More Archive News
eToro raises $100m to support expansion
eToro, the social trading and investment platform, has announced a Series E fundraise of $100 million to support its expansion into new markets as well as its continued research and development of blockchain technology and the digitisation of assets.
OakNorth reports £10.6m profit
Challenger bank OakNorth has reported that it provided over £1.2 billion of gross lending in the UK, up from £300 million a year ago, with a pre-tax profit of £10.6 million for the 2017 calendar year, only its second full year of operations.
New university to focus on the technology
A new university in Milton Keynes to focus on teaching the technology of the future world of work, leading in areas including digital, cyber, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence is being developed in partnership with business.
Amazon and others face digital tax
With the release of two draft EU directives introducing an interim digital services tax, along with a proposal for a longer-term solution, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren supported Commission efforts in seeking to prevent a confusing array of different national measures to try and ensure a level playing field between all business models.
Mobile bank N26 has raised $160 million in a funding round co-led by Allianz X, the digital investment unit of Allianz Group, and Chinese giant Tencent Holdings. The funding represents the largest German equity financing round (non IPO) in the fintech industry and will be used to accelerate N26’s global growth strategy and international expansion, particularly into the US and UK later this year.
RBS to set up own challenger
Royal Bank of Scotland is working on creating its own challenger bank to compete with new banks such as Starling, Atom, Monzo and Revolut.
Uber suspends self-driving car tests
Uber’s tests with self-driving cars resulted in a fatal accident, and the company has suspended all tests in the aftermath. A woman was hit by a car and killed in Arizona – the first death caused by an autonomous car.
Cambridge Analytica raises concern
Cynics might say ‘really’ but it has come as a surprise to some that social media companies aren’t always paragons of virtue. Combine this with the amazing revelations that political parties try to influence the voters and you have the current row over Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data.
Micro Focus suffers for HPE purchase
At one point, shares in Micro Focus, one of the UK largest IT companies, fell by a half, as the company announced a profits warning. The problems are related to the purchase of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's software business for £6.8bn, a purchase that included former UK company Autonomy that had been adsorbed into HP earlier. Despite the warning, the company has stated that its cost savings drive is ahead of schedule and its net debt was expected to be in line with expectations.
Quarter unsure of their regulatory compliance needs
A poll from hybrid cloud solutions supplier Pulsant shows a lack of alignment when it comes to managing and maintaining compliance, with 28 per cent of IT decision unsure which regulatory frameworks their organisations need to align.
Barclays signs seven wearable payments deals
Barclays has signed partnerships with seven watch brands, including Guess, Mondaine, Timex and Kronaby, to embed contactless bPay technology into traditional watches and fitness trackers. Building on the Timex Fairfield Contactless watch last year, bPay and Timex will launch an expanded range of contactless-enabled watches in May. Guess Watches will also work with bPay to launch a range of six contactless watches.
Rolls-Royce explores very high energy storage technology
Rolls-Royce has signed a collaboration agreement with UK-based technology start-up Superdielectrics to explore the potential of using hydrophilic polymers to create high energy storage technology. The agreement will see Rolls-Royce, Superdielectrics and researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Surrey, to help create a potentially significant breakthrough in energy storage properties.
WhatsApp stopped from sharing personal data with Facebook
The Information Commissioner has completed its investigation, started in August 2016, into whether WhatsApp could legally share users’ data with its owner Facebook. As it stands the Commissioner is not satisfied that there is any lawful basis of processing for any such sharing of personal data and WhatsApp has failed to provide adequate fair processing information to users in relation to any such sharing.
$200bn of cybercrime laundered every year
An academic study into the macro economics of cybercrime and laundering estimate that $80-$200 billion are ‘cashed out’ each year, and in total cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8-10 per cent of all illegal profits laundered globally.
Wipro sells data centre hosting business
Ensono is buying Wipro’s data centre components in a deal that allows Wipro to maintain access to the capabilities and letting Wipro focus on the digital business. Wipro acquired Infocrossing at its data centre business in 2007, but the business is now very consolidated, with the large cloud players likely to further erode the opportunities for mid-sized players.
Salesforce targets smaller businesses
Salesforce is looking to expand its offering to SMEs with its Essentials – a slimmed down version targeting companies with less than 25 workers. The product offers the company both the chance to attract higher volumes from SMEs but also the opportunity to tempt growing companies into the Salesforce infrastructure with a view to upgrading the systems and costs as they expand.
Digital transformation and IoT to drive cybersecurity spend
Data from Juniper Research has found that global business spend on cybersecurity solutions will grow by 33 per cent over the next 4 years, reaching $134 billion annually by 2022. 'Cybersecurity: Mitigation Strategies for Financial Services, Operators, Enterprise & IoT 2018-2022' found that nearly 70 per cent of 2022 spend would originate from medium-sized businesses, as cybercriminals target ‘low-hanging fruit’.
Almost a third of consumers plan for new AI home devices
Almost a third (32 per cent) of consumers surveyed globally plan to buy an AI device including robots or automated assistants, with retailers watching closely as 'voice commerce' develops in the home. PwC's 'Global Consumer Insights' survey, which assesses the shopping behaviour, habits and expectations of over 22,000 consumers in 27 countries reports that that 10 per cent of respondents already own artificial intelligence (AI) devices, such as robots and automated personal assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home, and 32 per cent said they plan to buy one.
