More Archive News
Undersea communications at risk
Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach has raised concerns that Russia could target undersea communications and internet cables.
Warning over hacking of smart buildings
Smart building controllers create a double issue of being an access point to wider systems and also a direct vulnerability to issues such as heating or ventilation.
FCA publishes feedback on DLT consultation
The Financial Conduct Authority has published feedback on its discussion paper on distributed ledger technology (DLT), revealing that the UK regulator is open to all forms of deployment of the technology.
JPMorgan and IBM tap quantum computing tech
JPMorgan Chase and Barclays are collaborating with IBM to accelerate the practical applications of quantum computing technology in the financial services industry.
BP doubles supercomputer power to nine petaflops
BP has announced that it has doubled its computing power in the Center for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in Houston, making it the most powerful supercomputer in the world for commercial research.
Data: explain the value to customers
New research from Experian has spit consumers into four distinct sets: The Unaware, The Accepting, The Cautious and The Incognito – revealing that there are varying levels of trust and engagement with the data exchange.
Net neutrality – the edge of reason
The concept of net neutrality - where all internet traffic is treated equally – is expected to be dealt a serious blow as the law underpinning it is set to be repealed in the US.
A man in the US has admitted being one of the persons behind the Mirai malware that caused widespread disruption to the internet in 2016.
One in three Millennials (33 per cent) will be invested in cryptocurrency by the end of next year, overtaking bonds and shares for those aged 18-35.
One per cent of sites hacked
A tool that detects when a website has been hacked by monitoring the activity of related email accounts has been created by researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego.
One day, two releases on AI-based solutions to the tricky issue of how to make money.
Legislation to ban Kaspersky Lab use inside government departments have been written into law, in the latest set of precautions against the Russian-based firm.
Join raises funds for AI-based influencer
Marketing-platform Join has raised a significant amount of money from investor Airbridge Equity Partners and intends to use the funds to expand across the European market and develop its artificial intelligence use.
Unilever and Sainsbury’s test blockchain for ethical supply chains
Technology company Provenance is leading a collaboration of fintech startups to test whether blockchain technology can help unlock financial incentives that improve transparency and sustainability in supply chains.
Engineering concern Rolls-Royce has launched R2 Data Labs, an in-house incubator for advanced data use.
Intel unveils new Pentium processors
Intel has released information on its new Pentium Silver and Celeron processors based on the Gemini Lake architecture.
Start-ups showcased at the NCSC
The nine companies chosen to join the nine-month GCHQ Cyber Accelerator have outlined their ideas for security products and services that will enhance the UK’s cyber defences to representatives at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) HQ.
Quarter of business leaders do not understand cyberattacks
Research revealing the widening gap between digital transformation and business understanding of the risks has been published by CA Veracode, showing that a quarter of business leaders have no understanding of cyberattacks.
Keylogger found in HP laptops
A keylogger has been found pre-installed on 460 HP laptop models, with HP has issuing a software patch for its customers.
Warning on Chinese use of LinkedIn
Germany’s intelligence service (BfV) has detailed how Chinse services are using social networks for intelligence gathering, including using fake profiles on LinkledIn.
Augmented reality to boost sales
A third of UK consumers would be more likely to buy a high-ticket product if they could use augmented reality (AR) to visualise how the item would look in their home.
Google Maps gets real-time updates
The Google Maps service is getting two new types of notification, with the app giving delivering live updates, and the ability to lock the screen notifications so that users will not have to unlock the phone and consult the Maps app each time new directions are needed.
Fintech’s could shake financial stability
Technological risks rose through the rankings of this year’s Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), risks to the financial sector in 2018.
One in three seeking change in 2018
Millennial IT professionals are the least satisfied with their work and pay, and are more likely to change jobs in 2018.
Barclays innovation chief moves to Santander
Santander UK has appointed a new chief operating officer in the shape of Michael Harte, who joins from Barclays where he was group head of innovation and previously served as group head of operations and technology.
UK Consumers are turning to AI-enabled home assistants for Christmas shopping, with nearly a third planning to use such devices.
Slovenia-based mining exchange NiceHash has reported that it is investigating a potential breach and is suspending operations until resolved.
Bitcoin reaches USD16,000
Bitcoin started the year at under USD1,000 has now reached sixteen times that, having gained 50 per cent in a week.
Google makes Chrome business friendly
The latest release of Chrome browser introduces a variety of new security enhancements for enterprises, with improvements to isolate processes, broader support for security standards and new policies giving administrators more options to protect users and businesses.
Gartner sees chief data officers now expected to drive revenue
Chief data officers are now expected to help drive revenues, according to a new report from Gartner, as opposed to manage and maintain data.
CrowdStrike sees lines blur
The lines between nation-state sponsored attack groups and criminals is blurring, with both groups utilising similar tactics such as fileless malware and “living off the land” techniques involving processes native to the Windows operating system, including PowerShell and WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation).
10 million banking app users at risk
Researchers from the University of Birmingham have announced that they had found a security flaw that puts 10 million banking app users at risk.
BCG sees citizens pressure governments
Dr Walter Bohmayr and Dr Stefan Deutscher of the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Cybersecurity Practice have predicted that citizens will demand of their governments protect cyberspace in the same way that they protect individual’s property rights.
London spreads VC investment
According to company data analysed by Workthere, venture capitalist (VC) investment into start-up companies located in London to the end of Q317, is already 8.6 per cent ahead of the £2.6 billion recorded for the whole of 2016.
Jaguar Land Rover invests in tech
InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital arm, has completed investments in 11 companies during 2017 as it seeks new business models and technologies to reach beyond its existing product range.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed the companies that are to begin testing in the third cohort of its sandbox.
2018 outlook: technology opportunities and cyber threats
Deloitte has published its Financial Markets Regulatory Outlook for 2018, predicting that the sector faces another formidable set of regulatory and technological challenges.
UK company turns into a unicorn
Anaplan has secured $60 million worth of investment in its latest funding round, making the company, which was born in a barn in Yorkshire, worth $1.4 billion.
SAP Ariba to transform procurement
SAP Ariba has announced a partnership with CA Technologies to transform the company’s corporate procurement for end users in 35 countries.
Public accepts biometrics
A study by Unisys surveyed the UK public on their attitudes towards biometric authentication, including the use of fingerprint scanning, heartbeat recognition and vascular scanning.
PwC and AngelsCube help scale ups
PwC and AngelsCube have launched a programme called Scale Commerce that aims to provide the missing link between fast-growth scale-ups and retailers.
Amazon pushes business services
Amazon Business has launched a new set of features designed to better serve the procurement needs of businesses of all sizes. Amazon Business, launched last year, now serves five countries including Germany, India, Japan, the UK and US.
IoT projects have concerns over security, lack of funding and commitment
The growing number of smart utilities, smart cities and broader IoT projects mean that IoT is the now the second most important IT priority for the next 12 months, just behind improving security. However, almost all (90 per cent) of those with an IoT plan at various stages of implementation have struggled to implement this, with over a third (36 per cent) saying they find it “very or extremely difficult”.
Tech-based spinouts raise over a billion
A report funding university spinouts has highlighted 2017 as a record year for investment, with more than £1 billion raised so far.
Research in the UK, US, Germany and Australia predicts that 75 per cent of employees will request their right to be forgotten (RTBF) under GDPR.
Oakham secures debt investment
UK digital micro-lender Oakam has announced that it has secured a £35 million debt investment from Victory Park Capital Advisors.
Barclays drops Kaspersky as ‘security precaution’
Barclays has stopped offering free anti-virus software from Russian firm Kaspersky to new banking customers, following a warning from the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) that using it could “harm national security”.
Facebook to make 800 jobs in London
Facebook’s new London office will host 800 new jobs for the tech giant, bringing the expected total to 2,300 people employed in the UK by the end of next year.
Jigsaw taps Retail Assist for IT support
British fashion retailer Jigsaw has partnered with Retail Assist to make use of its 24/7 IT Help Desk for its 95 stores in the UK, Ireland, US and Australia. Retail Assist is a single point of contact for all IT related issues seven days a week, as an extension of Jigsaw’s internal IT team. Improved out of hours service provision is helping Jigsaw store staff to provide a better experience to customers with increased systems uptime.
RBS joins $45 million funding round for 1QBit
Quantum computing startup 1Qbit has announced the closure of a $45 million Series B fundraising round led by Fujitsu, with additional investors including RBS, Accenture, Allianz and CME Ventures. 1QBit has seen significant growth over the last year, adding science and business leaders to its team of experts, and plans to use this latest investment to continue to expand its research and software development teams.
South Central launches new child health system
The south central region of England has gone live with a single child health information system to provide a comprehensive electronic record of over 906,000 children’s public health records. The new CarePlus system from System C combines 11 different child health information services and workflows to create a unified child health information service covering children in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Bath and N. E. Somerset, Wiltshire, Swindon, Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Shoppers ‘keen to set own contactless card limits’
Nearly half (48 per cent) of shoppers would like to customise their contactless card transaction limit, or would like to the ability to do so, according to new research. The survey from card machine provider Paymentsense also showed that for those shoppers wanting a customisable limit, just over a quarter (26 per cent) would immediately raise it, but nearly 1 in 5 people (18 per cent) would lower it. The top reason for those wanting to raise the limit is that £30 is too low (44 per cent).
Cyber criminals an ‘evolving threat to FIs’
There has been a significant evolution on the cyber threat facing the global financial industry over the past 18 months as criminal have significantly advanced their knowledge, according to a new report from SWIFT. The report evaluates cyber attacks on customers around the world, analysing the sophistication of the attackers’ tactics and techniques. Based on the insights gained, the report published how users can protect themselves better against the cyber threat – called the SWIFT Customer Security Programme.
More SMEs ‘see tech as threat than opportunity’
More than a third of UK SMEs (34 per cent) believe that technological disruption poses a threat to their business, while just one in five (22 per cent) believe technology will create opportunities for their business, new research suggests. The survey, conducted by Albion Capital, also found that SMEs are prioritising investment in defence of their existing business, with half of businesses citing cybersecurity (52 per cent) and data protection (50 per cent) as their most important areas of focus.
Operational risk ‘a concern’ for most EU banks
With the rapid development of financial technologies, operational risk remains an area of concern for 55 per cent of EU banks, according to a new EBA report. This number has increased from 43 per cent in December 2016 and 35 per cent in December 2015. Most EU banks are still taking steps to address their weaknesses that are stemming from technology-driven evolution.
Yours Clothing in payments tie-up with Klarna
Yours Clothing, a UK independent retailer of plus size ladies clothing, has announced a partnership with Klarna which will allow its customers to use the Pay later and Slice it payment options. Klarna’s Pay later allows customers to try goods first. When checking out online or on mobile, Yours Clothing customers who use Klarna’s Pay later will receive their products and then have 14 days to pay Klarna back interest-free.
IT issues ‘costing UK businesses £62bn a year’
The loss of productivity caused by IT issues costs UK businesses up to £62.4 billion annually, new research has found. The IPsoft commissioned survey of more than 3,000 respondents found that employees at large UK enterprises are losing an average of more than seven days a year each through IT issues hampering productivity. This equates to a negative productivity impact of more than £62 billion in revenue and £6.9 billion in salary cost.
CaixaBank helps launch cross-industry innovation hub
CaixaBank, Global Payments, Samsung, Visa and Arval have unveiled the Payment Innovation Hub – Spain’s first innovation hub specialising in merchant commerce and payment methods. The Payment Innovation Hub is located at Barcelona’s Pier01, a space set up by Barcelona Tech City to accommodate more than 100 digital and tech businesses and startups. An initial total investment of €5 million has been earmarked for the project over the next three years.
Ocado signs tech deal with Groupe Casino
Ocado has signed an agreement with French supermarket giant Groupe Casino which will see the latter implement Ocado’s e-commerce technology in its own online business. Groupe Casino will get access to the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) solution, including the construction of its latest generation, state-of-the-art automated warehouse (for which Ocado will invest to install its grid and its robots), Ocado’s front-end web site functionality, last-mile routing management and big data, real time implementation.
