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    Archive: Technology

    Microsoft in blockchain trial for travel booking website

    November 11th, 2016

    Australian travel booking website Webjet has teamed up with Microsoft to develop a blockchain proof-of-concept solution for online booking services. ‘Smart contracts’ are being built to remove the risk of data inaccuracies, streamline payment processes and improve data security. “Blockchain… could potentially assist every one of our partners in the [travel] supply chain to improve their efficiency,” says John Guscic from Webjet.

    Citi launches global API Developer Hub

    November 11th, 2016

    Citi has launched a global API Developer Hub to give developers access to APIs across eight usage categories including account management, peer-to-peer payments, money transfer to institutions, Citi rewards, investment purchases and account authorisation. “The release of Citi APIs marks the evolution of Citi’s technology to open architecture, which will facilitate collaboration and partnerships with fintech companies and consumer brands to benefit customers,” Citi says. Additional categories will be added over time.

    Students develop SMS biometric authentication app

    November 11th, 2016

    Four students from India’s Birla Institute of Technology and Science have developed an SMS-based biometric authentication system for use in rural areas with poor internet connection. The team has developed an Android app to allow fingerprint scans to be taken and then turned into an encrypted, numeric code which can be sent by a simple SMS message. The team’s idea won the grand prize in the Accenture Innovation Jockeys 5 competition earlier this month.

    Fake glasses fool face recognition

    November 10th, 2016

    A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University has fooled face recognition algorithms using a pair of fake glasses, New Scientist reports. By printing bespoke patterns onto the front of the frames, they enabled wearers not only to obscure their identity but to impersonate people who look completely different.

    Bank al Etihad takes bill payments to ATMs

    November 10th, 2016

    Customers of Jordan-based Bank al Etihad can now pay bills and top up their airtime at the bank’s ATMs. “This convenient service will see Bank Al Etihad customers topping up their airtime with Orange as well as making bill payments for various services such as utilities and water,” technology provider CR2 says. “Bank Al Etihad customers will now also be able to update their mobile number at the ATM.”

    UK government to invest in Fido authentication

    November 9th, 2016

    The UK government is to invest in Fido authentication as part of its £1.9bn (US$2.3bn), five-year UK National Cyber Security Strategy, aimed at defending its online systems and infrastructure. “We will invest in technologies like Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) and emerging industry standards such as Fast IDentity Online (Fido),” the government says. “The government will test innovative authentication mechanisms to demonstrate what they can offer, both in terms of security and overall user experience.”

    French hotel and casino group to test biometric smart cards

    November 9th, 2016

    French casino and hotel group Groupe Partouche has partnered with MeReal Biometrics to test the use of biometric smart cards by employees to access secure areas. The initial test of fingerprint-based biometric cards will take place in two of the group’s 42 casino and hotel properties early in 2017. If successful it will pave the way towards a ‘closed loop’ system with all regular guests and 4,500 employees using biometric cards to perform a wide range of payment and access applications.

    Nordic bank to use blockchain for money transfers

    November 9th, 2016

    Nordic bank SEB has signed an agreement with distributed financial technology provider Ripple to use the company’s blockchain technology solution as a basis for payment transactions. “The first step will be to enable customers to make real-time transfers between SEB accounts in Stockholm and New York,” the bank says. “The first customer transactions are planned for next year, and will offer customers real-time transfers with later cut-off times than today.”

    Italian bank customers get electronic PIN delivery

    November 9th, 2016

    PARTNER NEWS: Customers of Italian retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo can now receive their PIN codes through SMS or via the web, without having to wait for postal delivery. The bank is using digital security giant… More

    Visas, passports and government ID secured using hybrid NFC and hologram tags

    November 9th, 2016

    Government-issued documents such as visas and passports could be secured using a combination of NFC and hologram technology, following the announcement of a partnership between printed electronics specialist Thinfilm and authentication solutions provider Holoptica. The… More

    Spanish bank offers ‘selfie’ service to open account

    November 9th, 2016

    BBVA bank is offering new customers in Spain the chance to open an account with them using their mobile phone, with identity verified using face recognition and video calls. The remote registration service sees the bank check ‘selfie’ images against a photo ID before a bank representative verifies the new customer’s identity through a video conference call. BBVA has also signed a memorandum of understanding to use Salesforce’s cloud computing services to become “a more flexible and scalable digital bank”.