IMF on Bitcoin: Fire with fire
In a blog on its site, the International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde has warned of the dangers that cryptocurrencies pose, suggestion that blockchain technology could help hold them to account and return control to traditional agencies.
In his spring statement, Phillip Hammond has requested that the way in which technology companies such as Google and Facebook are taxed is reviewed. Radical suggestions include taxing revenue rather than profit – even for an interim – could be considered, although such a tax breaks nearly all business tax arrangements.
Larry Page’s air taxi tests
Kitty Hawk, the company founded by Google co-founder Larry Page, has unveiled its ‘flying car’ taxi prototype. Called Cora, the aircraft can take off vertically and transition to horizontal flight, and is the result of eight years of research.
Qualcomm Broadcom merger stopped
Donald Trump has blocked the takeover of US chipmaker Qualcomm on the grounds of national security. The deal, one of the biggest in technology of recent years, would have seen Singapore-based Broadcom become the world's third-largest chip maker with only Intel and Samsung producing more.
First energy storage investment fund announced
The world’s first listed investment fund solely for energy storage has been announced, with a proposed float in London of GBP100m. Gore Street will invest in arrays of lithium ion batteries, such as those made by Tesla, powered by renewable sources that can make energy available to the National Grid.
Banca Generali and Saxo Bank sign digital and trading agreement
Bg-Saxo Sim is the new joint entity that will provide online trading and digital services to Italian clients. The partnership offers access to an innovative platform for advanced trading based on Danish bank Saxo’s technology, marking a major deal in which one bank will provide a raft of services to another in order to speed the development of opportunities for its financial advisors and clients.
Thomson Reuters creates Bitcoin sentiment monitor
Thomson Reuters and MarketPsych Data have launched a new version of their TRMI product including a sentiment data feed for Bitcoin. Surveying more than 400 news and social media sites, many specific to cryptocurrencies, the sentiment monitor coves a variety of financial data, but the focus on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is seen as a first.
Dell narrows loss, servers up, storage down
Dell Technologies (Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Boomi, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware) revealed better Q4 results, generating $21.9 billion in revenue during the final quarter of its 2018 fiscal year and an operating profit of $2.1 billion. The main areas of growth were in servers and networking sales with the infrastructure services group (ISG), client services group (CSG) units and VMware doing well, but storage was down, by 11 per cent – mainly the EMC group. Dell has said that it wants to again become a public company, whilst it has also considered the options around VMware.
SpaceX and Tesla just survived
The BBC reports that Elon Must was so scared of the failure of both SpaceX and Tesla, that he would not let his friends invest. A man to whom the concept of hyperbole is alien, Musk told an audience at the South by South West (SXSW) conference that these companies were near collapse in 2008, and even earlier, in 2002, he dissuaded friends from investing. However, he kept backing his projects, and in his words “they both came through".
Digital adoption could power rural areas
Research by Rural England and Scotland’s Rural College, commissioned by Amazon, estimates that if digital tools and services were more widely adopted, they could deliver at least GBP15bn per year for the rural economy with rural microbusiness and small-sized business seeing the greatest returns.
Consultancy Bain and Co believes that the long predicted entry by Amazon into the banking sector might have taken a step closer. The company already has a cobranded credit card offered by Chase, and Amazon Cash allows customers to deposit cash directly to their Amazon accounts from more than 10,000 retail locations throughout the US, but now Amazon is now talking with big banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.
SAP Ariba offers mid-market companies digital procurement
SAP Ariba Snap has been designed to enable growing companies to manage spend using SAP Ariba’s cloud-based applications and business network, and so utilising the same infrastructure as larger entities.
Startup BABB raises a $20 million to build its blockchain banking platform
BABB (Bank Account Based Blockchain) has raised its target $20 million in a sold-out token sale and is poised to open its first regulated blockchain-based bank accounts before the end the year.
VMware Cloud and AWS enter Europe
VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have been made available in Europe, offering cloud migration and hybrid cloud deployments and enabling system integrator and system outsourcer (SISO) partners, managed service providers, and solutions providers greater access to the resources to run, manage, and secure applications in a hybrid cloud.
Blackberry faces off against Facebook
Blackberry has accused Facebook of copying features from Blackberry Messenger for its WhatsApp and Instagram apps in a US lawsuit. The Canadian firm is seeking to mine its substantial patents bases (estimated at around 40,000 patents) and believes that many features of its then (2005) ground-breaking messaging system have been copied. Facebook started its services six years later.
The Government is announcing guidelines to make smart devices more secure. Manufacturers of internet-connected devices will now be asked to add security measures, including passwords that are unique and not resettable to a factory default.
WEF creates fintech cyber security consortium
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has founded a consortium with the aim of improving cybersecurity in financial technology companies.
Drone-tracking opens up skies for drones
In a move that could help open up the skies to commercial drone deliveries, an automated drone-tracking system is being co-developed by Nats, the air traffic control service, and a start-up, Altitude Angel.
Wind-up radio inventor Trevor Baylis has passed away. The inventor was most famous for the clockwork radio that allowed people to listen to the radio even if electricity was unavailable, such as in the Third-World, but was also a champion of intellectual property rights.
The shape of things to come
A restaurant in the US has installed a robot to cook its hamburgers. Taking orders through a digital ticketing system, the robot then uses thermal imaging, as well as cameras, to place meat on the grill, cook it and remove it.