UK firms ‘underusing their tech investments’
More than half of UK businesses (56 per cent) have invested in technology over the past five years that has been underused, new research has revealed. The survey, conducted by TomTom Telematics, indicates that a lack of guidance and support from suppliers was found to be the number one reason for this, highlighted by 47 per cent of businesses. Forty-five per cent also said they lacked a dedicated resource to make use of the technology while more than a third (37 per cent) said the technology was incompatible with existing systems and processes.
CYBG and Mastercard announce 7-year deal
Mastercard and CYBG, owner of the Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and B brands, today announced that they will extend their partnership, with CYBG switching all of their remaining Visa credit cards to Mastercard. The 7-year agreement means that all CYBG debit, credit and commercial cards will use the Mastercard network. The renewed partnership also allows Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank’s business customers to benefit from the enhanced functionality to control and add flexibility to their company’s future spending.
John Lewis invests £100,000 in tech startups
The John Lewis Partnership has announced a £100,000 investment in two technology startups following their success in the retailer’s fourth annual accelerator programme, JLAB. JLAB is the largest retail tech accelerator programme in the UK, and its innovation partner L Marks will match the £100,000 investment from John Lewis and Waitrose, bringing the total startup funding to £200,000.
Porsche launches live online tours with GoInStore
Porsche has partnered with retail technology company GoInStore to offer an immersive online experience to its global fan base, allowing them to experience a live, host-guided virtual tour of the Porsche Museum. Through GoInStore’s real-time video technology, visitors can explore Porsche’s range of historic and modern vehicles showcased at its museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany. Website visitors can now take an expert-led tour of exhibits on show in the 5,600 square metre venue, which is situated next to the headquarters of Porsche AG.
Oviva raises $12 million in Series A funding
Oviva, a digital health company that aims to revolutionise the treatment of health conditions relating to diet with technology, has raised $12 million in Series A funding. Albion Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital Partners, Partech Ventures and Walking Ventures all participated in the funding round. Oviva’s technology and nutritional treatment programmes were designed and tested by specialist clinicians and healthcare experts, with the ambition to dramatically increase patients’ access to tailored and effective treatments for diet-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and food allergies.
HSBC hires retail CIO in digital drive
HSBC has hired former Google engineering director Mike Warriner as its chief information officer of its retail banking and wealth management digital operations. Warriner has worked for the past five years at Google, where he was responsible for the company’s engineering site, and also served as the European chair of Google Payments. Prior to his work at Google, Warriner worked for 19 years at UK banking technology house Intelligent Environments, reaching the position of chief technology officer.
Clarks installs stock management scanning app
Clarks has partnered with Scandit who will provide the footwear retailer with the technology for an in-store scanning solution. Widely deployed across Clarks retail outlets throughout the UK, the Stock Assist app is available to sales teams on tablets and helps them quickly confirm if a customer’s choices are in stock.
UK launches £20m cyber security programme
The UK government has launched a new £20 million cyber security programme as it looks to inspire the next generation of experts. The Cyber Discovery programme will give those aged between 14 and 18 the opportunity to take part and test their skills in online real-world cyber challenges to see if they have the potential of playing a role in defending the nation from future online threats.
Estée Lauder launches Google beauty apps
Beauty retailer Estée Lauder has announced a collaboration with Google to offer consumers in-home personalised beauty experiences for the Google Assistant on Google Home. The first initiative is the ’Estée Lauder Nighttime Expert‘ app, which will give consumers personalised night-time skincare routines through a series of questions and answers. The personalised recommendation will be enhanced by asking users if they would like to learn skincare application techniques.
SEPA real-time payments scheme goes live
The SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme has officially launched, going live with nearly 600 payment service providers (PSPs) from eight European countries. The scheme, created by the European Payments Council, brings real-time electronic money transfers to the continent, allowing payments of up to €15,000 to be made in less than 10 seconds any time and on any day of the year, including weekends and holidays.
Volvo and Uber in driverless car partnership
Volvo Cars has signed an agreement with Uber, the ride sharing company, to sell tens of thousands of autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021. The base vehicles are developed on Volvo Cars’ fully modular, in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The non-exclusive agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Uber announced in August 2016. Volvo Cars’ engineers have worked together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber.
Blockchain ‘could replace banks and clearing houses’
Blockchains that transact with one another could replace central authorities such as banks, clearing houses and lawyers in the future, a new report has predicted. According to an Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) study, with the ability to directly interactthe technology could save firms the cost and effort of doing business with a ledger owner, and increase transparency and security against financial crime.
Wales launches IoT startup incubator programme
A new Internet of Things (IoT) startup accelerator programme has been launched in Wales to provide promising businesses with the financial investment, knowledge and network needed to accelerate growth. The Internet of Things Accelerator Wales (IoTA Wales) is actively seeking promising innovators outside Wales to sign up to the accelerator – a collaborative initiative that has been jointly created and designed by The Accelerator Network, Innovation Point, Barclays Eagle Labs, Inspire Wales and the Development Bank of Wales.
UK ‘set for record online fraud this Christmas’
This Christmas looks set to be the UK’s most fraudulent ever for online shoppers, according to new data from Barclays. With fraud and scams becoming increasingly sophisticated, and with record numbers getting ready to do their Christmas shopping online, Barclays is warning of a perfect storm for seasonal online theft.
Deliveroo tops Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50 list
Deliveroo has been awarded top spot at Deloitte’s annual ranking of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies. The London-based online food courier service was announced as the leading firm in the 2017 UK Technology Fast 50 list, after reporting a record four-year revenue growth of 107,117 per cent. The awards, now in their twentieth year, recognise and rank the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the UK, based on the last four years of revenue growth. The average four-year growth rate recorded for the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 companies is 3,756 per cent 2016/17.
OakNorth upgrades cyber defence systems
OakNorth has selected a new cyber security solution from Illusive Networks to defend its systems from targeted attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). The new Deception Cybersecurity system detects and analyses attacks in real-time with no false positives, minimising manpower required to monitor alerts. The ability to mitigate attacks at the earliest opportunity accompanied by detailed forensic evidence at the time of the alert was also a priority for OakNorth.
Better tech ‘key to building brand loyalty’
UK businesses and brands that make the best use of new technology are more likely to build a loyal customer base, according to new research. The survey from DigitalBridge revealed that augmented reality (AR) is now leading the way as the technology people most want to engage with, as 50 per cent of UK consumers say they would be more likely to be loyal to a brand that offered them access to this type of visualisation experience either in store or online.
Payments Awards 2017: winners announced
Klarna, Zapper, Ethoca, Bleep, Barclaycard, Vocalink and Paysafe were among the companies who collected trophies at the fifth annual Payments Awards last night, hosted by National Technology News' sister titles, Retail Systems and FStech. Recognising excellence and innovation across the payments sector, the 2017 awards received a record number of entries, reflected in this year’s closely fought categories. The winners were revealed at a glittering gala dinner and awards ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, hosted by actor and presenter Chris Barrie.
Monzo brings NFC to sign-up process
Monzo customers can now activate their new current account service by tapping their card on their mobile phone. Once the card arrives in the post, customers simply have to open the app and tap their card to activate it, rather than having to type in the card number or take a picture. The new feature uses near field communication (NFC),
Delivery options ‘crucial for online shoppers’
Half of all online shoppers will abandon their basket if delivery choices are unsatisfactory, while 60 per cent will buy their goods from another retailer if more convenient delivery options are offered. This is according to a new survey from MetaPack, which found that 54 per cent of consumers choose who they shop with based on delivery options. Four in 10 said that they will never shop again with an online merchant following a negative delivery experience, rising to 48 per cent for 18-26 year olds.
Digital innovation in FIs ‘hampered by the board’
Technology departments in financial services firms are unable to innovate with technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain because they have lost influence in boardrooms, according to a new report. A survey of over 200 European IT decision makers commissioned by Excelian, Luxoft Financial Services reveals that 86 per cent of respondents have recently championed a major digital project that failed because it did not get past the boardroom.
NHS trust introduces e-whiteboards in wards
Staff at Southampton’s teaching hospitals are introducing interactive whiteboards on wards as part of a major digital transformation project. The touchscreen technology displays information taken directly from a patient’s electronic record, including clinical alerts such as existing medical conditions, length of admission and predicted discharge date. It also acts as a tracking system to identify what is preventing discharge when patients are medically fit to leave hospital.
EdTech outfit Wonky Start closes £600k funding round
Wonky Start, the brains behind education software Night Zookeeper, has closed a £600k funding round led by Newable Private Investing (NPI). Night Zookeeper, a digital learning tool that helps students improve their creative writing, has already helped 300,000 children develop their creative skills through agreements with UK and US schools. The additional funding will enable Night Zookeeper to further its disruption of the education market by expanding into more schools, and follows an agreement with Oxford University Press to roll out a book series.
Sainsbury’s rolls out F1-inspired cold aisle tech
Sainsbury’s has begun to roll out Formula 1 inspired aerofoil technology on fridges in the cold aisles across all of its stores – technology which helps to chill food to the same temperature whilst making the aisles warmer for customers. The UK supermarket giant has partnered with Williams F1 to introduce aerofoils, which will be used in aisles stocking products such as cheese, yoghurts and meat. The initiative is expected to deliver energy reductions of up to 15 per cent.
Vocalink powers real-time payments in the US
The Clearing House has launched a new real-time payments system in the US, which leverages technology from UK payments firm Vocalink. The new platform, labelled RTP, enables consumers and businesses to send and receive immediate payments domestically, with financial processes that used to take days now concluded within seconds. Two banks – US Bank and BNY Mellon – have completed the first live transactions.
Which? issues connected toys safety warning
Independent consumer association Which? has issued a child safety warning regarding connected toys for kids. The association said that it has uncovered “concerning vulnerabilities” in connected toys that could pose a child safety risk and is calling for retailers to stop selling toys with proven security issues. Which? had concerns about a number of connected toys so, in collaboration with German consumer group Stiftung Warentet and other security research experts, has conducted a snapshot test into popular Bluetooth or Wi-Fi toys on sale at major retailers. This “revealed concerning vulnerabilities in several devices that could enable a stranger to talk to a child”.
UK retail website speeds on the up
UK retail websites are getting faster, according to the latest figures from web performance firm NCC Group. For the first time since the analysis began in 2013, the UK’s top 50 retail websites have got faster, with the average load time reducing from 17.46 seconds in Q2 to 16.95 seconds in Q3 – the fastest they have been this year. It was also found that these websites were able to start displaying content slightly faster in Q3, with render start times decreasing from 2.91 seconds to 2.80 seconds.
Standard Chartered rolls out banking chatbot
Standard Chartered has unveiled a new chatbot on its online and mobile banking platforms and websites. Powered by Kasisto’s conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform, KAI Banking, the chatbot will act as a virtual personal assistant to help clients manage money, make payments and analyse their spending in a split-second, via natural conversations in English and other languages.
UK businesses ‘still wary of AI implementation’
Nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of UK businesses are convinced AI can generate value for their business, yet nearly half are being held back by concerns around AI still being in its infancy, new research suggests. The survey, conducted by analytics firm SAS, found that nearly a third (30 per cent) of companies are not sure if they are ready for the technology, citing concerns over a lack of required skills (66 per cent), ROI (55 per cent) and fears over stories of AI malfunctioning (38 per cent).
Cath Kidston overhauls web and mobile offering
British lifestyle retailer Cath Kidston has announced the overhaul of its online and mobile shopping experience, making it easier for customers to search for and purchase products using any device. The retailer has chosen Oracle Maxymiser to help test, target and personalise its new responsive website to best serve the needs of its customers. The two firms are focusing on a number of features: easier product searches, faster checkouts, reduced cart abandonment, improved sales conversion rates, and a more seamless end-to-end user experience.
