Saturday, 25 June 2016

David | LinkedIn

Alex Todd rather kindly called this a “most lucid explanation of digital identity management”

I would highly recommend this presentation to anyone interested in understanding prospective blockchain based identity architectures

From David | LinkedIn

This is very kind, but as I said in the link, this is thinking out loud and far from a fully-developed solution. We’re working on parts of this for different clients and I can see that there is something there - a genuinely new way of solving some old problems - but it’s early days.

Norway's BankID tests in-app authentication

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Norway's BankID is to begin a pilot programme to test in-app authentication and biometric logins for one-click access to financial services.

From Norway's BankID tests in-app authentication

They’re using the Encap platform for this with TouchID and Android fingerprint support. I was a bit surprised when I read this story, because I thought that this system already existed in the Norway. And then I remembered that I read about this stuff a decade ago.

Telenor says it will now work with the BankID consortium to develop an e-signature authentication system for use with mobile handsets.

From Norwegian telco and banks to develop mobile authentication system

How has it taken a decade to implement the obviously sensible mobile solution? It makes complete sense for the mobile operators to provide this infrastructure and for the banks to use it, but they were never able to agree (I assume) on the business model.

Apple Pay Safari really is a big deal

Brian Rommele, who I always take very seriously about this kind of thing, says that it is clear that Apple Pay in the browser will be a very big deal indeed.

In my early testing I can confirm that the checkout abandonment rate for websites that use Apple Pay Safari will be reduced significantly.

From The Apple Pay Safari Vs. PayPal Battle For Web Transactions Is An Invalid Argument. — Medium

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Japanese Seeking a Place to Stash Cash Start Snapping Up Safes - WSJ

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Look no further than Japan’s hardware stores for a worrying new sign that consumers are hoarding cash—the opposite of what the Bank of Japan had hoped when it recently introduced negative interest rates.

From Japanese Seeking a Place to Stash Cash Start Snapping Up Safes - WSJ

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Sunday, 19 June 2016

POST Bank revenues

I happened to working on a project looking at the impact of certain new technology-based finance plays on bank revenues a little while ago. For the (European) banks that we were looking at, net income for those functions broke down as 24 per cent from transfer functions, 43 per cent from payment functions, 19 percent from pooling functions and 14 percent for the rest. In other words, payments were about the biggest fraction of net income, and this income is under direct threat from alternatives (by which I mean instant payments and such like, not Bitcoin). 

According to McKinsey, global payment revenues (which average 40 per cent of bank income worldwide, slightly less than in Europe) are about $1.7 trillion and will reach $2 trillion in 2020.The biggest fraction of this income (around a fifth) comes from the balances on payment accounts (in other words, interest foregone). Hence you can see why banks are worried that if payments shift to non-banks who hold those balances under non-bank licences (with lower regulatory costs attendant) they stand to lose a big chunk of their income.

new survey results from USA Technologies (USAT) suggest. The payments technology company, which enables electronic payments for self-service machines, compared consumer spending activity at 35 of its vending machines in urban areas with a high concentration of iPhone users between week one and week four of the installation of new digital signage promoting Apple Pay.

Consumers made more contactless purchases: The vending machine providers saw an average contactless transaction revenue increase of 89%, implying that consumers are making more mobile payments. This was likely driven by the clear advertisement of Apple Pay. Total transactions increased: Consumers made more purchases overall. This was probably driven by an uptick in mobile payments, given the major increase in contactless transaction revenue. And the vending machines may have attracted many first-time users who were drawn in by the digital advertising of Apple Pay. Boosting awareness is key to unlocking pent-up demand among mobile payment users. It's difficult for users to make mobile payments on a routine basis because it's not clear which merchants support the technology.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Contactless cross-border

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Given that a press officer from my own bank told me “You know, I’d never thought about using contactless abroad”, we clearly still have some way to go on this one. It’s a relatively new phenomenon and one that won’t have crossed many people’s minds until they’re confronted with a locked toilet door and a £1.50-per-transaction charge on the next bank statement.

From The rise of contactless payments: Or, how Brexit could make it more expensive to go to the loo on holiday | CityMetric

Actually, having been abroad once or twice recently, I’ve been using my reasonably splendid Curve card contactlessly all over the place precisely because it doesn’t add a foreign currency transaction fee. Oh, and remember boys and girls, never ever accept direct currency conversion (DCC) at point of sale. If the terminal says “do you want to be charged in your home currency £” or similar, always say NO. It is much better to be ripped of by your own bank that has at least a pretence of interest in keeping your business rather than a foreign bank that couldn’t care less.

