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The next killer app for NFC will not be mobile payments

The next killer app for NFC will not be mobile payments

Editor / Provider: Smart Card Alliance | Updated: 5/20/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

With half a billion NFC-enabled handsets expected to hit the market in the next year, according to an ABI Research report released in March 2013, industry experts agreed that the major first step to broad NFC adoption has been accomplished. But discussion and debate continued as to what the killer app will be to get the technology to take off. Experts concurred in a recent meeting that the next NFC application might not even be mobile payments anymore.

Applications like wine tracking and device pairing that fulfill unmet needs and simplify activities may be the “world-winning NFC solutions,” according to Koichi Tagawa of Sony and Chairman of the NFC Forum. In another example, Tagawa noted that Japanese airlines using NFC can board a 450-person plane in only 15 minutes, as opposed to the standard boarding process for a 150-person plane without NFC in 40 minutes.

Other experts agreed that loyalty programs and offers are great first steps for consumers to use NFC technology.

Lynne Barton, VP of Marketing with Jamba Juice, which has been participating in the Isis Mobile Wallet pilots, said that NFC creates “more meaningful and personal conversations with customers.” She said that she “sees a future with NFC, but it will take consumers a little bit of time to get there,” adding that coupons and offers are “the gateway” to get consumers using the technology.

Lydia Martinez, Store Marketing Specialist at Whole Foods, concurred that “for the short term, loyalty and the value of the couponing is the gateway for people.” She said that the appeal of NFC is to help “drive brand and drive loyalty while giving customers a faster experience.” Martinez described an upcoming holistic marketing campaign where NFC-enabled coupons and loyalty will work with in-store displays and social media to promote local farmers and producers.

NFC should “create, communicate and deliver value to customers,” said Mohamed Awad of Broadcom and Vice Chairman of the NFC Forum. He said that creating value for NFC is about “simplifying with the way we act with the more and more sophisticated set of microcontrollers around us.” To this end, Awad described several use cases where organizations are communicating the value of products to customers by differentiating with NFC, including smart home appliances, interactive games, travel services, opt-in magazine ads, and even tombstones.

Other experts discussed mobile security features that could allow consumers to become more confident in using their devices for more sensitive transactions. Sebastian Taveau, Validity's CTO, described a vision of fingerprint biometrics providing consumers with a fast and secure way to unlock the NFC applications on their mobile devices. Citing that 90 percent of user-generated passwords are vulnerable to hacking due to being stored centrally in the cloud, Siva Narendra, Tyfone CEO said, “Consumers demand convenience and expect security.” Narendra unveiled Tyfone's new Connected Smart Card that enables the secure storage and use of multiple IDs that can be placed in a microSD, a key-chain, an iPhone case, or a wearable device.

But while speakers and panelists didn't reach consensus on what the so-called “killer app” for NFC will be, speakers conveyed the great potential for NFC including mobile payments in the longer term. When asked the question “Is NFC dead?” compared to alternate technologies such as cloud payments, Glenbrook Partners Consultant Allen Weinberg stressed that all these technologies are still in the early days and it is too soon to make judgments on what mobile commerce technologies will be the winners and losers. “At the end of the day, we don't have a widespread, commercialized anything yet,” he said.

S. African mines undertake holistic approach to health, safety, HR and security compliance

S. African mines undertake holistic approach to health, safety, HR and security compliance

Editor / Provider: G4S | Updated: 5/13/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

About three years ago, G4S Secure Solutions South Africa (then under the Skycom banner), became involved with projects aimed at enhancing business support systems, especially in the HR and payroll sectors of South Africa mining operations business. Different projects were initiated and aimed at replacing outdated time and access management system with a new comprehensive access control system utilizing smart card readers, portable card readers, fingerprint readers, facial recognition and access control software.

Mining in South Africa has been the driving force behind the history and development of Africa's most prestigious economy. Gold mining has accounted for 12 percent of the world's production in 2005, although the nation had produced as much as 30 percent of world output as recently as 1993. Despite declining production, South Africa's gold exports were valued at US$3.84 billion (£2.5 billion) in 2005. Almost 50 percent of the world's gold reserves are found in this country. Global mining houses and local mining companies throughout Africa employ well over 450,000 people across all the extraction sectors and platforms.