Barclays to trial instant digital receipts
Barclays has partnered with Flux to trial instant itemised digital receipts with 10,000 customers via the bank’s Launchpad app. Customers taking part in the trial will see their receipts in real time, including all purchases, with VAT, delivered directly to their Barclays app. Users can take ownership of their financial data by going paperless and keeping track of everything they buy without having to download extra apps or changing behaviour. Successful pilots are then rolled out to the five million customers using the Barclays mobile banking app.
Razer taps Worldpay for virtual credit service
Razer, a lifestyle brand for gamers, has selected Worldpay as a key online payments provider for its virtual credit service. Razer’s zGold service allows gamers to purchase virtual credits in exchange for digital content such as games and in-game items from different content providers. Worldpay was chosen by Razer as it offers global coverage and a comprehensive suite of payment services. The company will also provide deep analytics to help Razer better understand its customers’ online behaviour, as well as customer support.
Gender bias in tech industry ‘worse than expected’
Gender bias in the tech industry is “worse than expected” and is not just limited to IT and engineering roles, new research suggests. The global study from travel e-commerce firm Booking.com, found that while many women find working in the tech industry very appealing, gender bias exists and is not just limited to women working in technical IT and engineering roles. According to the findings the majority of women surveyed find working in the tech industry appealing because it offers them freedom to innovate (81 per cent), a fast paced working environment (70 per cent) and flexible working hours (78 per cent).
Adidas unveils new shopping app
In an effort to expand its digital presence, sportswear retailer Adidas has launched a new shopping app, designed to give customers a more personalised service. The new app uses Salesforce technology including Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud, and is available for download through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store in the US and UK.
TSB launches Face ID for mobile banking
TSB customers will be among the first in Europe to use facial recognition technology, Face ID, to unlock their TSB mobile banking app and make payments. The new facial authentication technology exclusive to Apple’s iPhone X aims to add further security and convenience for the increasing number of smartphone banking users. The move by TSB comes just weeks after it launched Samsung Pass iris recognition for its customers.
Babylon and NHS launch GP appointment app
Babylon Health has partnered with NHS GPs to launch ‘GP at Hand’, a free, transformative NHS service offering GP appointments within minutes via smartphone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. GP at Hand aims to slash waiting times to see a GP from the current average of two weeks to just a matter of minutes. The babylon smartphone app allows registered patients to: Book a GP appointment in seconds through the babylon smartphone app
Consumers ‘place trust in online reviews’
The vast majority of consumers (85 per cent) trust online reviews for local businesses as much as personal recommendations, new research has found. The BrightLocal survey revealed that 97 per cent of consumers used the internet to search for a local business in the last year, with 12 per cent performing a search every day. But reviews must be timely - as just four per cent of consumers pay attention to reviews older than a year and three quarters (77 per cent) admit they don’t let reviews older than three months impact their decisions.
Visa unveils Winter Olympics contactless wearables
Visa has introduced three new payment wearables for fans attending the 2018 Winter Olympics, including contactless gloves, commemorative stickers and Olympic pins. Visa has created these NFC-enabled wearables for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, allowing fans and athletes to complete seamless and secure payments with a simple tap at any contactless-enabled terminal.
Facebook brings P2P payments to the UK
Facebook has launched its Messenger payments service in the UK, enabling users to send each other money through the messaging app. Launched in the US in 2015, the social media giant has said that the payments feature has been used widely to split bills, pay babysitters and send gifts. Users press the blue plus symbol within a chat and select the payment option, with customers prompted to enter their card details upon the first time a payment is made.
Red Bull selects sensor analysis tech for F1 cars
Red Bull Racing has selected First Derivatives to provide technology that will analyse sensor data from its Formula 1 vehicles. The Kx technology will initially be deployed for the analysis of wind tunnel data, a critical element in the development of faster, more competitive F1 cars. Red Bull Racing will use Kx for a range of purposes including wind tunnel experiments and the analysis of in-race data to enable real-time decisions during Grand Prix races.
Mitsubishi UK launches online buying platform
Mitsubishi Motors has announced the launch of its Mitsubishi Buy Online facility – designed to offer customers convenience and transparency when purchasing online. Developed in conjunction with online vehicle retailing specialist Rockar, Mitsubishi Buy Online responds to the number of consumers who would consider buying a vehicle via the internet – a recent survey by leading automotive industry expert CAP Gemini showing this to be as high as 75 per cent.
Tesco Bank enables Face ID functionality
Tesco Bank has announced changes to its mobile banking app, which will allow iPhone X customers to log in and authenticate payments using Face ID. To date, the bank has seen over one million customers register for the mobile app as their preferred method of accessing their account. To use Face ID within the mobile banking app, customers must first ensure the functionality is enabled on their device. Customers can then turn on Face ID within the app by visiting the settings menu or during registration. At this point they will be prompted to provide either their passcode or password to confirm their decision.
DPD app reaches two million downloads
DPD’s mobile app has surpassed the two million downloads milestone since it launched back in May 2016. The Your DPD app enables customers to take control of their parcel deliveries, and includes half-hour push notifications, live driver tracking, preferred neighbours, multiple delivery addresses, safe place pictures, delivery between school runs and the option of a second delivery attempt, as the app can automatically notify the driver when the customers have returned home.
Car firms in electric vehicle charging initiative
BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group along with Audi and Porsche have announced a joint venture that will develop and implement a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe. The Inonity venture will see the launch of approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, making long-distance journeys easier and marking an important step for electric vehicles.
Africa broadband usage ‘set to skyrocket’
The number of mobile broadband connections in Africa will double in the next five years, new research suggests. Mobile data will be the main driver of growth in the African telecoms market, with the number of mobile broadband connections on the continent set to rise from 419 million at end of 2017 to 1.07 billion in 2022, according to figures from Ovum. The growth of mobile broadband in Africa will be facilitated by the further roll-out of 3G W-CDMA and 4G LTE networks, and the increasing affordability of smartphones.
Africa broadband usage ‘set to skyrocket’
OakNorth sells £90m stake to Singapore fund
OakNorth has announced that GIC, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, will invest £90 million for a close to 10 per cent stake in the UK bank. GIC, which has more than $100 billion of assets under management in more than 40 countries worldwide, will assist OakNorth’s expansion in the US, European and Asian markets. The news follows a recent investment round that saw OakNorth secure £154 million in funding from Coltrane, Toscafund and The Clermont Group.
Zalando to open Lisbon technology hub
European fashion retailer Zalando is set to open a new technology hub in Lisbon, marking the third hub of its kind outside of Germany. The new hub, which is due to open in early 2018, will aim to boost its platform operations and increase digital offers for customers across its 15 European markets. Zalando will create more than 50 jobs in Lisbon over the first year of operations
Lancashire trialling stroke management service
Patients in Lancashire who have long-time heart conditions can now monitor and manage themselves at home and reduce their chances of having a stroke with a new digital health service. The technology is for people at risk of stroke (typically with a common condition called atrial fibrillation (AF) – an irregular heartbeat) who are prescribed the drug warfarin to prevent blood clotting. People with this condition typically have to attend medical clinics on a regular basis for blood tests to determine their correct dosage.
N26 announces UK expansion
European mobile banking platform N26 has announced that it will be entering the UK market in the first half of 2018. The bank has grown its customer base to more than half a million within two and a half years, adding an average of more than 1,500 new customers each day. UK customers can register on the company's website to get early access effective immediately, and will receive a fully-fledged GBP current account with an individual N26 account number, sort code and Mastercard.
Amazon opens new UK development centre
Amazon has welcomed its first employees, including machine learning scientists, knowledge engineers, data scientists and software engineers at its newly opened development centre in Cambridge. The new facility, which is located at One Station Square, is Amazon’s second development centre site in the Cambridge city centre and will house research and development (R&D) teams working on a range of projects.
Brexit worries ‘turn SMEs to alternative funding’
Brexit uncertainty is causing UK business owners to look at alternative finance options, such as peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding and business cash advances to support growth, according to a new Worldpay report. UK small business owners have expressed concern that political and economic uncertainty could make it more difficult to secure funding in the future. The survey of 1,000 small business owners found that more than half are planning for growth in 2018, but 52 per cent admitted that they are uncertain that traditional routes to finance, including bank loans, may not be available at the same levels in the coming year. Three in 10 respondents said that they have already encountered difficulties securing funding through these channels.
GWH develops synthetic voice for MND patients
Great Western Hospital (GWH) has introduced new technology which helps people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) to continue to communicate by creating their own synthetic voice. MND is a rare, progressive condition which can affect the muscles of the mouth, throat and tongue, leading to problems with speech and voice. The hospital's speech and language team has introduced a dedicated laptop with specialised software to enable patients to bank their own voice before it deteriorates.
ASOS teams up with Klarna for ‘Pay later’ service
ASOS has announced a partnership with European payments firm Klarna which will allow the fashion retailer’s UK customers to use Klarna’s ‘Pay later’ solution to pay for their items up to 30 days later. The service will be available to UK customers with the iOS or Android ASOS app and will allow them to pay for items in the future with no interest or fees attached.
LINK proposes free ATM funding shake-up
Cash machine network LINK is proposing to reduce its interchange fee, but the plan has been criticised for potentially cutting the number of free-to-use ATMs in the UK. LINK is consulting its members and the LINK Consumer Council on proposals to reduce the level of interchange - the fee paid by card issuers (banks and building societies) to ATM operators - by up to 20 per cent.
Brands ‘failing to address online queries’
UK brands are struggling to cope with a rising volume of queries and growing consumer expectations, according to a new report. The Eptica survey found that only 44 per cent of companies answered routine questions asked on the web, email, Twitter and Facebook, down from 49 per cent in 2016. Social media saw the biggest fall, potentially driven by its increasing use by consumers as a customer service channel. Just 34 per cent of tweets and 35 per cent of Facebook messages received a successful answer, despite 94 per cent of companies advertising their Twitter handles, and 89 per cent having Facebook pages.
Finance departments ‘lacking digital change’
Four out of five finance professionals have said that their department is not keeping pace with the rest of the organisation’s digital transformation plans, new research has shown. The survey, which was conducted by Sapio Research and Wax Digital and polled 200 senior finance managers and over 100 IT professionals, suggests the lack of change is leaving them struggling with productivity, cost and efficiency issues.
Majority of firms ‘failing to utilise digitalisation’
Four out of five companies globally (81 per cent) have made investments in digitalisation in the past three years, yet only one out of four (23 per cent) have achieved topline growth as a result. This is according to new research from consultancy firm Simon-Kucher & Partners which involved surveys of 1,925 companies across major industries in over 40 countries. Mark Billige, UK managing partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners, said: “Companies whose digitalisation initiatives didn't make an impact on their top lines often failed to recognise the value of technology or didn't properly integrate a dedicated digital lead into their existing organisational structure. They also tended to invest in the wrong digital initiatives.”
Maplin unveils new cloud-based digital offering
UK technology retailer Maplin has selected Ensono to help bring its in-store customer experience online in an effort to improve flexibility and consumer choice. Maplin’s new digital offering, built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), will be its first deployment of mission-critical applications onto the public cloud. The move will allow Maplin to quickly adapt its digital platform to meet the ever-changing demands of the retail market and help deliver better customer service.
New technologies ‘causing employees anxiety’
Moves to improve how people work by introducing new technologies is creating anxiety among the majority of UK employees, new research has found. The survey, which was conducted by Microsoft in collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London, and YouGov, suggests that employees’ fear of change is putting British businesses at risk. Findings revealed that introducing new technologies creates anxiety among employees (61 per cent), the automation of tasks creates fears about job security (59 per cent) and staff express a fear of change when digital transformation initiatives are introduced (49 per cent).
R3 builds DLT international payments solution
R3 and 22 of its member banks have developed a solution that leverages distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enable efficient and cost-effective cross-border payments. While many DLT initiatives have experimented with specific use cases within international payments, R3 is the first to develop a shared infrastructure – built on its Corda platform – to facilitate the full payments workflow.
