Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chip and PIN Cambridge Research Slammed as "Alarmist"

Chip and PIN Research Slammed...as "Alarmist"
Chip and PIN research slammed as ‘alarmist’

Industry analysts have defended the benefits

of chip and PIN payments security after computer scientists at the UK’s University of Cambridge announced they had discovered a flaw in the PIN verification feature of the EMV protocol.

Acccording to the scientists, a man-in-the-middle device can intercept and modify the communications between a payment card and the POS terminal, and then trick the terminal into believing that PIN verification has succeeded. In a draft paper entitled ‘Chip and PIN is Broken’, the scientists said: “A dummy PIN must be entered, but the attack allows any one to be accepted.”

The report added: “Attacks such as this could help explain the many cases in which a card has supposedly been used with the PIN, despite the customer being adamant that they have not divulged it.”

Gareth Wokes, chairman of The Logic Group, which manages information and transactions for businesses, described the Cambridge research as “alarmist”.

Why do we still type our numbers into boxes at web checkout?
Wokes said: “To position this as an overall failure of chip and PIN is misleading and counter-productive to the industry’s efforts against fraud. Chip and PIN successfully addressed the issue that it was created to address: that the person making a transaction is who they say they are. As such, a year after chip and PIN was introduced, card fraud dropped by 48 percent.”

He added that fraudsters have since moved on to e-commerce fraud, where chip and PIN technology is irrelevant,
Editor's Note:  "irrelevant" ONLY because we still conduct online transactions as if we live in the stone ages, i.e. typing Primary Account Numbers into boxes at website merchant checkouts worldwide.  which is why fraud figures have subsequently begun to increase.

Continue Reading at Lafferty

Gemalto Adds NFC-Based Mobile Coupons to its Trusted Service Manager Offer

http://www.gemalto.comGemalto partners with HighCo to create a consumer friendly experience to collect and redeem coupons

Mobile World Congress 2010

BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, today announces a partnership with HighCo, a leading provider of marketing solutions for mass market retailers and consumer goods manufacturers, to provide user-friendly mobile coupon services via Near Field Communications.

The partnership aims at providing a more convenient way of collecting and redeeming coupons from NFC phones, replacing conventional paper coupons. Using an application in the mobile phone, users can easily connect to HighCo’s server, then select and download mobile coupons onto their handset. These are downloaded over the air and securely stored locally in the SIM card.

Automatic redemption

The coupons are automatically redeemed at the point of sale, where the contactless terminal communicates directly with the application stored in the SIM to find the right coupon used for the purchase. All the user has to do is wave their phone at the reader.

“Mobile coupons are a powerful marketing tool in promoting the right product to the right audience, thereby boosting sales,” said Rémi De Fouchier, Senior Vice President, Trusted Services Management at Gemalto. “With this partnership, Gemalto is enriching its Trusted Service Manager offer with mobile NFC couponing services that perfectly complement its solutions for payment and transport.”

The two companies met through the French “Pole de Compétitivité” called NFC Container*. This partnership draws on Gemalto’s worldwide experience as a trusted service manager for NFC, and HighCo’s experience as a leading coupon solutions provider.

Valérie Piotte, General Manager HighCo 3.0, commented: “Last year, we produced over 6 billion coupons and treated over 330 million coupons making us the leading coupon solutions provider in France and Belgium. Our aim, in partnering with Gemalto, is to use NFC technology to enhance the end-user experience by making e-coupons easier to store and use.”

*NFC Container is part of the French “Pole de Compétitivité” which aims at defining a generic framework to securely store data in the UICC and transfer data over the NFC reader.

Visit the Gemalto stand, 8A102, at the Mobile World Congress, 15-18 February 2010.

More info: http://www.gemalto.com/telecom/upteq/nfc.html

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL 0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security with 2008 annual revenues of €1.68 billion, and 10,000 employees operating out of 75 offices, research and service centers in 40 countries.

Gemalto is at the heart of our evolving digital society. The freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain, and work—anytime, anywhere—has become an integral part of what people want and expect, in ways that are convenient, enjoyable and secure.

Gemalto delivers on the growing demands of billions of people worldwide for mobile connectivity, identity and data protection, credit card safety, health and transportation services, e-government and national security. We do this by supplying to governments, wireless operators, banks and enterprises a wide range of secure personal devices, such as subscriber identification modules (SIM), Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) in mobile phones, smart banking cards, smart card access badges, electronic passports, and USB tokens for online identity protection. To complete the solution we also provide software, systems and services to help our customers achieve their goals.

As the use of Gemalto’s software and secure devices increases with the number of people interacting in the digital and wireless world, the company is poised to thrive over the coming years.

For more information please visit www.gemalto.com.

