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As more small and midsize U.S. businesses enter global markets, the search for cost-effective international payments is a pivotal concern. Through an alliance between international money transfer and exchange services provider WorldFirst USA Inc. and Bank of Ireland Global Markets, a new service has been designed to allow U.S. businesses to make fast, secure international payments without the transfer fees that are typically assessed.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology certified Trustonic's cryptographic library Sept. 11, 2017, verifying that Trustonic hardware and software modules comply with Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2. The certification further validates the rigorous security and best practices used in Trustonic's app development platform, according to company representatives.
Google launched a new digital payments app in India. On Sept. 18, 2017, the search engine giant released an app called Tez for downloading to Android and Apple mobile devices. "Tez" is also a Hindi word meaning fast. The Tez app is a free download that supports person-to-person as well as POS transactions. It leverages the Unified Payments Interface, a government-backed platform supporting ecommerce and interbank transfers that links most of the nation's banks. Google said it also plans to offer credit and debit card acceptance via Tez, although it's not clear when.
Amazon Inc.'s 1-click purchase patent expired Sept. 11, 2017, following a successful, 20-year run. Awarded in 1997, when Amazon was selling books online, it enabled consumers to purchase items with a single click, using stored billing, shipping and payment credentials. Retail analysts say the 1-click concept revolutionized online retail and boosted ecommerce spending. Casey Gannon, Vice President of Marketing at Shopgate Inc., expects to see 1-click checkouts broadly implemented across the retail ecosystem in the wake of the patent's expiration.
Following its mission to advance the use of near field communication (NFC) by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability and educating the market, the NFC Forum just added an NFC tag and reader certification to its global Certification Program. This addition means that tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers will now be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all key components in the NFC ecosystem. This program is designed for companies who put a premium on customer experience and want to ensure that their NFC-enabled devices function the way they want when they want, the NFC Forum stated.
Apple iOS user reaction to the new Face ID authentication system built into the iPhone X has been mixed. Face ID, unveiled Sept. 12, 2017, requires users to look at the screen to unlock the phone, access secure apps and enable Apple Pay. Despite Apple's claims that "all saved facial information is protected by the secure enclave" and that "processing is done on-device and not in the cloud to protect user privacy," research indicates many are skeptical of using facial recognition for identification purposes.
Hackers exploited a software vulnerability to access the Security and Exchange Commission's corporate filing system in 2016, according to a Sept. 20, 2017, SEC disclosure. The agency discovered the intrusion during a security assessment authorized by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, the commission stated. Security analysts questioned why the SEC failed to patch a known vulnerability in its Edgar filing system.
Payments industry veteran Biff Matthews, Chief Executive Officer at CardWare International Inc., retired on Oct. 1, 2017, following a remarkable 45-year career in payments. Matthews founded CardWare in 1975 and grew it into a leading hardware, software, supply logistics and call center services provider. The company officially closed Sept. 22, 2017.
"Retirement is welcome, while closing the company is bittersweet," Matthews said. "My assumption is about the first of the year, my wife, Terre, will find me another job to get me out of 'her' house." Matthews, a founding member of the Electronic Transactions Association, received an ETA leadership award in April 2010 and lifetime achievement award from the Midwest Acquirers Association in July 2013.
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