G4S was tasked with the provision of various hardware and software platforms tailored to the specific requirements of each business. These platforms were then integrated into the existing operations to provide site managers easy and efficient control over access, time recording Health and Safety requirements, movement patterns and environmental situations. The intention was to create software that allowed ease of use to both the end user and management. From the employee clocking into work to the HR team collating reports and gathering management information.

To keep out illegal miners, the solution introduces fingerprint technology to control access to mining facilities; proximity based card readers solutions for mass gatherings; facial recognition deployed for meal issuing and control at canteens plus various accommodation facilities; access control management of shift work or group access to mines as well as health management of workers.

In addition, the system also enables contractor management; visitor management; fuel management; inventory management by making sure workers receive the correct equipment. Through XTIME command and control software, the system can be integrated with building alarm and security systems. Video surveillance systems can also be integrated into the system.

As a direct outcome of the success of the initial projects with large multinational mining houses, a technology partnership was formed with G4S and a number of the big mining companies to develop well suited, efficient technology solutions in accordance to specific requirements at various global mining sites with the use of the time and access management systems. The high end security plant systems were also converted to XTIME which was custom developed for mining and industrial sector customers that had a need for a high security environment such as gold plants and high risk areas. The system handles full search facilities with intelligent routines which are set up by users of the system to cater for different conditions that occur in the plant. The graphical maps feature available provides control and situational awareness from a single screen. This ultimately results in the business being able to view the various platforms in one single view. The overall success of the solution across South Africa has led to implementations within other customer operations in Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.


Precise Biometrics' iPad 4 sleeve approved by Apple for payment applications

Precise Biometrics' iPad 4 sleeve approved by Apple for payment applications

Editor / Provider: Precise Biometric | Updated: 5/6/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Tactivo is the first mobile smart card and fingerprint reader based on the new Lightning connector, which has been approved by Apple. This new version also supports payment chip cards.

Thomas Marschall, President and CEO of Precise Biometrics, says: “We are pleased to announce that Tactivo for iPad 4th Generation has been MFi approved by Apple and thereby is ready for global launch. We already have pending orders from both old and new Tactivo customers.”

Tactivo for iPad 4thGeneration is the first mobile smart card and fingerprint reader, based on the new Lightning connector, available in the market. It proves, once again, the market leading position Precise Biometrics has within this segment.

Together with apps and solutions from Precise Biometrics' partners, Tactivo enables government agencies and companies to maintain a high level of authentication and security when employees use mobile devices to access sensitive information. Tactivo supports both traditional smart cards, such as the US Government PIV and CAC cards, as well as payment chip cards.

Precise Biometrics releases 2013 Q1 financials

Precise Biometrics releases 2013 Q1 financials

Editor / Provider: Precise Biometrics | Updated: 5/1/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Precise Biometrics ,Interim report for the period January – March 2013
The group's net sales for the first quarter was US$ 2.56 million (SEK 16.8 million)
The group's operating result for the quarter was $ -0.15 million .
The group's net result for the quarter was -1.3.
Earnings per share for the first quarter was $ -0.00.
Available cash at the end of the quarter amounted to $ 1.17 million.

Important event during the quarter
A global provider of financial information services chooses Precise Biometrics as their new fingerprint algorithm vendor following a thorough test of the market. The customer is aiming to increase the performance of existing and forthcoming fingerprint enabled devices by using Precise Biometrics' technology.

One of the largest mobile Operators in the US has started selling Precise Biometrics' Tactivo The Operator has placed an initial order of 5,000 Tactivo units. The order has been delivered during March.

Precise Biometrics announced that the Company will shortly release Tactivo for Android. Development of Tactivo for Android and further mobile platforms is already in progress and will be launched end of Q2, with prototypes available for selected partners in May.

The credit facility that was obtained during the first quarter 2012 was re-paid in January 2013. The company utilized, before the repayment, $3.05 million of the credit facility of $4.57 million. Within the framework of the credit facility agreement, and until the end of May 2013, the company can obtain order financing.

The Board of Directors of Precise Biometrics has proposed the Annual General Meeting on April 23, 2013 to decide to undertake a rights issue with preferential rights for Precise Biometrics' shareholders of approximately $8.39 million. The rights issue is implemented to finance increased working capital due to new orders, continued development of Tactivo by increasing resources for production, product development and sales and marketing efforts worldwide. The rights issue is guaranteed up to a level of 70% of the rights issue, approximately $ 5.87 million.

