22.2 C
Johannesburg
Tue, Apr 13, 2021

Home Blog Page 562

Time to dump passwords for good?

By Martin Walshaw, senior engineer at F5 Networks

It’s conceivable that one day biometrics may replace passwords completely, across many different services

The more news that trickled in about last year’s Sony hack, the more depressing the situation appeared to get. At one point, it was revealed that the entertainment giant was keeping passwords to internal systems as well as social network accounts in plain text. Not only that, but they were kept in a folder called ‘Password’.

Here’s how Buzzfeed described it: “Included in the newest data dump is a file directory titled ‘Password’, which includes 139 Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, zip files and PDFs containing thousands of passwords to Sony Pictures’ internal computers, social media accounts and web services accounts. Most of the files are plainly labelled with titles like ‘password list.xls’ or ‘YouTube login passwords.xlsx’.”

For anyone with a passing interest in security, which really should be all of us, that is a pretty shocking thing to read. Basic security advice is to try to avoid writing passwords down, and particularly to avoid keeping them somewhere so easily identifiable. Avoiding easy-to-guess words, such as anything from the dictionary, is also good advice, as is never repeating passwords; make sure each one is unique to that service.

But while passwords remain the primary way to access so many services, all of that is easier said than done. And so maybe that is what needs to change. Maybe it’s time to get rid of passwords for good. Are they fit for purpose these days? Many would argue they are not. They can be hacked, they can be guessed, they can be forgotten.

For those still wedded to passwords, using a password manager can help, as can using two-factor authentication where it’s available.

But the industry is beginning to offer alternatives to passwords. The launch of Apple’s TouchID has brought fingerprint recognition technology to a wider audience, and as we know, where Apple leads the rest of the industry tends to follow: Samsung and HTC have both released devices with fingerprint scanners.

Biometrics such as TouchID or eye scanners are a good alternative and the technology is becoming more convenient and easier to use (which is key for widespread adoption). Someone looking over your shoulder can copy your password; they cannot copy your fingerprint.

At the moment, Apple’s TouchID can be used to unlock iPhones and iPads and make purchases from Apple’s online stores such as the AppStore and iTunes as well as its Apple Pay NFC technology. But it’s conceivable that one day biometrics may replace passwords completely, across many different services.

It’s not just mobile apps that could benefit from biometrics. Imagine accessing work emails – or any other work-related application – on your home PC and, instead of entering a password on your computer, you authenticate yourself via a fingerprint reader on your mobile device that is connected to your office back-end systems.

But those days are not here just yet, so maybe it isn’t time to dump passwords. As well as following the advice above, it is wise to make sure passwords are just one layer in the security infrastructure.

This involves adding more context to security. Instead of just using a password for authentication, businesses can look at the device being used and its location, what the user is attempting to access and other details to give a clearer picture of the authentication request. Context in security is something we’ve talked about recently, in fact.

So it seems to me that we are moving beyond passwords as the primary method of authentication. But they will be around for a while yet; at least until the alternatives become more convenient. Until the industry does standardise on a replacement, it is wise to ensure that passwords are just one layer of your security infrastructure.

The private sector has a role to play in bridging the digital divide: Cwele

By Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services

“The private sector too has a role to play in bridging the digital divide. We’ll continue to engage it and discuss areas where it should direct its investment. These consultations will also consider possible incentives for investing in under serviced areas. We are positive that access to broadband provides us with modern building blocks as the country continuously strives to create sustainable jobs for the future, especially for our youth. This is why ICTs have been identified as catalytic sectors that President Zuma also announced that Government has decided to designate Telkom as the lead entity, among other government agencies, to rollout fixed broadband”

President Jacob Zuma announced during the State of the Nation Address that Government will pilot connecting government facilities in eight poor district municipalities to fast and reliable internet as part of Phase 1 of the implementation of South Africa Connect. The announcement sets in motion a number of activities that seek to address the market failure in the rollout of broadband. Throughout the country, broadband infrastructure is deployed in a manner that is skewed towards the rich. There are instances wherein one community would enjoy access to cutting edge broadband technology and another, merely separated by a street, has to make do with inferior technology. Quiet often, you find this pattern repeating itself as both public and private companies duplicate infrastructure in the well-off communities, to the exclusion of poor communities.