VMware unveils healthy results, but won’t be drawn on further Dell links
VMware has produced some positive results, with revenue for the fiscal year 2018 up 12 per cent from 2016 to $7.92 billion, despite being hit by a $970 million charge in advance of the new US tax regulations announced in December.
Bank of England proposes regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has suggested that the virtual exchanges used to clear cryptocurrency transactions should be formally regulated, to protect consumers without stifling innovation.
Regtech firm Ascent on the rise with $6 million funding round
Chicago-based regtech company Ascent Technologies has managed to attract an impressive list of investors for a $6 million funding round, as the company continues to develop an AI and natural language-based method for managing compliance requirements. The technology turns regulatory data into action points, tailored to meet end user firms’ specific requirements.
Russian hackers accused of breaking into German government IT systems
Reports suggest Russian hacking group APT28 was responsible for cyber attacks on Germany’s foreign and defence ministries in December. German government officials confirmed this week that both ministries had been penetrated by cyber attacks, although they would not provide any further details. Although they claimed the attacks had been detected and mitigated quickly, there has been some speculation that the attackers may have had access to German government IT infrastructure and data for months.
Love for free apps is stronger than our data paranoia
A majority of UK citizens are worried about mobile apps stealing personal data, yet almost three quarters say they only ever download free apps, which are more likely to be supported by advertising or data capture, according to a survey by The App Developers.
Nomura tests a quantum approach to asset management
Nomura Holdings, part of Nomura Group, has launched a research project with Tohoku University in Japan, seeking to discover whether quantum computing could be used to optimise asset management services offered to clients. The company is turning to quantum computing in an attempt to increase the speed at which it can perform data analysis.
Desktop PCs on the way out – but staying in your office for a while yet
Global shipments of desktop PCs fell by 2.7 per cent during 2017; and demand for traditional PCs is expected to contract at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.9 per cent between 2017 and 2022, according to data from IDC. Even if anticipated demand for detachable tablet devices like Microsoft’s Surface Pro is added to the figures demand for PCs will only grow by a CAGR of 0.1 per cent to 2022.
Fintechs and tech giants set to disrupt capital markets infrastructure sector
Senior managers at capital markets infrastructure providers (CMIPs) such as exchanges and counterparty clearing houses (CCPs) believe that both fintech, in its various forms, and the technology giants could create significant disruption in the capital market infrastructure (CMI) sector in the near future.
Bill Gates says cryptocurrencies kill
Bill Gates has underlined his distaste for investing in cryptocurrencies, saying that they “caused deaths in a fairly direct way”. Speaking on a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, Gates criticised the anonymity on which digital currencies run, which he said allowed criminals to use them to participate in criminal activities including money laundering and drug smuggling.
Global investment in fintech rose by 18 per cent during 2017
Global investment in fintechs rose 18 per cent in 2017 to $27.4 billion, according to Accenture and CB Insights. Deal values increased by 31 per cent in the US, to $11.3 billion, almost quadrupled in the UK to reach $3.4 billion; and increased by a factor of five in India to reach $2.4 billion. The overall number of fintech venture capital deals increased from 1,805 in 2016 to 2,694 in 2017. Fintechs focusing on lending and payments accounted for about 30 per cent of total funding in 2017.
Security firm claims it can hack any iPhone
In the digital age, it seems, you’re right to be paranoid and to suspect that the government could find out anything they wanted to find out about you, if they chose to do so. Israel-based digital intelligence specialist Cellebrite (part of Sun Corporation) claims its engineers can break into any device running iOS 11, which would mean any iPhone, including the iPhone X.
Demand for IT hardware set to spike says Morgan Stanley
On-premises hardware vendors are about to see a boost in revenues according to a new Morgan Stanley research note. Companies have held back from investing in hardware while working out “how, when and how much of their workloads to move to the cloud”, suggests Katy L. Huberty, head of North American Technology Hardware Equity research at the financial services company – but now those decisions have been made companies will be making overdue investments in hardware.
EU considering legislation that would allow police to access data held anywhere
The European Union is drafting legislation that – like a draft law under consideration by lawmakers in the US – would effectively give EU law enforcement agencies the ability to request access to personal data even if held on computers outside the EU.
HyperGrid claims automated service finds the best cloud tech for any task
Service provider HyperGrid has redefined its HyperCloud software with the launch of a new capability within the stack: the ‘software-defined cloud’, which the company claims can assess which of 100 million possible configurations of cloud technology is the perfect one to suit an end user’s needs at a specific time, then automate allocation of each workload. The company says the service can also “cloudify” existing applications.
OneWeb satellites will enable mobile roaming on planes
US satellite firm OneWeb and aviation manufacturer Airbus are among the founder members of the Seamless Air Alliance, which aims to develop top quality internet access for aeroplane passengers. Other members of the alliance include US airline Delta, Indian airline Bharti Airtel, in-flight internet specialist Gogo and telecommunications company Sprint.
Net neutrality battle heats up in US courts
We should all be keeping an eye on a very important developing story in the US: the legal clash about to take place in the US courts about net neutrality. In December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to allow ISPs to speed up or slow down data related to different companies and to set different levels of charges for consumers with differing levels of access to faster data – provided the ISPs disclose this publicly.
