Facebook Libra faces an outcry from governments worldwide

Facebook has announced Libra, its cryptocurrency, a couple days ago, saying it would launch in H1/2020. The project includes a Facebook subsidiary Calibra, that will offer digital wallets, allowing users to buy Libra online and then to exchange it using the Libra app, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. The system is based on cryptocurrency fundamentals: a decentralized blockchain, open access, distributed governance and security through cryptography. Facebook says it plans to use compliance checks on customers who want to sign up, verification and anti-fraud processes to prevent theft as well as automated systems to monitor fraudulent activity. Calibra, will at first only provide a wallet to ho

HID spreads its wings

HID global just announced it has reached an agreement to acquire the international identity solutions business of De La Rue. The company clearly says it will “broaden HID Global’s leadership position in the government-to-citizen identification market and extend its capabilities.” De La Rue has been involved in ID systems for years. The UK-based company is issuing secure identity documents for more than 25 countries and has put to work together its longstanding expertise in security printing and all security features involved in ID documents with its know-how in electronics, cryptography and systems integration. So far, De La Rue national identity services is issuing over 15 million passports

Are Alipay and China UnionPay the future of European payments?

In the payment field as in many others Europe has been rich with past initiatives to establish a Europe-based payment system for years but has met little success. Now, Europe has been sidelined to an observer position in the fight between world superpowers for payment supremacy. While current leading payment schemes, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, … focused on credit and debit cards, they are not the leaders in mobile wallets: key players in the NFC-based mobile wallets are Apple, Samsung and Google, while WeChat and Alipay have reached a pole position when it comes to QRcode based systems. A set of European mobile wallet operators Bluecode, ePassi, Momo Pocket, Pagaqui, Pivo and Vipps,

Let’s get contactless!

We all know a change of technology is a chicken and egg issue. There is little point for merchants to get equipped with terminals supporting contactless payments when there are few contactless cards on the field and issuers do not see any reason to issue contactless cards when the acceptance network is not ready. Seemingly, 2019 will remain as the year when the payment industry is finally getting out of this vicious circle. Smart Payment Association (SPA), the industry association that sets its motto as “shaping the future of payment technology”, just published its market data saying that 2.6 billion smart payment cards were shipped globally in 2018, out of which 45% are contactless. In addi

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