We have taken a deliberate decision to intervene in the rollout of broadband to bring services to the poor and to close the digital divide. If we fail to extend broadband services to the poor, the effect would be worse than Apartheid. Scars caused by this exclusion would be permanent and very deep.Accordingly, this year we shall start Phase 1 of broadband rollout by connecting health facilities, schools and other government institution to poor communities. These identified district municipalities are Dr Kenneth Kaunda in the North West, Gert Sibande in Mpumalanga, OR Tambo in the Eastern Cape, Pixley ka Seme in the Northern Cape, Thabo Mofutsanyane in the Free State, Umgungundlovu and Umzinyathi in KwaZulu- Natal and Vhembe in Limpopo.

We also want to pilot the greater use of technology to improve the efficiency of the services we deliver. This rollout will be accompanied by the requisite training to ensure that officials are able to use the technology that is available to them to improve the efficiency of their work and the quality of service experienced by the citizens. These municipalities were identified to have the greatest need and, working with National Treasury, funds have been set aside for the rollout of broadband this year. The sites also coincide with the pilot sites for the National Health Insurance.

The announcement is confirmation of our firm commitment to radically transform and modernise society by connecting, over time, all South Africans to the transformative and developmental power of the internet, as envisaged by the National Development Plan. We want to ensure that all South Africans are taken on board as we build an inclusive knowledge society that will make the country globally competitive. Through the Strategic Integrated Project 15, we have consulted state-owned companies, municipalities, provinces and other government departments in developing the broadband rollout plan. This work, done through the CSIR, helped us to identify infrastructure the gaps. The proposals we refined through this consultation were sent to Cabinet for approval.

The private sector too has a role to play in bridging the digital divide. We’ll continue to engage it and discuss areas where it should direct its investment. These consultations will also consider possible incentives for investing in under serviced areas. We are positive that access to broadband provides us with modern building blocks as the country continuously strives to create sustainable jobs for the future, especially for our youth. This is why ICTs have been identified as catalytic sectors that President Zuma also announced that Government has decided to designate Telkom as the lead entity, among other government agencies, to rollout fixed broadband.

The decision was taken because we want to accelerate the rollout of broadband. Telkom has the most extensive infrastructure in the country compared to other public and private sector players. Furthermore, the current infrastructure rollout by both public and private sector players is fragmented, leads to duplication of efforts and resources, and is not expanding connectivity to uneconomic and underserved rural areas and townships. It is therefore necessary for government to facilitate the extension of optic fibre infrastructure for the benefit of all South Africans and other industry players through the establishment of an integrated national broadband network.

The rollout of optic fibre infrastructure will be central to the future use of broadband in an interconnected society and economy because it is more reliable and capable of delivering faster speeds. SA Connect sets a target of broadband access at 10 megabits per second for all South Africans by 2030 and at 100 megabits per second for 80% of the population that same year. We need optic fibre infrastructure to be able to efficiently deliver on mission critical services such as health.The use of other technologies such as satellite and wireless will ensure speedy roll-out whilst also ensuring connectivity to areas that are hard to reach through optic fibre due to the terrain. These are some of the considerations that informed the decision to designate Telkom as the lead entity in the rollout of broadband. The designation of Telkom also moves us towards the creation of an open access network. This network will usher in an era of services-based competition instead of infrastructure-based competition. We anticipate that such a dispensation will lead to more effective competition between operators and, over time, lower prices for consumers.

Government has taken a decision to intervene in the infrastructure roll-out through the aggregation of its demand for broadband services to ensure that infrastructure is also rolled out in uneconomic areas. The partnership between Government and Telkom will facilitate coordination and efficient use of resources by all parties in order to expedite the achievement of South Africa Connect objectives whilst leveraging on existing broadband infrastructure to minimize the cost of network expansion.

