Uberizing financial services

Not every new entrant in the field of financial services deserves the same attention. Of course, when Uber, the ride-hailing giant, announces a new division called Uber Money, some rise their eyebrows. Just like most new entrants in the field of financial services, Uber announces they are targeting the unbanked and the underbanked: Uber Money will, at first, target the 4 million registered Uber drivers worldwide and propose them a mobile bank account so that they can get paid immediately after each ride. One of the goals is also to boost the loyalty of drivers who may be tempted to accept rides for more than one company. The company already completed tests in the US for a debit card with an

Is Softbank biting off more than they can chew?

Softbank’s investment fund “Vision Fund” results are bound to be affected up to a US$ 5.4 billion (EUR 4.8 billion) mark by huge losses in their wide investment portfolio, especially from Uber and WeWork losses. Over the recent years, the Japanese mobile network operator has sparked a huge interest when it has invested in an extremely diversified set of industries. In 2013, Softbank acquired 80% of Sprint a major US operator, for US$ 21 billion (EUR 18.8 billion). The company also invested in robotics, considered an impetus for the future, with a controlling stake in 2012-2015 in Aldebarran Robotics and, in 2017, it acquired Boston Dynamics, a US-based leader in robot development, that rec

5G: the truth is out there

It may be a bit late to ask questions about it, but one may wonder where the urge in the 4G to 5G evolution is. Already 4G was perfectly fit for our needs: it allows fast communications for mobile phones and, at the same time, thanks to 4G modems, brings internet access to many places that are out of reach from regular wire connections. Besides its additional usages such as IoT, the most visible market for end users is the personal communication one. So, the answer is elsewhere. According to IDC, yearly smartphone shipments have been decreasing for two years in a row. In 2017, the industry shipped 1.465 billion smartphones, a 1% contraction vs. 2016 record shipments. In 2018, only 1.405 bill

Alicem, France’s mass-usage facial recognition ID program

The French government passed a law on facial recognition coupled with access to online public services in the early summer, when most observers are busier relaxing on beaches than checking daily news about digital identity projects. Alicem, which means “Authentification en LIgne CErtifiée sur Mobile” (Certified online authentication on mobile phones) is a project that aims at including facial recognition on users’ smartphones to allow them to connect to government services applications. More globally, its goal is to allow French citizens and legal residents to prove their identity online in a secure manner. According to the Ministry of Interior, Alicem will comply with the “high” security le

The smart card industry keeps on restructuring

After the merger between Oberthur and Morpho to form Idemia, and the acquisition of Gemalto by Thales, there is not many more options for combination among first-tier smart card vendors. We can suppose the industry leaders will remain a triopoly – Thales, Idemia and G+D - for the years to come. However, restructuring is still going on among second-tier players: Assa Abloy has just acquired Placard, which calls itself the “largest manufacturer of secure cards in Australasia.” Placard is estimated to produce around 100 million cards annually. The company will be integrated into HID Global Identification Technologies business area. With the acquisition of Placard, HID expects to enhance its pr

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