Debenhams unveils new mobile website
Debenhams has announced the launch of a new mobile website which has more than doubled the speed of the retailer’s previous site. The Progressive Web App (PWA) is built on the Mobify platform and aims to make shopping more efficient and reliable for Debenhams’ UK customers. The website speed has doubled with fast browsing and page load speed leading directly to revenue growth.
Roll-out of faster cheque clearing begins in UK
Vocalink and Exela Technologies have announced that the new image-based cheque clearing system, built on behalf of the Payment System Operator and the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, has officially launched. The new Image Clearing System (ICS) enables cheques in the UK to be processed by the end of the next weekday, allowing customers to access their funds quicker and with certainty that their cheque will not bounce.
UK firms partner on fingerprint drug screenings
Intelligent Fingerprinting has partnered with a UK medical mouldings firm to accelerate the production of tamper-proof single use cartridge for fingerprint collection and drug screening. Intelligent Fingerprinting has signed a three-year deal with Europlaz to produce critical components for the fingerprint drug test cartridge. The Intelligent Fingerprinting system works by analysing fingerprint sweat on a single use collection cartridge. Sample collection takes a few seconds and can then be used to screen for the four main drug groups – cocaine, opiates, cannabis and amphetamines – simultaneously.
Amazon quarterly sales up to $43.7 billion
Amazon has published its financial results for its third quarter ending 30 September, revealing a sales increase of 34 per cent to reach $43.7 billion. Net sales include $1.3 billion from Whole Foods Market, which the e-commerce giant acquired in August. Operating income decreased 40 per cent to $347 million in the third quarter, compared with operating income of $575 million in third quarter 2016.
Smartphones ‘now preferred UK banking method’
Seven in 10 UK Millennials now use their mobiles to keep track of their financial affairs, according to new research from Visa. Visa’s third Digital Payments study asked over 42,000 Europeans, including more than 2,000 UK respondents, about their attitudes to alternative forms of payment and money management. It found that 69 per cent of British people between the ages of 18 and 34 said they have used a mobile banking app, with more than half noting that they do so regularly.
E-retail ‘driving brand awareness and sales’
Retail websites and apps are more influential than word of mouth for UK shoppers, new research suggests. According to a Criteo report, on average 80 per cent of shoppers first learn about new products through retail websites and apps, as opposed to just 43 per cent who learn through friends and family.
Global surgeons complete VR joint-operation
Three surgeons on different sides of the world have used virtual reality (VR) to operate together on a patient at a London hospital. Professor Shafi Ahmed used Microsoft's Hololens to virtually bring together surgeons from Mumbai and London to operate together on a patient at The Royal London Hospital. The surgeons used the headsets to appear live in the same hospital operating theatre where Professor Shafi Ahmed was operating to remove bowel cancer. They could ‘see’ each other moving as graphic avatars, standing and speaking as if together in the same room.
Amazon rolls out in-home delivery service
Amazon has unveiled its latest home delivery innovation – Amazon Key, which allows customers to have their packages delivered inside their home without having to be there. The new service, which will be available in 37 US cities from 8 November, enables customers to track their delivery with real-time notifications, watch the delivery happening live or review a video of the delivery after it is complete.
Banking AI ‘crucial to digital transformation’
Artificial intelligence (AI) is critical to a bank’s digital transformation, while integrating legacy technologies and security issues remain key challenges for the UK banking sector. This is according to a survey from financial services IT consultancy GFT, which found that 86 per cent of UK respondents acknowledged the importance of AI, while a quarter said that it has strategic importance within their organisation.
Harvey Nichols upgrades loyalty offering
Luxury retailer Harvey Nichols has partnered with loyalty app startup Bink which will see the latter’s technology embedded into Harvey Nichols’ existing rewards scheme. The partnership, which launches later this year, will see Harvey Nichols utilise Bink’s Payment Linked Loyalty (PLL) technology – an entirely digital offering which gives customers a fast track pass to complimentary services and exclusive perks and privileges.
Quarter of Brits now own Smart Home products
Almost a quarter of people in the UK now own a Smart Home product, new figures from Maplin have shown. Consumers who bought Smart Home products spent an average of £174 on the technology in the last year. With 71 per cent of consumers considering buying their first or additional Smart Home products, the market in the UK has the potential to be worth more than £6 billion per year, according to the Maplin data.
Cambio wins NHS Scotland contract
Cambio Healthcare Systems has won a contract to supply a Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system for NHS Scotland, through a national contract with NHS National Services Scotland. The long term aim is to deploy Cambio’s solution as the national decision support platform which works with clinical and care systems to improve patient safety and better outcomes for the country’s population of 5.8 million.
Consumers ‘not checking’ contactless purchases
Nearly half of all UK consumers do nott check the amount before paying with contactless, new research has revealed. A study by money management app Yolt, found that more than three quarters (76 per cent) of Britons have used contactless payments and 40 per cent now make half or more of their card payments using contactless. However, nearly half (48 per cent) are not always checking the amount before they tap to pay.
Swedish FinTech Tink signs deal with major bank
Swedish FinTech company Tink has signed agreements with three European financial institutions including the bank Nordea, Klarna and Nordnet as well as announcing €14 million in new investments. The agreements will enable the banks to integrate Tink’s aggregation and payment technology and Personal Finance Management (PFM) platform within their existing customer channels.
Mastercard unveils smart city app for London
Mastercard has announced a strategic partnership with London & Partners to develop smart solutions for the capital. As part of the deal, London & Partners, which is the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency, and Mastercard have launched a mobile application to improve the visitor experience in London. The Visit London Official City Guide app will deliver personalised experiences, offers and uses real-time data to help visitors get around the city more efficiently and explore less busy areas of the city.
Bank of America adds biometric tech to e-banking
Bank of America has announced that it will be implementing Intel’s biometric authentication technology into its online banking platform, adding a further layer of security. The Intel Online Connect solution aims to provide an effortless experience that improves security over passwords. It requires biometric data and is stored only on the user’s device and not on a public server or cloud.
Intu trials robotic assistant & queue-jumping tech
Shopping centre chain intu has announced it is trialling a robotic retail assistant and new queue-jumping technology at a number of its locations in order to gauge retailer’s reactions. Bo, Europe’s first ever shopping centre robot, will interact with shoppers at intu Milton Keynes, direct them to different parts of the centre and ask them about their shopping experience. It will also tell them about special offers they can take up at different shops in the centre.
Herts NHS trust to pilot AI coaching chatbot
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) has teamed up with London HR analytics startup Saberr to pilot a new AI-powered coaching chatbot. The partnership, brokered by the Eastern AHSN, will see the mental health trust trial CoachBot, a team coaching chatbot. The news comes as NHS England announced recently that it plans to invest more of its £120 billion budget in AI to speed up its application to medicine and the health service.
Mid-sized UK firms ‘failing to analyse cyber threats’
Mid-sized UK companies are not adequately protecting themselves from cyber security threats, not due to lack of investment in technology but through a lack of the dedicated, skilled resource needed to make the most of those tools, new research suggests. The study, from IT managed services provider Coretx, found that 72 per cent of respondents have implemented a Security and Information Event Management (SIEM) solution, which combines data sources and presents security related information in an accessible form.
Poppy Appeal trials contactless donations
The Royal British Legion, in partnership with Cardnet, is piloting a scheme which allows the British public to donate to the Poppy Appeal via contactless cards. The trial will involve 200 mobile donation terminals across the UK, which will have three pre-set donation levels of £2, £3 and £5 enabling donors to quickly and securely make their donation for the traditional poppy or for a lapel pin.
Mastercard opens access to blockchain API
Mastercard has announced that it will be opening up access to its blockchain API for partner banks and merchants. The move means both the merchants and banks will gain access to Mastercard’s blockchain technology via its API published on Mastercard Developers. The blockchain solution provides a new way for consumers, businesses and banks to transact and is key to the company’s strategy to provide payment solutions that meet every need of financial institutions and their end-customers.
National Technology Awards 2018: entries open
The second annual National Technology Awards, which celebrate the pioneers of new technology in areas such as healthcare, finance, transport, gaming, IoT and analytics, are now open for entries. There are a total of 30 trophies up for grabs this year as well as two new categories - Manufacturing or Construction Technology of the Year and TV, Film and Broadcasting Technology of the Year. Technology experts have until 19 January 2018 to submit their entries.
RBS partners with Landmark
RBS has entered into an agreement with Landmark Valuation Services to adopt its Valuation Risk Model (VRM) service, to deliver greater risk insights and efficiencies in its mortgage valuation process for both Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest. Using property analytics and a wealth of land and environmental data, Landmark’s VRM will assess the potential risks relating to a property for every mortgage application processed by the lender. In doing so, it enables the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest to apply the best fit valuation approach on each and every case.
Average weekly online retail spending hits £1.2 billion
Average weekly spending online in the UK rose to £1.2 billion in September; an increase of 14 per cent compared with last year, the latest ONS figures have revealed. The amount spent online accounted for 17 per cent of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 15.6 per cent in September 2016.
Parcelforce unveils new delivery app
Parcelforce Worldwide has launched a range of digital tools including a brand new app, in a bid to give customers more control over their deliveries. The move is designed to give receiving customers more convenience when planning their day as well as providing customers with more information about the progress of their deliveries.
Intel Capital invests $60m in 15 tech startups
Intel Capital has announced new investments totalling more than $60 million in 15 technology startups, including ones focused on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and autonomous machines. The company introduced the CEOs and founders of the startups at the Intel Capital CEO Showcase. This latest group of new portfolio companies brings Intel Capital’s year-to-date investing to more than $566 million.
Many global FS firms ‘lacking a FinTech strategy’
Only 46 per cent of global financial institutions have a FinTech strategy in place, despite 57 per cent of institutions claiming that FinTech is the greatest source of disruption, according to a new report from KPMG. Furthermore, less than half of those believe that their strategy is well aligned with the challenges posed by FinTech.
Price comparison sites ‘don’t give the full picture’
Despite the fact that more than three quarters (77 per cent) of British consumers already use online price comparison websites (PCWs), UK shoppers are not aware that most of these websites do not give them the full picture, new research suggests. The survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers, which was conducted by Pricesearcher, found that that two fifths (39 per cent) of online shoppers are not aware that most PCWs do not show all the options available in the market because of the costs involved for retailers to list all of their products.
NHS trust trials baby video app for absent parents
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) is piloting a new web-based application which lets nurses record video updates for parents when they are not able to be by their baby’s cot side. Parents of babies being cared for on the LTHT neonatal unit joined neonatal nurses at an event recently to celebrate the official launch of vCreate.
UK government invests £6m in data innovation
Innovate UK is providing £6 million over three years to the Open Data Institute (ODI), to advance knowledge and expertise in how data can shape the next generation of public and private services, and create economic growth. Now in its sixth year, the ODI aims to build a strong, fair and sustainable data ecosystem by helping businesses and governments around the world get data to people who need it. The money will be used to enable the UK to build on its strengths in data and data analytics, break new ground in creating value from data across industry, and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of data innovation globally.
Societe Generale hires new UK head of innovation
Anthony Wooley has been announced as the new head of innovation for the UK arm of Societe Generale. In his new role, Wooley will be responsible for strengthening connections between Societe Generale and the FinTech sector in order to accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies across the organisation and to leverage the bank’s financial services expertise with industry innovations in financial technology.
UK to become third biggest e-commerce market
The UK will be the world’s third biggest market for e-commerce in 2021, growing by an average of almost 10 per cent over the next five years, according to new data from Worldpay. In its annual Global Payments Report, Worldpay found that UK e-commerce will be worth £203 billion by 2021, putting the country behind only China and the USA in terms of the value of e-commerce transactions.
UK firms ‘still failing to prepare for cyber attacks’
UK organisations are still failing to prepare effectively for cyber attacks, new research from PwC has found. The survey shows that the cyber security risk to UK organisations continues to increase in both severity and impact, but nearly one in five (17 per cent) admitted that they do not prepare or drill for cyber attacks, and fewer than half (49 per cent) conduct penetration tests to examine their defences.