Facebook is the default social network among SA’s students: study

A new survey of the high-tech habits of SA’s students reveals that Facebook has become the default social network among students, with no less than 97% of respondents saying they use the social network. Twitter came in second at 67%, followed in third place by YouTube, with 44%. The most recent entrant into the social arena, WeChat, has already reached 22% of the student market.

These are among the key findings of the 2015 Student Tech Survey, conducted across South African tertiary education institutions by World Wide Worx and Student Brands, with the support of Standard Bank. More than 2300 students participated in the survey, conducted to establish trendlines for changes in the student technology landscape.

Instagram associated with selfies

The survey also revealed the rise of the platform that is becoming most closely associated with selfies, showing 40% of respondents using Instagram. However, professional aspirations also came to the fore, revealing that 36% of the students interviewed use LinkedIn.

“The survey is a powerful indication that the student market – which comprises future working professionals – is embracing social networking,” says Vuyo Mpako, Head of Innovation and Channel Design at Standard Bank. “It is therefore important to note that social networking will become a central component of any services provided to this market in the future.”

95% of the students surveyed have bank accounts, with 92% stating they were satisfied that their banking needs are being met. More than 83% rated their banks as “Good” and “Excellent” in the use of technology. Ironically, visiting a bank branch remained the most popular form of getting information from the banks at 58%, telephonic assistance second at 51% and the website third, with 42%. Social media was still far down the list, at only 9%.

On the other hand, when it came to being contacted by their bank, a vast majority, 80%, expressed a preference for email, with the phone coming in second at 57% and 12% for social media.

It is also an increasingly connected market, with 92% using WhatsApp for instant messaging, followed by Facebook Messenger with 55% and BBM with 48%. The old favourite, Mxit, stands at only 17% – on a par with pinboard-sharing network Pinterest.

“Communication is at the heart of students’ use of technology,” says Daryl Bartkunsky, managing director of the Student Brands youth portal. “They are also extremely budget-conscious, so anything that cuts the cost of making contact will appeal to them.”

He points out that, according to the survey, Wi-Fi hotspots are students’ most important form of connecting to the Internet, while their campus is the most common location for connecting.

Further building on the picture of an increasingly tech-savvy audience, the findings reveal that 38% of respondents are using Android devices, overtaking the previous leading operating system, BlackBerry, which is still used by a high 32%. A little more than one in ten students – only 11% – still use feature phones, while the Windows Mobile operating system is used by 7% of the sample, marginally ahead of Apple’s iOS.

BlackBerry’s 32% keeps it in the number one spot in terms of brand of phone used by students, ahead of Samsung at 27% and Nokia at 21%. When asked for their brand preference regardless of affordability, one out of every two respondents chose the Apple iPhone. Samsung came in second at 29%, and Sony in third place at 9%.

“The reality will be a little different,” said Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of technology market research organisation World Wide Worx. “There is a vast affordability gap between what students wish they could get and what they intend to get.”

According to student intentions, 43% will buy a Samsung phone next, with the iPhone coming in second at 17%, followed by Nokia at 11% and BlackBerry still making a showing at 10%.

A key question in the survey, namely whether students felt they were addicted to social networks, showed that it was an issue, but not an overriding one. Only 11% admitted to being very addicted to social networking, although a further 43% said they were “a little addicted”. Instant messaging, on the other hand, saw double the proportion – 20% – admit to being very addicted. Just over a third, or 35%, said they were a little addicted.

Exactly a quarter of students acknowledged that they gave their smartphones and social networks priority over studying for tests and exams, and a similar proportion – 25% – admitted using these during lectures instead of paying attention. One in five said they were emotionally affected by what they saw or shared on social media.

