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Archive: News in brief

Descartes offers ear verification for mobile devices

January 23rd, 2015

Descartes Biometrics has unveiled Helix, an ear detection and recognition technology that uses a smartphone owner’s unique ear features to lock and unlock their mobile device. “Helix does not require any additional hardware and is capable of processing any qualifying image containing an ear,” the company says. “Possible applications include banking, travel, medical and personnel attendance solutions, as well as application, device and building security.”

Taiwanese banks to use Wave NFC dongle

January 23rd, 2015

Taiwan Mobile Payment Co (TWMP), the consortium of regional banks bringing NFC payments to market in Taiwan, is to use Oti Wave, the NFC payment dongle developed by On Track Innovations. TWMP was formed in July 2014 by three Taiwanese banking groups and has since signed up 27 banks to use its NFC hub to connect with local carriers. Oti Wave, unveiled in 2012, is certified by Visa and MasterCard, and has also been adopted by Hong Kong ATM network JetCo. The device has also been tested by a major US bank.

Android devices get multifactor biometrics

January 23rd, 2015

Voice control specialist Sensory has released AppLock, a mobile app that can secure other apps on any Android device with multifactor biometric authentication. “This authentication can use the camera to see the user’s face or the microphone to hear their password or both simultaneously for maximum security needs,” Sensory explains. “In just a few seconds, the user can enroll his/her face and voice by simply looking at the phone while speaking the passphrase at the prompts.”

Ringly raises US$5.1m for light-up rings

January 23rd, 2015

Wearable technology company Ringly has raised US$5.1m in Series A funding to produce a range of connected jewellery that links to a smartphone, and alerts the wearer with a variety of customizable notifications by lighting up and vibrating. “This year, we’ll be expanding our collection, adding new features and introducing partnerships with fashion brands and designers to create a wider variety of new designs,” says Ringly’s Christina Mercando.

New York metro heads to NFC

January 23rd, 2015

New York City’s Metro Transit Authority (MTA) is in discussions to replace its MetroCard payment system with a new US$450m system set to include support for NFC mobile payments and contactless cards. The plan calls for passengers to be able to pay by phone on buses and on the subway by 2020, and at vending machines in 2022.

Payment security tops retailer priorities

January 22nd, 2015

More than 63% of US retailers have included payment security among their top three priorities for 2015 in a survey by Boston Retail Partners, with 650% more retailers planning to support EMV by October. “Recent data breaches at several top retailers, high-profile hacking, plus the looming October 2015 deadline shifting credit card liability back to the retailer for those not compliant with EMV policies seem to be likely causes,” the firm explains.

Most US retailers won’t be ready for EMV

January 22nd, 2015

More than half of all US retailers (55%) are still not fully prepared for the migration to EMV despite the impending October deadline, a survey for ACI Worldwide has revealed. Some 14% still have work to do, 19% are not prepared and 22% are still evaluating their options. “Just 12% of retailer respondents are already compliant, while 19% are confident they will meet the October deadline,” the survey found.

Juniper forecasts biometric authentication market

January 22nd, 2015

More than 770m mobile apps that make use of biometric authentication will be downloaded annually by 2019, up from 6m this year, Juniper Research predicts. “Fingerprint authentication would account for the overwhelming majority of such apps in the medium term, driven by increasing deployment of fingerprint scanners within mid-range smartphones,” the researchers say.

FNB to offer Apple Pay

January 21st, 2015

First National Bank (FNB) in the US will begin making Apple Pay available to its customers in the first quarter of 2015. “With Apple Pay, we will expand our state-of-the-art online and mobile banking offering to incorporate the latest in payments solutions while keeping customer security a top priority,” says the bank’s CEO Vincent J Delie Jr.

Amazon shuts mobile wallet

January 21st, 2015

Amazon is contacting users of its Amazon Wallet service to inform them that the service, launched in beta in July 2014, is closing down on 21 January, CNET reports. “Amazon did not address whether or when Amazon Wallet would return,” CNET says.

7-Eleven HK adds mobile payment and rewards

January 20th, 2015

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has launched 7-Fans, a QR code-based mobile payment and loyalty app that rewards customers with one point for every HK$5 spent using the service at any of more than 900 stores across Hong Kong. The accumulated points can then be redeemed for in-store rewards while users can load cash into their 7-Fans e-wallet at any participating 7-Eleven store.

Learn about HCE and secure elements in our live webinar TODAY

January 20th, 2015

NFC World’s webinar on NFC security strategies and the roles of the secure element and HCE takes place at 3pm GMT today. There’ll be a live question and answer session afterwards, and you can sign up here to join more than 700 readers who have already registered to attend.

Galaxy S6 to get new fingerprint sensor?

January 19th, 2015

Samsung could replace the swipe-based fingerprint sensor used on the Galaxy S5 with a touch-based sensor on the Galaxy S6, expected to be introduced in the coming months. “The sensor will work in the same manner as on the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 and the iPhone 5S/6/6 Plus,” SamMobile reports.

Nintendo sells 2.4m NFC figures

January 19th, 2015

Nintendo sold about 2.4m NFC-enabled Amiibo figurines in 2014, the company has revealed. “Wii U had its strongest year yet thanks to the highly anticipated software line-up and the introduction of the Amiibo platform,” says Nintendo’s Scott Moffitt. “Fans can anticipate another strong year for 2015.”

Apple proposes fingerprints in the cloud

January 16th, 2015

The US Patent & Trademark Office has published three patent applications from Apple that relate to both Apple Pay and Touch ID biometric verification. Among the patents is one that includes a “schematic block diagram of an electronic system providing iCloud-based storage and exchange of enrollment finger biometric data,” Patently Apple reports, and one that sets out a way to use NFC or an alternative short range wireless communication technology to download enrolled finger biometric data.

Migros to launch mobile payments

January 16th, 2015

Migros, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain, is to launch a mobile payments service that will work in its own locations, other stores and with other bank accounts, as well as the retailer’s own Migros Bank accounts, Schweiz am Sonntag reports. Migros declined to provide further details to NFC World+ at this time, saying the “project is not yet ready for communication”.

Bank of America reports on Apple Pay

January 16th, 2015

Nearly 800,000 Bank of America customers have now enrolled to use Apple Pay and have added about 1.1m cards, the bank has revealed. The number of customers using mobile banking in Q4 2014 was up 15% from a year ago to 16.5m, the bank also says, and 12% of deposit transactions were done through mobile compared to 9% in 2013.

CardMobili adds beacons to mobile wallet

January 15th, 2015

CardMobili has added support for Bluetooth beacon-based marketing services to its digital wallet platform. “CardMobili’s solution is beacon-hardware agnostic, enabling it to be deployed in all types of commercial wallet applications,” the company says. “For example, [it can be] fully integrated with an MNO’s existing digital wallet ecosystem as well as within individual partner brands’ wallets.”

MasterCard partners with Masabi

January 15th, 2015

MasterCard has announced a global partnership that will combine its payment technology with Masabi’s JustRide mobile ticketing platform. “The first city to benefit from this alliance will be Athens, where passengers of the Greek capital’s transit systems are now able to use an innovative mobile solution to pay their fare,” MasterCard says. Masabi is active in a number of cities including New York, London and San Diego.

Spain pilots contactless ID cards

January 15th, 2015

The Government of Spain is piloting a contactless ID card in Lleida that can be read using an NFC device. The card will be used initially for authorisation services such as collecting packages by mail or courier, for schools to authorise child excursions or to collect medication from pharmacies. The DNIe 3.0 card is expected to be progressively rolled out across the country.

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