 Australian shopping mall operator locks down back-of-house operations with high tech

Australian shopping mall operator locks down back-of-house operations with high tech

Editor / Provider: Morse Watchmans | Updated: 4/29/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

At Westfield Shopping Centers throughout Australia, the organization has implemented a key control and management solution with fingerprint biometrics that allows pre-approved personnel streamlined access to and from authorized center locations with comprehensive monitoring and report functionality. The solution is based on Morse Watchmans' key control and management system integrated with the National Work Authorization and Induction Training (NoWAIT) fingerprint recognition system, and was rolled out in shopping centers throughout Australia since late 2012.

Developed for Westfield by Blue Glue, an Australian system integrator, and their technology partner Morse Australia, the biometric security system known as contractor and visitor validation system seamlessly integrates with existing key control and management system for secure issuance of keys to pre-authorized individuals while touchscreen video technology provides for safety messaging to staff.
"Key control and management is an essential element in administering the security aspects of a large retail property,” said Alan Jones, Director, Blue Glue. The integrated solution at Westfield puts together Morse's key control with biometric technology and real time, centralized remote monitoring for an optimized system to enhance the security of back-of-house and operational areas.
With the new system, contractors, consultants and others will no longer have to sign in and wait for a key to be issued. Emergencies that occur during off hours can be more readily acted upon because contractors can access keys without having to wait for property management to arrive on scene. Enrollment in the system is through fingerprint identification and a one-time registration allows access at any site in the program. The system additionally issues a durable identification wristband with the name, date and time stamp and all access activity is recorded for auditing purposes.
According to Jones, a range of Westfield properties had been using Morse key control cabinets for the past 10 years to store, release and track keys used throughout a property. With the Morse's key control and management system, each key is locked into place inside the key cabinet using a locking device which has an integrated chip, so a user can only remove a key which he or she has permission to use. The other keys stored in the cabinet remain locked in place when the user enters his or her access code or scans their card or fingerprint. In doing so, the Morse system automatically controls who is able to use which keys.
Because the key control and management system was designed for interoperability with other systems, Blue Glue was able to seamlessly integrate the NoWAIT biometric system and have control through their Blue Glue net enterprise. “Key control and management system is a quality product with an RS-232 communications port and the assistance provided by Morse Australia for the protocols made the integration process very easy,” Jones added.
Proof of concept trials were performed at four shopping centers in the Sydney area and, based on their success, the program was rolled out on a national basis in late 2012.

Suprema partner Entertech embeds HID card tech into fingerprint reader

Suprema partner Entertech embeds HID card tech into fingerprint reader

Editor / Provider: Entertech Systems | Updated: 4/10/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema partnered with Entertech Systems announced the launch of the next generation access control BioEntry W biometric reader embedded with HID Global's iCLASS SE smart card technologies and HID Prox Credentials. Available for the North America market, Suprema's new generation reader with Genuine HID Technology is now offered by Entertech Systems.

"At Entertech Systems, we believe strongly that technology integration milestones like this with leading organizations such as HID are essential in providing the latest smart card and biometrics for multi-factor authentication, ensuring customers have more options to address their particular access management needs," said Rob Douglas, CEO of Entertech Systems. "The new Suprema BioEntry W biometric reader integrated with HID Prox and iCLASS SE offers customers a significant step forward in having further assurance of “true identity” for access control in both indoor and outdoor applications."

"HID Global is committed to providing the latest innovations in the market and increasing customer value through partner solutions that extend the use of Genuine HID Technology," said Kerry Reid, VP of HID Connect with HID Global. "The BioEntry W from Suprema and Entertech Systems is a robust biometric reader that is ideal for customers seeking access control systems in outdoor environments using our next generation iCLASS SE smart card or existing HID Prox technologies."

