Instant payments are coming… instantly!

Trustech, the leading event in the secure transactions industry, focuses on payment and ID among a few other themes. Instant Payment, one on the major topics of the time, was the subject of one of the conferences. Instant Payments, are defined by the European Central Bank, ECB, as “electronic retail payment solutions that process payments in real time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, where the funds are made available immediately for use by the recipient.” Already many experiences are ongoing. The UK has had “Faster Payments” for over a decade. In the European Union, many financial institutions have already launched some sort on Instant Payment services. Interestingly, the evolution to inst

Who controls your ID : government, bank or Facebook?

Trustech, the leading event in the secure transactions industry, is the opportunity for all of us to meet up and exchange about the evolutions of technologies and our environment. The first conference titled “Identity Schemes in Europe” revolved around the interweaving between public and private identities. Government ID has been around for as long as we can remember. Nowadays, it is based on a consistent and secure population registry and, in most cases, government ID takes the form of a secure document, in the hands of every citizen. This document is most often combined with a digital ID. Private ID, is becoming always more prevalent, starting from a phone number, or a login and password t

Softbank merges Yahoo! Japan and Line to create a new internet giant

Softbank, which owns Yahoo! Japan, is merging this activity with the Japanese messaging app Line in a 50/50 deal. The new entity, called Z Holdings, will have more than 100 million users in Japan across financial services, eCommerce and more. Line instant messenger claims to have over 82 million monthly users in Japan, which puts it way ahead of any of its competitors or even Instagram or Facebook. The merger is expected to be completed in October 2020 and the newly created entity will have a market value of JPY 3.3 trillion (EUR 27.5 billion). Line messaging is in a dominant position in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Besides instant messaging, Line provides payment services called Line Pay, t

Massive facial recognition becomes a political issue

Already for a few years, many of us are using one-to-one facial recognition on our handsets: many smartphones can now be unlocked by just looking at them, making the phone attempting to match the candidate face with the one that had been previously enrolled. Also, airlines and airports are increasingly using one-to-several facial recognition systems: at check-in or at boarding, candidate faces are matched with a series of faces found in a database of records representing the list of passengers expected on a given flight. One-to-many facial recognition, which includes the possibility to use the technology for forensic research, law enforcement, preservation of order or even political enforcem

Legislation to impact NFC access on iPhones

Many of the players in the mobile payment sector, especially on the financial institution side, use to report difficulties in dealing with Apple when they implemented Apple Pay, citing arrogance, lack of transparence and lack of flexibility among their grievances along with the level of fees collected by Apple. Now, Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition from 2014 to 2019, and Executive Vice President-Designate of the European Commission for a Europe fit for the Digital Age from 2019, is lending a new ear to these complaints, considering a more even competition field would certainly make Apple less arrogant while delivering better choices to European citizens and all mobi

Fitbit to get better soon with pervasive Google Health data treatment

In a couple days emerged the acquisition of Fitbit by Google and the scandal about Google access to health data of millions of Americans. This is probably the best example on how data coming from official health sources such as hospitals and physicians and data generated by our own health-tracking and fitness connected devices are now intertwined. By combining these data, one may have the best knowledge of our health both in statistical terms and individually. Google just announced last week they are acquiring Fitbit, a leading vendor of personal health and fitness tracking devices for US$ 2.1 billion (EUR 1.9 billion). Over years, Fitbit has sold over 100 million devices that connect to An

Going from mobile payment to card, a backward evolution?

The Chinese payment industry has been developing a technology of its own to complete payments for a few years: QR-codes. They have been extremely successful: Alipay runs US$ 519 billion (EUR 471 billion) worth of payments and claims over 600 million monthly active users, according to DMR, while WeChat Pay claims 900 million monthly users, according to businessofapps. Also, iResearch estimates that WeChat commands 40% of the market, compared to 54% for Alipay. In order to have a secure payment system and to comply with KYC regulations, Chinese mobile payment users have to identify themselves when they create an Alipay or WeChat account with a Chinese bank account and phone number. Almost hal

PEPSI : for the love of European payments

PEPSI, an acronym that means Pan European Payment System Initiative is the latest attempt in building a pan European payment system. The announced goal is to develop a standard based on instant payment capable of managing all dematerialized forms of payment, either by card, transfer, direct debit or mobile. Already for many years, many considered European sovereignty was at risk when we use global, in fact American, payment processors for international payment transactions, even within Europe. Let’s not forget that Europe is the second world economy in aggregated GDP terms and that there is no reason why transactions between Europeans would be processed on the other side of the Atlantic Ocea

Five years later: has Apple Pay caught on?

Apple Pay just passed its fifth anniversary. One may remember Apple beginnings in the world of payment were under fire from critics of all kinds as the company faced at the same time the complexity of signing partners in an established payment environment and the difficulty of getting customers to adopt a new behavior. The payment ecosystem is complex: one needs to have at the same time merchants, issuing and acquiring partners and to rely on a complex hardware ecosystem, NFC-enabled mobile phones and POS terminals, which all need to have received the latest software update. As mobile payment brought its new set of security requirements, Apple also had to interact with the payment schemes an

Quantum computing makes us rethink our environment

Already for a few years, quantum computing has been announced as the next revolution that would threaten cryptography as we know it. While a classical computer, based on electronics and Turing’s machine architecture makes computations on binary data (bits worth 0 or 1), a quantum computer relies on quantic qualities of matter and works on qubits which can have an infinity of different values. Google recently announced they have achieved “quantum supremacy” as their 54-qubit Sycamore processor was able to perform a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken the world’s most powerful supercomputer 10,000 years. Right after this announcement, IBM, their main competitor in the emerging fie

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