2018, a further step on the dematerialization path

Probably the most important event of 2018 in the secure transactions industry is the one that did not happen: the acquisition of Gemalto by Thales! At first, a bit more than a year ago, the companies anticipated the completion of the transaction in the second half of 2018. Now, they expect to finalize the acquisition in the first quarter of 2019, when all regulatory clearances will be granted. In the telecom segment, 2018 will be remembered as the year the first 5G pilots happened in various parts of the world. The vision behind 5G is a unification of various networks, from high data rates for end users to IoT networks with low power and low throughput. Unlike former generations, 5G networks

Mobile payments get closer to maturity

For too many years, some analysts announced “next year will see the explosion of mobile payment”. However, it is necessary to recognize that 2018 has seen giant steps in this direction. China is probably the most mature markets in terms of mobile payments. In China, the largest mobile payment operators are not financial institutions per se. Statistics from Alipay and WeChat just blow our minds: the leading payment operator, WeChat has over one billion users for its instant messaging platform, 80% of which have already used the TenCent platform’s payment service. Its leading competitor, Alipay boasts 700 million registered users, 100 million of them transacting daily. Also, 60% of Alipay tran

Citizens make use of EU advantages

The European Commission (EC) seems to discover that removing fees is actually beneficial to end users, at the expense of service suppliers. The EC just published a report[1] that recognizes an immediate and significant increase in mobile calls and data usage by European citizens travelling in the EEA (European Economic Area) in the eighteen-month period that has followed the abolition of reaming charge fees within the EEA. According to this report, the use of mobile data has grown five times on average compared to the levels before June 2017. The number of phone calls made by travelers has roughly doubled compared to the previous period. The principle established by the European Commission h

Skies clear up for Thales’ Gemalto acquisition

Thales and Gemalto just announced they were granted regulatory clearance by European Commission for the proposed acquisition of Gemalto by Thales. However, this clearance comes with a condition that Thales divests its nShield general purpose hardware security modules (GP HSM) business globally to a suitable purchaser. This condition is no surprise as Thales and Gemalto were already identified as the two largest manufacturers of general purpose HSMs, both in the European Economic Area (EEA) and at global level. The European Commission, following Thales activities organization, establishes a clear separation between “General Purpose HSM” and “Payment HSM.” The GP HSM, an activity the company a

eSIM battle? The GAFAs have won.

For years, the mobile communication industry has been the theater of a war for end user control. As the ARPU remains the #1 measurement means, the entity that controls the end-user relationship is the one in power. The arrival of the eSIM (embedded SIM) in smartphones is the outcome of a long battle in this field. While the concept of eSIM was forged more than 7 years ago, when it was demonstrated that a SIM could be soldered inside a handset and have its subscription-related data remotely updated, most stakeholders, especially the mobile network operators, have taken positions that slowed down the adoption of the concept. Google just announced it is bringing together its Pixel and Google

On the bumpy road to invisible payments

Invisible payment can be described as a payment that does not require any action from the payer at the transaction time. The best example all of us have in mind is Uber, where a customer books a trip, boards a vehicle, reaches his destination and, then, receives a notification saying “thanks Mr. Smith! You have been charged EUR 23.45 for your trip today.” Mr. Smith is always impressed by the fluidity of the operation and forgets he preauthorized this payment operation when he accepted the Uber Terms and Conditions months or years earlier. Many businesses have attempted to replicate this nice Uber transaction flow, but so far no significant success has been witnessed. Setting up an invisible

Strong Customer Authentication is coming soon!

For long, accepting payment is a matter of risk management or, in other terms, finding a balance between making the transaction easy for the customer and protecting the merchant against payment fraud. eCommerce goes through a permanent improvement process on this point as was demonstrated by Fernand Collart, from MasterCard, last week during Trustech. As of now, he said, transaction approval level reaches 97% for physical commerce while it lags at 86% for online commerce. Fraud in eCommerce remains 10 times higher than in physical commerce. Our secure transactions industry is working at the same time at improving customer journey and making transactions as frictionless as possible, and at ma

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