Bank of America publicly acknowledges cryptocurrency risks
Bank of America has become the latest pillar of the global financial establishment to issue a public warning - albeit a subtle one - about risks that cryptocurrencies may pose to the existing financial order. The bank’s annual filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US includes references to the risk factors that cryptocurrencies could pose to its investors.
HPE happy with results and buying back shares following US tax reform
HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) is happy about its latest quarterly results, with quarterly net revenues up 11 per cent to $7.7 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations. The company enjoyed a 24 per cent increase in storage revenue, year on year; and a 27 per cent increase in DC networking, both functions for which are within the company’s hybrid IT division.
Angry Birds no longer so popular with angry shareholders
Shares in Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company behind the delightful, moderately violent timewaster Angry Birds, have plunged following a profit warning, just five months after the company’s floatation. Shares fell by almost 50 per cent to €4.90 on February 22.
Proposed US law would let Federal law enforcement agencies take data from computers anywhere worldwide
The US Congress is considering passing legislation that would mean US law enforcement agencies could demand emails and other personal communications from computers overseas, using a judicial subpoena. It would also allow other governments to ask to see the personal data of their citizens stored on computers in the US, subject to sharing agreements.
Marco Polo prepares for DLT trade finance pilot
Global banking initiative Marco Polo is to pilot a distributed ledger technology (DLT) trade finance solution, following a successful proof of concept. The initiative has developed a solution for post-shipment trade financing powered by TradeIX’s TiX platform and R3’s Corda blockchain technology. The platform enables real-time connectivity between trade participants, removing the data silos which prevent the free flow of information – causing inefficiencies and discrepancies.
MPs launch inquiry into digital currencies
The House of Commons Treasury Select Committee has launched an inquiry into digital currencies and distributed ledger technology. The inquiry will examine the role of digital currencies in the UK, possible opportunities and risks for consumers, business and government; and will consider the potential impact of distributed ledger technologies (ie.blockchain) on UK financial institutions and infrastructure.
C-suite security strategies may be misguided
UK executives of companies affected by security breaches may have the wrong priorities: basing responses to breaches on short-term concerns and taking misguided security investment decisions, according to research by security provider Centrify.
Lloyds Banking Group launches £3 billion strategy including IT overhaul
Lloyds Banking Group has announced healthy profits, a share buyback and a three year, £3 billion strategic investment programme, with a strong focus on digital. The banking group announced pre-tax profits of £5.3 billion, a 24 per cent rise on the 2016 figures and the highest profit since 2006, although actually a lower figure than had been predicted by some analysts.
Beware the malicious use of AI warns major new report
Governments must collaborate with technical researchers to investigate, prevent and mitigate potential malicious uses of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies, according to the authors of a new report. Its authors suggest AI may increase the incidence of some existing cyber threats by reducing the cost of cyber attacks, as well as introducing new threats and risks.
Surprise, surprise: fraud and cyber attack volumes both rising
Numbers of both fraud and cyber attacks are increasing, according to Kroll’s tenth annual Global Fraud and Risk Report. 84 per cent of the 540 senior executives surveyed for the report said their company had been affected by at least one instance of fraud in the previous 12 months, up from 82 per cent in 2016 and only 61 per cent in 2012.
Touchstone Innovations funds re:infer - an AI start-up automating business communications
Touchstone Innovations has led a $3.5 million funding round in re:infer, a London-based start-up that uses AI to automate the process of understanding high volumes of human communications. The company claims its machine learning and analytics technology can provide organisations with “a new perceptual capability to listen and understand all of their communications in real time and at scale”.
Microsoft security vulnerabilities increasing – but removing admin rights fixes most of them
Reported security vulnerabilities in Microsoft technologies have more than doubled since 2013 – but most could be mitigated by removing admin rights, according to research from Avecto. 685 vulnerabilities were reported during 2017, compared to 325 in 2013 and 451 in 2016, according to Avecto’s annual Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report. The number of critical vulnerabilities has increased by 60 per cent over the same period; and there has been an 89 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities reported in Microsoft Office products.
Opencell and Vodafone pilot indoor 4G for high rise offices
The days of mobile reception blackspots in your office could be numbered: Opencell and Vodafone have launched the first centralised indoor 4G mobile signal solution at engineering and construction firm AECOM’s new European headquarters building in the City of London.
Gartner: chatbots will run a quarter of customer service interactions in 2020
Gartner predicts that chatbots – virtual customer assistants (VCAs) – will be running 25 per cent of all customer service and support operations by 2020, up from just two per cent in 2017. The research firm’s forecast is based on the excellent results chatbots are delivering to some organisations today, with some reporting reductions of up 70 per cent in customer enquiries received through other channels after implementing VCAs.
Tech industry urges UK government to align with EU data regulations beyond Brexit
Two major technology industry organisations have pressed UK government ministers on the need to maintain alignment between data privacy laws and regulations in the UK and Europe after Brexit. A letter sent from techUK CEO Julian David and the Information Technology Industry Council CEO Dean Garfield to international trade secretary Liam Fox stressed the need for the UK to continue to comply in full with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after Brexit.
Capgemini benefits from rising demand for cloud and digital transformation
Capgemini has announced reasonably healthy full-year results for 2017, as the company continues to benefit from demand for cloud services and digital transformation. Digital and cloud revenues at the French IT services firm grew 24 per cent year on year to reach almost €5 billion. Overall revenue grew by four per cent to €12.8 billion, with net profit up 11 per cent to €820 million.
