Monday, 26 September 2011

Timetable set for Sierra Leone Banks to introduce Interbank Payments and Smart Cards

The Executive Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Sierra Leone Association of Commercial Banks (SLACB), Mr M. Philip H. A. Swaray, has told Awoko Business that all thirteen commercial banks operating in Sierra Leone have endorsed a timetable for the introduction of an Interbank Payment and Smartcard System or SWITCH and that the first Switch debit or credit card could be in use by October 2012.

Speaking in an interview, the SLACB Chief Operating Officer disclosed that the Association has shortlisted five companies, two of which are from Sierra Leone. He said they are looking for an "implementing partner" that will professionally prepare, develop, and possibly, operate the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will be formed to manage the Switching and Smartcard Payment System in partnership with, or on behalf of, the banks. He stressed that operation of the SPV by the implementing partner would be for a fixed period, to ensure skills transfer to suitably qualified and trained Sierra Leoneans.

Explaining the benefits of the Switch, Mr Swaray said "moving the country from a purely cash-based society to an electronic one will rapidly change the face of banking in Sierra Leone and could also help bring more people into the formal banking sector.

Contactless Smart Card Shipments to Reach 3.5 Billion in 2016

Contactless smart card shipments are forecast to increase from around 950 million in 2010 to 3.5 billion in 2016. This is one of the conclusions drawn from IMS Research's recent report "The World Market for Smart Cards and Smart Card ICs - 2011 Edition."

According to Don Tait, one of the authors of the report, "In 2010, around 15% of smart card shipments are estimated to have been contactless. This is projected to increase to over 30% in 2016."

"Contactless bank cards are believed to drive much of the growth in the microcontroller market during the forecast period. The People's Bank of China announced plans (in March 2011) to convert China's debit and credit payment cards to smart cards. This announcement will have a great effect on smart card shipments from 2013 to 2015. It is believed that where contactless payment and banking cards are used in China, they will be dual-interface cards."

Within the transportation sector, all smart cards shipped are projected to be contactless. Whilst in the Electronic Government and Healthcare ID cards sector, all ePassports are contactless. However, in other applications in the government and healthcare sector there is a mix between contact and contactless / dual interface solutions. Even taking this into account, overall around three quarters of cards sold into this application in 2010 were estimated to have been contactless.

Tait continues, "The top contactless applications during the next five years are projected to be bank cards, government and healthcare ID cards, transportation and physical access cards. These four applications are projected to account for around 99% of units shipped in 2016."

Research finds 1 in 10 Primary Kids Own a Phone

According to research carried out by Westcoastcloud one in ten ordinary children have an iPhone and one in ten parents feel it is appropriate for a child as young as four to own a mobile phone. Westcoastcloud, a Cloud services provider surveyed 2000 parents of children aged ten and under, their research concluded that 17% of parents bought their children a phone after they succumbed to child pester power. The survey also found that 1 in 10 primary children had a social networking account. The survey also found that a third of children used their parents phone for Internet activities such as You Tube, email and Facebook.

Library Service Provides eBooks

According to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze, South West Florida's daily paper, Smart card holders can download books onto their Kindle through the Lee County Library System. Almost 11,000 titles are available to Kindle owners who also have a library card.

Users visit the Lee County Library website to view eBook titles, once a title has been selected and downloaded to a computer it is transferred by WiFi or through a USB port onto the Kindle. When the book borrowing time is up it just stops working

MasterCard RPPS and iPay expand processing relationship

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc., a provider of technology solutions and payment processing services primarily for financial services organisations, and MasterCard Worldwide have announced an expanded processing relationship between its iPay Technologies division and MasterCard's RPPS electronic bill payment network.

With this agreement, iPay is making its biller connections available to bill payment originators who use MasterCard's RPPS electronic bill payment processing services. As a result, these originators can eliminate a significant volume of checks that they currently mail to those billers and replace them with electronic payments. The processing relationship between iPay and RPPS will enable more than 1,500 local and regional billers in verticals spanning utilities, consumer lending, telecommunications, and municipalities to now receive consumer bill payments electronically through the MasterCard RPPS network.

WorldPay RiskGuardian's Latest Innovations Put Customers in Control

WorldPay has announced enhancements to its high specification RiskGuardian platform with the addition of a number of innovative new functions aimed at allowing its customers to better manage risk and assess the impact of their anti-fraud activities. The improvements follow extensive discussions with businesses to identify the key risk management challenges faced by eCommerce merchants today.

The RiskGuardian enhancements include three new technologies designed specifically to give merchants greater capabilities in the fight against fraud: The Merchant Custom Rules service will allow RiskGuardian customers to create their own bespoke anti-fraud rules sets. This means that they can define and set the most appropriate level of anti-fraud security for their business, based on the types and volumes of transactions the business processes. Having reviewed their historical transaction data, merchants will be able to set rules that support both their sales and anti-fraud targets, achieving the desired level of transactions accepted, rejected or referred for review.

Merchants can now utilise the Transaction Simulator to test changes to existing rule sets in a simulated environment against new transactions, meaning they can understand the risk impact of these changes before they are applied to the live system. This provides customers with the opportunity to easily test different approaches to anti-fraud operations and to ensure that they are using the most efficient method for their business to optimise desired sales/fraud ratios.

The new DNA parameter identifies and analyses the individual devices connecting to a merchant's website. The parameter binds several key data elements found in the RiskGuardian transaction with extended parameters identified on the communication journey from the consumer's PC to the merchant's website. Once bound together, DNA will generate a unique 'DNA ID' validating the integrity of the device creating the transaction order.

The WorldPay RiskGuardian platform is able to perform security checks at a number of points during an individual ecommerce transaction, allowing for fast and accurate transaction validation that is vital in helping online retailers and service providers to combat fraud and increase profits. The ongoing programme of customer driven updates ensures that WorldPay's flagship Risk Management service remains market leading in terms of its ability to prevent fraud on behalf of its merchants.

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