    US bank app allows ability to dispute charges

    November 9th, 2016

    Citi credit card owners can now dispute charges within the bank’s iPhone app in the US. Customers can use the app to dispute damaged items, returned goods or duplicate charges, among others. Once the dispute is submitted, they will be notified via the app that Citi is taking action, the status of the case and what to expect next. Citi has also extended the app to allow customers to increase their credit limit, view recurring charges and enrol for paperless statements.

    PKO Bank Polski customers get Trusted Profiles to access government services using banking ID

    November 9th, 2016

    Some 35,000 customers of Polish bank PKO Bank Polski have created Trusted Profiles which allow them to log in to government services, file an application for an ID card or driving licence, obtain a criminal… More

    Brain biometrics study gets $900,000 grant

    November 9th, 2016

    Binghamton University in the US has been awarded US$900,000 to continue investigations into the next-generation of brain biometric technology. The four-year project, ‘Brain Hacking: Assessing psychological and computational vulnerabilities in brain-based biometrics’, will examine the strengths of weaknesses for cyberspace security of identifying a person by measuring their brainprint – the brain’s response to different stimuli.

    Cartes Bancaires certifies OT’s dynamic code cards

    November 8th, 2016

    French bank card association Cartes Bancaires has issued certification for a dynamic security code payment card developed by Oberthur Technologies. The OT Motion Code cards replace the three-figure security code on the back of plastic cards with a mini-screen displaying a code which automatically changes periodically to make online payments more secure. The cards were trialled by BNP Paribas in October 2015, following an initial trial conducted by French bank BPCE.

    Half of global banking customers use fintech services, but trust remains low

    November 4th, 2016

    Half of banking customers around the world are using the products or services of at least one fintech firm, according to the first World FinTech Report (WFTR) from Capgemini and LinkedIn, but customer trust in… More

    SIMalliance transfers Open Mobile API to GlobalPlatform

    November 4th, 2016

    Trade association SIMalliance is transferring ownership of its Open Mobile API (OMAPI) specification to standards body GlobalPlatform. “The OMAPI Specification defines how mobile applications may access different secure elements (SEs), including the UICC and embedded secure elements (eSEs) in a mobile device,” SIMalliance says. “This most recent move by SIMalliance will ensure that the technical specification continues to evolve in line with the wider secure chip ecosystem.”

    NEC aims for face recognition for payments by late 2017

    November 4th, 2016

    Japanese IT giant NEC is holding trials with banks and credit card companies to deploy facial recognition systems for payments, IT Wire reports. Such systems could be in public use by late 2017. Dr Hitoshi Imaoka from NEC told visitors to the iExpo exhibition in Tokyo there were still problems of accuracy to be overcome, including how to use the technology as people age.

    Nokia in ‘world-first’ NB-IoT trial over 4G network

    November 3rd, 2016

    Nokia and Finnish telecommunications company Sonera have successfully completed a trial using NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) technology over a commercial 4G mobile network. Information on temperature, humidity and air pressure was shared over Sonera’s 4G network in Helsinki, while a roaming device was also connected. In what is described as a “world first demonstration”, the trial showed how NB-IoT technology — which can enable billions of IoT devices to be connected — could allow companies to track mobile assets.

    LG unveils front-facing camera with built-in iris scanner

    November 2nd, 2016

    LG Innotek has unveiled an all-in-one module that functions as both a front-facing camera as well as an iris scanner which could be built into LG smartphones scheduled to launch next year, Korean publication Digital Times reports. It is not confirmed whether or not the module will be integrated into the company’s forthcoming LG G6 flagship smartphone, expected to be unveiled in spring 2017.

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