IoT set to transform the agriculture sector
With pressure on land and food resources set to increase, the Internet of Things (IoT) will play an increasingly important role in helping the agriculture sector become more efficient, productive and sustainable, new research suggests. The study, commissioned by mobile satellite company Inmarsat, found that spending on IoT is set to rocket over the next five years within agritech.
Esso rolls out new mobile payments app
Esso has launched a new mobile app that allows customers to securely pay for their fuel at the pump station. Customers can simply drive up to an Esso fuel pump, open the app from the comfort of their car, select the pump number and authorise the payment (up to a maximum limit) before filling-up. When the customer replaces the nozzle back on the pump, the app confirms the amount paid and automatically emails them a digital receipt.
Banks set for major Open Banking investments
All but one of 100 payments executives at large banks said they plan to make major investments in Open Banking initiatives by 2020, according to a new Accenture study. Open Banking is an emerging service model that allows customers to share access to their financial data with non-bank third parties. Banks can also use the Open Banking platform to offer plug-and-play financial products to third parties, such as retailers or FinTech companies, ultimately expanding their reach to new customers.
UK government ‘urged to boost AI industry’
The UK government is being urged to boost the UK’s artificial intelligence (AI) industry, a move which could unlock £630 billion for the UK economy. An independent industry-led review has set out a number of proposals for how industry and government can boost the UK’s AI industry in order to boost productivity, advance health care, improve services for customers and unlock billions of pounds for the UK economy.
SWIFT publishes blockchain PoC findings
SWIFT has published a report on the proof of concept (PoC) for real-time Nostro reconciliation using a distributed ledger technology (DLT) sandbox with 33 global transaction banks. The PoC is testing whether DLT can help banks reconcile Nostro accounts more efficiently and in real-time, while lowering costs and operational risk. The report provides an overview of the PoC to date, including technical objectives, early findings on the potential business benefits, as well as key challenges that still need to be addressed to achieve industry-wide adoption.
Alibaba opens tech development programme
Alibaba has launched a new global research programme, designed to increase technological collaboration through development of cutting-edge technologies, with the Chinese e-commerce giant expected to invest more than $15 billion over the next three years. The DAMO Academy, which stands for Discover, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook, will oversee the opening of research and development labs worldwide and seek to recruit talented scientists and researchers to join the programme. Alibaba Group’s chief technology officer, Jeff Zhang will be the head of the academy.
Hospital staff recreate sensory overload experience
Staff at the Great Western Hospital marked World Mental Health Day earlier this month by taking part in a virtual activity which recreates what it's like for an autistic person to have sensory overload. The mental health team toured wards and departments encouraging staff to take part in the immersive virtual experience. The 360 degree virtual reality film contains flashing lights, bright colours and loud, sudden noises to mimic the sensory experience of a person with autism visiting a shopping centre.
Wye Valley NHS Trust unveils new EPR system
Wye Valley NHS Trust has gone live with a new electronic patient record (EPR) system giving staff across four hospitals and community facilities a single, shared view of their patients’ records. The trust’s acute and community patient administration theatre systems have been replaced by a new EPR solution from IMS MAXIMS. Using a single EPR system and accessing data in real-time will make it easier for doctors and nurses to make clinical decisions and oversee their patients’ care from anywhere in the trust.
Healthcare sector to save $3.6m from AI chatbots
Annual cost savings derived from the adoption of AI chatbots in healthcare will reach $3.6 million globally by 2022, a new report from Juniper Research suggests. This forecast figures are up on the estimated $2.8 million worth of savings in 2017. This growth, Juniper Research predicts, will average 320 per cent per annum, as AI powered chatbots will drive improved customer experiences for patients.
UK online shopping market ‘stagnating’
The UK online shopping market has stagnated while international shopping from the UK has risen to 71 per cent of consumers in 2017, up from 66 per cent last year, new research has found. The Pitney Bowes study which surveyed 175 UK retailers and 1,000 UK consumers, also found that one in six UK consumers now purchase international goods online monthly, driven by choice, quality and price of goods (58 per cent).
FinTech investment doubles in Q2
Total investment in the FinTech market more than doubled on a quarter-over-quarter basis to more than $8.4 billion in the second quarter of 2017. This is according to KPMG’s Pulse of FinTech report, which found that large increases in private equity funding and M&A funding propelled the increase, while the amount of venture capital investment held relatively steady. The Americas dominated FinTech investment during Q2
General Motors completes Strobe acquisition
General Motors has acquired light detection and ranging technology (LIDAR) outfit Strobe as it looks to add greater focus to developing self-driving vehicle solutions. The Strobe engineering team will join General Motors’ Cruise Automation group as it looks to define and develop a range of LIDAR solutions. LIDAR uses light to create high-resolution images that provide a more accurate view of the world than cameras or radar alone. As self-driving technology continues to evolve, General Motors believes that LIDAR’s accuracy will play a critical role in its deployment.
Greater digital engagement boosts Dominos sales
Pizza delivery giant Dominos has announced a boost in Q3 sales on the back of double digital online growth. Overall group sales increased by 20.8 per cent year-on-year to reach £286.4 million in Q3 2017. These figures were reflected by the firm’s digital acceleration which saw it increase online sales by 17.4 per cent on last year, with online now representing 75 per cent of all UK system sales. Dominos also began the roll-out of GPS in Q3, with 64 stores active at the period end and over 200 due to be operational by the end of the year.
Openbank to implement new core banking solution
Openbank, the digital bank of Santander Group, has selected Temenos to provide it with a new core banking solution for retail and SME banking across its global operations. Openbank has chosen to implement the Temenos Core Banking system which will allow it to utilise open APIs to operate collaborative business models and work with an ecosystem of third parties. By adopting the new solution, Openbank will be able to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and be quicker to market with new personalised products and services.
High-tech radiotherapy tackles prostate cancer
A high-tech form of radiotherapy can dramatically improve outcomes for patients with prostate cancer, long-term clinical trial results have shown. As many as 71 per cent of tested patients with prostate cancer were alive and disease-free five years after treatment with intensity-modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT. The trial, led by a team at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden, was one of the first ever studies of IMRT, which is designed to be much more precise than traditional forms of radiotherapy.
UK sees surge in AI jobs but skills gap remains
The number jobs in artificial intelligence (AI) in the UK has risen dramatically in the last three years, according to research from job site Indeed. Figures released by Indeed show that since 2014 the number of available AI roles in Britain has increased by 485 per cent. However, it also reveals that there are over two times as many AI jobs available than there are suitable applicants, with a ratio of 2.3 roles available per candidate searching in the last quarter.
Ikea targets online sales with third party deals
Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is to start selling its furniture through third party e-commerce sites, in a bid to improve sales following a drop in footfall at its UK stores. In an interview with the Financial Times, Torbjörn Lööf, chief executive of Inter Ikea, said: “[This] is the biggest development in how consumers meet Ikea since the concept was founded. Traditionally the whole Ikea value chain has been designed to deliver to stores. That is changing and it is challenging a number of ways of doing business. We are fast learners and we are moving.”
Ripple’s blockchain network surpasses 100
More than 100 financial institutions have now joined Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network, RippleNet, which aims to modernise global payments by leveraging blockchain technology. The newest members of RippleNet include AirWallex, Bexs Banco, Credit Agricole, Cuallix, Currencies Direct, dLocal, IFX, Krungsri, RAKBANK and TransferGo. Each institution is now on path to join existing members like SEB and Siam Commercial Bank who have deployed Ripple solutions commercially.
One in three pre-schoolers ‘have their own tablet’
A growing number of children under five have their own digital device, according to a new independent study. The latest figures from the Childwise Pre-school Report 2017, also found that more than half of three to four-year olds now have a tablet or laptop of their own and all but a few have regular access to an assortment of digital devices. Seven out of 10 under-fives have access to either a tablet or computer at home, according to the data. Meanwhile, fewer than one in three seek out entertainment on a mobile phone.
Leeds to trial resident care platform
The city of Leeds is piloting an open platform Person Held Record (PHR) for local people in an effort to help residents better manage and control their own care and wellbeing and help to prevent further health issues. The PHR programme, which will be led by Leeds City Council in partnership with NHS organisations across the city, has been launched following extensive engagement with individuals, care professionals and stakeholders in order to understand their needs and aspirations.
Mobile spend ‘to hit £10bn in November’
E-commerce consultancy firm Salmon has predicted that £10 billion will be spent through mobile channels in November, marking the largest ever month for smartphone ordering. Salmon reached this conclusion by combining its own data from last year, which shows that the majority of online orders were made through mobile on Black Friday (51 per cent), with shopping and money spent statistics from IMRG.
Deutsche Bank opens computer code to public
Deutsche Bank has made its computer code publicly available for the first time, in a move designed to create a common industry standard for trading technology. The bank will put over 150,000 lines of code from its electronic platform Autobahn into the public domain so that trading applications from different providers can use it as a shared foundation and work with each other. The code will also be integrated into the Symphony collaboration platform, which is widely used by financial institutions.
HMRC prevents 1 million visits to scam websites
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that it has averted more than one million visits to deceptive websites including those which promote misleading and costly helpline numbers. When someone searches online for HMRC’s phone numbers or digital services they can be directed to other websites. Some of these promote premium rate, non-HMRC numbers as a means of reaching the department.
NHS trust unveils cashless charity donations
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is looking to increase the awareness and support of its charity by introducing a series of ‘smart’ posters, wheelchairs, ID cards, and vinyl stickers that allow visitors to donate with a simple tap of a smartphone. The range of NFC (near field communication) items are powered by Thyngs, a mobile marketing and commerce platform.
Dixons Carphone upgrades PoS capabilities
Electronics retailer Dixons Carphone has signed a five year contract with point of sale (PoS) specialist Ecrebo, which will see the retailer upgrade the capabilities of its PoS coupon programme. Dixons Carphone will implement Ecrebo’s Message at Till solution across all 450 of its megastores. The new solution will allow for better consumer targeting and personalisation, and will meet the retailer’s requirements for flexibility, both in terms of its capability suite and deployment timelines.
Aviva makes strategic investment in Wealthify
Insurance giant Aviva has announced a strategic investment in digital wealth management outfit Wealthify. The move advances Aviva’s digital strategy to provide an online one-stop-shop for all their customers’ insurance, pension and investment needs. The investment will also enable Wealthify to meet its customer acquisition targets as well as adding new products. It will also help Wealthify grow its team to support the firm’s expansion plans.
Young people ‘rebelling against social media’
Young people are rebelling against the current state of social media, with almost two-thirds (63 per cent) saying they wouldn’t mind if it had never been invented, new research has found. The study, which polled more than 5,000 students and was conducted by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) and Digital Awareness UK, also revealed that 71 per cent of students have undergone ‘digital detoxes’ to take a break from social media and would happily do the same again.
Zalando launches Google Assistant chatbot
Zalando and Google have announced a collaboration for the launch of a gift guide chatbot using Google Assistant, allowing users to browse gifts through a conversation with a chatbot. Google has recently introduced the conversational platform Actions on Google in Germany, which allows third parties to build apps for their virtual assistant called the Google Assistant.
Starling Bank gears up for business banking launch
UK digital challenger Starling Bank has announced that it is expanding into the business market with the upcoming launch of business banking accounts. The Starling for Business account will initially be designed for entrepreneurs, sole-traders, and small business owners. The aim is to offer a fast, secure, and flexible way of managing business finance from users’ mobiles. Registration for interested customers is now open ahead of an anticipated live date in early 2018.
New cancer home kits ‘could save NHS millions’
A major study of 6,000 patients in West London is expected to almost halve the number of invasive procedures by 2020 by improving the accuracy of bowel cancer tests. It could mean more than 100,000 NHS patients in England avoid the need for uncomfortable colonoscopies each year by first getting a reliable ‘all clear’ from a simple at-home test. It could also save the NHS millions, as each colonoscopy costs the NHS £372 compared to about £5 for the new at-home tests.