On the plus side, however, a huge majority – no less than 89% – said that technology like smartphones, the Internet and social media helped them research better, while 67% said that it helped them increase their knowledge of the subject they were studying. Other strong benefits cited were that it helped sharing information (60%), learning studying techniques (42%), and having a channel for discussions with lecturers (38%).

“Technology delivers both the positive and negative for students,” says Goldstuck. “The overwhelming finding of the survey, though, is that it enhances their academic and social lives and their lifestyles in general.”

Mpako adds: “The advent of smart devices and apps has changed the way that consumers interact with and expect businesses to behave. A business has to respond to these significant changes through platforms that connect with their consumers.”

 

The power of mobile devices in traditional retailer’s environment

By Tony Smith, CEO at Oxygen8

Traditional retailers are caught up in an intense battle against the world of online shopping in a desperate fight to save the high street.

Right at the forefront of the battle is the mobile phone, and retail marketers and brand owners are just beginning to realise the key role it can play in reversing the trend of reduced store footfall and redressing the odds back in their favour. A key element in this fight back is harnessing the power of location-based marketing.

By targetting mobile phones with relevant and personalised offers – location-based services can afford retailers and brands a new way to engage with customers by sending offers and providing information at the time when they are most likely to want it, and right at the point when they are near your store. Not only are such interactions likely to result in more sales, but also in greater customer satisfaction and increased loyalty to the brand or retailer in question.

The key to reaching these customers is the mobile phone.

At the recent Gartner Symposium, where the top 10 technology trends that are expected to play a crucial role for most organisations this year were highlighted, Gartner predicts that as mobile devices continue to proliferate, there’ll be an increased emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user in diverse contexts and environments, as opposed to focusing on devices alone.

Mobile is already a proven technology, and a powerful marketing tool: 4.8bn of the 6bn people on the planet have one. Users like to keep their devices close by: 90% say their phone is at arm’s reach for 14 hours of the day.

This makes the potential for location-based mobile services huge. And with 19% of the world’s users opting into this type of service, this trend is set to expand even further. If it is done in the right way, mobile location-based marketing is not deemed intrusive: a recent Oxygen8 survey revealed that 40% of people in the UK were more likely to agree to opt-in SMS.

Timing is Everything

So it makes sense that relevant, timely location-based services are often welcomed by the consumer. In fact, the more useful and personalised the services are, the more customers will engage with a brand. This means that any retailer can transform its customers’ shopping experience, while also increasing footfall and revenue. The user cases are endless. From launch offers and in-store promotions, to loyalty programmes and customer surveys, it is possible to engage with shoppers at every stage in the buying cycle.

One useful application of this technology is location-based ‘click and collect.’  Oxygen8 recently trialled such a scheme with a large supermarket chain to reduce waiting time for customers. Using location, it alerted the store when the customer was close by, so that their order could be prepared for immediate collection. This approach vastly enhances customer relationships and efficiency, giving the supermarket a unique selling point that makes it much more likely that consumers will keep using the service.

Fighting Fraud

Another area that location-based technology can assist with is card fraud.  For example, a well-known retail bank was seeking to reduce resolution time as well as the cost associated with suspected card fraud abroad. Using international roaming location information, Oxygen8 was able to alert the bank when its customers traveled abroad. When the customer returned to the UK, the bank was alerted once again.

This meant that when the card was used abroad, the bank was able to make a more informed decision on whether to stop the card or accept the transaction. The benefits to this solution were mufti-faceted, adding another layer of engagement. Customers were also sent relevant, location-based information such as taxi numbers and hotel discounts while abroad.

Location-based services can offer companies huge benefits. However, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd in a market where consumers are bombarded with promotional messages on a daily basis. It is therefore imperative that brands use location-based data optimally. In order to do this, it’s important to note that location-based services are difficult to handle without prior experience and when dealing with the complex relationship between brand and consumer, it’s useful to talk get advice from the experts.

Retailers and brand owners can increase revenue, and reach operational efficiency by thinking differently about mobile. With the ability to engage customers on their own terms, location-based services are the ideal place to start. Harnessing the power and ubiquity of the phones in our pockets, retailers and brand owners have the perfect opportunity to catch customers in the location where they are most likely to be influenced: within metres of a store.

