Wednesday, 14 September 2011

FIME's Test Tool First to Achieve MasterCard PayPass 3.0 for Contactless Terminal Testing

FIME, a global leader in consulting and market integration testing services for smart devices and secure chip-based applications, has achieved MasterCard PayPass 3.0 qualification for its EVAL Test Suite. The tool is the first on the market to be approved by MasterCard for PayPass 3.0, and can test contactless terminals designed to meet the payment system's latest specifications for accepting high value contactless transactions.

The FIME EVAL Test Suite for contactless terminal testing has also recently received qualification from the EMV standards body, EMVCo, to certify that terminals meet its latest Level 2 contactless specifications - EMVCo Book B Entry Point. The tool will be welcomed by terminal manufacturers that need to align to the next generation of EMV mandatory contactless terminal standards, as well as preparing for the future introduction of MasterCard PayPass 3.0 certification requirements.

Christian Delporte, Head of Chip Engineering at MasterCard, adds: "We are delighted that FIME has achieved MasterCard PayPass 3.0 qualification for the EVAL Test Suite. MasterCard terminal vendors now have one more opportunity to test the compliance of their terminals in-house during the development stage. This reduces time to market by ensuring products are designed in line with these latest specifications, and there are no unforeseen delays at the certification stage."

Agricultural Bank Uses RFID to Increase Security

The Agricultural Bank of China is a publicly traded commercial bank in the People's Republic of China. With headquarters in Beijing and branches throughout Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore, the Agricultural Bank provides comprehensive financial services for 3.5 million personal customers, 9.7 million VIP customers, and more than 260 million enterprise customers around the world.

At banks, money sorting, organisation, and storage is often a labour-intensive, error-prone process that can lead to security risks. Money entering the bank must be sorted, counted, bundled, bagged, and then put into a secure vault, all with multiple security checks along the way. When assets leave the bank, money bags must be retrieved from the vault, counted, any discrepancies noted, and then dispersed to the appropriate recipient, with all transactions accurately recorded.

The Agricultural Bank wanted a way to automatically identify and inventory their assets to reduce errors, improve efficiency, and increase security. To accomplish this task, they contacted Hefei Jinyi Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. for help in creating a more efficient method.

Hefei Jinyi attaches an RFID tag based on the Impinj Monza tag chip to each standard money bag. After money is sorted, counted, and bundled into the money bag, bank workers record the appropriate information into the tag chip using an Impinj Speedway Revolution reader, which Hefei Jinyi installed in bank branches and vaults to identify and inventory money bags. Information recorded into the tag chips is also sent to a centralized management platform that Hefei Jinyi created to monitor bag transfer. This platform stores information about the bag, its contents, status, and location, as well as information about the banking personnel who handled the bag. The bag is then escorted to the bank vault, where it is again scanned by a Speedway Revolution reader to verify its location.

When bank employees enter the vault to retrieve monetary assets, the process works in reverse. The RFID reader at the vault entrance records the money bag's identification information as it leaves the vault. The bag is escorted to the appropriate branch location, where it is scanned to verify entry, the contents counted, and any discrepancies noted by checking into the central management platform.

RFID installation at the various branches currently averages about a week, which includes training of bank personnel on proper system usage.

ZayPay Bought

ZayPay, the Amsterdam based Micropayment Company which was formed in 2006 has been acquired by Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) for an undisclosed amount.

ZayPay enables users to make International micro payments by SMS, phone calls and within applications.

Smartphones for Southwest Trains

Southwest Trains, a rail operator in the UK, has announced that it will be supplying Blackberry phones to more than 850 rail guards, station managers and platform staff to help reassure passengers facing delays.

Customer service staff will have access to better quality information about services as well as detailed, up-to-date information about any disruption on the network. South West Trains also has plans to launch a mobile version of its website which will be easily accessible for passengers and for staff to access information for passengers through their smartphones.

Rollout of the phones is due to take place later this month. Southwest Trains were unable to disclose the cost of the scheme but there have been significant increases in ticket prices.

Body Wearable Antennas Help Lighten Load for Soldiers

The Body Wearable Antenna (BWA) allows soldiers to communicate with their colleagues on the front line without the need for conventional radio whip-antennas which can be cumbersome and conspicuous. By weaving the antennas into the fibres of the uniform the technology allows effective communication whilst helping improve agility. A concept demonstrator has been developed to showcase the capability of this technology which transmits voice, video data (from a helmet-mounted camera) and GPS location via the same antenna.

A system using this technology could improve the situational awareness of a military team as a whole, allowing soldiers to see through the eyes of their team mates in real time. If one soldier spots a situation, they can alert the team and share what they can see through their helmet mounted camera. The demonstration system links with a wrist-mounted commercially available touch screen smart phone and utilises its sensors to provide an augmented operational picture, allowing the team to tag objects, such as potential hazards which will appear highlighted on the phones video image.

Another major advantage of the wearable antenna system is that it is unaffected by the position of the wearer. With conventional whip-antenna systems, if a soldier has to lie on the ground, the communication between them and that of someone who is standing up can be severely compromised or even lost. Similarly, the signal from the short antenna on a portable radio can be masked by the user's body. A BWA system can be designed to give continuous 360 degree coverage.

Jon Pinto, Antennas and Electromagnetics Group Leader from BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre said: "Frontline soldiers carry a huge amount of weight when on patrol. Research into body wearable antennas has shown we could reduce this burden and in the future give forces improved communication capabilities and a significant advantage on the battlefield"

The applications for this technology reach far beyond the defence industry. BAE Systems is currently exploring the potential to incorporate body worn antennas into the suits of fire-fighters for use during search and rescue, for police patrol team members to have the GPS locations of their colleagues and in other hazardous industries such as mining, oil and gas.

BAE Systems is a global defence and security company with approximately 100,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and support services.

Avecto Joins McAfee Security Innovation Alliance

Avecto, the leader in Windows Privilege Management, has announced that it has joined the McAfee Security Innovation Alliance (SIA) partner program. Under the McAfee SIA program, Avecto will integrate its Privilege Guard solution with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), enabling customers to centrally manage and report on application privileges across desktops and servers.

Avecto's Privilege Guard solution enables IT departments to delegate privileges to individual applications and tasks, eliminating the need to grant administrative rights to users. This state of 'least privilege' means that users run as standard, and are provided with the minimum rights to perform their roles based on the applications they use and the tasks they perform.

By integrating with ePO, Avecto will extend its privilege management solution to McAfee customers, providing them with reporting capabilities and proactive management of the Privilege Guard from within ePO.

McAfee ePO is the first platform that lets enterprises and governments centrally manage security and compliance products from multiple vendors, offering cost savings and return on investment. With more than 35,000 customers and managing more than 60 million PCs and servers.

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