Oberthur Technologies and Sicap in Exclusive Partnership

BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oberthur Technologies and Sicap, respective leaders in the fields of smart card solutions and device management have today announced an exclusive agreement to provide a joint Full Device Management platform. The new offer combines their best of breed technologies to deliver converged, streamlined management of subscriber devices and SIM cards.

“By bringing together our 10 years experience in OTA platform development and more than 80 deployments worldwide combined with Sicap’s impressive technology and expertise in the field of device management, we can optimize real-time device and SIM support and better help mobile operators deploy their current and future services.”

When deploying new services, mobile operators need to reach as many subscribers as possible. With heterogeneous application components sitting in both handsets and SIM cards in end-user environments, the level of interdependency between devices and SIM cards has increased to a point where their side-by-side management is no longer sufficient.

As a response to mobile operator needs, the Full Device Management solution developed by Oberthur Technologies and Sicap offers real time configuration, updates and management of both devices and SIMs. This solution provides a unique customer care interface and can be operated as a single platform with common hardware, software, and administration either in the mobile operator premises or in Oberthur Technologies or SICAP certified datacenters. It also enhances the user experience by aligning services to the capabilities of each specific handset and SIM.

Xavier Drilhon, Managing Director of the Card Systems Division at Oberthur Technologies commented, “By bringing together our 10 years experience in OTA platform development and more than 80 deployments worldwide combined with Sicap’s impressive technology and expertise in the field of device management, we can optimize real-time device and SIM support and better help mobile operators deploy their current and future services."

Jürgen Samuel, CEO of Sicap, said “We are proud to present the Full Device Management solution developed with Oberthur Technologies. Their reputation in SIM management complements our device management excellence. Together we have a combined presence in OTA and device management platforms in over 120 networks worldwide. Our common focus on innovation and the complementarities of our technologies will empower operators to deliver advanced services which always work first time for their mobile subscribers. ”


Sicap is one of the world’s leading providers of customised mobile software solutions in the areas of communications and charging. Every day Sicap’s standards compliant technology empowers mobile operators to deliver a superior end-user experience, while maximising new revenue streams and reducing operating costs.

The company was one of the pioneering inventors of prepaid technology and was the first to both develop a USSD Gateway and configure a mobile handset remotely.

Sicap develops and implements solutions comprising convergent charging and rating, mobile payment, network services and messaging. These solutions cover mobile, fixed and IMS network environments and are used by more than 90 customers, serving more than 550 million end-users world-wide.

Sicap’s over-the-air technology enables mobile operators to provision, update, troubleshoot, correct, and secure all handsets in their network. This capability reduces operational expenses, enhances device usability, and ultimately results in a better customer experience through first time problem resolution.

Sicap’s versatile and flexible loyalty solutions empower mobile operators to dynamically segment and profile their subscriber base using data retrieved over-the-air. Armed with end-users preferences, mobile operators can deploy Sicap’s secure messaging gateways and over-the-air services to deliver a personalised end-user mobile experience, regardless of handset or location.

Our customer references speak for themselves – MTN, MTS, Orange, Telefónica, Vimpelcom, Vodafone and many others rely on Sicap to deliver competitive advantage and a superior end-user experience.

Global reach, local presence

With headquarters in Switzerland, Sicap’s network includes local and regional offices in France, Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Romania, Russia, Singapore and South Africa. These strategic locations provide real-time customer support.

A comprehensive network of partners complement Sicap’s solution kernel portfolio in the areas of marketing and realisation. Sales partners increase the company’s local presence, while portfolio and technology partners extend and enhance the solution kernels.

For more information: www.sicap.com


With sales of 882 million Euros in 2008, Oberthur Technologies is a world leader in the field of secure technologies. Innovation and high quality services ensure Oberthur Technologies’ strong positioning in its main target markets:

  • Card Systems: The world’s second largest provider of security and identification based on smart card technology and associated services for mobile, payment, transport, digital TV and convergence markets.

  • Identity: Leading international supplier for the manufacture and personalization of secure identity documents such as passport, identity card, driving license or health care card - traditional and electronic - and associated services for both governmental and corporate markets.

  • Security printing: World’s third largest private security printer specialized in high security for the production of banknotes, checks and other fiduciary documents in more than fifty countries.

  • Cash protection: World leader in the emerging market of intelligent systems to secure cash-in-transit and ATM.

Close to its customers, Oberthur Technologies benefits from an industrial and commercial presence across all five continents.

Oberthur Technologies S.A. is a limited liability company (société anonyme) registered in France with its registered office at 50 quai Michelet 92 532 Levallois Perret, France. Oberthur Technologies S.A.’s corporate registration number is 340 709 534 R.C.S. Paris.

