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The Financial Services Community Just Got Serious About Identity

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The Financial Services Community Just Got Serious About Identity

By Lina Andolf-Orup, Fingerprints

I find myself sitting in Schiphol Airport, trying to switch off. But I can’t. As with everyone that went to Money 20/20 Europe, I’m exhausted. But I leave the show excited by the progress the payments community has made in the last year, my head still buzzing with the evolution in the story we’ve seen on topics such as identity, privacy and security and where we’re headed next.

Regulation, Regulation, Regulation

Sure, GDPR and PSD2 were hot topics last year too, but now a reality, with both implemented earlier this year, identity and privacy have been brought into sharp focus. As consumers, we are now painfully aware of just how many companies have our data (how many GDPR emails did you get last month!?) and how some companies use it (I’m looking at a big social network…!). For the Financial Services community, the energy is now on getting better at managing identity and authentication.

The regulation narrative also looks set to drive changes in behaviour. For example, one conversation I had dived into the shift we’re likely to see away from cloud-based data. My contact was saying that GDPR may make consumers think twice about where their information is stored, preferring services where they retain control on their device or on a local cloud. The commonality across all of this will be trust. If a consumer trusts your brand, they will be far more likely to share their data to use your service, and pay with their time. Again, it all will depend on the situation, the device or application in question, and the task the consumer wants to do. Equally important will be the benefit we as users get in return for providing our data and time, a better and more personalized service for instance, empowering us to take more control of our life, and make better decisions.

Thinking about identity more broadly, the ‘Solving for Identity’ panel highlighted the Sanskrit word sohammeaning ‘I am’, a simple yet complex idea. KYC is fundamental to the financial industry and it is key that financial institutions know when and where transactions happen, but it is essential that the ‘who’ is not forgotten.

Biometrics beyond mobile

As always, it is important to recognize that payment is a means to an end, not the end game. The focus must be on making it as seamless and convenient as possible. What was exciting for us was the prominence now placed on biometrics as a central way to achieve this and to unify the experience across multiple channels and devices. In fact, Mastercard’s CSSO spoke about how biometrics is playing a key role in their omni-channel security policy including payment cards, mobile and online.

It’s clear from many conversations this week, not least the presentation from Klarna’s CEO, that the variance and fragmentation around how we access our services is causing consumer confusion and frustration. There are just too many ways and too many steps to make simple tasks. It is up to us as an industry to kill the password and make consumers’ lives easier, simpler and, importantly, more secure.

Consumer familiarity with fingerprint and face/iris recognition from their mobile devices is seeing biometrics rise to the top as a rare security technology that does not limit CX and UX. In a number ofareas, it can even enhance both. And what’s great is that from visiting lots of the booths and sessions, many companies are now reaching the deployment phase for their biometric projects. Not only that, but these projects are also a central and fundamental aspect of their ongoing strategy.

Cards, cards everywhere

The mobile revolution has been heralding the death of the card for many years, but it was clear from many of the booths and sessions that the card is here to stay. Mobile payments have not achieved the promised adoption, and cards as a form factor are just as convenient and secure. Think about standardization too. You can walk into a shop almost anywhere in the world and pay with your plastic card. We saw from this year’s Payments Race that mobile is a long way off achieving this level of penetration.

Importantly, though, cards have to evolve. We saw multi-currency cards, powered cards and biometric payment cards, to name just a few. It is going to be interesting to see how these new card form factors take off, with some predicting on the show floor that the first commercial deployments of biometric payment cards will be end of this year.

I(D)oT

It wouldn’t be a tech blog without reference to IoT. On Wednesday I headed to the Flying Trapeze Stage to see the discussion around the IoT payments roadmap. The speakers viewed IoT as the most impactful trend of the next five years, with identity and payments as enabling functionalities. And that is what payment must be; this is my absolute key takeaway from the show.

Payment is an enabler. Of technology. Of life. Of fun. This is how we must consider technology itself. If we focus on the end user and making their life easier, more convenient and more enjoyable, adoption will follow.

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Boeing recommends airlines suspend use of some 777s after United incident

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Boeing recommends airlines suspend use of some 777s after United incident 1

By Jamie Freed and David Shepardson

(Reuters) – Boeing Co said it recommended suspending the use of 777 jets with the same type of engine that shed debris over Denver at the weekend after U.S. regulators announced extra inspections and Japan suspended their use while considering further action.

The moves involving Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines came after a United Airlines 777 landed safely at Denver International Airport on Saturday local time after its right engine failed.

United said the next day it would voluntarily and temporarily remove its 24 active planes, hours before Boeing’s announcement.

Boeing said 69 of the planes were in service and 59 were in storage, at a time when airlines have grounded planes due to a plunge in demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The manufacturer recommended airlines suspend operations until U.S. regulators identified the appropriate inspection protocol.

The 777-200s and 777-300s affected are older and less fuel efficient than newer models and most operators are phasing them out of their fleets.

Images posted by police in Broomfield, Colorado showed significant plane debris on the ground, including an engine cowling scattered outside a home and what appeared to be other parts in a field.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said its initial examination of the plane indicated most of the damage was confined to the right engine, with only minor damage to the airplane.

