Paying with mobile devices is about to get easier. Last week, Apple revealed Apple Pay, which will enable MasterCard users to make everyday payments with their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch as soon as this October. Working with Apple, MasterCard is dedicated to delivering a seamless and secure payment experience when, where and how the customers want. For consumers and merchants alike, that means that every purchase made with a MasterCard using iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will offer the security, benefits and guarantees of any MasterCard transaction.
"Apple has a long tradition of introducing breakthrough products with features that really matter to people. Apple Pay, combined with MasterCard's payments technology, gives consumers an easy, secure and private way to shop," said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard. "We're thrilled that MasterCard cardholders will soon be able to make payments from their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch, knowing that every purchase is secure and offers all the same guarantees and benefits they've come to expect from using their MasterCard."
Apple Pay will allow mobile payments to become an easy, secure, and private way to make purchases. Users of the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will be able to use their MasterCard credit or debit cards from participating banks directly through Apple Pay. At a store, consumers can pay by holding their iPhone near a contactless reader with their finger on 'Touch ID' and their transaction will be authenticated. For purchases within an app, consumers will touch to pay and authenticate with their fingerprint or passcode for a seamless experience without having to enter their card number or leave the app.
Additionally, MasterCard cardholders will be able to make simple and secure payments in the apps of top merchants, as well as contactless payments at some of the most frequented U.S. locations including stores, restaurants, transit providers, fuel and convenience stores, and all Apple Store locations. One of the first to accept Apple Pay via iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch will be MasterCard's long-time partner Major League Baseball.
Mobile Engagement Suite Enhances Customer and Employee Experiences
Syniverse has announced the launch of its Mobile Engagement Suite that helps companies securely engage with their customers and employees anywhere, anytime, and on any mobile device. The suite is composed of two solutions – Mobile Engagement for Customers and Mobile Engagement for Employees – that help companies enhance customer acquisition and loyalty strategies through personalized, two-way communications on any mobile channel.
With Syniverse Mobile Engagement for Customers, companies can use subscriber data to enrich the experience for their opted-in customers through secure real-time mobile campaigns and notifications such as loyalty programs, coupons, surveys, contests and trivia. The GUI-based solution makes it easy for companies to create custom campaigns to connect with customers via multiple channels, including SMS, MMS, web, social networks, mobile app push notifications and email.
For internal communications, the Syniverse Mobile Engagement for Employees solution enables companies to broadcast critical information to employees through mobile channels, including email, SMS and voice calls. With this solution, companies can preconfigure request and response behavior for any scenario via threaded, multi-channel communications. These communications could include critical company updates such as weather-related closures, disasters or other time-sensitive situations. Additionally, this cloud-based service allows companies to quickly deliver automated messages to individuals or groups based on keyword responses (e.g. yes, no, maybe) and pre-determined escalation behavior while tracking communications with real-time monitoring and post-incident reporting.
The importance of delivering mobile-centric customer experiences was recently highlighted in a Forrester report that stated: "Because people carry their mobile devices with them at all times, mobile moments – points in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what they want in their immediate context – are the frontline of customer experience. That’s why every consumer experience improvement effort, starting now, must include mobile.” (Source: Forrester Research, Inc., Mobile Moments Transform Customer Experience, January 2014)
Syniverse’s Mobile Engagement Suite is part of the company’s Enterprise and Intelligence Solutions (EIS) portfolio of mobile cloud solutions that enable companies to seamlessly integrate communications across multiple mobile channels. Offering customers mobile-user protection and privacy, including management of opt-out and double opt-in processes, Syniverse’s mobile cloud solutions have been deployed by companies including Amazon China and MasterCard that rely on the Syniverse platform to deliver operational excellence.
Virtualization Security Triggers New Concerns
Financial services and healthcare are the two business sectors most likely to see security concerns as a barrier to implementing IT virtualization technology, according to new Kaspersky Lab's "IT Security Report 2014: Business Approach to Managing Data Security Threats."
When asked about attitudes toward emerging technology trends, 50% of financial services agreed that security concerns were hindering their adoption of virtualization technologies—followed by 49% of those in healthcare.
Research suggests security concerns toward new technologies might resonate strongly in the financial services and healthcare sectors, since both manage large amounts of highly-sensitive user data.
In addition, these industries are bound by strict compliance laws governing the protection and access of their corporate data. In fact, financial services and healthcare ranked the highest in their response to being overwhelmed by compliance requirements with response rates of 40% and 38% respectively.
The remaining non-industrial segments had an average response rate of 27% to "being overwhelmed by compliance requirements"—31% with industrial sectors included. In turn, this suggests that concerns over potential compliance issues could be fueling the perceived "security concerns" that the research found to be associated with new virtualization technology.
Closing the Knowledge-Gap
Both industries don't seem overly concerned about securing the virtual machines they already have. For example, regarding financial services, "security of virtualized infrastructure" was listed as a top IT security concern by only 16% of respondents, and only 12% in healthcare—compared to an overall average of 14%.
Kaspersky Lab also reported in a previous study that a large portion of IT professionals lack a strong understanding of virtualization security. Research found at least one-quarter of all IT professionals had "no understanding" or "a weak understanding" of their virtualization security options.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of existing virtualized infrastructure was being protected by traditional "agent-based" security—which can be used to protect physical endpoints but will potentially result in performance issues and security gaps when applied to virtual machines.
Based on this data, IT providers in the compliance-heavy financial services and healthcare sectors are concerned that adding new virtual platforms to their networks may require virtualization-specific security measures, which they don’t fully understand.
Because of this reluctance, IT departments in these sectors aren't reaping the potential benefits that virtualized infrastructure can bring to their networks—based on a fear of unfamiliar security technology creating compliance issues and other risk-factors.
Epson Connect Solutions Finder Available to Simplify Mobile Printing Options
Underscoring its commitment to creating a better, easier and more accessible mobile printing experience, Epson America has announced its first Mopria-certified printers for home and business – the Epson® Expression® Photo XP-860, Epson® Expression® Premium XP-820, XP-620, XP-520, and Epson WorkForce® WF-2660, WF-2650 and WF-2630.
The need for mobile printing is increasing in tandem with the growing ownership of smartphones and tablets, that is expected to reach 5.1 billion worldwide by 2018. Epson’s mobile print efforts are designed to embrace both the rapidly evolving demands of mobile customers and the diversity of multiple operating systems. One key initiative is Epson’s commitment to the Mopria Alliance’s mission for intuitive mobile printing and advancing mobile print standards that allow business and home users to print regardless of brand, device or operating system.
Mopria-certified Epson all-in-one printers work with the Mopria Print Service and the built-in Printing Framework in Android v4.4 or later (KitKat). After ensuring the printer has the latest firmware, Android 4.4 users can print from Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, Drive and QuickOffice, as well as the Adobe Reader and Kingsoft WPS Office App. With Android projected to account for 74 percent of global smartphones and tablets sold in 20141, Epson is actively enabling intuitive printing for an unprecedented number of new Android users.
In addition to Epson’s support of the Mopria Alliance and its goal to streamline mobile printing, Epson also offers the Epson Connect Solutions Finder to help mobile users make sense of the numerous mobile printing solutions and apps currently available. Using this online tool, users can easily choose a mobile device and compare which printing options are best-suited to meet their specific mobile printing needs.