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Mastercard's biometric credit card: As biometric authentication starts to take hold, Mastercard has joined the fray with a credit card that includes a fingerprint scanner. The scanner is on the bottom of the card, which works with all existing chip and PIN readers. The network is testing the card in South Africa, with other trials expected in Europe and Asia-Pacific over the next couple of months. A full rollout is expected later this year. A cardholder enrolls by registering with his or her bank. Their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that's stored on the card. The biometric card works like a chip card, dipping into the retailer's terminal while the cardholder puts his or her finger on the sensor. The finger is then verified against the template for identification. The BBC quotes Karsten Nohl, chief scientist at Berlin's Security Research Labs, saying the fingerprint helps augment the PIN, which is the weaker element in the chip and PIN combination. The new card does not work for magnetic stripe payments.

IMAGE: Bloomberg News
IMAGE: Bloomberg News

InterContinental breach gets larger: Hotels are particularly prone to breaches, with a breach at InterContinental continuing to expand. Security blogger Brian Krebs reports the cash registers at more than 1,000 IHG properties have been infected with software designed to steal debit and credit card information. That's more than the dozen properties the hotel chain initially estimated were exposed in February. IGH has about 5,000 hotel properties, including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental, Kimpton Hotels and Crowne Plaza. IHG's investigation identified malware infections between September 29, 2016 and December 29, 2016. Krebs also references Danish security expert Christian Sonne, who estimates at least 1,175 IHG properties may be exposed as part of the breach.

Pay by Bank poaches partnership specialist from Amex: U.K.-based mobile payments startup Pay by Bank has hired Agnes Woolrich as marketing director, as the company adds staff for a product and geographic expansion. The U.K.'s FintechLab reports Woolrich was most recently at American Express, where she served in a variety of marketing positions, including building corporate partnerships in Africa and the Middle East. Pay by Bank's technology links to consumer bank accounts and integrates into mobile banking apps, using the U.K.'s faster payment rails to enable real time transactions. In the past few weeks, it has announced collaborations with HSBC, Barclays, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds.

Smart machine: The Bank of England's accelerator is taking a specific focus on machine learning and privacy for distributed ledgers. Distributed ledger technology has become a major cog in bringing speed to international payments, stock trading and risk management, and the Bank of England wants to work with developers that can strengthen privacy among DLT participants as adoption increased and more users use DLT to power payments. The bank is particularly concerned about outside parties inferring information about transactions that they are not a party to. "We are not looking for anonymity, all participants must be identifiable and a regulatory view possible," the bank said on its site. At the same time, the bank is also looking at how artificial intelligence, or machine learning, can improve data visualization, predictive outcomes, sentiment analysis,behavior trails and anomaly detection. The accelerator's recent participants include Ripple, which participated in a DLT cross-border test.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Poland's mBank embeds Android Pay in mobile app
Finextra
mBank has just introduced a mobile app with the Android Pay functionality.

Amazon catching up with Flipkart in India
Business Insider • Jonathan Camhi
Amazon’s mobile app engagement in India grew 46% year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2017.

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How is ATM fraud still a thing?
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