IBM Builds Blockchain Technology for Seven European Banks

IBM has announced a blockchain technology that will be used by seven European banks, to facilitate international trade for small and medium-size enterprises.

Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit are part of the consortium.

IBM is building this new blockchain, Digital Trade Chain, to help parties track, manage and transact internationally. The tech solution will be built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source blockchain framework, and will go live by the end of the year.

Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the executive board at Rabobank, explains that when a merchant sells goods to another party and those goods arrive, the blockchain triggers a payment to take place. The aim is to move the payment into that blockchain solution, when the payment in blockchain is ready to be robust for large-scale application.

Apple bans Westpac Mobile Application Payment Features

Apple has banned Westpac bank’s mobile payments feature, which allowed customers to make payments through messaging apps including Snapchat, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger.

While it’s confirmed that Apple has ordered Westpac to remove the mobile payments feature, it is yet to be confirmed what the exact reasoning is for this decision.

Westpac has confirmed with its customers that the recently-launched Keyboard feature would be removed from July, despite it already being installed by tens of thousands of customers. More than that, Westpac had previously addressed security concerns with Apple, regarding the payment feature, prior to its launch in March.

Additionally, the decision comes only months after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) denied an application by NAB, CBA and Westpac to collectively negotiate with Apple over access to Apple Pay and the NFC contactless payments features on iPhones. This means that the banks cannot offer their own digital wallets on the iPhone and so far ANZ is the only one of the four major banks to strike a deal with Apple to offer Apple Pay to customers.

The bank will still be offering its Keyboard feature to Android users in the coming months.

New Microsoft Keyboard has FPC Fingerprint Sensor Embedded in a Key

“…it features an invisible fingerprint reader embedded in one of the Windows keys, allowing users to authenticate via the Windows Hello biometric security platform of the Windows 10 operating system.”

Microsoft has unveiled the world’s first keyboard to feature a fingerprint sensor embedded in a key, with biometric technology provided by Fingerprint Cards.

New Microsoft Keyboard Has FPC Fingerprint Sensor Embedded in a KeyIt’s called the Modern Keyboard, and it’s an otherwise normal-looking, if sleek, keyboard peripheral; in fact, as The Verge notes, its design appears identical to that of Microsoft’s previously released Surface Keyboard. But it features an invisible fingerprint reader embedded in one of the Windows keys, allowing users to authenticate via the Windows Hello biometric security platform of the Windows 10 operating system.

The sensor being used is the FPC1025, a Fingerprint Cards sensor model that has seen many smartphone integrations. For FPC, it’s another important step into the PC market, into which it is aiming for a dramatic expansion; the Modern Keyboard integration comes soon after another FPC sensor was integrated into a new convertible tablet notebook from Huawei.

It’s also another sign of the growing prominence of biometric authentication in PCs, a trend rising in the wake of a biometric revolution in mobile devices over the last few years.

Source: The Verge

Great design translates to dollars

Many years ago my team and I introduced simple one-function page checkouts to one of our largest customers.

The UX/UI team for that customer complained because there were now 5 pages to complete in a transaction.

The marketing team for that customer complained because fancy UI-style accordians and carousels would not be implemented.

And the sales team complained because all of the upselling components were removed as well.

However, the one person that mattered in the customer group was the person who owned the revenue line and the outcome. He mattered.

But the person who mattered the most was the actual customer.

After perservering, we implemented. Sales quadrupled and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) increased significantly – in fact, just short of Apple’s NPS scores. And for our customer, this was the only positive NPS score in their whole organisation!

Great design matters. Especially when it comes to payments, and especially when it comes to fraud. If you can’t detect it properly because it’s buried in marketing and misdirection, then you capture it and stop it.

Here is a great read on more reasons to consider form design in payments and forms in general.