For more information, visit www.oberthur.com

Leading European Mobile Payment Provider mopay Expands Global Presence to United States


Brings More Than Ten Years of Expertise in Micropayments to U.S. Audience

MUNICH AND PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--mopay, a leading provider of mobile payment solutions worldwide, today announced its expansion into the U.S. market, enabling North American gaming and social networking providers to open a new revenue channel and allowing U.S. consumers to purchase virtual goods and other digital content through their mobile phone accounts. mopay’s U.S. offices will be headquartered in Palo Alto, California and led by Kolja Reiss, Managing Director of mopay, Inc. mopay specializes in bringing the “unbanked”— people without bank accounts and limited or no credit – the power to purchase digital goods and services with ease by placing charges on their mobile phone bills.

Reaching more than 3.3 billion people with SMS-enabled mobile phones in 65 countries around the globe, mopay enters the U.S. market as a major challenger to providers BOKU and Zong. mopay, a European industry heavyweight with close to 100 employees and a blue-chip customer base that reaches 500 million users worldwide, brings unprecedented mobile payments experience to the U.S., offering a clear advantage over its competitors. Some of the global brands being served by mopay today include Bigpoint, Gameforge, Innogames, Sulake and Travian. A local presence in the U.S. will allow mopay to service those customers with a U.S. billing option and will extend its sales efforts to U.S. clients searching for an experienced mobile payment player with truly global coverage.

For the first time, online gaming and social networking providers in the U.S. can benefit from mopay’s world-class solutions, best practices in integrating mobile payments into providers’ revenue streams, and consulting expertise to guide customers from implementation through ensuring an optimum consumer experience. The mopay credo is doing mobile payment right which is much more than just adding a payment option at checkout. It is about end-customer confidence as well as vendor satisfaction which mopay has proven to deliver to its client base across the globe.

“The U.S. market is ripe for change and primed for growth in the mobile payment market,” said Mr. Reiss. “European providers have been ahead of the mobile payment curve for a number of years, successfully embracing the full potential of how easy it is to pay for goods and services via mobile. Now we’re bringing our ten years experience and market opportunities to U.S. vendors, so they can offer their customers the convenience of mobile payments around the globe. With more than 400 customers worldwide, mopay boasts more experience than most providers combined. We look forward to partnering with U.S. vendors to open up a new revenue channel and share with them our tremendous expertise and experience.”

As Managing Director of mopay, Inc, Kolja Reiss is responsible for overseeing all aspects of corporate relations and operations for mopay in North America. Mr. Reiss has over 14 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and is recognized as a leader in the mobile industry. Prior to mopay, Mr. Reiss headed the technical operations for MindMatics LLC in New York and Los Angeles. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Paderborn in Germany.

mopay will be exhibiting at this year’s Engage! conference in New York City from February 16 – 17 at booth #55.

About mopay

mopay is one of the world’s leading solutions for network provider-based billing of small amounts. The mobile payment solution is providing 3.3 billion people in over 65 countries a platform on which digital goods and services can be billed by SMS. Among mopay’s customers are renowned portals from the gaming, community and contents sectors. mopay, part of the MindMatics group, has close to 100 employees at locations in Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information, visit www.mopay.com.

HomeATM Headline News through February 16th

Chip and PIN 'not fit for purpose', says Cambridge researcher

Wikinews ... said that there was no evidence the attack was in use and emphasized that card fraud had fallen with the introduction of chip and PIN.

Biz Break: Microsoft vs. Google vs. Apple: phone OS on Monday, maps today

Today: Microsoft is expected to introduce its new mobile operating system next week. Google rolls out new maps features, a day after Bing Maps enhancements by Microsoft. Read article »

Google Sees Facebook, Amazon, Kayak As Competitors

Wall Street Journal The Internet search giant on Friday filed its 2009 annual report, which for the first time named social networks like Facebook Inc., e-commerce sites like ...

Discover to Pay $775 Million to Morgan Stanley

Wall Street Journal But Riverwoods, Ill., Discover contended that Morgan Stanley had breached the spinoff agreement by meddling in the Visa-MasterCard settlement. ...

Mobile operators unite on global apps platform

The world’s largest mobile operators have joined forces to launch an open international applications platform, marking the largest unified move to date by the operator community into the mobile apps space. The so-called ‘Wholesale Applications Community’ will combine 24 of the world’s largest mobile carriers, including America Movil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom Austria, MTN Group, NTT Docomo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, VimpelCom and WIND. The four operators in the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) mobile apps initiative – Vodafone, China Mobile, SoftBank and Verizon Wireless – are also included. The group serves a combined 3 billion mobile customers across the globe. Industry association the GSMA has backed the move. Read More 

CEO Series: Jack Dorsey Reveals What's Next with Square

Will Square spell the death of cash? In an exclusive interview, Twitter-vet Jack Dorsey gives PYMNTS.com the skinny on Square. Dorsey answers security concerns and explains how Square has redesigned payments. Listen to the NEXTcast interview

