Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mobile Phones make sense for Biometric Security

Goode Intelligence, information security research and analysis specialist, has published a new analyst report, Mobile Phone Biometric Security Analysis and Forecasts 2011-2015, investigating the market for mobile phone biometric security products and services.

Biometric technology in mobile phones has existed for over ten years but has struggled to establish itself in a suitable use case that results in significant adoption rates. The conditions are now right to create a strong market and Goode Intelligence forecasts that the current global user base of four million users in 2011 is set to grow to 39 million users by 2015.

Goode Intelligence predicts that initial growth will come from two technology groups:

  • Embedded mobile biometrics (EMB); including fingerprint sensors embedded by device manufacturers.
  • Third-Factor Authentication; mobile biometrics used in combination with multi-modal authentication solutions, in particular voice-based biometrics.

"There are an estimated 13 million mobile devices around the world that are already benefiting from embedded mobile biometrics in the form of fingerprint sensors" said Alan Goode, author of the report and founder of Goode Intelligence. "A significant number of these are being used in South-East Asia, particularly in Japan where consumers are benefiting from fingerprint-based biometric security to protect NFC payments at the physical point of sale (POS)."

Further information about the Mobile Phone Biometric Security Report can be found at:

Avoid ID Theft, Redirect Mail

An article in The Independent quoted the Royal Mail Redirection Service as saying that frequent house moves opens up the opportunity for Identity theft. Leaving mail to arrive at an old address opens up the opportunity for any old Tom, Dick or Harry to use the information contained in the mail. The National Fraud Authority says Identity fraud is costing the UK 2.7 Billion-Pounds. According to the Royal Mail's finding only half of people moving have their mail redirected. It is also recommended that house movers should also deregister from the electoral role and re-registering at their new council as soon as possible.

Lafferty Launches Global Retail Banking Education Programme

Lafferty Group has announced the global launch of the International Academy of Retail Banking (IARB). The academy is unique in being an international organisation providing an education programme with in-depth focus on retail banking as a profession like accountancy and law.

The announcement is timely in that it coincides with the announcement of reforms that will impact banking structures in the UK and eventually in other countries around the world. Lafferty Group has for some time been advocating the separation of retail and investment banking and has affirmed that retail banking should be a profession with the objective of doing what is best for the customer rather than pushing products. The core thread running through the academy curriculum is the overriding importance of the customer relationship in all a bank's dealings with clients.

IARB offers programmes and certifications for high achievers in the retail banking sector at three levels - foundation, intermediate and expert. Retail bankers who have completed their studies successfully and passed the Expert examination of the academy will become members of the International Academy of Retail Banking and become entitled to use the designation CIRB - Certified International Retail Banker. The academy will also offer a further qualification for those specialising in the cards and payments sector - Certified International Cards and Payments Professional (CICPP).

Michael Lafferty, chairman of Lafferty Group, said "Retail bankers have been calling for such an academy for decades, but the demand certainly multiplied as the current crisis evolved. We have carried out extensive research among retail bankers and cards executives worldwide and have been met with unanimous and widespread enthusiasm for the academy, which does not compete with any existing banking educational offerings."

Fiserv Completes CashEdge Acquisition

Fiserv, Inc. announces the completion of its acquisition of CashEdge Inc., a leading provider of consumer and business payments technologies. Fiserv confirmed that the transaction is expected to be neutral to adjusted earnings per share in 2011 and accretive to adjusted earnings per share in 2012.

"Adding CashEdge's strong team and high caliber solutions to Fiserv capabilities should accelerate innovation and provide new sources of value for financial institutions and their customers," said Jeffery Yabuki, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiserv.

CashEdge currently serves more than 500 clients, including strong representation in the large financial institution segment. Fiserv serves approximately 16,000 clients worldwide, including financial institutions of all sizes and charter types, brokerage and investment firms, and billers such as retailers, telecommunication firms, and utilities.

CashEdge has operations in New York, California and India. Sanjeev Dheer, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of CashEdge, will serve as president of this new Fiserv division.

19% Growth in Smart Card Market

2010 proved to be an extremely successful recovery year for the smart card industry with unit shipments growing 19% compared to 2009. For the smart card IC market, volume growth was even higher at over 20% as card suppliers' inventories were re-stocked. This was one of the top line conclusions from IMS Research's just published report "Smart Cards and Smart Card ICs - World - 2011"

This growth rate compares very favourably to the estimated 5% growth seen in 2009 during the recession. 5% was the slowest unit shipments had increased year on year since 2002 and the second worst growth rate on record.

