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October 17, 2014

Here are the selections Tech Talk Editors George Milner and Teri Wesley have collected from this week's tech news:
  • Fighting fraud with tech
  • Old attacks, new lessons
  • Focus on online payments
  • A smart branch office
  • Biometric blacklists
  • Electronically engaging
  • Digital trail for fraudsters
  • Cash in a Jiffy
  • New and improved Alipay
  • Spam, Scams & Breaches
  • Updates, Patches and Alerts
  • and on the lighter side...
Fighting fraud with technology
Digital wallets, online payment services, and virtual currency are rapidly gaining momentum to meet consumers' growing demand for quicker and easier ways to shop and conduct financial transactions. Consumers aren't the only ones keeping their eye on the latest and greatest financial services technology. Cyber thieves are also staying up-to-date on emerging avenues they can exploit to steal and launder funds through seemingly legitimate outlets. Banking Technology has more on the changing threat landscape and how technology can be leveraged to fight fraud.

Old attacks, new lessons
The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." While recent notable and newsworthy cyber attacks have been directed at the retail industry, the FFIEC has warned the banking industry to be on guard for advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks aimed at ATMs that could be equally (if not more) damaging as the massive retailer breaches. Bank Systems & Technology delves into the recent attacks against the retail industry to gain some insight into and help banks develop effective defense strategies against these attacks.

Focus on online payments
Despite the growth within the ecommerce market, security of online and mobile payments continues to present challenges for many small to mid-size online businesses. The rate of card not present fraud is significantly higher than fraud involving physical cards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is calling on banks, retailers and tech firms to help them develop open standards for making online payments more secure. The W3C has launched a Web Payments Interest Group to collaborate with banks and other interested parties, including regulatory bodies, on improving online payments and creating a standards platform. ZDNet has the details.

A smart branch office
We have smart phones, smart watches, smart glasses – technology is making everything smarter to make everything we do easier and more efficient. Generations Bank, headquartered in Seneca Falls, NY, has premiered the region's first smart branch office in Farmington. Designed with state-of-the-art, cutting edge technology, the tellerless branch features interactive teller units and a virtual banking portal where customers can interact via high definition video with a Generations Bank staff member. ATM Marketplace has the details.

Biometric blacklists
The latest trend in call center security is the use of biometrics as more banks turn to voice recognition technology to verify callers before giving out sensitive information or processing financial transactions. According to a Gartner research firm analyst, a significant rise in the technology will be seen by next year, with an estimated 25 major U.S. call centers expected to be using some form of voiceprint technology. Some banks have already deployed the voice biometrics, and are using a "secret" voice biometric blacklist to screen calls for suspected criminals, reports Newsfactor.

Electronically engaging
In the financial industry, meeting customers' ever-evolving needs while complying with variable banking laws and regulations is a balancing act. To reduce errors, mitigate compliance risks, and improve customer engagement, banks are increasingly moving toward online and electronic transactions. According to recent research, e-signature adoption is growing exponentially, and providing banks with a secure, compliant and enforceable electronic transaction model. Bank Systems & Technology has more on how banks are electronically engaging with customers.

Digital trail for fraudsters
In the beloved German fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel left a trail of breadcrumbs behind them as they walked through a forest to help them later retrace their steps. Through social media outlets, i.e., Facebook and Twitter, and myriad online sites, consumers are leaving a trail of digital breadcrumbs that lead cybercriminals to their personal and financial data. While some of the most recent high-profile attacks involved sophisticated attacks, more frequent and less-reported fraud is perpetrated using victims' personal information easily found on social media profiles, reports Reuters.

Cash in a Jiffy
Founded in 1979, Jiffy Lube is best known for offering quick in-and-out oil changes at any of its over 2,000 locations in the U.S. Payment processor SIA wants to be recognized as the Jiffy Lube of mobile payments. SIA's newly-launched mobile money transfer service lets users send and receive money in real time via the Jiffy app from their mobile phone to and from any of their contacts. Finextra has the details.

New and improved Alipay
Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group is moving up in the financial services industry with the merger of six subsidiary companies that were formerly Alipay financial services, and rebranding the entity as Ant Financial (symbolic of smaller entities working together towards a common goal), reports Finextra. The country’s largest electronic-payments service is bolstering its mobile payments offering with biometric-security technology. The Wall Street Journal has the details.

Updates, Patches and Alerts...

On the lighter side ...
Social media quickly burgeoned into a tool to help people become more connected, but a message recorded by Rapper Prince Ea that sheds a different light on social networking has – ironically – gone viral on Twitter, Facebook, and many other social networks.
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