The new BMW i8 is now available in SA: plugin hybrid sports car

With its ultra-dynamic proportions, elegantly sporty lines, low-slung silhouette and innovative design features, the new BMW i8 represents a new generation of sports car.

Bringing together hallmark features of the BMW brand with the design language developed specially for BMW i cars creates a progressive aesthetic which faithfully communicates the performance attributes, efficiency and innovative premium character of the plug-in hybrid sports car.

The launch of the new BMW i8 sees the world’s first sports car to be purpose-built with sustainability in mind complete its journey from vision to reality.

Its unmistakable, emotion-stirring looks can be put down to a prototype design that was first unveiled in the guise of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, meticulously refined for the BMW i8 Concept exhibited at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and now adopted virtually unchanged for the production version.

Both the exterior and interior of the emotionally-led 2+2-seater embody a revolutionary, pioneering take on the Sheer Driving Pleasure for which BMW is renowned. Clean, minimalist lines, homogeneous surfaces defined by a small number of crisp edges and function-focused details underline the forward-looking nature of the BMW i8.

Its design signals lightness, safety, efficiency and pure driving pleasure – stand-out qualities that the new BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car shares with the new BMW i3, its pure-electric sibling conceived for agile and comfortable urban driving.

The central element of the Life module is the carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell. The Life module is fixed to the aluminium Drive module, which houses all the drive and chassis technology. This distinctive two-way split is reflected on both the outside and the inside of the car by the visible layering and intertwining of different surfaces, with three-dimensional and flowing transitions between the Life module and Drive module accentuating the dynamic appearance of the new BMW i8.

The new BMW i8 featrues a wide range of BMW ConnectedDrive features: options include DriveAssist package with High Beam Assist, rear view camera, Surround View, Speed Limit Info display and Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function; internet access; standard features include Intelligent Emergency Call, BMW ConnectedDrive Services with Concierge Service and Real Time Traffic Information along with mobility services developed specifically for BMW i, such as the BMW i Remote app and BMW TeleServices.

Lenovo develops its first camera smartphone crossover device

To help capture and share more of life’s moments on-the-go, Lenovo today introduced three new exciting devices to the smartphone portfolio: the new VIBE Shot and A7000 smartphones and the Lenovo Pocket Projector.

The company said with connectivity and mobility driving consumers to record and share more of life’s moments, it designed the VIBE Shot to help them capture every moment.
“Our first 2-in-1 camera smartphone, we developed the Lenovo VIBE Shot to be a true crossover device. It’s first a fabulous camera that shutterbugs will love, and secondly, a performance-laden, standalone smartphone,” the company said.
“Our latest Lenovo smartphones demonstrate the tremendous opportunity for innovation both within the devices themselves and with the accessories that provide important functionality for our users,” said Shao Tao, vice president, Mobile Business Group, Lenovo. “Our first camera smartphone, the VIBE Shot, delivers a highly natural and intuitive photography experience without compromising on key smartphone performance, while our A7000 further elevates entertainment as the first smartphone with Dolby Atmos audio technology.”
For budding photographers, Lenovo said it saturated the VIBE Shot’s camera with purposeful technologies, starting with its 16-megapixel rear camera featuring a six-piece modular lens.
The camera has a full-frame 16:9 low-light sensor for shooting images in dark interiors or at night Thanks to the camera’s tricolor flash, photo luminosity adjusts automatically based on the ambient light conditions, and optical image stabilization reduces blur and keeps photos sharp.
“Life doesn’t always wait for the perfect shot, but the VIBE Shot is ready to keep up with infrared focus that’s twice as fast as normal autofocus and a physical shutter button, which means no more fumbling to find the right spot on the screen to click,” the manufacturer said.
Running Android™ 5.0 Lollipop on a Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processor, the smartphone offers a generous 32 GB of storage with a microSD option to storage an additional 128 GB of music, movies and photos. Upload and download data quickly with LTE or connect via Wi-Fi hotspot and even manage separate data plans with dual SIM capabilities.
The VIBE Shot makes it easy to change from photographer to subject with its 8-megapixel selfie camera. All this functionality comes in a sleek, thin and light aluminum frame – available in red, white or grey.