SpaceX launching test spacecraft on Wednesday: first step towards 12,000 internet satellite network
This week should see the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will form the first step towards construction of a new network of 12,000 satellites offering internet connectivity.
Cisco changes financial strategy to benefit from US tax reform
Cisco has become the first of the US technology giants to provide tangible evidence that US tax reform is influencing financial strategy, with the announcement of a $25 billion stock buyback plan. The tax system changes, announced in December mean US companies can now repatriate some of the huge cash reserves many have accumulated outside the US over the past decade without having to pay higher rates of tax upon them.
UK government blames Russia for NotPetya cyber attack
The UK government has publicly blamed Russia for the NotPetya malware attack that took place in June 2017, paralysing IT systems in companies and other organisations across Europe and causing more than $1.2 billion worth of damage.
NTT Security and ThreatQuotient to partner
NTT Security, the security part of NTT Group, is partnering with ThreatQuotient to broaden its threat intelligence capabilities. ThreatQuotient's threat intelligence platform (TIP), ThreatQ, will serve as the cornerstone of NTT Security's new threat intelligence services offering.
Oracle demonstrates advances in autonomous cloud
Oracle has demonstrated advances in the Oracle Cloud Platform that extend its autonomous services to make all Oracle Cloud Platform services self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing.
AudioBoom reverses into Triton Digital
UK podcasting company AudioBoom is seeking a reverse takeover of larger US rival Triton Digital. The £134m deal will allow Audioboom access to the US in the growing audio advertising space, and if the deal takes place the US management of Triton will take over the running of the combined group.
Abu Dhabi has entered a new partnership with the distributed ledger Ripple, with the UAE Exchange using the RippleNet product for cross-border transactions.
UK crypto companies launch regulatory body
Some of the major UK cryptocurrency companies are uniting to launch a self-regulatory trade body to improve industry standards and engage policy makers on the future of the sector.
Mimecast, the email and data security company has announced financial results for the third quarter 2017 with revenue of $67.3 million, an increase of 39 per cent year on year, or 36 per cent in constant currency.
Deloitte’s patently good idea
DeloitteSmartReports.com is offering patent benchmark reports created by using artificial intelligence to analyse the 70 million patents filed by 268,000 businesses worldwide.
Citigroup to create London innovation hub
Citigroup is to set up an innovation centre in London, the FT has reported. One of the first major investments by the US bank following the Brexit vote, it will have 60 technologists initially.
Apex readies for a brave new future
Apex Supply Chain Technologies has expanded and opened a new European headquarters in Worcestershire, with nearly three times the area of its two previous facilities combined.
Unilever puts social media on a leash
Ethically renowned consumer goods manufacturer Unilever has threatened to pull its advertising from online platforms if they do not protect children, promote hate or aid division in society.
Unisys’ results show the company exceeding or achieving guidance for all metrics with its Annual Contract Value (ACV) up 22 per cent year over year and Total Contract Value (TCV) up 8 per cent year over year.
Twitter turns a profit, but social media gets tired
Twitter has finally reported its first quarterly profit after a rise in advertising revenue, and video advertising in particular.
BT blazes trail in cyber intelligence threat data sharing
BT has called on UK ISPs to follow its lead in sharing threat intelligence data across the community in a secure and trusted way, in an effort to protect businesses and consumers from cyber crime. The telecoms provider is the first telecommunications provider in the world to start sharing information about malicious software and websites on such a scale, and is in direct response to an initiative led by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to enable ISPs to share detection events.
Trifacta’s data business expands
Structuring data so that it can be useful is the core purpose of Trifacta, and the move to Big Data means that any firm that can offer an effective has lot to offer.
Big Blue crashes into on the cloud party
Forbes magazine has run an interesting analysis of the relative positions of the major cloud suppliers, with Microsoft top, and Amazon and IBM close behind.
Hong Kong issues guidelines for virtual banks
Hong Kong’s regulators have set up draft rules around virtual banks, with a minimum of HK$300 million (US$38.36 million) in capital, and restrictions on imposing a minimum account balance or low balance fees.
Huawei announces £3bn commitment to UK
Huawei Technologies has announced a major new commitment to the UK with a promise of procurement over the next five years of £3billion.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has predicted that Australia will benefit most from AI and the UK will gain least in new study looking into the impact of AI until the year 2030.
Elon Musk never fails to entertain, and gain publicity, even when making a serious point about the state of space exploration.
Former Intel president launches new chip maker
Intel’s former president Renée James has emerged as the chairman and CEO of Ampere Computing, a new startup backed by the Carlyle Group that seeks to leverage the dramatic rise in cloud computing.
Broadcom offers final $121 billion for Qualcomm
Broadcom has offered $121 billion as its final bid to buy Qualcomm, the US semiconductor giant.
Microsoft poll finds technology is a problem
Microsoft has conducted research revealing that “the introduction of new technology on its own, does not guarantee more effective work”.
Dell is in an interesting position, for whilst it is a private company it also owns a majority of VMware – which is not. This minor fact has some consequences, for example because of the impact of any major changes on VMware, it has to file intentions with the regulators in the US. And indeed it has made some filings that lead to a reading of the entrails.
