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Shazam invests in Internet PIN-debit maker

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DES MOINES, Iowa (1/28/11)--Shazam electronic funds networks has made a strategic investment in the payment authentication company Adaptive Payments, which has developed technology that uses mobile or landline phones to help verify Internet personal identification number transactions conducted at participating websites. In September, Shazam and Adaptive Payments partnered to provide Internet PIN debit processing and gateway services for financial institutions nationwide. Shazam and Adaptive Payments also are working together on a person-to-person payments solution, using mobile technology in real time (Payments Source Jan 25). Ft. Lauderdale. Fla.-based Adaptive’s technology is developing a person-to-person smartphone application Shazam would offer to its partner financial institutions. Adaptive also is working with funds-transfer companies on a similar service, according to Ralph Bianco, chief operating officer. Adaptive uses what it calls a five-factor authentication process that combines cardholder information and transaction data with the PIN consumers use at the point of sale or at ATMs. The technology also validates a consumers Internet protocol address and phone number used in the transaction.

CUNA Mutual to sell Australian business

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MADISON, Wis. (1/28/11)--CUNA Mutual Group has reached an agreement in principle to sell its Australian business operations to QBE Insurance Group. CUNA Mutual concluded its Australian business would be better positioned to serve its customers and for future growth under a different ownership structure. The agreement does not affect CUNA Mutual’s commitment to its remaining international operations in Europe and the Caribbean, the company said. QBE Australia is a member of the QBE Insurance Group, Australia’s largest international insurance and reinsurance group and one of the top 25 global insurers and reinsurers as measured by gross written premium. QBE Australia has more than 50 offices spanning each state and territory in Australia.

007 would like this safety deposit box

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (1/28/11)--The new Sunova CU branch in Winnipeg, Manitoba features a safety-deposit-box vault that would do 007 proud. All that’s missing is the James Bond theme song. The vault includes some of the latest in high-tech security--features such as a window that frosts over to ensure privacy as the member steps in and a biometric scanner that reads fingerprints. Sunova associate Scott Davey said the company that installed the units--Gunnebo Canada--told the credit union Sunova is the first financial institution in North America to get the boxes (Winnipeg Free Press Jan. 25). Members aren’t required to sign a ledger and they don’t need a key or a teller with a duplicate key to open the compartment where the box is stored. Instead, box owners use a debit card to enter the vault, which is accessed through the ATM lobby. Inside, members insert their card into a computer terminal, and enter their personal identification number. Then, the member inserts his or her finger into the biometric scanner to confirm his or her identity, and a robotic arm behind the wall retrieves the deposit box and sets it on a small table below the computer terminal. A door slides open, and members can access their box. When they’re finished, they push a button and the door slides shut. The robotic arm returns the box to its compartment, and the member retrieves his or her debit card. Because an employee no longer needs to be present, members can access their safety deposit box at any time. Davey said the new vault has been getting rave reviews since the branch opened last week. “People are very impressed. They absolutely love it,” he said. “A few people have said ... it’s very James Bond-ish.”