"This 19% growth rate compares very favourably with the long term trends for the market." stated Alex Green, one of the report authors. "Over the last 10 years the average annual growth rate for this market has been around the 20% level, within only 2002 and 2009 dipping significantly below this level," continued Green.

Unfortunately this high level of growth is not forecast to be maintained. "Although the market is not forecast to drop back down to the lows seen in 2009 and 2002, and is still forecast to have double digit annual growth, it will struggle to stay at the 20% level," continues Green.

This is largely attributed to that fact that the cellular handset installed base is projected to grow at lower rates than those seen during the last decade and hence the SIM card market will grow at lower levels. "The SIM card market is responsible for the majority of smart cards shipped and so the wider market is very much influenced by trends in SIM card shipments," stressed Green.

That being said, other applications are forecast to "take up the slack" to some extent. Growth for payment and banking cards is projected to remain at the same historically high levels and M2M is forecast to inject additional growth.

SmartVista Runs the Banks' Multiple Processing Centres

BPC Banking Technologies, the leading provider of Open System e-payment solutions for the global financial industry, announced that it had been selected by National Reserve Bank to provide an end-to-end in-house EFT payment processing solution. It took only five months to develop and implement new platform in the Bank's processing centres, manage the migration from the legacy system, pass all certifications with Visa and complete the training of the Bank's operational staff.

Following a competitive bid process SmartVista won the deal for most exactly meeting National Reserve Bank's requirements as a highly functional, flexible and scalable solution. The Bank decided to move from an outsourced model to a modern Open System in-house processing solution to manage its ambitious growth plans for its payment's business, to improve its speed to market, lower the TCO and gain direct control over a strategic line of business. The state-of-art solution runs the Bank's processing and personalisation centres in Moscow, covering the Moscow region and Voronezh, covering the rest of Russia. The processing centres will now handle all card management, card personalisation, switching and authorisation and ATM management.

In the immediate future the Bank plans to widen its range of payment services to include issuing EMV smartcards, e-commerce, i-banking and MasterCard products.

"We are proud to have been selected to play such an important role in supporting National Reserve Bank's strategic shift in its payments business. With SmartVista to run all payment processing the Bank will enjoy a flexible, scalable and low cost payments infrastructure for many years to come," said Vasily Grigoriev, CEO, BPC Banking Technologies.

"The constraints of our original payments infrastructure would not have managed our aggressive growth plans to increase our card base significantly and to expand the range of payment services to our customers We took the decision to assume direct control over our payments business and have been very pleased with our choice of SmartVista and BPC's ability to implement the new solution quickly and seamlessly," commented Oksana Pogodina, Deputy Chairman of the Board, National Reserve Bank

Sibos being held in Canada

Running from September 19 to 23, 2011 at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada, this year's Sibos conference will once again gather banking and financial experts and leaders from around the world to network, do business and talk extensively about key industry issues such as fraud prevention. Sibos is organised by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the operator of the renowned worldwide SWIFT financial messaging network.

Contactless Payments coming to your High Street

From October customers in Timpson and Max Spielmann branches nationwide will be able to pay for everything from shoe repair to photo services using their contactless credit or debit card. Working with Barclaycard, Timpson Group is now in the final stages of the roll out of contactless payment terminals in all of its 860 branches with many shoppers already taking advantage of this quick and secure way to pay.

With many stores based within shopping centres, supermarkets and train stations, contactless payment is ideal for customers passing through or in a rush. The move to contactless is part of the continued growth of the Timpson Group, which opened its first branch in Manchester in 1865 and has spanned five generations of the Timpson family.

Richard Armstrong, Head of UK Payment Acceptance at Barclaycard, comments: "This year has seen a whole host of companies and brands sign up to contactless payments and it is great to see such a well established and long serving business like Timpson embrace this innovative and growing technology. Having installed 200 terminals each week the roll out is now almost complete and Timpson and its customers can start to reap the benefits of contactless."

Following the launch of the UK first contactless mobile payment service in May 2011, by Barclaycard and Orange, Timpson customers will also be able to pay for their goods using their mobile phones.

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