Lloyds bans Bitcoin from credit cards
Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA customers will no longer be able to purchase crypto currencies via their credit cards as the parent group clamps down.
Credit Suisse gets virtual IT support
If you work at Credit Suisse and your PC needs to be turned on and off, then it will be the AI of Amelia who will be sighing at your stupidity.
BT: results and ultrafast broadband by mid-2020s
BT Group has released its third quarter results to end 2017, with revenue down 3 per cent to £5,970m and underlying revenue down 1.5 per cent.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, produced lower than expected profits in the last quarter of 2017.
Amazon’s full-year revenue rises a third
With both Alibaba and Amazon reporting recent results two themes become clear: online retail is a great cash cow and the big companies in it are expanding into other areas such as corporate cloud.
Alibaba sales rose 56 per cent in the last three months of 2017, with revenues hitting $13.2bn.
CGI Group has released Q1 results, with first quarter revenue of $2.8 billion, a growth of 5.3 per cent.
Microsoft has posted its second quarter results, pointing to the growth in its Azure revenue as a marker to is transformation into a cloud services company.
Juniper Networks and TIM to drive telco cloud
Immediately following its lacklustre financial results, Juniper Networks has initiated a joint agreement to collaborate with TIM (Telecom Italia) on the research and development of an innovative cloud-oriented network infrastructure.
Orange has adopted Cisco’s Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) software platform to its current and future network as a foundation for infrastructure programmability and automating method of procedure (MOP) operations and customer-facing services.
UK networks are vulnerable via apps
Research released by A10 Networks examining the behaviour and attitudes of the workforce towards the use of business and personal apps has revealed issues of risk, security and impact on corporate culture.
Fujitsu only tech company on LGBT list
Fujitsu only tech company on LGBT list
Juniper Networks reported its financial results for the year with net revenues at $1,239.5 million, a decrease of 11 per cent year-over-year.
CA Technologies holds steady
CA Technologies has reported financial results for its third quarter fiscal 2018, with strong revenue growth in the third quarter, partly due to recent acquisitions.
Rabobank launches Rabo Frontier Ventures
Rabobank has revealed its Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), a €60 million strategic investment fund to focus on early-stage fintech and food and agriculture companies.
GoCompare, the comparison site, is to open up its APIs, allowing external technology companies to harness anonymised transaction data for analysis.
Western Union expands tech with Indian centre
Western Union has launched the Western Union Technology Engineering Centre (WUTEC) in India in a new 125,000 square feet facility in Pune, Maharashtra
ABN AMRO and Cisco invest in BehavioSec
Behavioural biometrics specialist BehavioSec has raised $17.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Trident Capital Cybersecurity with contributions from ABN AMRO and Cisco Investments, and returning investors Conor Venture Partners and Octopus Ventures.
Nissan announces electric vehicle-to-grid systems
Nissan will lead a GBP9.8m programme to investigate how electric vehicles can feed into the power grid with a demonstrator project.
BP announces fast charge project
BP has released details of a project that will help the uptake of electric vehicles in the UK.
SAP buys Callidus Software
SAP America is acquiring CallidusCloud for a price tag of $2.4 billion, with SAP has electing to fund the transaction with existing cash balances and an acquisition term loan. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.
Thomson Reuters data unit may go to Blackstone
Blackstone Group, the US private equity firm, is reported to be engaged in talks to purchase a majority (55 per cent) stake in the financial and risk business of Thomson Reuters.
Startups – walls and bridges
Silicon Valley Bank has released its latest Startup Outlook report, polling over 1,000 startup founders and executives looking at the perceptions of technology and healthcare startups on business conditions, Brexit, fundraising, hiring and policy issues.
Internet crosses 4 billion users
Hootsuite and We Are Social have reported on social media and digital trends around the world in an annual report. 'Digital in 2018' considers 239 countries and territories, and estimates that the number of internet users in the world has now surpassed the 4 billion mark, putting more than half the global population online (53 per cent of the world’s population).
ING buys stake in Payvision
ING has entered payments processing by buying a 75 per cent stake in Payvision for £317m.
Big Data transforming Chinese business
Big data is significantly changing many sectors of the Chinese economy, according to research by ICAEW, in partnership with the Shanghai National Accounting Institute and Chinese technology company Inspur.
The British Blockchain Association (BBA) has been founded with the aim of supporting the technology’s adoption across public, private and the third sectors.
Moore Stephens acquires the data warehousing
Moore Stephens Consulting (MSC), a division of the accountancy and advisory firm, has announced the acquisition of the data warehousing division of Atticus Associates.
Baidu, the Chinese search engine, is looking to prospective investors in an attempt to raise $1.5 to 2 billion.
Online mortgage broker Trussle has opened up its pioneering mortgage monitoring service to mortgage borrowers.
The number of jobs advertised in the technology sector grew by 12 per cent last year as businesses continue to expand their tech departments, according to figures from Reed Technology.
Sky yields to the internet
Sky will make all its channels and content available online, ending the need fora satellite dish.
Alphabet looks to corporate security
Alphabet, parent company of Google, has launched a new business unit to supply cyber security products to corporates.
Synechron hires head of UK business consulting
More moves at Synechron, as Pankaj Gupta joins the Synechron Business Consultancy (SBC) team in the UK as managing director and head of UK business consulting.