MTN launches fortnight and weekly data bundle

02 March 2015

MTN launches fortnight and weekly data bundles

Today, MTN launched a fortnightly data bundle that is tailored for customers who want to consume a stipulated amount of data within a shorter time frame, without having to commit to a monthly period that does not match their usage requirements.

The fortnightly data bundle is valued at R79 for 1GB of data. Alongside the fortnightly data bundle, MTN has introduced weekly data bundles that have a range of denominations.

The weekly bundles are priced at R7 for 50MB, R12 for 100MB, R29 for 300MB, R39 for 500MB and R59 for 1GB.

These new tariffs are part of MTN data promotions which will run for six months effective from 2nd March.

Larry Annetts, MTN Chief Marketing Officer: MTN South Africa, says the introduction of fortnightly and weekly data bundles is part of MTN’s strategy of making sure that their products remain relevant.

“The preferences of our customers vary significantly as such the launch of these data bundles is testament of our commitment to meeting their needs. We believe that these new offers will provide our customers with value, simplicity and flexibility,” says Annetts.

Stretch your money with in bundle rates

MTN has also revised its out of bundles rates to 99 cents for prepaid customers, this includes the data base price for the PayPerSecond price plan.

“These revised out of bundles are meant to encourage our customers to purchase data bundles and experience the value offered by in-bundle rates which are as low as 6 cents. This move also shields our customers from bill shock,” Annetts concludes.

ENDS

FOR MORE MEDIA INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Bridget Bhengu: Senior Manager – PR and Communications, MTN SA
Cell: 083 212 1964 / E-mail: Bhengu_b@mtn.co.za

Mamello Raborifi: PR Specialist, MTN SA
Cell: 083 214 5681 / E-mail: mamello_r@mtn.co.za
ABOUT MTN GROUP
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 September 2014, MTN recorded 219.0 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at www.mtn.com

MTN launches fortnight, weekly data bundles

MTN launches fortnight and weekly data bundles

Today, MTN launched a fortnightly data bundle that is tailored for customers who want to consume a stipulated amount of data within a shorter time frame, without having to commit to a monthly period that does not match their usage requirements.

The fortnightly data bundle is valued at R79 for 1GB of data. Alongside the fortnightly data bundle, MTN has introduced weekly data bundles that have a range of denominations.

The weekly bundles are priced at R7 for 50MB, R12 for 100MB, R29 for 300MB, R39 for 500MB and R59 for 1GB. These new tariffs are part of MTN data promotions which will run for six months effective from 2nd March.

Larry Annetts, MTN Chief Marketing Officer: MTN South Africa, says the introduction of fortnightly and weekly data bundles is part of MTN’s strategy of making sure that their products remain relevant.

“The preferences of our customers vary significantly as such the launch of these data bundles is testament of our commitment to meeting their needs. We believe that these new offers will provide our customers with value, simplicity and flexibility,” says Annetts.

Stretch your money with in bundle rates

MTN has also revised its out of bundles rates to 99 cents for prepaid customers, this includes the data base price for the PayPerSecond price plan.

“These revised out of bundles are meant to encourage our customers to purchase data bundles and experience the value offered by in-bundle rates which are as low as 6 cents. This move also shields our customers from bill shock,” Annetts concludes.

 

Weekly Fortnightly
10MB * *
5MB * *
20MB * *
50MB R7 *
100MB R12 *
250MB * *
300MB R29 *
500MB R39 *
1GB R59 R79
2GB * *
3GB * *
5GB * *
10GB * *
20GB * *
Uncapped * *

 

 

 

Samsung unveils Samsung Pay

This summer Samsung will launch a secure and easy-to-use mobile payment service at more merchant locations than competing offerings

Today Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. announced the latest in mobile payment services, Samsung Pay, which allows consumers to transition to secure mobile payments at nearly all merchant locations.

