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MWC: Visa to promote public transport contactless payments

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Visa announced it has signed 14 new technology companies, from across 10 countries, as part of its Visa Ready for Transit program.

The program works with companies whose technology solutions are accelerating seamless, friction-free commuting with contactless payments – helping to promote contactless growth in public transportation globally. The Visa Ready for Transit program was first announced in November 2017 with initial partners, Vix and Worldline.

The Visa Ready certification sets a benchmark for high-quality, ready-to-deploy solutions, enabling transit companies to implement a more convenient experience for commuters worldwide using secure solutions.

“We’re seeing renewed interest from transit-related companies around the world to learn how new innovations in payments can improve their customer experiences,” said Jason Blackhurst, senior vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships, Visa. “Since launching Visa Ready for Transit, we’ve welcomed 16 world-class technology partners to the program, ranging from small tech companies to multinational organizations. Each of these partners are empowered to help extend the benefits of Visa’s digital payment technology to transit companies around the globe.”

The newest Visa Ready for Transit partners all produce software or hardware to support a more seamless commute for people around the world:

  • AS Ridango (Estonia) provides state-of-the-art transit solutions and services.
  • BBPOS International Limited (Hong Kong) distributes mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology.
  • Conduent Business Solutions (France) provides diversified business process services offering capabilities in transaction processing, automation and analytics.
  • Digicon (Brazil) specializes in the provision of access controllers (turnstiles), traffic controllers, parking control systems (parking meters), electronic time clocks and automatic ticketing systems for urban transportation.
  • FIME (France) works with transit operators to deliver the interoperability of fare collection systems to provide seamless travel to commuters.
  • Mennica Polska (Poland) is a leading Polish ticketing operator and automatic fare collection solutions integrator.
  • Paycraft (India) provides contactless, open loop products with capabilities of processing online and offline transactions.
  • Perto (Brazil) develops technology products and services for banks and retailers.
  • Planeta Informática (Brazil) provides solutions for secure online and offline payment systems and devices.
  • Quadrac (Japan) provides ultra-high-speed payment servers and proximity communication devices.
  • Schiedt&Bachmann (Germany) provides intelligent ticketing and information systems.
  • Spire Payments (Luxembourg) provides point-of-sale hardware and software solutions.
  • Smartran Ltd (United Kingdom) delivers smart business solutions utilizing contactless EMV and NFC mobile applications.
  • T-Systems Ltd (United Kingdom) operates information and communication technology systems for multinationals and public sector institutions.

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record

A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.

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The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.

DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.

The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?

“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.

At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.

It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.

Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.

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SA car wins
Dakar Rally

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The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for an historic victory. Not only was it a first win for Toyota, but it was also the first petrol-powered car to win the Dakar in the South-American era.

The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.

The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.

The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.

“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”

Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.

Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.

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