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Masterpass now connects to 30 000 SnapScan merchants

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South Africans can now use Masterpass, a global digital payment service by Mastercard, to pay for goods and services at over 30 000 SnapScan merchants in South Africa using their smartphones.

This follows a collaboration announced today by Mastercard and SnapScan, a mobile payments solution backed by Standard Bank, at the Mastercard Digital Indaba in Cape Town.

Consumers can download the MasterPass app from their app store, register, and load their credit, debit or cheque cards from any bank into the digital wallet. To pay, Masterpass users simply need to scan a QR code, or SnapCode, displayed at point of sale or online at a wide range of SnapScan merchants including coffee shops, professionals like doctors and market vendors. They then enter the payment amount into their Masterpass app and confirm the transaction with their ATM pin code or a one-time pin code sent to their mobile phones.

Each Masterpass transaction is classified as an Authenticated Mobile Transaction by South African banks, ensuring that consumers enjoy the highest protection from fraudsters.

“With Masterpass, we’re enabling consumers to make secure and simple everyday payments wherever they are and from any connected device, without needing to physically carry their bank cards with them,” says Mark Elliott, Division President, Mastercard, South Africa.  “Thanks to our collaboration with SnapScan, we are pleased to offer consumers even more places to pay using Masterpass, which is now the most widely accepted digital wallet in South Africa.”

Since its launch in 2013, SnapScan has grown its acceptance exponentially, especially among small businesses that traditionally did not have access to traditional Point of Sale devices and relied on cash payments. It makes accepting digital card payments cheap and easy, with merchants simply needing to display a QR code at the till, online or on a bill.

“Given SnapScan’s extensive acceptance footprint, the ability to offer merchants a single QR code which will accept payment from multiple mobile wallet solutions such as Masterpass is the driving force behind creating interoperability,” says Lincoln Mali, Head of Group Card and Payments at Standard Bank. “We believe that interoperability between digital payments platforms is one of the keys to driving digital payments usage and acceptance in South Africa.”

The integration of Masterpass with SnapScan delivers benefits for the entire payments ecosystem including consumers, banks and merchants. Consumers can continue to use Masterpass, while gaining access to thousands of SnapScan merchants for a secure and simplified checkout experience. For the banks who already have Masterpass apps, they will now be able to offer expanded acceptance via SnapScan to their customers. Merchants now have an opportunity to reach even more consumers currently using Masterpass– without additional development work.

“Mastercard is working to ensure that every one of our accounts is as digital as the people using them. Enabling Masterpass users to shop at SnapScan merchants is the latest example of how we can deliver rich, innovative, compelling and secure ways to pay and get paid across all channels and devices, redefining commerce,” says Elliott.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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