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SECURITY IN PAYMENTS MORE THAN A TOKEN EFFORT

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The way we pay for goods and services has irrevocably changed. Mobile payments, digital wallets, social payments through the likes of Facebook or Twitter, and biometrics are no longer confined to the realms of technological fantasy but are very much a reality. However, without a solid foundation, any concept or idea, no matter how sound in theory, is doomed to failure. Tokenisation is the foundation, which card payments in their many guises – online or in-store – are based, providing the security that is fundamental to the viability of any payment service.

Tokenisation is an extremely effective way of mitigating security risks by substituting payment data with a code or ‘token’ when the payment is processed.  What tokenisation does is encrypt card and payment data into a sequence of numbers. This means for those retailers which have chosen deployed a payment solution that tokenises their customers’ card data should they be attacked; any data the fraudsters can access would be useless. There have been numerous examples over the years where companies have failed to secure their customers’ card data – for instance Target in 2013 –and have subsequently been the subject of a security breach. Not only do they face a hefty fine – early estimates put the potential fine for Target at a staggering $3.6 billion – but also reputational damage that can lead to a loss of consumer confidence.

In payments, security will always be king. The benefit of tokenisation is that for any payment service or technology which uses card data, as mobile and biometric payments do, that card data is kept safe. In fact, these future payments are often mooted as being more secure than regular card payments. This is being reflected in a shift in consumer attitudes while recent research from MasterCard shows that greater emphasis is being placed on the opportunities for enhanced digital experiences through mobile payments rather than security.

For us as consumers, there is a lot to look forward to in the next year. Contactless card payments have been such a resounding success with the public that the threshold is set to be raised from £20 to £30 in September, allowing consumers to pay for more things the way they want to. This isn’t all though. High Value Contactless (HVC) allows users to make contactless payments via their NFC-enabled mobile devices with no limit: anything from a tin of beans, to a Porsche 911. A number of stores across the country are already making themselves ready for HVC in anticipation of the rollout of mobile payment services from some of the industry’s biggest hitters; Apple Pay is expected to launch in Europe over Spring while Samsung Pay and Android Pay will be meeting the mobile payment needs of non-iOS users before long.

While it may be a bit premature to say that by Christmas 2015 we’ll all be paying for our gifts and shopping with our mobile phones, it is a hugely significant year for the technology. While early adopters will no doubt throw themselves into this Brave New World of payments, there will be more than a few interested observers amongst the general public waiting to see how things go with a particular focus on whether mobile payments are quite as secure as they have been led to believe. Tokenisation provides retailers with a way to ensure consumer confidence in the security of mobile payments.

Tokenisation offers an added bonus for retailers beyond improved security alone. It can also act as a mechanism for collecting customer data and informing marketing and loyalty programmes. Brands can tell when and where their customers are shopping and use this data to create more dynamic approaches to marketing which are more effective.

First and foremost though, tokenisation is about security. While great strides are being made to make paying for goods and services more convenient and consumer-centric, no payment service will ever succeed without a strong foundation in security. Consumers need to have faith that each transaction they make will not cost them more than what they are paying for. No matter how inventive payment methods become – from the tap of a phone to the scanning of our fingerprints – tokenisation will be the glue that holds this all together.

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Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support – The Sunday Times

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Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support - The Sunday Times 1

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to increase a tax on business to pay for an extension to COVID-19 support schemes in the budget next month, The Sunday Times reported https://bit.ly/3ujaBcU.

Sunak, in his speech on March 3, will announce he is increasing corporation tax from 19 pence in the pound and will outline a pathway where it rises to 23 pence in the pound by the time of the next general election, the report said. The move will raise an expected 12 billion pounds ($16.8 billion) a year, the report added.

According to the report, at least 1 pence is set to be added to the bill for business from this autumn, at a cost to business of 3 billion pounds, with further rises in subsequent years.

Allies of Sunak clarified he would not increase corporation tax higher than 23%.

