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    Archive: Technology

    OCBC bank in local and cross-border blockchain payments trial

    November 17th, 2016

    Singapore’s OCBC Bank says it has become the first bank in South East Asia to use blockchain technology in national and international payments. A pilot payment transaction took place on 8 November, involving a cross-border funds transfer between OCBC Bank and OCBC Malaysia, and a local funds transfer between OCBC Bank and Bank of Singapore. “This is a milestone not only for us but for Singapore as Asia’s financial hub as we pave the way to revolutionising the traditional cross-border payments model,” says Praveen Raina from OCBC Bank.

    PwC in digital currency project for everyday banking

    November 16th, 2016

    Global consultancy firm PwC has joined forces with US blockchain technology outfit Bloq to create a platform allowing digital currencies to be used for everyday banking. Vulcan Digital Asset Services will “provide digital currency wallets, international payment processing, and investment and trading services, and will soon offer point-of-sale and merchant services and the ability to create and support native digital currencies and rewards-based systems”, Bloq says. The partnership also involves blockchain analytics provider Libra and digital currency solutions firm Netki.

    NFC Forum calls on manufacturers to join NFC Tag Certification Program

    November 16th, 2016

    The NFC Forum is calling on NFC tag manufacturers to join its new Tag Certification Program, which aims to provide global standards of interoperability with NFC-enabled mobile devices, as well as establishing tag compliance with… More

    UK bank celebrates blockchain contactless payments trial

    November 16th, 2016

    Metro Bank in the UK has successfully trialled a blockchain retail payment system, allowing consumers to make purchases from merchants equipped with contactless terminals, with merchant and consumer balances updated in real time. London-based financial… More

    IBM in blockchain project with Singapore fintech startup

    November 15th, 2016

    IBM has announced a blockchain project with Singapore fintech startup KYCK! to enable the financial services provider to create new customer accounts more quickly and securely. Using the open source Hyperledger Project Fabric, KYCK! intends to provide brokerages a platform with video conferencing and encrypted document submission capabilities. “We have seen how blockchain can improve operational efficiency, increase transparency and reduce transaction risks,” says Darryl Tan, co-founder of KYCK!.

    Top marks for palm-vein biometric solution

    November 14th, 2016

    Fintech firm Fiserv has collaborated with Gesa Credit Union in the US to introduce palm-vein biometric authentication into Fiserv’s DNA account processing platform — the first palm-vein authentication solution implemented by a US financial institution. The companies found the Verifast solution reduced the time it takes to authenticate a member in the branch by 93% and was given top marks by 99.9% of Gesa members on both the registration process and ease of use.

    R3 develops KYC registry using blockchain

    November 14th, 2016

    Blockchain consortium R3 and 10 of its member banks have developed a proof-of-concept Know Your Customer (KYC) registry using distributed ledger technology to address the “challenges associated with satisfying regulatory requirements” and allowing identities to be managed by their owners. “The project simulated establishing the identity of both a legal entity and an individual using KYC data and identity attestations by third-parties,” International Business Times reports.

    Visa and BioConnect work to enable multiple biometrics on mobile apps

    November 14th, 2016

    Visa is working with biometric identity platform provider BioConnect to enable multiple methods of biometric authentication through a single mobile app. This means that if the consumer’s default biometric authentication method fails, they can use… More

    Fashion brand adds NFC and blockchain for authentic personal clothing

    November 14th, 2016

    Fashion brand Babyghost has partnered with Chinese blockchain-as-a-service company BitSE and its VeChain project to deliver a range of clothes incorporating NFC tags and verified using blockchain technology. Demonstrating the development of fashion technology, or… More

    Indian bank unveils AI-powered robot helper

    November 14th, 2016

    India’s first artificial intelligence banking robot has made its debut in a branch of City Union Bank in Chennai, The Times of India reports. Lakshmi is said to be able to voice intelligent and informal answers on more than 125 banking subjects. Sensitive financial information like account details are displayed on the robot’s screen and not voiced. The bank has plans for 25 to 30 robots at key branches by the end of the year if Lakshmi proves a hit with customers.

    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

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