SEO Series: Twitter Vet Jack Dorsey on Why Square is What's Next

When buzz began bubbling up around Square about a month ago, the industry took notice. Many charged that was due mainly in part because the driving force behind Square was the co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. Many industry insiders, like MagTek CEO Mimi Hart, raised security concerns around where the consumer's data was encrypted. There have been a number of devices to hit the market recently. Most notably was VeriFone's PAYware Mobile iPhone payments device. In a recent video interview with Tech Crunch, Dorsey was asked for his reaction to VeriFone's announcement as seen on PYMNTS.com. In the announcement, VeriFone CEO Douglas G. Bergeron said, "Banks and processors are concerned about the security issues of unapproved merchants using unregulated software and insecure fobs to accept card payments." When asked if he thought Bergeron was taking a swipe at Square, Dorsey took the high road and explained that Square would be going through the same PCI compliance measures as VeriFone or any other device would. Whenever Dorsey has demoed the device, he has made it clear that the device is just a small component of what Square is about. He has said that he and his Square-mates are interested in redesigning the payments experience. PYMNTS.com asked "Paying with Plastic" author and industry expert David S. Evans to speak with Dorsey about why Square is "what's next" in payments.


A Californian hacker known by the Internet alias 'Iceman' has been sentenced to 13 years in jail for stealing nearly two million credit card numbers. More on this story: http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=21086

2010 Identity Fraud Study: Threats and Trends

BankInfoSecurity.com For insight on the study results and what they mean to organizations across industry, James VAN DYKE of Javelin discusses: What organiztions and ...

Mobile Commerce: Experts Offer Strategy for Smaller Merchants

Practical Ecommerce Mobile commerce is a small fraction of this total. But as mobile usage becomes mainstream, and as a variety of devices expand the mobile web,


The world's biggest handset manufacturer Nokia is teaming up with India's Yes Bank on a commercial mobile financial services pilot in Pune. More on this story: http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=21089

Global banking and payments tech provider opens Manila service center

Manila Bulletin ... nine million loyalty accounts, 125 million debit cards, 301500 ATMs and nearly two million POS locations through its NYCE EFT/PIN-debit network. ...

Online Banking Report Publishes New Issue “Online & Mobile Banking Forecast ...

Earthtimes (press release) Lastly the report lists the top 25 innovations of the decade topped by the invention of simple online payments by PayPal ten years ago and the advent of

TSYS Aims to Tap Growing Debit Trend with Its New Hybrid Card

Digital Transactions Verient Inc., a startup company with technology to secure online PIN-debit transactions, also is recruiting card issuers to use its platform for letting

Smartphone Market Drives 600% Growth in Mobile Web Usage, According to Bango Report

BlackBerry retains #1 position on mobile browsing leader board

NEW YORK & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bango (LSE:BGO) - the mobile payments and analytics specialist - reports a 600% growth in traffic to mobile websites. The company analyzed traffic to a range of mobile sites over the last 12 months. Data was gathered by sampling across 50 million phone users worldwide who have accessed third party mobile sites through its platform.

“While industry attention has focused almost exclusively on mobile app stores, the inexorable growth of mobile web usage is the most profound trend of the last twelve months”

The key findings from Bango’s annual mobile usage study record 6 times the number of visits to mobile websites, comparing December 2009 with the same month a year earlier. The average time on site is measured as 3 minutes, 21 seconds, averaged across user visits to all sites, compared with just over one and half minutes the previous year. The analysis also measured the average number of pages viewed per visit at 5 pages, up from just over 2 pages per visit twelve months before.

“While industry attention has focused almost exclusively on mobile app stores, the inexorable growth of mobile web usage is the most profound trend of the last twelve months,” said Ray Anderson, Bango CEO. “This confirms the view that the single most important app on any mobile device is the browser.”

To read the full press release go to http://news.bango.com/2010/02/16/600-percent-growth-in-mobile-web-usage/

About Bango

Bango provides the technology that enables commerce for businesses targeting the growing market of internet enabled mobile phone users. Bango’s products collect payment from mobile users for on-line content and services, and provide accurate analytics for mobile marketing campaigns and sites.

Bango Payment delivers the best user experience to give more successful transactions and help businesses sell more mobile content – even from smartphones over Wi-Fi, such as a BlackBerry. By uniquely identifying every mobile visitor as they browse websites and interact with mobile marketing campaigns, Bango Analytics provides precise real-time insight into customer behavior; and independently tracks the success of mobile advertising and search marketing, enabling businesses to determine which campaign delivered the highest ROI.

Bango is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (AIM: BGO). Learn more at www.bango.com

Barclaycard Announces New Smart Phone Enabled Terminal

Barclaycard today took another step towards making its customers lives simpler by revealing that it is trialling a new mobile payments service, designed to allow retailers to accept card payment through their smart phone. The announcement was made by Dan Salmons, Director of Payment Innovation, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and is part of Barclaycard’s commitment to delivering innovation that will make life easier for both merchants and consumers.