US university pilots biometric access at dining hall

US university pilots biometric access at dining hall

Editor / Provider: Natural Security | Updated: 4/9/2013 | Article type: Education

Natural Security (NS) announced a new partnership with Spartan Shops, the retail and residential dining service provider for San Jose State University (SJSU) in California, to implement biometric authentication at the university's residential dining hall. Biometric authentication used for the SJSU dining hall that receives up to 7,000 customers a day, combines mid-range contactless technology. Biometric information is stored on student's mobile phones, while fingerprint readers are employed at the hall entrance. The project is to start in July this year.

“With almost 2,500 unlimited-entry meal plan members at the university, we needed a more efficient system for authenticating students to access to the residential dining hall,” said Brian Mitchler from Spartan Shops. “The NS authentication method improves security and will allow us to monitor access more effectively, improving internal processes.”

Students will be able to enter the dining hall by simply placing a finger on a biometric reader situated at the entrance and without the need to handle or expose their personal device. The end-user biometric data is only stored in the personal device the user carries so it is always under their control.

 “As each device contains the students' unique biometric information it cannot be used by anyone else,” said Cedric Hozanne, CEO at Natural Security. “This removes many of the usual issues surrounding security, for example impersonation, because of loss or theft.”

The project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology and collect feedback on usage experiences from the participants to feed into future projects. Following a successful trial the new system will be rolled out to all 3,000 students accessing the residential dining hall. This same method of authentication may also be extended to other university areas such as access to premises, access to online resources or even transport.

Belgian and Dutch ports entrust security to biometric smart cards

Belgian and Dutch ports entrust security to biometric smart cards

Editor / Provider: Lumidigm, Ingersoll Rand | Updated: 3/28/2013 | Article type: Infrastructure

Under the International Maritime Organization's International Code for the Security of Ships and of Port Facilities, Belgian and Dutch seaports have turned to smart cards and biometric systems to help track access by employees and visitors across private terminals. Port of Antwerp and Zeebrugge in Belgium recently replaced its old biometric system at registration stations with Lumidigm multispectral imaging fingerprint readers. The Port of Antwerp is Europe's second largest port, while Zeebrugge is the central port for Europe's automotive industry and has the largest liquefied natural gas terminal complex in Europe. Alfapass, the provider of security smart card system at the ports, is in the process of enrolling 17,000 truck drivers and 10,000 longshoremen at the two ports on the new system.

The Port of Antwerp has been using a biometric system since 2005, but the former system could not differentiate one person from another at the required level of certainty and security and had high FAR, explained Piet Hadermann, Operations Manager for Alfapass. One major access control requirement at the port was the efficient identification of individuals that travel between multiple port facilities.

The solution was a single ID card that covers all facilities. Therefore, visitors to both Belgian ports carry an Alfapass smart card that includes the visitor's biometric template. By checking and verifying the information stored on the card, facility personnel can assure that the card is being presented by its rightful owner. Alfapass enrolls user cards with two fingerprints. When a card is lost or stolen, or the person no longer works for the company, the card is automatically blocked from all participating facilities. All port visitors are now being enrolled with the Lumidigm fingerprint readers. The readers are placed and used at port registration offices and administrative kiosks located at the “gate in” for truck drivers and elsewhere.

Previously, The Port of Antwerp deployed a hand geometry access control system from Ingersoll Rand that recognizes a person hand's 3D features. The system consisted of 71 individual terminals, and issued more than 8,000 credentials. RFID smart cards stored employee information, work experience, access restrictions and biometric identifier. The system's open architecture design enabled terminals to integrate additional security and safety technologies, such as video surveillance and time-and-attendance. In addition, a web-based card management system was used to carry out the credentialing process across the terminals and other systems.

In 1998, a similar Ingersoll system was installed in Port of Rotterdam in Netherlands. As one of Europe's largest container ports, the port required an access control system that was robust enough to withstand the North Sea's severe weather conditions, easy for truckers and stevedores to use, fraud-proof, portable and flexible enough to integrate with the port's logistics systems. Ruggedized biometric readers were installed at the port's gates, plants, loading docks, staging areas and other critical entry points to meet this demand.

Ingersoll outlined the hand geometry system was chosen because of its automatic identification capacity, and because truck drivers refused to use iris recognition. The system was also more accurate than fingerprint recognition and offered lower FAR when used en masse, claimed Ingersoll. Drivers were issued smart cards that were embedded with chips that contained their personal personal identification, company information and a biometric template of the driver's left hand. Implementation of the system has helped the Dutch port avoid costly transport delays while ensuring security.