To date, mobile wallets have had extremely low acceptance with merchants utilizing conventional magstripe terminals. With Samsung Pay, consumers can now utilize their mobile devices to pay at existing point-of-sale terminals. To achieve this, Samsung leverages both Near Field Communication (NFC) and a new proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to make mobile payments more accessible to merchants and consumers than ever before.

To deliver a best-in-class mobile payment solution, Samsung has partnered with major payment networks such as MasterCard and Visa. Additionally, Samsung is working hard to expand the partnership ecosystem for Samsung Pay with key financial partners globally, including American Express, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and U.S. Bank, to provide greater flexibility, access, and choice for customers while enabling a simple and secure payment experience.

“Samsung Pay will reinvent how people pay for goods and services and transform how they use their smartphones,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “The secure and simple payment process, coupled with our robust partner network, makes Samsung Pay a truly game-changing service that will bring value to consumers and our partners in the ecosystem.”

“Mobile commerce just got a lot more interesting,” said Jim McCarthy, Executive Vice President, Visa Inc. “Combining Visa’s expertise in payment technology with Samsung’s leadership in creating innovative mobile experiences, gives more choice to financial institutions who want to enable their customers to pay by phone.”

“We are committed to making interactions easier in the financial lives of our customers,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO, Chairman and Director of Bank of America. “Samsung Pay is another significant move in that direction for our 17 million mobile customers.”

Expansive Coverage

Samsung Pay has the potential of being accepted at approximately 30 million merchant locations worldwide, making it the only mobile payment solution with near universal acceptance. Samsung offers this capability by deploying a groundbreaking technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). Consumers can use Samsung Pay in merchant locations regardless of whether the terminals support NFC or traditional magstripe, which is the vast majority of existing terminals.

In addition, the MST technology enables Samsung Pay to support private label credit cards (PLCC) with the cooperation of key partners, including Synchrony Financial and First Data Corporation. The engagement with merchants, issuing banks, and major payment networks offers customers the opportunity to use a wide range of payment cards and makes Samsung Pay a truly universal mobile payment solution.

Margaret Keane, President and CEO of Synchrony Financial, the largest provider of private label credit cards in the U.S., noted, “This is great news for our customers who can access their cards and make payments using Samsung Pay and great news for our retailers who won’t have to upgrade their point of sale terminals. We look forward to working with Samsung and others to deliver secure mobile payments for our 60 million active accounts.”

Simple and Fast

With Samsung Pay, consumers will benefit from a simple and easy-to-use application leading to a positive consumer experience. Adding a card requires a few simple steps. Once added, the user simply swipes up from the bezel to invoke the Samsung Pay app, chooses the desired payment card, and authenticates with the fingerprint sensor. Tapping the device to the point-of-sale (POS) terminals allows for a fast, secure, and easy purchase.

Secure and Private

Samsung is deeply committed to upholding security and user data privacy to the highest industry standards. Samsung Pay does not keep personal account numbers on a consumer’s device. In addition, Samsung Pay provides many security features that make it safer than a physical card. When combined with tokenization – replacing sensitive card data with a unique, secure token to prevent fraud – Samsung Pay will deliver secure mobile payments worldwide.

“We are excited to work with Samsung as they deliver Samsung Pay to consumers around the globe,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard. “The security and simplicity we are able to deliver through our digital enablement service is rapidly changing the way consumers can shop. The launch of Samsung Pay will continue to drive momentum for mobile payments and provide a broader set of digital experiences.”

Samsung’s payment security is enhanced by its own mobile security platform (Samsung KNOXTM) and ARM TrustZone® working together to protect transaction information from fraudsters and data attacks. Moreover, in the case of a lost phone, Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature enables users to locate, lock and even wipe their devices remotely; ensuring Samsung Pay data is hardly compromised.

