well as protecting the payment app in the device, the industry also needs to securely and efficiently get the app to the phone. The payment app loading process is called provisioning and, as it is done over-the-air, it is in itself a process that carries certain security risks. You can read more about this issue here and here.

Equally important is understanding the benefits of the 'Secure Element', a cryptographically secure piece of hardware which is resident on newer mobile phones. When stored in a 'Secure Element', a payment app is subject to similar security as the data stored on an EMV card. As mobile payments continue to mature and adhere to evolving security standards, Secure Elements in devices, combined with a secure provisioning process, will help address consumer concerns over the security of mobile payments.

Watchdata's NFC Solution Selected as Finalist for SESAMES Award

Watchdata has been selected as a finalist (banking/retail/loyalty category) for the SESAMES Award at the upcoming CARTES event in Paris. The SESAMES Award recognizes the best innovative technological application in the field of smart cards, digital security, contactless and secure transactions.

Watchdata's innovation is a SIM-based full-NFC-solution designed to address a void in the NFC payment space where vast majority of the phones cannot be easily transformed to perform functions such as making NFC payments. With Watchdata's SIM-based solution, it is now possible to integrate 3 chips into 1 SIM card, therefore providing emulation, reader and Peer2Peer modes in one card.

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