Barclaycard has found that a number of small businesses such as plumbers , electricians mobile hairdressers & market traders all understand the benefits of card payment; including security, wide consumer acceptance and guaranteed payment. However many of them do not want the burden of carrying and managing additional equipment. Barclaycard is therefore developing a new mobile payments terminal to help these businesses accept card payments quickly and securely.

The new solution works by utilising the ‘computer power’ of today’s smart phones (such as the Apple iPhone) along with a small attachable device which will allow businesses to accept ‘Chip and PIN’ card payments from their customers. This is a truly unique solution exploiting the full security and protection that Chip and PIN gives to both the merchant and consumer.

Merchants download an application onto their smart phone which acts as a Virtual Till – allowing them to enter a payment amount or pick from a price list of their products and services. They can also add a discount or apply loyalty features before completing the transaction. The app then interacts with a small Chip & PIN device which enables the customer to enter their card and PIN. The cardholder will have the option to receive their receipt electronically via SMS and/or email.

As well as processing card payments the app will allow the merchant to log any cash or cheque transactions thus helping with end-of-day reporting. The transaction log will also allow them to view transactions over a wider period for example the past week, month or year.

Paul Cook, Managing Director of Barclaycard Global Payment Acceptance said: “Barclaycard is continually looking for opportunities to offer new products and services to its customers. We understand how important convenient, widely accepted and guaranteed payment is to small businesses and also how mobile phones play an integral role in their life and their business. Developing a service which brings mobile and electronic card payments together in a simple compact solution illustrates how Barclaycard continues to develop innovations that make our customers lives easier”

A pilot of the new terminal with selected merchants is expected during the second half of the year, with a launch anticipated towards the end of 2010.

The launch of this trial represents another example of Barclaycard’s role in providing innovative technology solutions. Recently Barclaycard announced the launch of Barclaycard Freedom, a new retail rewards scheme with over 30,000 retail outlets.

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Global and Retail Banking division, is a leading global payment business which understands the needs of both purchasers and sellers. It enables retailers and merchants to accept cards, helps customers make payments through card, contactless and mobile applications as well as extending credit to consumers. The company is one of the pioneers of new forms of payments and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting edge forms of payment for the future. It also issues credit and charge cards to corporate customers and the UK Government. Barclaycard partners with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit. In addition to the UK, Barclaycard operates in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle and Far East.

Key facts published in February 2010;

- number of UK customers: 10.4m

- number of International customers: 10.8m

- number of retailer/merchant relationships: 87,00

Zong Sees Exceptional Growth

Image representing Zong as depicted in CrunchBase
Zong+ Confirmed as a Game Changer, Secures New Landmark Deals and Continues Carrier Expansion

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zong (www.Zong.com), the leading mobile payment platform used by online gaming and social networking web sites, announced today that Zong+ has delivered unprecedented payment volumes to its merchants. Zong+, launched at the end of last year, is the only online mobile payment platform to combine carrier billing with the low cost processing of credit, debit, and prepaid cards. Only six weeks after upgrading to Zong+, Aeria Games, one of the fastest growing publishers of free-to-Play online games, reported:
  • Over 32% of Aeria’s mobile payment revenue from Zong came from Zong+ users;

  • Zong+ transactions generated an average payout 12 times higher than traditional mobile payments, due to a combination of higher payout rates and flexible price points;

  • A massive 67% drop in transaction costs with Zong+ over traditional mobile payments;

  • A 48% increase in repeat payments—Zong+ users completed an average of 4.3 transactions per month, while regular users completed an average of 2.7 transactions;

  • 100% incremental revenue: no cannibalization of existing card or carrier-based payment volumes.

“When we started thinking about Zong+, we were convinced that combining the convenience of carrier-based mobile payments with established payment methods had tremendous potential,” said David Marcus, founder and CEO of Zong. “We're thrilled that these initial results were well above our expectations.”

Additionally, since the beginning of 2010, Zong has grown by over 20 major publishers, including IAC’s Mindspark, Playdom, Slide, Kongregate, and TrialPay. Through its wide merchant distribution, Zong’s reach has surpassed over 500 million online users, while its carrier distribution just reached 1.5 billion mobile subscribers.

“The impulse nature of in-game purchases, prompted us to find the most convenient and efficient payment method for our users,” said Jim Greer, CEO of Kongregate. “Zong provides a fantastic user-experience and reach for our members to purchase our virtual currency, Kreds, with the ease and convenience of a ten digit mobile number.”

Also, in the last six weeks, Zong has not only expanded its merchant distribution, but also its country and carrier coverage by adding New Zealand, Argentina, and Venezuela, with Brazil, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia to follow shortly.