Increased automation ‘hitting mid-sized banks hard’
Increased automation and regulation in the banking industry is having a negative impact on mid-sized bank – that’s according to a new joint white paper produced by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and SWIFT. The white paper has reviewed the new forces reshaping the international payments landscape, including the emergence of FinTech competition, globalisation of trade, digitalisation of interfaces, client expectations for more transparency, increasing regulatory activism, new technologies like open APIs, and cybersecurity.
Burberry to trial AR technology on its app
Luxury fashion brand Burberry is experimenting with augmented reality (AR) by adding the technology to its smartphone app. The London-based firm is using Apple’s ARKit function which interacts with user’s camera feeds to digitally redecorate their surroundings with Burberry-inspired drawings by the artist Danny Sangra.
UK SMEs ‘ignoring the success of smartphones’
British small businesses could be failing to cash in on the boom in mobile shopping by not having websites that automatically adapt for the different screen sizes of smartphones and tablets, according to new research from PayPal. A UK-wide survey of more than 2,000 small businesses and 2,000 consumers reveals a growing gap between online shoppers’ mobile preferences and what small businesses are offering .
Digital key to Hotel Chocolat sales growth
UK chocolate retailer Hotel Chocolat has announced its preliminary results for the year ended 2 July 2017, revealing strong sales growth across retail, digital and corporate channels. Revenues grew 12 per cent to reach £105.2 million in 2017, while profit before tax was up 100 per cent to £11.2 million. The retailer opened 12 new stores over the period taking the total to 94 stores, with two franchised stores now open in Hong Kong.
Lloyds opens digital-focused flagship branch
Lloyds Bank has opened a state-of-the-art flagship store in Manchester, offering a new banking experience combining face-to-face expertise with new technology. The new store will be open seven days a week and will feature a digital zone that supports those new to internet banking, offering educational support as well as demonstrations. There will also be a new deposit facility, utilising the latest biometric fingerprint technology, and which enables customers to store their valuable possessions in a convenient, safe and secure location.
Equifax data breach ‘worse than first thought’
Equifax has revealed that approximately 2.5 million additional US customers have been potentially impacted by the cyber security breach at the firm. Last month it was revealed that consumer credit reporting agency Equifax had fallen victim to a cyber security incident which potentially impacted 143 million US consumers, as well as around 400,000 UK customers.
PSD2: Lack of trust ‘gives banks the edge’
As PSD2 nears, two thirds of UK consumers said they will not share their personal financial data with third-party providers, giving banks an advantage, new research has found. Less than six months before the revised Payments Service Directive (PSD2) makes open banking a reality across Europe, research from Accenture found that UK consumers are wary of sharing their financial data with third-party providers, giving banks the opportunity to benefit from the trust they have built with their customers over the years.
Asda and Co-op reveal supply chain partnership
Asda and the Co-op have signed a supply chain deal which will enable mutual suppliers to submit aggregated data on waste, water and energy to both retailers at the same time. The retailers are working with 2degrees to collect the sustainability data. Suppliers who serve both retailers can submit the data once, indicating their combined data should be shared with both customers.
London hospital trials ICU environmental sensors
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has, through its charity CW+, announced a new partnership with Drayson Technologies to launch the first pilot of wireless environmental sensors in intensive care units (ICUs). This latest project will pilot Drayson’s wireless, temperature and carbon monoxide sensors in both the adult and neonatal intensive care units of Chelsea and Westminster hospital.
Consumers ‘see no end to cash payments’
British consumers continue to favour cash as a means of payment, with 74 per cent believing there will always be a role for cash, new research has revealed. According to a survey carried out by Glory, a cash technology solutions firm, which polled more than 1,500 shoppers in the UK, US and Australia, 86 per cent of consumers are comfortable using cash and 48 per cent still use cash on a daily basis.
Square makes £25m investment in Eventbrite
Square, the mobile payments firm run by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has announced a £25 million investment in live events platform Eventbrite. As part of a strategic partnership Square will drive Eventbrite’s payments systems, including online, mobile, and in-person transactions. Square will be Eventbrite’s payment processing partner for paid events, tickets, registrations, merchandise sales, donations, and other associated products or services
Mining industry ‘poised for rapid IoT adoption’
The mining industry is poised for massive Internet of Things (IoT) adoption as it seeks to eliminate workplace hazards, new research suggests. A report by mobile satellite firm Inmarsat revealed that the health and safety of staff stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the mining industry’s move towards automation and IoT.
Financial fraud drops eight per cent
Total losses on card, remote banking and cheque fraud were £366.4 million in H1 2017 – eight per cent lower than H1 2016, new figures from UK Finance show. The data also revealed that the industry prevented over £750 million of fraud during the same period, or 67 per cent of attempted fraud. This compares with £400.4 million of losses and £678.7 million of prevented fraud in the first half of 2016.
Sainsbury’s trials checkout-free technology
Sainsbury’s is currently trialling an app that allows customers to pay for their shopping through their smartphone, skipping checkouts entirely. The retailer is currently testing the new solution at its London Euston Station store, where commuters are able to scan items from the £3 ‘On to Go’ meal deal range and pay through their mobile. As soon as the payment is confirmed, customers can leave the store without having to queue for the checkout.
Amazon signs Alexa partnership with BMW
Amazon and BMW have announced that Amazon Alexa will be available in BMW and Mini vehicles starting in mid-2018. Users can ask Alexa in-car to get directions, call a business, play music or other audible content, control their smart home and check the news while on the go and without downloading a separate app. Customers will also have access to thousands of Alexa skills from third-party developers. For many requests, Alexa will provide voice responses paired with visual cards on BMW’s and Mini’s control display, such as to do lists or weather forecasts.
SEB and Nasdaq test blockchain trading solution
SEB, the Nordic financial services group, and Nasdaq have announced a joint project to test a developed prototype for a mutual fund trading platform based on blockchain technology. The aim is to increase efficiency in the processing of purchases and sales of fund units and to create a unit ledger – an area which today is largely characterised by manual routines, long settlement cycles and paper driven processes.
British workers ‘welcome the rise of AI and robots’
Three quarters of British office workers welcome the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots in the workplace as they believe it will give them more time to do their primary job duties, new research suggests. A report, released by Workfront, found that UK workers are largely optimistic about the impact automation will have in the workplace. Currently, British workers spend only 40 per cent of their time on their primary duties largely because emails, meetings and non-essential tasks take up the bulk of their working week.
UK consumers ‘wary of IoT automated purchasing’
Despite ranking as one of the most IoT-ready countries globally, the UK is behind the curve when it comes to consumers embracing connected devices and automated purchasing, research by Worldpay has revealed. According to the findings, a mere 23 per cent of UK consumers feel comfortable with a smart device, such as a fridge or virtual assistant, ordering items on their behalf, and half (50 per cent) said they cannot see the benefits of the convenience afforded by automated shopping.
UK banks ‘ditching the human touch’
Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of all UK banks expect to eliminate human interaction from their retail banking services within the next decade, according to new research. The Avanade research found that almost two thirds (63 per cent) of senior IT and digital decision makers from across the UK banking sector recognised that traditional methods of banking are being overtaken by disruptive competition.
Retail ‘set for augmented reality makeover’
Seven in 10 consumers now expect retailers to launch an augmented reality app within the next six months, following the launch of Apple’s ARKit. This is according to a new report from DigitalBridge, which found that augmented reality is now the most sought after technology for 61 per cent of consumers, followed by virtual reality (30 per cent), with the remaining nine per cent believing that artificial intelligence tools will be the most beneficial.
Deloitte confirms client data breach
Consultancy firm Deloitte has confirmed that it was subject to a cyber attack that has compromised confidential data, including the private emails of some clients. According to Deloitte, the system had been accessed via an email platform and that “very few” clients had been affected. The Guardian newspaper, which first reported the incident, claimed hackers may have accessed usernames, passwords and personal details of Deloitte clients. The Guardian also claimed that Deloitte discovered the hack back in March and that currently six of the firm’s clients have been made aware that their information has been compromised by the hack.
Consumers ‘want in-store biometrics’
Some 63 per cent of consumers want to be able to use a biometric scan to authorise their payments in-store, a new report from Worldpay has found. Finger biometrics proved the most popular method, with 69 per cent of consumers stating that they would be open to using it to verify their identity in-store, following by iris (33 per cent), face (24 per cent) and voice (18 per cent).
Bedford Hospital rolls out real-time data platform
Bedford Hospital NHS Trust has confirmed the successful first phase deployment of a new platform and portal from ReStart Consulting which will give clinicians and administrative teams access to real-time patient information. The Viper360 solution is now in active use by clinicians and administrative staff. By the end of October it is anticipated over 100 users will be logging in and accessing multiple systems via the Single Sign-On (SSO) viewing platform on a regular basis.
European Commission eyes FinTech shakeup
The European Commission has proposed reforms to enable further financial integration and a full Capital Markets Union, to promote jobs, growth and investment in Europe. The proposals include steps to foster the development of FinTech and to ensure that sustainability considerations are systematically taken into account in supervisory practices at the European level.
eBay signs Click and Collect deal with Doddle
eBay and Doddle have today announced a collaboration that will allow eBay business and consumer sellers to use UK Doddle locations as Click and Collect points for their customers. The pilot service will commence with Doddle’s flagship stores in London and Brighton, including Kings Cross, Canary Wharf and Liverpool Street, before expanding to all Doddle locations in supermarkets, shopping centres and charity shops in the coming months.
Costcutter unveils finger vein payments at Brunel
Costcutter has announced the launch of biometric finger payments at its convenience store on Brunel University campus. The finger vein identification technology, called Fingopay, marks the first of its kind on a university campus, and will allow students to pay for goods by simply scanning their finger.
Bank branches ‘must invest more in digital’
Bank executives believe that bank branches are here to stay but only with the proper investment into digital transformation, a new report has found. The research, conducted by Synechron and Efma which surveyed decision-making bankers from across the globe, found that 88 per cent believe physical branches add value to customers and will play a role in the future of banking.
Shopper tech attitudes ‘pushing retail change’
The changing attitudes of consumers towards a more technology-driven experience means that retailers cannot afford to delay in adopting new solutions, a new Oracle survey has claimed. The research, which surveyed more than 15,000 people across EMEA, North America, Latin America and Australia and China, found that 42 per cent of consumers are now shopping both online and in-store every week, while 73 per cent want to return their online purchases to a retail store.
UK public ‘becoming smartphone zombies’
The British public are constantly glued to their smartphones as device adoption reaches new heights, according to research from Deloitte. The survey of more than 4,150 16-75 year-olds revealed that 85 per cent of Brits (41 million people) now own or have access to a smartphone. More than half of respondents admitted to using their phone while walking (the equivalent of around 22 million people) and a quarter of 16-19 year-olds respond to messages they receive in the middle of the night. Worryingly, more than 4.5 million people (11 per cent of respondents) also admit to using their smartphones while crossing the road.
BMW Group launches UK innovation lab
BMW Group UK has announced the launch of its 2018 innovation lab, building on the success of its inaugural lab in 2016, which saw four out of five startups succeed in building ongoing relationships with the company’s UK commercial operations. The BMW Innovation Lab entrepreneur programme provides an opportunity for early-stage startup companies to partner with BMW Group’s UK commercial divisions. The programme is aimed at companies with disruptive business models or new technologies that could benefit BMW customers. Businesses can enter any of four categories:
Burberry ‘leading the way for mobile commerce’
Burberry has been named the top mobile website among UK High Street retailers, according to the latest Ampersand report. The mobile e-commerce benchmarking and consumer research revealed however that retailers still have a long way to go to meet consumer expectations on mobile, but fashion retailers are continuing to lead the way.
Commonwealth Bank enables Android Pay
Australia’s Commonwealth Bank has collaborated with Google to allow its customers to use Android Pay and enable payments on the go with Garmin smartwatches. Android Pay allows customers to make convenient and secure payments on their Android compatible devices. Android Pay is available at almost 800,000 stores across Australia, wherever contactless payments are accepted.