These measures will be helpful in paying for an extension to the furlough scheme, VAT cuts and business support loans until at least August.

Unlike the 2010 Conservative-led government, which pursued spending cuts to rebalance the economy after the global financial crisis, Sunak is expected to defer most of the toughest decisions about how to pay for that support in his budget speech.

“The corporation tax hike will be higher than expected and the extension of the support schemes will be longer than most people expect,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

Insiders indicated the stamp duty holiday on property purchases would also be extended in line with the other coronavirus support measures, the report said.

Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.

($1 = 0.7136 pounds)

 

(Reporting by Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

 

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Foxconn chairman says expects “limited impact” from chip shortage on clients

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Foxconn chairman says expects "limited impact" from chip shortage on clients 2

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The chairman of Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said on Saturday he expects his company and its clients will face only “limited impact” from a chip shortage that has rattled the global automotive and semiconductor industries.

“Since most of the customers we serve are large customers, they all have proper precautionary planning,” said Liu Young-way, chairman of the manufacturing conglomerate formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd

“Therefore, the impact on these large customers is there, but limited,” he told reporters.

Liu said he expected the company to do well in the first half of 2021, “especially as the pandemic is easing and demand is still being sustained.”

The global spread of COVID-19 has increased demand for laptops, gaming consoles, and other electronics. This caused chip manufacturers to reallocate capacity away from the automotive sector, which was expecting a steep downturn.

Now, car manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have cut output as chip capacity has shrunk.

Counterpoint Research says the shortage has extended to the smartphone sector, with application processors, display driver chips, and power management chips all facing a crunch.

However, the research firm predicts Apple will face a minimal impact, due to its large size and its suppliers’ tendency to prioritise it. Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer.

Foxconn is looking at other areas for growth, including in electric vehicles (EVs), and Liu said their EV development platform MIH now had 736 partner companies participating.

He expected it would have two or three models to show by the fourth quarter, though did not expect EVs to make an obvious contribution to company earnings until 2023.

Liu also said the company was still looking for semiconductor fab purchase opportunities in Southeast Asia after not winning a bid to take over a stake in Malaysia-based 8-inch foundry house Silterra.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Jeanny Kao; Writing by Josh Horwitz; Editing by William Mallard and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules 3

By Sabine Siebold and Kate Abnett

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe and the United States should join forces in the fight against climate change and agree on a new framework for the digital market, limiting the power of big tech companies, European Union chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said.

“I am sure: A shared transatlantic commitment to a net-zero emissions pathway by 2050 would make climate neutrality a new global benchmark,” the president of the European Commission said in a speech at the virtual Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“Together, we could create a digital economy rulebook that is valid worldwide: a set of rules based on our values, human rights and pluralism, inclusion and the protection of privacy.”

The EU has pledged to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, while President Joe Biden has committed the United States to become a “net zero economy” by 2050.

Scientists say the world must reach net zero emissions by 2050 to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times and avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

The hope is that a transatlantic alliance could help persuade large emitters who have yet to commit to this timeline – including China, which is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060, and India.

“The United States is our natural partner for global leadership on climate change,” von der Leyen said.

She called the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol a turning point for the discussion on the impact social media has on democracies.

“Of course, imposing democratic limits on the uncontrolled power of big tech companies alone will not stop political violence,” von der Leyen said. “But it is an important step.”

She was referring to a draft set of rules unveiled in December which aims to rein in tech companies that control troves of data and online platforms relied on by thousands of companies and millions of Europeans for work and social interactions.

They show the European Commission’s frustration with its antitrust cases against the tech giants, notably Alphabet Inc’s Google, which critics say have not addressed the problem.

But they also risk inflaming tensions with Washington, already irked by Brussels’ attempts to tax U.S. tech firms more.

Von der Leyen said Facebook’s decision on a news blackout on Thursday in response to a forthcoming Australian law requiring it and Google to share revenue from news underscored the importance of a global approach to dealing with tech giants.

(Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott and Nick Macfie; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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