About Zong:

ZONG, the leading mobile payment service used by online gaming and social networking web sites, converts shoppers into buyers at rates up to 10 times greater than traditional payment methods. ZONG leverages direct connections with leading mobile network operators around the world to provide unrivaled connectivity and service quality. ZONG works with hundreds of top applications on popular social networks—such as Facebook and MySpace—and powers mobile monetization in leading virtual worlds and gaming sites, such as Gaia Online, IMVU and Aeria Games. In 2009, ZONG processed mobile payments for over 10 million unique users worldwide. In October 2009 ZONG released ZONG+ which combines the high conversion rates of mobile payments with the low costs of payment card networks. ZONG+ received the Frost+Sullivan Best Practices Award for product innovation. For more information, please visit www.zong.com.

Mobile Financial Services Demand Grows - eMarketer

The majority of smartphone users bank online and want more advanced mobile offerings. Full Article

MTN Middle-East and North Africa Selects Gemalto’s SIM Security Solution to Launch Mobile Financial Services in Five Countries

Major step forward in rollout of MTN MobileMoney service with Middle-East countries joining in the program

Mobile World Congress 2010

BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, today announced that MTN Middle-East and North Africa (MTN MENA) has selected its SIM-based security solution to launch mobile financial services in five countries. MTN MENA is part of the MTN Group, which serves over 100 million subscribers in Africa and the Middle East, including 30 million in the latter region. Gemalto worked in close cooperation with Fundamo, a leading mobile financial services provider, to jointly supply the complete solution for the MTN MobileMoney service.

“Since our solution is compatible will all handsets, MTN MENA subscribers can immediately enjoy the convenience of transferring money when and where they want, with the security provided by the SIM card.”

The MTN MobileMoney service will enable MTN MENA to offer their subscribers a wide variety of financial services including money transfer, mobile payment and balance checking, mobile purchases, as well as the ability to buy airtime in real-time. MTN MobileMoney’s user friendly interface makes it simple and convenient for subscribers to enjoy financial services featuring simple menus and multiple language options, including English and a number of local languages.

For several years, Gemalto and Fundamo have worked together to provide optimal SIM-based solutions for mobile financial applications. SIM-based technology guarantees the highest level of security available for transactions through end-to-end encryption and offers subscribers the freedom to use the service from any type of handset by simply swapping out the SIM card.

“Our cooperation with Gemalto and Fundamo has been an incredibly positive experience in terms of product quality, project management, and support in general,” commented Jamal Ramadan, Vice President of MTN MENA. “We look forward to our continued work with Gemalto and Fundamo. Collaboratively, we will bring new levels of innovation, security and convenience to both mature and emerging markets.”

“Gemalto is proud to work with MTN MENA for the first SIM-based mobile banking solution in the Middle-East and North Africa,” added Philippe Vallée, Executive Vice President of the Telecommunications Business Unit at Gemalto. “Since our solution is compatible will all handsets, MTN MENA subscribers can immediately enjoy the convenience of transferring money when and where they want, with the security provided by the SIM card.”

“Working closely with market leaders such as MTN and Gemalto reinforces Fundamo’s position at the forefront of one of the world’s fastest-growing and dynamic wireless markets - set to be worth USD 65 billion by 2014*,” said Hannes van Rensburg, CEO of Fundamo. “Fundamo’s platform is built to evolve with the needs of mobile subscribers to deliver increasingly compelling, tailored and differentiated mobile financial services as the market matures.”

* Juniper Research, January 2010

Visit the Gemalto stand, 8A102, at the Mobile World Congress, 15-18 February 2010.

More info: http://www.gemalto.com/telecom/linqus/mobile_banking.html

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL 0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security with 2008 annual revenues of €1.68 billion, and 10,000 employees operating out of 75 offices, research and service centers in 40 countries.

Gemalto is at the heart of our evolving digital society. The freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain, and work—anytime, anywhere—has become an integral part of what people want and expect, in ways that are convenient, enjoyable and secure.

Gemalto delivers on the growing demands of billions of people worldwide for mobile connectivity, identity and data protection, credit card safety, health and transportation services, e-government and national security. We do this by supplying to governments, wireless operators, banks and enterprises a wide range of secure personal devices, such as subscriber identification modules (SIM), Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) in mobile phones, smart banking cards, smart card access badges, electronic passports, and USB tokens for online identity protection. To complete the solution we also provide software, systems and services to help our customers achieve their goals.

As the use of Gemalto’s software and secure devices increases with the number of people interacting in the digital and wireless world, the company is poised to thrive over the coming years.

For more information please visit www.gemalto.com.