Third of UK firms ‘slow to adopt new technology’
Almost a third of UK businesses (31 per cent) admit being slow to adopt technological innovations, according to a new study. The research, conducted by TomTom Telematics and which senior managers at 400 UK businesses, found that a third of firms (32 per cent) still use paper to store business-sensitive information and that more than half (53 per cent) use spreadsheets.
City Pub Company integrates Flyt platform
The City Pub Company, which has a portfolio of more than 30 pubs across southern England, has become the latest partner to join Flypay’s Flyt platform. The Flyt platform will provide The City Pub Company with access to faster, frictionless payments, through the use of Flypay’s Pay at Table and Bar Tabs technologies, which will be built into the company’s new mobile app.
FCA delivers Initial Coin Offering warning
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released a warning to consumers about the risks of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The term ICO refers to a digital way of raising funds from the public using a virtual currency, also known as cryptocurrency. An ICO can also be known as ‘token sale’ or ‘coin sale’.
Two London hospitals select Perfect Ward app
Two of London’s largest acute trusts have introduced Perfect Ward, a smart application that will enable staff to record information more accurately and efficiently. London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will replace existing pen and paper audits used to record information with the Perfect Ward app.
Ieso Digital Health closes £18m funding round
Ieso Digital Health, the UK’s largest provider of online mental healthcare, has announced the successful closure of an £18 million funding round. The investment will help Ieso accelerate growth in the UK as well as the commercialisation of its technology platform in the US. The funding round marks the largest amount raised by a digital behavioural health business in Europe to date.
Consumer spending rises thanks to e-commerce
UK consumer spending in August rose by 0.3 per cent year-on-year, marking the first increase since April, latest Visa figures have shown. The growth was driven largely by higher e-commerce expenditure, according to the figures, up 6.5 per cent on last year. Meanwhile, face-to-face sales continued to decline, falling by 2.6 per cent in August.
Lloyds Bank signs access deal with Intuit
Lloyds Bank has partnered with Intuit to allow QuickBooks customers in the UK to automatically and securely import transactions from their Lloyds Bank accounts at no extra charge. Through a global initiative to ensure that QuickBooks customers gain access to financial data through whatever technology they choose, Intuit now offers direct bank feeds with three out of the top four retail banks in the UK, covering more than 60 percent of the UK market.
NHS Digital unveils five new technology projects
NHS Digital has announced five new projects which it hopes will help thousands of people in England to improve their digital health skills and improve access to technologies to support their health and care. These new digital inclusion pathfinder projects are part of a three-year Widening Digital Participation (WDP) programme being delivered by NHS Digital, in partnership with the Good Things Foundation.
WarDucks raises €1.3 million in seed funding
Virtual reality (VR) game developer, WarDucks, has secured a seed investment round of €1.3 million led by Suir Valley Ventures. WarDucks, a studio based in Dublin, designs and develops high quality games – its flagship brand is Sneaky Bears – and experiences for gamers to play on virtual reality devices. The funding also included investment from Enterprise Ireland as well as private investors and will help the VR gaming outfit expand and grow its operations.
Doddle expands charity Click & Collect service
Doddle and Cancer Research UK have announced the expansion of their Click & Collect partnership with another 50 of the charity’s shops set to become Doddle locations before Christmas. The partnership which launched in October 2016 in eight Cancer Research UK shops, enables consumers to collect and return their online shopping in High Street locations. As well as the 50 new locations, a further 200 Cancer Research UK shops will join the initiative by mid-2018.
Payment card numbers ‘to reach 17bn by 2022’
The number of payment cards globally reached 14 billion in 2016 and is predicted to rise to 17 billion by 2022, driven by further debit card issuance as the banked population continues to increase, a new RBR report has revealed. The study found that the number of payment cards worldwide increased by eight per cent to 14 billion in 2016. This is forecast to rise by 22 per cent to 17 billion by 2022, driven by an increase in bank account holding in large but developing markets such as China and India.
DigitalHealth.London unveils accelerator cohort
Technologies including video-game rehabilitation, wearables for patients with chronic disease, and a ‘USB port’ for amputees, are among those which have been selected for the second cohort of DigitalHealth.London’s accelerator programme. A total of 30 digital health companies have been accepted onto the programme, which aims to speed up adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health.
Firms deploying AI ‘creating more jobs’
Organisations deploying artificial intelligence (AI) are actually creating jobs and increasing sales, a new Capgemini report has found. The study of nearly 1,000 firms who are using AI, counters fears that AI will cause massive job losses in the short term, as 83 per cent of firms surveyed said that AI has generated new roles in their organisations.
IGT and Scientific Games in patent swap deal
International Game Technology (IGT) and Scientific Games Corporation – holders of the two largest slot game feature patent portfolios in North America – have signed a landmark patent cross-licensing agreement. Under the agreement, Scientific Games and IGT will be able to offer games using patented features from each other's portfolios, as well as those of other members of the IGT slot game features pool.
Co-op launches UK’s first car insurance chatbot
Co-op Insurance has unveiled the UK’s first ever car insurance chatbot, allowing Facebook Messenger users to receive a no-obligation quote in under 30 seconds. The Co-op Insurance chatbot gives users a sneak peek into how much they can expect to pay for their car insurance, before completing the full quote on the Co-op website.
Mobile wallet growth ‘reaching tipping point’
Three years on from the launch of Apple Pay, mobile wallet adoption is on the rise globally and consumers in the US and Europe are beginning to catch their Asia and Latin America counterparts, new research shows. The data of more than 6,000 consumers, which was conducted ACI Worldwide and Aite, found that 17 per cent of US consumers now regularly use their smartphone to pay, up from six per cent in 2014.
Swiss hospital in automated prescription first
Becton Dickinson (BD), a global medical technology outfit, has announced that the STS AG Hospital in Thun, Switzerland has become the first in the world to introduce a fully automated hospital wide prescription medicines supply chain. The BD technology aims to enable safe, secure, timely and efficient delivery of patients' medicines from the central pharmacy to the ward or care unit. The increased automation reduces the risk of preventable medication errors and helps to improve safety for patients across the hospital.
NatWest opens first London entrepreneur hub
NatWest, in partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark – the world’s largest free business accelerator, has officially opened its first incubator hub in London. National Technology News was invited to the event which saw a host of startups covering a broad range of industries, including finance and technology, descend on NatWest’s Regents House innovation centre in Angel.
France ‘more open’ to delivery innovation
French consumers are more open to new delivery technologies compared with those in the UK and Netherlands, new research has found. The survey, which was conducted by B2C Europe and polled 1,000 consumers across the three countries, found that while consumers in the UK and the Netherlands are open to some innovation, such as unmanned safes, many still had security concerns.
Fiserv acquires Monitise for £75 million
US FinTech company Fiserv has announced the completed acquisition of UK firm Monitise in a £75 million deal, as it looks to expand its digital technology suite. Last month, Monitise accepted the improved takeover bid of £75 million from Fiserv, after a previous bid of £70 million was deemed as “too low” by shareholders. The first bid was initially accepted by Monitise, but caused concern among shareholders, who threatened to withdraw their support from the acquisition.
NUH benefits from bed management tech
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) has significantly improved patient flow through its organisation following the deployment of a bed management solution from Nervecentre Software. The mobile tool – which gives clinical and operations teams real-time visibility of the patient journey, bed inventory and system bottlenecks – has been incrementally rolled out across the trust, with the first implementation beginning in November 2016.
Barclaycard marks 10-year anniversary of contactless
Barclaycard has today marked the 10-year anniversary of introducing contactless payments to the UK. The first UK contactless payments card, the ‘Barclaycard OnePulse’ was launched in September 2007 and since then the use of contactless has grown at a staggering rate, transforming the way British consumers shop.
UK InsurTech investment reaches record levels
Investment in UK InsurTech has surged to record levels despite Brexit ‘jitters’, according to new Accenture analysis. Figures from CB Insights found that UK InsurTech investment increased to £218 million in the first half of 2017, compared to £7.3 million the year before. One major deal had a dramatic impact in the UK (Gryphon Insurance raising £180 million). However, even without it, funding increased from £7.3 million to £38.3 million year-over-year, increasing by 422 per cent. The rest of Europe combined raised £104 million in the same period.
Central Line set for new propulsion tech
Rail technology firm Bombardier Transportation has been awarded a contract by London Underground (LU) to supply new propulsion technology to its fleet of Central line trains. The contract, which will run until 2024 and has been valued at £112.1 million, will mean Bombardier provide LU with motors and traction control equipment. The propulsion technology aims to improve fleet reliability, availability and energy efficiency. Bombardier will replace the direct current (DC) traction motors on Central line trains with the latest MITRAC alternating current (AC) traction systems and MITRAC traction control equipment.
Bloated web pages ‘slowing down retail sites’
The UK’s top 50 retail sites are continuing to get slower as page sizes increase, new research has found. The latest figures from web performance outfit, NCC Group, have revealed that the average load times for Q2 2017 was 17.46 seconds, a two per cent increase on the previous quarter and more than two seconds slower than in Q2 of 2016.
Mastercard trials ‘smartphone payments terminal’
Mastercard has unveiled a pilot project in Poland, which will make a smartphone the only device necessary for a merchant to accept contactless payments in their store. The solution, which is being developed in partnership with Elavon, Polskie ePłatności and Mobeewave in Poland, is aimed at small and micro merchants that have traditionally taken cash payments, providing them with a simpler and more secure way to run their business.
VR game developed to help fight dementia
Alzheimer’s Research UK has partnered with Deutsche Telekom to develop a virtual reality (VR) game, in which players can help scientists fight dementia. Last year, 10.8 million people worldwide used virtual reality and it is forecast that by 2021, there will be over 16 million users in the UK. Just two minutes spent playing Sea Hero Quest VR collects the equivalent of five hours of lab based research, according to Alzheimer’s’ Research UK.
Sliver.tv secures $9.8m in Series A funding
Sliver.tv, a 360 degree virtual reality (VR) platform, has raised $9.8 million in Series A funding, as it looks to transform the e-sports spectator experience. The funding round was led by Danhua Capital, along with Heuristic Capital Partners and ZP Capital. With total funding of $17.5 million to date, the Series A round was also participated by Sliver.tv’s existing seed investors, including DCM, Sierra Ventures, The VR Fund, Samsung Next Fund, Sony Innovation Fund, and others.
Ocado launches Alexa-enabled app
Online grocery retailer Ocado has announced that it will be launching an app for Amazon’s voice-controlled Alexa device, in what it claims to be a first for a UK supermarket. The new app will allow customers to add a product to an existing order or basket, receive cooking tips and inspiration, check on existing baskets or orders, keep track of orders, and confirm the time until which an existing order can be amended.
OCBC Bank launches P2P payments keyboard
Singapore’s OCBC Bank has launched a mobile keyboard that allows its customers to make peer-to-peer payments without having to exit their current mobile applications. The OCBC Keyboard can be used within any mobile app or browser – for instance, within Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram or Chrome – to send money instantly to anyone with a bank account in Singapore, including those who have not yet registered for PayNow. The payment rides on the OCBC Pay Anyone e-payment service and can be completed using just the recipient’s mobile number.
UK SME lands Australian health tech contract
New South Wales’ largest local health district (LHD) has chosen UK-based SME Patientrack’s solution to automate the collection of patient vital signs and clinical documentation using mobile technology. Hunter New England Health will implement Patientrack over 43 sites in the district, covering a major metropolitan centre, a mix of several large regional areas and many smaller rural centres and remote communities within its borders.
‘Self-driving’ lorries to be trialled on UK roads
The UK government has given the green light to an £8.1 million trial which will see partially self-driving lorries tested on British roads next year. The Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England have commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to test the ‘platooning vehicles’ with trials expected on major UK roads by the end of 2018.
Sellafield nuclear clear-up applicants selected
The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has shortlisted 15 ideas as part of a £3 million Dragon’s Den style competition to find new ways of using technology to clean up one of the UK’s largest nuclear hazards. The successful firms, many of which come from companies that have never worked in the nuclear industry before, will start fleshing out their concepts on how to safely dismantle a large number of highly radioactive rooms or ‘cells’ at Europe’s most complex nuclear site, Sellafield in Cumbria.