HMRC stops scam text messages
HM Revenue and Customs has stopped thousands of scam text messages, with 90 per cent of the most convincing texts now halted before they reach taxpayers’ phones.
Deloitte buys ATADATA to strengthen cloud
Deloitte has announced it is acquiring the assets of ATADATA, an Atlanta-based provider of a cloud platform that maps, migrates and manages workloads.
Accounting software group Sage has announced its results for its Q1 trading, with performance broadly in line with expectations.
Preventing a digital dark age
The World Economic Forum has announced a new Global Centre for Cybersecurity to help build a safe and secure global cyberspace.
Stripe ending Bitcoin support
Tom Karlo, payments manager at payments organisation Stripe has stated that the company will be ending its support for Bitcoin payments.
Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has called on the government to spend more on Britain's Armed Forces, and at the same time, chief of the general staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, pointed to a return of cold war tensions with Russia and raised the prospect of hostilities between the country and NATO forces.
Graphics cards – prices spike
An unlikely side-effect of the crypto-currencies stampede is that graphics cards are now retailing at a premium.
IBM and Salesforce strengthen ‘strategic partnership’
IBM and Salesforce are expanding their strategic partnership, bringing together IBM Cloud and Watson services with Salesforce Quip and Salesforce Service Cloud Einstein to enable companies to connect with their customers more effectively.
IntegraFin, the parent of platform Transact, that offers online support to financial advisers and clients with trading and tax wrappers, is to float in the first stock market launch of the year.
Computacenter looks positive
European IT infrastructure services provider Computacenter has provided a postive update on trading.
Blockchain makes first agricultural commodity trade
Louis Dreyfus Company, ING, Societe Generale and ABN Amro have completed the first agricultural commodity trade using blockchain.
After news of the Google subsea communications plans comes Tata Communications, Facebook, China Telecom Global, China Unicom and Telstra joining to create a trans-Pacific cable system.
Shutting down the Internet
A Study for Website Builder Expert, has estimated the impact of internet loss globally.
The Nominet Trust is splitting from UK domain register Nominet. After ten years the two have agree to separate, in order to more effectively scale its social impact.
IBM has had a rocky time over the last five years, with 22 quarters of declining revenue, but the ‘Big Blue’ has finally seen growth in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Pega has commissioned a report regarding the adoption of AI into the workplace, with some surprising results
Marks & Spencer has extended its longstanding digital customer contact partnership with Capita for a further five years.
Synechron expands US business consulting team
New York-based Financial services consulting and technology services provider Synechron, has announced Chris Ekonomidis as its senior director and US regulatory practice head for Synechron Business Consulting as the company ramps up it abilities in banking transformation. Ekonomidis was previously at Sapient Global Markets and EY.
Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners are buying US financial technology firm Blackhawk Network Holdings for $3.5bn.
Standard Chartered launches innovation and investment unit
Standard Chartered has started a new unit to invest in financial technology and innovation.
Global IT spending to reach $3.7 trillion in 2018
Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2018, an increase of 4.5 per cent from 2017, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.
Kaspersky uncovers Android spyware
Kaspersky Lab researchers have uncovered an advanced spyware that has been covertly active since 2014 and designed for targeted cyber-surveillance.
In light of governments around the globe making noises about crypto-currencies, a fall was one of the most predicted events of the year and with South Korea suggesting that it might take action in the near future it looks like a correction, at least, has occurred.
Maersk and IBM form Blockchain venture
Maersk and IBM will establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology.
China to limit fintech to ‘real’ economy
China will only support financial technologies that benefit the ‘real’ economy, the China Securities Regulatory Commission has said.
Google extends infrastructure reach
Google Cloud has spent $30 billion improving its infrastructure over three years, and will open its Netherlands and Montreal cloud platform regions in the first quarter of 2018, followed by Los Angeles, Finland, and Hong Kong.
Lars Klawitter joins InMotion Ventures as executive director strategic business from Rolls-Royce to oversee expansion of strategic partnerships.
NTT Security extends in Thailand
NTT Security has announced its expansion into Thailand. The company sees Thailand's economy as having great potential, with the second largest GDP following Indonesia in the high growth economy of ASEAN.
Softbank plans sale of mobile business
Softbank might list its mobile phone business, according to the Nikkei newspaper.
Ripple and MoneyGram to partner
Blockchain provider Ripple has partnered with MoneyGram to pilot crypto-currency XRP in its payment flows. As part of this agreement, both companies will also explore MoneyGram's integration into Ripple's ecosystem.
Intel: fixes could slow machines
Intel has estimated that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre flaws could slow performance slowdown from between 2 per cent to 14 per cent.
Wireless Infrastructure Group
Barings has announced that it has sold its investment in Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) to 3i Infrastructure.
Inmotion Ventures backs taxi start-up
InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital arm, has invested USD3 million in US-based self-driving taxi service Voyage.
Voice assistants to become a dominant mode of interaction
Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute has released a new report, Conversational Commerce: Why consumers are embracing voice assistants in their lives, highlighting how consumers are using voice assistants and the opportunities this creates for businesses to connect with their customers.
Intel and Apple: Senators pose questions
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's sold shares three months before it publically disclosed the flaws in its chips that could make them vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre.