Precise Biometrics to raise capital and announces partnership with Verizon

Precise Biometrics to raise capital and announces partnership with Verizon

Editor / Provider: Precise Biometrics | Updated: 3/25/2013 | Article type: Security 50

- The Board of Directors of Precise Biometrics has decided to propose the AGM on April 23, 2013 to decide to undertake a rights issue with preferential rights for Precise Biometrics' shareholders of approximately US$8.5 million (SEK 55 million).

-The rights issue is implemented to finance increased working capital due to new orders, develop Tactivo through increased resources for production, product development and sales and marketing efforts worldwide.The rights issue is guaranteed up to a level of 70% of the rights issue, approximately $6.0 million.

- The terms and conditions for the rights issue, including the subscription price and ratio basis, will be established and announced on April 29, 2013.

- Provided that the AGM on April 23, 2013 resolves the rights issue in accordance with the Board of Directors' proposal, the subscription period will run from May 10 – 24, 2013.

Precise Biometrics has started off 2013 very strongly.

Both of its two business areas have won milestone orders which will form the basis of the coming years.

The business area IAM won a contract of providing the Company's fingerprint algorithms for one of the largest providers of financial information in the world based in the US. This is a significant testament to the quality and performance of the license business. As such the Company considers Precise Biometrics very well positioned for the very large market which lies ahead, when fingerprint sensors will become standard components in all SmartPhones and Tablets starting already in 2013.

The other important milestone was that one of the largest Mobile Operators in the US placed an initial order of 5,000 Tactivos as part of a sales drive towards their Government and Enterprise customers. The Company's expectations are that new forthcoming policies will require US Government employees and Contractors to use card readers when accessing information, mail etc. from their mobile devices.

In light of these positive developments and considering that Precise Biometrics repaid the credit facility in January and no longer have any debt, the Company wishes to ensure that it has sufficient working capital available to continue to build upon and pace the current momentum.

This has resulted in initial orders from companies and governments in the international market. Furthermore, a number of civil and military authorities in the U.S. initiated pilot projects based on Tactivo, which will lead to more orders in the future. The order from one of the largest mobile operators in March confirms the strong interest that exists for Tactivo.

Based on this, Precise Biometrics have made additional investments in product development Tactivo for Android. Precise Biometrics have to make sure that they cover the biggest mobile platforms, teamed with Sony Mobile. Thus represents Tactivo the new and powerful business area as they have expected, in addition to their licensing activities they engaged in the business area IAM.

The business area IAM has had a strong start to 2013 with the prestigious order from a leading US-based provider of financial information services. With the order, Precise Biometrics expect the business area IAM going to take advantage of the ongoing initiatives in the mobile sector where fingerprint sensors are built into smartphones and tablets.

As earlier announced, one of the largest mobile operators in the US has placed an initial order of 5,000 Tactivo units for March delivery.

CEO & President of Precise Biometrics, Thomas Marschall says: “We are very excited about this relationship and look forward to working closely with Verizon to develop this further.” Precise Biometrics may be required to disclose the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act. /P>

Suprema grew 25% in 2012, revenue surpassed $47M

Suprema grew 25% in 2012, revenue surpassed $47M

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 3/7/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema announces that its 2012 revenue rose 25% year-on-year growth and its net profit increased 148.6% from the previous year.

For the year ended 31 December 2012, the company, which makes products ranging from biometric security systems to e-passport readers and fingerprint live scanning systems, reported US$ 47.72 million (KRW 51.9 billion) in global sales which increased 25% from 2011.

The strong growth of biometric security systems over the company's worldwide sales channel made major contribution to the company's success and its profit topped by newly-launched technologies such as face recognition and surging demand on its identification solution from government sectors. While the Suprema's fingerprint module business holds its top position in international markets, the company's access control business also showed strong growth by introducing a number of groundbreaking technologies in biometrics.

In the coming year, Suprema has brighter outlook for introducing next-generation, fully integrated physical security platform and expanding its public ID solution business including live scanners and passport readers, to fast-growing government sectors.

Since its founding in 2000, Suprema has recorded double-digit growth for 12 consecutive years and its current market capital is soaring above US$ 285 million (KRW 310 billion).

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