Barclaycard unveils contactless ice cream
Barclaycard has unveiled its latest payment innovation – ‘Contactless Cones’ – a self-service ice cream van designed to reduce the wait time for customers by introducing contactless technology to a typically cash-only service. The new van consists of two separate queues, allowing ice cream fans who simply want a vanilla cone to pay and pour their own ice cream, freeing up the vendor to take orders simultaneously for ice lollies and other snacks.
Walmart to offer voice-enabled shopping
Walmart has teamed up with Google in a landmark move to offer the retail giant’s US customers voice-enabled shopping. The partnership will be stepping on the toes of Amazon which currently dominates the US ‘voice shopping’ market with its AI virtual assistant Alexa. Starting in late September, the two firms will work together to offer Walmart’s US customers the ability to purchase hundreds of thousands of products via Google Assistant.
Royal Mail to trial electric-powered vans
Royal Mail is to trial nine fully electric commercial vehicles this month, transporting packages between mail and distribution centres in London. The electric vehicles have been supplied by Arrival, an automotive technology company based in Oxfordshire. The postal operator will begin the trials using 3.5, 6 and 7.5 tonne trucks on August 23 from their Mount Pleasant depot in central London.
Universities to launch new NHS Digital Academy
Three of the world’s top universities have joined forces to provide ’virtual masterclasses’ in leadership and digital as part of a comprehensive programme to provide NHS staff with the right skills to drive digital innovation. The NHS Digital Academy led by Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation in partnership with Harvard Medical School and The University of Edinburgh will open for applications in September.
Online retail identity fraud soars
Online retail identity fraud in the UK has risen by more than 50 per cent in the first six months of 2017, new figures have shown. The data from Cifas, a UK fraud prevention service, shows that identity fraud has continued to rise at record levels in H1 2017. A record 89,000 identity frauds were recorded during this period, up five per cent from last year. Representing over half of all fraud recorded by the UK’s not-for-profit fraud data sharing organisation, 83 per cent of identity frauds were perpetrated online.
Tech firms 'will be biggest banking disruptors'
Global technology giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google are causing more disruption than FinTechs to traditional banking and insurance, a new World Economic Forum has found. According to the report, the challenge to banks and insurers is down to large technology firms hollowing out the value proposition of these institutions by carrying out more core functions, even as banks and insurers lean ever more heavily on them to compete.
Brits carrying £500 worth of personal tech daily
UK adults are putting themselves at a huge risk of losing or damaging personal technology by carrying an average of £490 worth of tech on them every day, a new study has found. The research from Kroll Ontrack shows that Brits rarely leave the house without multiple mobile phones, tablets, laptops and wearable technology, equating to a collective potential loss of £25 billion. A third of the UK population (33 per cent), amounting to more than 17 million adults, carry more than £500 of technology daily, with the average value of items carried by this group standing at £1,039. This means that of the total value of UK personal portable tech items, 70 per cent (£17.8 billion) is being carried by a third of the population.
Fiserv acquires UK payments firm Dovetail
UK FinTech Fiserv has announced the acquisition of Dovetail, a provider of bank payment and liquidity management solutions, for an undisclosed amount. Fiserv said the acquisition would further its service offering to financial institutions around the world, as they transform their payments infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of wholesale, commercial and retail customers.
Air New Zealand and CBA trial airport robots
Air New Zealand has teamed up with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to trial the use of ‘social robots’ to assist customers at Sydney Airport. The five day experiment will explore how the customer experience at the airport could be enhanced with the use of social robotics. Chip CANdroid, CommBank’s social humanoid robot, will interact with and assist Air New Zealand customers, checking in and at the gate prior to boarding.
John Lewis to offer try before you buy ‘sleepovers’
Retail giant John Lewis is planning to introduce a new initiative which allows shoppers to stay the night in fully-furnished apartments in order to try out new products. Speaking to The Times, the retailer’s new managing director, Paula Nickolds, said that the new apartments, which will be called ‘The Residence’, are set to launch in Oxford Street, London, Liverpool and Cambridge later this year.
NRP trials fingerprint drug screening technology
Norfolk Recovery Partnership (NRP), an organisation that provides advice and treatment for adults with drug and alcohol problems, has trialled a “revolutionary” fingerprint drug test which aims to support rehab programmes. The Intelligent Fingerprinting solution is a portable fingerprint-based drug screening system. Its non-invasive approach – which detects drug use by analysing chemicals, known as metabolites, contained in the minute traces of sweat found in a fingerprint sample – is designed to make it ideal to support rehabilitation services across both clinical and community-based sites.
AI experts urge the UN to tackle ‘killer robots’
A group of more than 100 artificial intelligence (AI) experts have signed an open letter warning the United Nations against ‘lethal autonomous weapons’. The 116 AI leaders, which include Elon Musk, have called on the UN to take action against potentially ‘killer robots’ that could lead to a “third revolution in warfare”, adding that “once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close”.
Arsenal FC transforms online retail site
Arsenal Football Club has, with the help of technology partner SAP, transformed its online retail site, allowing fans to shop faster, anywhere, anytime and with a choice of currencies. ArsenalDirect.com selected SAP Hybris Commerce solutions to make a number of changes to its e-commerce offering. Fans can now buy official Arsenal kit, training wear and accessories on any device in four currencies – euros, US dollars, Australian dollars and British pounds.
Barclays enables Siri payments in UK first
Barclays has become the first UK High Street bank to launch payments using Apple’s virtual assistant Siri. Bank customers can now make payments using just their voice within the Barclays Mobile Banking app. The Siri integration means users won’t need to open the app to pay existing payees or mobile contacts, they can simply ask Siri such as ‘Pay John £15 with Barclays’.
Patients ‘embracing connected care technology’
Patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the UK are embracing the benefits offered by connected care technologies, a new report has found. The Philips Future Health Index shows that in the last 12 months, nearly half of HCPs (48 per cent) have seen an increase in the use of connected care technologies by primary care doctors, and over a third (38 per cent) have seen an increase in the rate of use by other primary and secondary healthcare services.
Barclays warns of ‘web blackouts’ until 2018
Barclays customers have been told that they will experience web blackouts on their online and telephone banking services for one weekend each month until January 2018, as the bank prepares to separate its wholesale and retail banking businesses to comply with new ring-fencing regulations. In a message to customers, the bank said that customers will be unable to check their balance, move money online, or access money transfer app PingIt between 11:30pm on Saturday 19 August until 3:30pm Sunday 20 August. The move will also see 800,000 new sort codes issued to customers.
UK mobile contactless payments skyrocket
Mobile contactless transactions in UK stores has skyrocketed to £370 million in the first six months of 2017, a 336 per cent rise on the previous year, the latest Worldpay data has shown. The use of mobile devices to make in-store payments has been growing steadily since the UK launch of Apple Pay in 2015, but according to Worldpay it is only in the past 12 months that the technology has begun to gain widespread acceptance beyond ‘early adopters,’ further fuelled by the launch of Android Pay in 2016 and Samsung Pay earlier this year.
Health Foundation opens innovation programme
The UK’s Health Foundation has selected 21 new projects to be part of the sixth round of its £1.5 million innovation programme. The Innovating for Improvement programme aims to improve health care delivery and the way people manage their own health care through the redesign of processes, practices and services. The selected projects will be led by clinical teams and will develop their innovative ideas and approaches, put them into practice and gather evidence about how their innovation improves quality.
Bolton NHS Trust signs £30m digital contract
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has signed a £30 million contract to provide enhanced solutions to improve patient care and outcomes. The project sees the Trust work with Allscript Sunrise Electronic Patient Record (EPR) to implement an electronic record for every aspect of a patient’s care. Currently different departments collate their records separately, though this investment will allow the trust to develop an electronic health record for patients who have treatment at Royal Bolton Hospital or with its healthcare professionals in the community.
WhatsApp ‘gearing up for P2P payments’
WhatsApp could soon roll out a new peer-to-peer (P2P) payments service, according to leaked company screenshots. The global messaging app, which was bought by Facebook back in February 2014 for $19 billion, looks close to adding the new payments feature which will enable WhatsApp users to wirelessly transfer money within the messenger service.
Swiss team develop pollution finding robotic eel
Researchers from Swizterlands’ École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have, together with other institutes, developed a robotic eel that swims through contaminated water to find the source of the pollution. The sensor-equipped robot can be controlled remotely or move on its own. In tests carried out in a small section of Lake Geneva, the robot was able to generate maps of water conductivity and temperature.
‘Crisis of confidence’ for young women in tech
There is a worrying crisis of confidence among young women with regards to their digital skills, a new KPMG survey suggests. The poll found that only 37 percent of young women are confident they have the tech skills needed by today’s employers, compared with 57 percent of young men. This is despite scoring on a par with their male counterparts when assessed on digital skills such as data manipulation and use of social media.
Volkswagen unveils first digital concept store
Volkswagen has opened its inaugural concept store in Birmingham with a host of digital features, including one which allows users to customise car designs using iPads. Located in the city’s Bullring shopping centre, which has an annual footfall of 36 million, the concept store aims to respond to shifting consumer attitudes and the demand for new shopping experiences. Customers can conduct everything from initial enquiries to the purchase of a new or pre-owned Volkswagen car in the interactive space.
Missguided upgrades Click and Collect service
Fashion retailer Missguided has partnered with Doddle to use its Click and Collect technology solution in their flagship stores at Westfield Stratford and Bluewater Kent. The Powered by Doddle solution, which has been deployed to handheld Android devices, includes all the software, training, communications and analytics modules that retailers need to enhance their Click and Collect service.
Debit cards overtake cash as top payment method
Debit cards have overtaken cash to become the number one payment method in the UK, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The annual Payments Survey reveals that, for the first time, retail purchases made by card account for more than 50 per cent of all customer transactions by volume. According to BRC, this has partly been driven by UK customers increasingly using cards for lower value payments and retailers’ investment in payment technology facilitating greater customer choice over how they pay for their goods both in store and online.
Blockchain first for fund industry
Natixis Asset Management has revealed that, for the first time in the fund industry, investors have successfully purchased shares through a blockchain-powered fund distribution platform. Investors used the blockchain-based platform, FundsDLT, to purchase Natixis Asset Management fund shares with real cash. FundsDLT is the result of collaboration between Fundsquare (a subsidiary of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange), InTech (a subsidiary of POST Group) and KPMG Luxembourg. The platform is being developed to enable asset managers to sell funds through a new distribution channel, while reducing administration costs and the time to process transactions.
iZettle boss announces IPO plans
The head of Swedish payments firm iZettle has announced that it is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) following a 60 per cent leap in revenues. The company, which allows small businesses to take payments using mini chip card readers that turn smartphones into cash registers, reported 2016 revenues of SEK 643 million (£59.1 million) against SEK 402 million (£36.9 million) the previous year. Meanwhile losses decreased by 23 per cent to SEK 228 million (£20.9 million).
FI customers ‘favouring mobile channels’
More than half of online visits to financial institutions came through mobile channels in 2016, according to a new study from Adobe. The Adobe Digital Insights report leveraged Adobe Analytics Cloud data to analyse the online performance of the top 20 per cent of companies using Adobe Experience Cloud, plus a survey of over 5,000 consumers across Europe about their online habits.
Jamie’s Italian upgrades PoS systems
Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group has enhanced its customer service with an upgrade to its point of sale (PoS) systems. The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, which comprises of London restaurants, Fifteen, Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver’s Diner and Jamie’s Italian, selected a new PoS solution from Box Technologies which will provide quicker service for customers and support the restaurant group as it moves towards mobile.
Contactless payments on London network hit 1bn
More than one billion contactless payments have now been made on London’s transport network with ‘tap and go’ payments made via mobile devices becoming increasingly popular. The landmark figures, published today by TfL, show that, on average, two million journeys are now made using contactless every day. In total, 40 per cent of all pay as you go journeys are now made using contactless, up from 25 per cent in early 2016.