The Government is set to amend the Data Protection Bill to protect researchers who might otherwise break the law during legitimate work. An exemption for researchers carrying out “effectiveness testing” will be added. Researchers will still have to notify the ICO within three days of ‘deanonymising’ data however.
M&S in technology transformation with Tata
Retailer M&S has announced a new Technology Transformation Programme to create a digital-first business model and improve customer experience.
Kodak latest to go crypto
Historic photographic company Eastman Kodak has seen its shares lift by 120 per cent revealing plans to mint its own crypto-currency.
Google launches Google Pay
Google is combining its payment services, including Android Pay and Google Wallet, into one unified service, called Google Pay.
Tech entrepreneurs prioritise brand over money
Naming and brand are the most important decision technology entrepreneurs have to make, with decisions on name, brand profile and marketing costs topping the ranking of bosses’ most important to do lists.
Self-driving tech the hit at CES
Cisco and Hyundai, NVIDIA and VW, this year’s CES has seen a rush for technology companies to partner carmakers.
Delivery company Deliveroo is adopting technology from Looker to ‘operationalise’ its data and manage its network. Deliveroo will now have a complete view of all the marketing, sales, logistics, delivery and online data from its regional and international operations.
Sodexo and Huawei link up during Macron’s China visit
A partnership agreement was signed in China, opening the door to Sodexo providing Huawei with integrated facilities management services on a global scale.
Intel promises to fix its flaws
Intel used the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show in the US to pledge fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre bugs will be released over the next few days.
Google faces discrimination claims
Two former Google employees have filed lawsuits against Google claiming discrimination to themselves and others for their "perceived conservative political views, male gender and Caucasian race".
Seoul Leads Global Smart Cities Energy Ranking
Juniper Research has found that smart grids linked to smart cities will result in savings of USD14Bn per annum in energy bills by 2022.
Intel facing class-action lawsuits
The recent disclosure of the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws has led to the inevitable US law suit.
Pitchbook blogger Anthony Mirhaydari has pointed out that several major ‘unicorn’ technology companies are ‘overvalued’.
London Tech creates £2.5bn record
VC investment in London-based technology companies has reached £2.5bn in 2017, a record level.
A biometric identity scheme in India has come under close scrutiny after newspaper claims that personal data was being sold for 500 rupees (around £6) online.
In a somewhat logical, but depressing way, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has speculated that any rise in the living wage will mean replacement of workers with robots.
Chip vulnerability – what we know
Security flaws in the vast majority of devices have been exposed in the last few days, and as the producers scrabble to fix the issues, it is worth looking at exactly what the problems are.
Fooling image recognition software
Image recognition software can be fooled by the addition of a simple ‘adversarial image patch’ next to any object, according to a recent report.
Apple tipped to become first trillion dollar company
Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet are all capable of becoming the first trillion dollar company in 2018, with Apple the bookies’ favourites following the reception to the new iPhones.
Tablets ensure compliance for collections
Charity fundraisers are the latest sector to use technology to ensure compliance and standards, with tablet-based software will ensure working hours are maintained and that the working areas are kept to using GPS.
Tax for failure to control terrorist content
Security Minister Ben Wallace has indicated that he would consider a tax fine on social media and technology companies that fail to control content with a terrorist message.
Apple has apologised for deliberately slowing down older iPhones to conserve their battery life.
Funding Circle moves for a 1bn float
Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lender, is preparing for a £1bn London float, potentially in the autumn.
Blockchain with everything
Remember the turn of the century when merely adding dot com to the end of a company sent the City into fits of delight? Well you need not be nostalgic any longer as exactly the same thing has happened again with blockchain.
Forrester has released research that considers the risk and value of blockchain within the banking industry, and the attitudes of banking executives top its adoption.
Crypto-currency under investigation
Coinbase, a major US crypto-currency exchange is under investigation for insider trading.
Uber is a transport company
Uber has been officially categorised as a transport company by European Court of Justice (ECJ).
Legal ‘right’ to broadband
The Government has pledged that business and home users will be able to demand high-speed broadband by 2020.
Cyber threats biggest fear for financial and public sector
The financial services industry and public sector are aligned in their concerns about data and system security, with both citing a fear of harmful cyber threats emerging in 2018, according to a new study from digital workplace provider Invotra.
With Christmas come renewed warning of three malware strains in the form of Emotet, GratefulPOS and Zeus Panda.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have claimed to have accidently developed a glass material that can repair itself. Polyether-thioureas does not need extreme heat and can be pressed together by hand at room temperature to eliminate cracks. The substance was discovered during an attempt to create a new glue.
An open letter from Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab has filed an appeal in federal court challenging the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Binding Operational Directive 17-01, which requires federal agencies and departments to remove the company’s products from federal information and federal information systems.
Buyside faster top adopt technology than Sellside
Asset managers in Europe are faster to adopt technologies than their sell-side counterparts because CEOs in the industry understand the importance of technology within the business, according to a survey of 200 IT executives working in the financial services sector.
Tavis Ormandy, a researched with Google, has pointed out a security flaw with Windows 10 and the third party password manager that is installed by default.
Avaya Holdings has announced that it has successfully completed its debt restructuring and emerged from chapter 11 protection in the US.
Tech optimism abounds – yet priorities are confused in 2018
In a survey of technology across all sectors, cyber security, adapting to changing customer needs, and digital capabilities are the top three priorities - and have all increased in importance since last year.
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.