Security features like the hologram, PIN and magnetic strip have all evolved over the course of 30 years to make transacting in the real world safer, but credit card security has not progressed sufficiently for secure online purchasing, writes THOMAS PAYS, CEO and co-founder of i-Pay.
It is strange to think that one of the most used methods of transacting online – through a credit card – is actually not designed for the purpose. Security features such as the hologram, PIN and magnetic strip have all evolved over the course of 30 years to make transacting in the real world safer, but credit card security has not progressed sufficiently for secure online purchasing.
A solution to combatting fraud more successfully in the payment industry is at hand: EFT (electronic funds transfer). From day one, EFT was created to assist with the secure electronic transfer of funds – it is even in the name.
The fact that the i-Pay gateway allows payment using the banks’ own security measures, permits it to be extremely safe, and crucially, fraud free. Since the gateway’s launch in 2013, not a single transaction has been fraudulent, and this from a company who is looking to process R100 million worth of transactions during December 2016 alone.
Apart from combating credit card fraud by offering an alternative payment method, the i-Pay gateway offers companies further ways to combat other types of scams. To illustrate the point:
- Fraudsters who illegally photoshopped their banking details onto ratepayers’ bills. Unsuspectingly, money was paid into the fraudsters’ account, leaving both the municipality and the ratepayers out of pocket.
- One of the largest property management companies in South Africa which collected rent on behalf of clients. The company was hit by fraudsters who sent out false invoices to clients, notifying them to pay in advance since the company’s banking details have changed, of course with the false details included. Before the fraud was picked up on, millions of rands were already deposited in the wrong bank account, leading to the collapse of the company.
Not your regular EFT
With an EFT system such i-Pay in place, this type of fraud can be eliminated, since the beneficiary of the payment has a specific bank account connected to the i-Pay gateway. The payment link sent to clients can only be generated through i-Pay itself, and EFT payments can only proceed through the i-Pay linked account of the business. Customers can pay merchants by following an i-Pay link sent via email, SMS or QR code, with payment taking place via the costumer’s smartphone or desktop browser.
Being a newer entry to the marketplace, it is understandable that customers might have questions regarding the security of the i-Pay system. Pays is quick to point out that the company meets all the international standards when it comes to payment security and encryption standards. Included here is the essential Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification, a global standard that banks and companies such as PayPal adheres to. i-Pay is also working closely with the four major banks in South Africa to establish a regulated environment around EFT payments.
The cost of fraud?
While there are costs involved for companies that would like to receive money through the i-Pay gateway, the transaction fees are far less than via credit card, with no hidden payments to banks. So as with any good business, the benefits of using the gateway far outweighs the cost.
Apart from saving on salaries since i-Pay automatically takes care of reconciliation, the important fact to remember is nothing related to fraud will ever happen to your company through the i-Pay gateway. What is that type of peace of mind actually worth? Indeed, with hundreds of customers already signed up to i-Pay, subjected to zero fraud as far as transactions processed is concerned, the value of this payment gateway is speaking for itself.
Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults
An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.
Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.
These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.
Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:
- The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
- The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
- The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
- The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
- The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
- The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.
The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been.
“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured. The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.
“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’.
“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves. Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).
“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”
For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.
Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry
Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time.
Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable.
We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks.
So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility?
Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly.
The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.
Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.