Customer Satisfaction with E-Commerce Rebounds, According to American Customer Satisfaction Index

Online Brokerage Surges with the Market; E-Retail and Online Travel Sites Also Make Gains

ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Customer satisfaction with e-commerce websites stages a comeback a year after suffering its first decline since 2004, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The e-commerce sector gains 1.8% to 81.4 on ACSI’s 100-point scale, nearly matching its all-time high of 81.6 set in 2007. The annual ACSI e-commerce report measures customer satisfaction with online retail, online brokerage, and online travel companies.

The increase in the overall e-commerce sector (made up of the e-retail, online brokerage, and online travel industries) is clearly driven by the rebounding online brokerage industry, which surges 5% to 78 after it lost 6% last year amid a crashing stock market. But e-retail (+1% to 83) and Internet travel (+3% to 77) also improves over last year.

“It’s no surprise that satisfaction with online brokerages is linked to the stock market. When the market crashes, customers aren’t happy. When it recovers, they feel better about their experience,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI founder, professor at the University of Michigan, and author of The Satisfied Customer. “But the improvements in e-retail and online travel are a good sign that consumers may be ready to spend again, if they can find the means to do so.”

Today’s report marks the tenth anniversary of the inclusion of online businesses in the ACSI. E-Commerce as a sector has improved more than 8 % since it was first measured by ACSI in 2000.

“Ten years in internet commerce is a lifetime,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. “The fast pace allows companies to succeed or fail much faster than was ever the case thirty years ago. The business advancements made in just ten years are incredible, and some of these companies have become models of innovation and strategy for organizations across all channels.”

Online Brokerage

The online financial services industry improves more than any other, and the biggest gainers are the smaller companies that dropped the most in the depths of the recession. Fidelity, despite a small drop in score, continues to lead the sector (-1% to 79) along with Charles Schwab (+1% to 79). The uptick in the industry overall is largely attributable to huge gains by E*Trade (+7% to 74) and TD Ameritrade (+7% to 76).

Online Retail

E-retail rises 1% to 83 and continues to be the highest scoring industry in the e-commerce sector. Additionally, satisfaction with online retail far exceeds satisfaction with brick and mortar retail (76). E-retail is the only industry in the e-commerce sector to score above 80, which is considered the threshold for excellence for the Index. Netflix (+2% to 87) leads the Index for the first time, with Newegg (-2% to 86) and Amazon.com (stable at 86) closely following.

“The dramatic increase in satisfaction with the e-retail industry over the last ten years has been driven largely by the success of pure-play e-retailers” said Kevin Ertell, Vice President of Retail Strategy at ForeSee Results. “The retailers who are only selling online have, for the most part, paid better attention to customer needs and expectations and have worked to create a better online software experience for their customers.”

Online Travel

Customer satisfaction with online travel increases for the first time in five years, matching its all-time high of 77.

Expedia (+3% to 79) remains the top-scorer of the sector. Of the companies rated, Priceline.com experiences the biggest gain, increasing 7% to 76. Over the past few years, the company has moved away from their “Name Your Own Price” auction bid approach to booking travel reservations along the lines of conventional, full-service online travel agencies. Additionally, the company launched a top-rated mobile application allowing users to research and book hotels on the go.

A free report with ten years of historical scores for all of the e-commerce companies measured by the ACSI is available at www.ForeSeeResults.com.

Overall E-Commerce Aggregate   81.4
E-Retail Aggregate   83
Netflix   87
Newegg   86
Amazon.com, Inc.   86
All Others   83
Overstock.com   82
eBay Inc.   79
E-Brokerage Aggregate   78
Fidelity   79
The Charles Schwab Corporation   79
All Others   78
TD Ameritrade   76
E*TRADE Financial Corporation   74
Online Travel Aggregate   77
Expedia, Inc.   79
All Others   78
Orbitz, LLC   76
Priceline.com Incorporated   76
Travelocity.com L.P.   75


About ForeSee Results

As the leader in online customer satisfaction measurement, ForeSee Results captures and analyzes online voice of customer data to help organizations increase sales, loyalty, recommendations and website value. Using the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), ForeSee Results identifies the improvements to websites and other online initiatives with the greatest ROI. With more than 44 million survey responses collected to date and benchmarks across dozens of industries, ForeSee Results offers unparalleled expertise in customer satisfaction measurement and management particularly in the e-retail category, with more than 140 retail measures in ForeSee Results benchmarks.

ForeSee Results, a privately held company, is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan; has offices in London and Toronto; and can be found online at www.ForeSeeResults.com.

About the ACSI

The American Customer Satisfaction Index is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. It is updated each quarter with new measures for different sectors of the economy replacing data from the prior year. The overall ACSI score for a given quarter factors in scores from more than 200 companies in 44 industries and from government agencies over the previous four quarters. The Index was founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and is produced by ACSI, LLC.

mBlox Successfully Delivers 3.5 Billion SMS Mobile Transactions in 2009

Image representing mBlox as depicted in CrunchBase
111 Application-to-Person Messages Sent Each Second; $110 Million in Revenues During Rapid Growth Period

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, today announced that it successfully delivered more than 3.5 billion application-to-person transactions in 2009 – over a billion mobile transactions more than in 2008, representing 46 percent year-over-year growth. During this period, mBlox was profitable with revenues in excess of $110 million.