The article does raise an interesting point though. Surely the solution is for your phone to generate a domestic debate token wherever you go and use that in the shops. So if I get off the plane in Australia, for example, my Apple Pay might cleverly contact eftpos and get a temporary eftpos card, in essence, funded from one of my existing payment accounts.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Welcome to a cashless future where retailers recognise our faces | Guardian Small Business Network | The Guardian

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Alex Wrethman, owner of the Charlotte’s Group restaurant business, decided to make his most recent opening, W5, an entirely cashless affair. “We are entirely cashless, it’s cards and Apple Pay only. There’s no going to the bank. There’s no cash on site which takes about two and a half hours a day to count. We reduced our insurance as we don’t have cash handling and the opportunity for theft is not there,” he says.

Are fintechs helping banks evolve – or planning a revolution? Read more Wrethman is passionate about cashless businesses and believes it is the way forward. He also says most customers “don’t care” as most use their cards or Apple Pay regularly anyway and prefer better prices as a result of cuts in administration.

From Welcome to a cashless future where retailers recognise our faces | Guardian Small Business Network | The Guardian

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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

POST Can Bitcoin Technology Solve the Migrant Crisis?

No.

Could bitcoin technology help to ameliorate the conditions for some refugees in some circumstances? Well, that’s a very different question, and some people think yes.

With a blockchain distributed database, when a Syrian refugee arrives in Greece, border authorities could check her identity on their copy of the ledger housing her ID and even her biometric data.

From Can Bitcoin Technology Solve the Migrant Crisis? - WSJ

So could anyone check her identity in this way? People traffickers? Warlords? Mafia hit men? Vigilantes searching for people who have posted rude comments about the King of Thailand? I presume not, which means this has to be a permissioned blockchain. But what would this permissioned blockchain store? Let’s continue thinking about loud about identity…

The refugee is picked up by an NGO, NGO97. They take some biometric and register her in their database, unless she is already in it. The refugee now has a database entry REFUGEE97. The NGO writes a record to the NGO LEDGER saying we have REFUGEE97.

The same refugee is now picked up by another NGO, NGO1. They take some biometrics and register her  in their database, unless she is already in it. The refugee now has a database entry REFUGEE1.

Now, let’s imagine there is a food ration or something else that the refugee needs to show an identity for me. She turns up and claims to be REFUGEE1.ze2000

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Retailers flag PCI anti-trust concerns with FTC

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The National Retail Federation has flagged anti-trust concerns with the FTC, slating the PCI for allegedly enforcing standards that serve to cement the power of the major card schemes.

From Retailers flag PCI anti-trust concerns with FTC

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Digital Wallet Loophole Inspires 5 Engineering Students To Steal Rs 8.6 Crore In Kolkata

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From the border district of Murshidabad, Jewel and his gang were able to get thousands of pre-activated SIM cards, which were used to open 2000 bank accounts, and which in turn were used to open 18,000 digital wallets. These wallets were then used to siphon off money from the bank… Innocent villagers from the nearby cities were given incentives to open bank account using the fake SIM cards; and these formed the base of the whole scam.

From Digital Wallet Loophole Inspires 5 Engineering Students To Steal Rs 8.6 Crore In Kolkata

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Thursday, 2 June 2016

Early days, but Apple Pay struggles outside U.S. | Reuters

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He says Apple Pay is appealing, but he wouldn't switch banks just to access that one feature. "Not over that. There's too much work involved just for tap-and-go,"

From Early days, but Apple Pay struggles outside U.S. | Reuters

You can see his point. If you already have a contactless card that works everywhere, it’s not that exciting to be able to tap your phone instead of the card.

Crossborder-Ecommerce | Payment Methods Poland | The Paypers

The most common online payment method in the vigorous and innovative Polish market is “Pay-By-Link”.

Online e-payment: a commonly referred to as “e-transfer” or “Pay-By-Link” among Polish payment service providers; it is similar to Bank Transfer Initiated on the Internet but with added convenience and functionality for both merchant and customer.

From Crossborder-Ecommerce | Payment Methods Poland | The Paypers

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