Samsung Pay will initially be available in the United States and Korea this coming summer and expand to other regions, including Europe and China with Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge Define What’s Next in Mobility

Samsung Electronics today announced its entirely redefined smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Creating a new standard for design, craftsmanship and performance, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge seamlessly blend premium materials with the most advanced Samsung technology to offer consumers an unmatched mobile experience. By Staff writer

“With the all new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is offering what’s next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas. With a reimagined design, robust partner network and novel services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge offer users the ultimate experience in smartphone options.”

Beauty Meets Purpose
Carefully crafted from metal and glass, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge blend purposeful design with powerful features. The Galaxy S6 edge, particularly, shows unique and outstanding beauty while also providing a solid grip and an immersive viewing experience with the world’s first curved display on both sides. Its glass body, made from the toughest glass to date, Corning® Gorilla Glass® 4, is available in an array of colorful jewel tones, including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz and Green Emerald, which elicit a unique visual texture as it reflects natural light. This timeless design required first-of-its-kind glass crafting technology and unmatched quality control, setting the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge apart from every other mobile device on the market. The premium device aesthetics deliver true value and are complemented by a totally new and lighter interface that greatly enhances usability and functionality. A refined and fully optimized user experience simplifies applications and offers features and settings in a more intuitive way.

Vivid Images with a Fast, Bright Camera
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are equipped with an incredibly vivid, bright and fast front and rear camera. The F1.9 lenses and high resolution sensors on both front (5MP) and rear (16MP) cameras provide the most superior image quality in a smartphone, even in the dark. In addition, Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR), Smart Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and IR Detect White Balance provide advanced light sensitivities and crisp camera solutions. Furthermore, a new “Quick Launch” feature give users fast, direct access to the camera from any screen in just 0.7 seconds* by simply double clicking the home key button. These advanced camera functions enable users to capture their most precious and personal moments in uncompromising quality, however and wherever they want.

Super Charging and Cord Free
With fully embedded WPC and PMA certified wireless charging technology, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are setting a new industry standard for universal wireless charging. The devices work with any wireless pad available in the market that supports WPC and PMA standards. They also sport incredibly fast wired charging, 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5, providing about 4 hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging.*

Cutting-edge Core Technology
The thin (6.8 mm/7.0mm edge) and lightweight (138g /132g edge) Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge integrate the most advanced, cutting-edge, Samsung core technology available today. The world’s first 14nm mobile processor with 64-bit platform, new LPDDR4 memory system and UFS 2.0 flash memory provides higher performance and enhanced memory speed with lower power consumption. Moreover, the world’s first 1440P/VP9 hardware based codec enables users to enjoy high resolution streaming video while also using less power. In addition, the 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen offers users the highest pixel density of 577ppi. Enhanced outdoor visibility with a brighter display (600cd/mm) lets consumers experience content without compromise – anywhere, at any time.

Easy and Protected Mobile Payment
Samsung Pay, a new, easy-to-use mobile payment service that will be compatible with more locations than any competing offering in a single application, will launch on Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge in the United States during the second half of this year. Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning, and advanced tokenization, Samsung Pay works with both Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology to make it device, merchant and card issuer agnostic.

Enhanced Security
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are built on the upgraded Samsung KNOX, end-to-end secure mobile platform, offering defense-grade features for real-time protection from potential malicious attacks. Both of these new devices are also ready for immediate enterprise adoption, with market leading MDMs and KNOX enhancements enabled at launch to simplify and improve mobile device management. Additionally, the Find My Mobile feature secures lost devices and protects personal information through a number of services, including the all new remotely controlled “Reactivation lock.” With an enhanced touch-type fingerprint scanner, it also provides quick authentication and saves encrypted data in secure device storage.

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge will be available globally starting from April 10, 2015 with 32/64/128GB storage options available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy S6 only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy S6 edge only).