In 2009, mBlox grew organically, while securing a breadth of new customers to increase its global footprint. North America saw the largest growth, with volume growth up 127 percent year-over-year and innovative messaging services and applications being the main driver of Short Message Service (SMS) transactions. Western Europe achieved 44 percent growth, with premium messaging spikes seen in France and Spain. Asia Pacific also saw growth, of 20 percent, and is expected to grow significantly in 2010 as mBlox expands its presence in the region.

Overall revenue for mBlox was up by over 10 percent versus 2008, despite a recessionary economy and the company's decision to terminate one of its largest contracts with a client unable to meet its commitments. mBlox Inc. generated profits at an adjusted Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) level for the first time in 10 years, showing a swing of over $10 million before exceptional items. 2010 will see continued revenue and profit growth as new, secure and resilient mBlox data centres come into service and a new technology platform is deployed. mBlox expects further organic growth in all existing and new markets, which will be opened up during the year through a combination of natural expansion and acquisition of competitors.

2010 will also see an expansion in product depth and new services, building on innovations mBlox introduced into the market, including Free-To-End-User messaging in the United States and Sender-Pays Data in the United Kingdom. The mBlox market position will provide many opportunities in 2010 to extend this business model into new sectors, services and territories.

“In 2009, mBlox saw its tenth consecutive year of 30-percent-plus volume growth globally for application-to-person messaging and we have also maintained our global leadership in processing premium transactions with a total retail value more than twice that of our next largest competitor,” said Andrew Dark, CEO, mBlox. “This demonstrates the immense power of SMS to deliver consumer value for businesses. We have seen growth in many sectors, including financial services, entertainment, transport and online service sectors. Although the SMS market in North America began later, the impressive and accelerating growth hints at the innovation and vast potential in the region. The dramatic increase in mBlox market share in France and growth in other territories demonstrates the value of our global presence and focused strategy.”

2009 customer highlights:

  • mBlox created m-ticketing delivery service for Arriva Buses working with Concept Data Technologies and Arriva for a national UK launch, considered the largest deployment of its kind in the world.

  • mBlox provided the SMS service for the European Environment Agency's 'Eye on Earth' application -- based on Microsoft technology -- to bring air and water quality data to mobile phone users across Europe.

  • Powered messaging services for Eagle Eye Solutions’ patented voucher technology, used across multiple National United Kingdom retailers, achieving a 300 percent rise in vouchers redeemed by in-store chip and pin machines and electronic point-of-sale systems.

  • mBlox provided mobile-application provider GOGII with a messaging platform that takes texting to the next level, currently sending up to 3 million messages daily.

About mBlox

mBlox is the world’s largest mobile transaction network. The company specializes in simplifying the complexities, commercial and technical, of mobile billing and message transmission for our clients. Via a carrier-grade network, mBlox enables companies to communicate with mobile subscribers on more than 600 carriers in 180 countries, millions of times each day. The company has U.S. headquarters in Silicon Valley, with EMEA headquarters in London, Asia headquarters in Singapore and offices around the world. For further information, visit www.mBlox.com.


© 2010 mBlox, Inc. All rights reserved. mBlox and other trademarks, service marks, and logos are the registered or unregistered marks of mBlox, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

China Telecom, Verizon and KDDI Join GSMA

The GSM logo is used to identify compatible ha...Image via Wikipedia
MADRID: The GSM Association (GSMA), an organization representing the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry, announced  Monday that China Telecom, KDDI and Verizon Wireless have joined the organization after committing to deploy services based on Long-Term Evolution (LTE).

The organization unites almost 800 mobile operators and over 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem in 219 countries and regions. Under its umbrella one can find such diverse interests as handset makers, software companies as well as media and entertainment organizations.  "As the largest state-owned operator in China, China Telecom is very excited to join the GSMA, which will enable us to extend our reach and network across the global mobile ecosystem," said Cao Lei, Director of Technology, China Telecom in the GSMA official press release.

Meanwhile Alex Sinclair, the Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at the GSMA, commented on the decision taken by China Telecom and the other new members. "With its compelling, high-speed and cost-effective network architecture, LTE is bringing the GSM and CDMA communities together," he said. "We are delighted that China Telecom, KDDI, and Verizon Wireless have joined the GSMA along with Qualcomm, and will be among the first operators to launch commercial LTE services," added Sinclair."LTE is widely regarded as 'the' Mobile Broadband technology that will be adopted by the vast majority of mobile operators globally," he concluded.

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