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Mobile World Congress

The World’s Largest Gathering for the Mobile Industry

Mobile World Congress 2018 once again took place at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona last week and what an amazing few days it was! Mobile World Congress is a showcase of incredible technology and ideas.

This year, the focus was on ‘creating a better future, today’ with an impressive agenda including product launches, important announcements and an impressive list of guest speakers.

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PIN – There’s a reason PIN is still here…

Last week Apple launched its most expensive iPhone ever, the iPhone X. However, things didn’t go smoothly for the tech giant during its first ever public demonstration. When Apple Executive Craig Federighi attempted to unlock the device using the company’s new Face ID feature, which scans a user’s face to ensure only they can unlock their phones, the attempt failed, promoting Federighi to input a traditional PIN code (and forcing him to switch to a backup phone). Read more

How will PCI Legitimise Card PIN Authentication on Mobile Devices?

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC)’s Chief Technology Officer Troy Leach recently divulged news of a new payment standard; one that enables the secure entry of PIN into merchant’s smart devices. The organisation aims to publish the final version by the end of the year.

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Getting automated payments under control

The digitisation of our commercial lives has brought us new levels of convenience. Banking can be done on a phone app with no need to queue in-store, credit card bills can be paid online, train tickets bought on a phone and much, much more. Yet, this convenience can also come with ongoing obligations.

Recurring payments, for example, are a source of regular frustration for many consumers. Known, technically as Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs) these agreements allow companies to take money from you in exchange for providing a service, such as subscription to an online service.

They appear to be just like Direct Debits but while Direct Debits take money from your bank account, CPAs take money from a payment card. While they are still subject to oversight by the FCA, they do not have the same set of rigorous consumer protection guarantees that Direct Debits do, such as ease of cancellation, compensation and refund, in the case of error.

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Biometrics and the trust factor

Last week was a very busy news week for biometrics.

There was news from Uber that their drivers will soon have to take mandatory and regular selfies in order to verify their identity. This was followed by an announcement from a researcher in Singapore who claimed that iris identification software, as piloted by the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7, would be the catalyst for the development of biometric driven mobile payments. Finally, Leonovo and PayPal, founders of the FIDO Alliance, shared the news that they were working on ways to have fingerprint authentication on laptops for payments.

But, even though biometrics are taking a protagonist position on today’s and tomorrow’s technology, there is still some resistance from users.

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Bringing trust into Indian mobile payments

A report out this week has predicted that India will see a tenfold increase in digital payments between now and the end of the decade. That will see a rise to $500bn annually and see the GPD of India rise by 15%. However, unless more trust is built between consumers and banks, this prediction might not come to pass.

Payment industry commentators have often pointed to economies such as India and China as places of great innovation and progress. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so does economics. Where there is a gap in the market, it will be filled. And this is what has happened in countries such as India where mobile technology has offered financial services to those who previously lacked them.

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Open Banking and PSD2 Uncertainties

The use of APIs in banking has largely been limited until recently, mainly due to regulation and security. However, European banks will soon be using APIs to provide access for third-party providers, as one of the many changes required by the upcoming the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

A new report by PwC highlighted that banks are concerned that these changes will cause them to lose control of their customer interface.[1] A vast majority (88%) of the banks surveyed in the report believe that PSD2 will have an impact on their business and many see it causing them to change their strategies. Despite the uncertainty and the apparent risks, 44% are planning on providing an open bank offering, with 66% intending to integrate foreign products or functionalities into their own digital offering.

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The Importance of Security for Open Banking

The recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) has announced significant reforms that are aimed at shaking up the banking industry. The Open Banking report, promises more transparency for UK banking consumers, open APIs and easier account switching.

These initiatives are welcomed by the Fintech industry, as they intend to increase competition, whilst helping customers obtain a better deal from their banks.

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Consumer Security Compromised in Favour of User Experience

 MYPINPAD announces new campaign to explore how consumers feel about convenience versus security in online commerce.

LONDON, UK. August 9, 2016; MYPINPAD, an enabler of multi-factor authentication for touchscreen devices such as mobile phones and tablets, is being asked whether the digital commerce industry has compromised consumer security in favour of user experience.

Recent news reports about increased levels of fraud across the likes of Amazon Prime, Uber, eBay and Vodafone have opened up the debate.  Are the rising fraud levels attributable to the ‘fragmented’ approach that the fintech industry takes in dealing with fraud? Have we reached a tipping point? Would consumers feel more positive about a brand that proactively seeks to protect them, adding multi-factor, transaction appropriate security for online transactions?

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Cultivating Consumer Trust

To get ahead in the competitive ecommerce landscape, merchants have invested hugely to provide a seamless and frictionless user experience, with speed and convenience the main objective. The success of brands such as Amazon and Uber, which lead the way in user experience, suggests that consumers have embraced frictionless, one-click payments.

However, there has been a lot of recent press reports about whether online businesses compromise the security of consumers   to improve user experience.

If so, are consumers aware of this trade-off? It also makes us question if we have now gone too far, and whether consumers would actually welcome and feel more positive towards a brand with more visible security measures.

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