It said the inlet and casing separated from the engine and two fan blades were fractured, while the remainder of the fan blades exhibited damage.

Japan’s transport ministry ordered Japan Airlines Co Ltd (JAL) and ANA Holdings Inc to suspend the use of 777s with P&W4000 engines while it considered whether to take additional measures.

The ministry said that on Dec. 4, 2020, a JAL flight from Naha Airport to Tokyo International Airport returned to the airport due to a malfunction in the left engine about 100 kilometres north of Naha Airport.

That plane was the same age as the 26-year-old United Airlines plane involved in the latest incident.

United is the only U.S. operator of the planes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The other airlines using them are in Japan and South Korea, the U.S. agency said.

“We reviewed all available safety data,” the FAA said in a statement. “Based on the initial information, we concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes.”

Japan said ANA operated 19 of the type and JAL operated 13 of them, though the airlines said their use had been reduced during the pandemic. JAL said its fleet was due for retirement by March 2022.

Pratt & Whitney, owned by Raytheon Technologies Corp, was not available immediately for comment.

A spokeswoman for South Korea’s transport ministry, speaking before Boeing recommended suspending operations, said it was monitoring the situation but had not yet taken any action.

Korean Air Lines Co Ltd said it had 16 of the planes, 10 of them stored, and it would consult with the manufacturer and regulators and stop flying them to Japan for now.

In February 2018, a 777 of the same age operated by United and bound for Honolulu suffered an engine failure when a cowling fell off about 30 minutes before the plane landed safely. The NTSB determined that incident was the result of a full-length fan blade fracture.

Because of that 2018 incident, Pratt & Whitney reviewed inspection records for all previously inspected PW4000 fan blades, the NTSB said. The FAA in March 2019 issued a directive requiring initial and recurring inspections of the fan blades on the PW4000 engines. (This story corrects number of Korean Air 777s in service and stored in paragraph 18)

(Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney and David Shepardson in Washington; additional reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu and Maki Shiraki in Tokyo, Joyce Lee in Seoul and Tim Hepher in Paris; Editing by Sam Holmes and Christopher Cushing)

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Oil gains as U.S. production slowly returns after freeze

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Oil gains as U.S. production slowly returns after freeze 2

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output that was cut by frigid conditions raised concerns about supply just as demand is coming back from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brent crude was up 76 cents, or 1.2%, at $61.67 a barrel by 0104 GMT, after gaining nearly 1% last week. U.S. oil rose 74 cents, or 1.3%, to $59.98 a barrel, having fallen 0.4% last week.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shut down of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Oilfield crews will likely take several days to de-ice valves, restart systems and begin oil and gas output. U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are assessing damage to facilities and may take up to three weeks to restore most of their operations, analysts said, with low water pressure, gas and power losses hampering restarts.

“With three quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

“Longer term, the fall in capital expenditure at U.S. shale oil companies this year will keep drilling activity subdued, leading to output remaining below pre-pandemic levels,” ANZ said.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy producing centres. [RIG/U]

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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Airbus CEO urges trade war ceasefire, easing of COVID travel bans

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Airbus CEO urges trade war ceasefire, easing of COVID travel bans 3

By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) – The head of European planemaker Airbus called on Saturday for a “ceasefire” in a transatlantic trade war over aircraft subsidies, saying tit-for-tat tariffs on planes and other goods had aggravated damage from the COVID-19 crisis.

Washington progressively imposed import duties of 15% on Airbus jets from 2019 after a prolonged dispute at the World Trade Organization, and the EU responded with matching tariffs on Boeing jets a year later. Wine, whisky and other goods are also affected.

“This dispute, which is now an old dispute, has put us in a lose-lose situation,” Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in a radio interview.

“We have ended up in a situation where wisdom would normally dictate that we have a ceasefire and resolve this conflict,” he told France Inter.

Boeing was not immediately available for comment.

Brazil, which has waged separate battles with Canada over subsidies for smaller regional jets, on Thursday dropped its own complaint against Ottawa and called for a global peace deal between producing nations on support for aerospace.

Faury said the dispute with Boeing was particularly damaging during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has badly hit air travel and led to travel restrictions or border closures. He expressed particular concern about widening bans within Europe.

“We are extremely frustrated by the barriers that restrict personal movement and it is almost impossible today to travel in Europe by plane, even domestically,” he said.

“The priority no. 1 for countries in general is to reopen frontiers and allow people to travel on the basis of tests and then eventually vaccinations.”

The comments come as businesses increase pressure on governments to reopen economies as coronavirus vaccine roll-outs gather pace across Europe.

France has defended recently introduced border restrictions, saying they will help the government avoid a new lockdown and stay in force until at least the end of February.

Germany installed border controls with the Czech Republic and Austria last Sunday, drawing protest from Austria and concerns about supply-chain disruptions.

Berlin calls the move a temporary measure of last resort.

Poland said on Saturday it had not ruled out imposing restrictions at the country’s borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic due to rising COVID-19 cases.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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