Fingerprint based ATMs now launched to protect your money
- The simple act of withdrawing money from your accounts is about to enter a new phase of the digital age, following the introduction of ATM machines with a biometric fingerprint scanner.
- The fingerprint scanner, which will be used alongside the traditional PIN system, is the latest in a line of efforts by the banking industry to thwart the menace of ATM fraudsters and scammers.
Soon before you can get money from the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) a finger print will be required.
The simple act of withdrawing money from your accounts is about to enter a new phase of the digital age, following the introduction of ATM machines with a biometric fingerprint scanner.
The fingerprint scanner, which will be used alongside the traditional PIN system, is the latest in a line of efforts by the banking industry to thwart the menace of ATM fraudsters and scammers.
A new line of ATM machines, launched last week, in Nairobi, by Diebold, an American tech company, and Kenyan IT solutions firm Tracom Services incorporates the biometric function alongside a raft of other security features to help banks and their customers fight fraudsters.
The extra safety features an the ATMs are being brought in as the banking industry moves from the old magnetic strip ATM cards and migrating to the new generation micro chip embedded cards that have the EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) technology designed to make it more difficult to illegally scan card details.
Speaking during the launch of the new ATMs, Diebold Product marketing manager of ATMs Martin Koffijberg said the biometric sensor will be optional on ATM machines as per the requirements of the banks.
“Card trapping is regaining popularity due to the EMV technology that has countered the problem of skimming. With the fingerprint required to complete a transaction, a fraudster who traps the card will still not be able to access the account afterwards,” said Mr Koffijberg.
In order for a customer to access the feature, he or she will have to submit additional details to the bank, including having their prints scanned and entered into the banks database.
The account will then be programmed so that the ATM machine demands a fingerprint authentication before allowing the transaction to go ahead.
“The fingerprint is the one unique thing that a fraudster cannot steal from a banks customer,” added Tracom Services business development manager Andrew Muiruri.
The new ATMs will additionally have a one way safety lock system that will prevent insertion of jammers into the money dispensing unit, helping deal with the problem of fraudsters who use jammers to block the cash from the ATM, removing it after a frustrated customer moves out of the ATM lobby.
The card insertion slot also comes with a sensor that detects whether any object other than the card is inserted, and stops the transaction detaining the card.
Scammers have been placing objects in the ATM slots which skim and mimic card details which are later used to duplicate the card and fraudulently fleece the owner’s account.
Other features on the new ATMs include two strategically placed mirrors on the top of the machine that help the customer detect over-the-shoulder PIN reading fraudsters, as well as an ultraviolet light point to help detect fake currency notes.
Standard Chartered customers fell victim to a card skimming scam in December 2012. They found anomalies, where withdrawals had been made from their accounts without their knowledge.
As a precautionary measure, the bank sent messages urging customers to change their ATM pin numbers.
These incidences led to the clamour in the industry to speed up adoption of the new technology, with the Kenya Bankers Association launching a cost shared scheme to have all banks migrate to the EMV technology by the end of September 2013.
Farmers’ hopes dashed as world tea and coffee prices tumble
- At the same time, latest data from the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) shows that reduced prices internationally have pushed the ICO composite indicator — which tracks the prices of coffee — down by 7.4 per cent, the lowest level since September 2009.
- Coffee and tea regulators in the region also say poor weather conditions could significantly change the fortunes of the agriculture sector that employs more than 60 per cent of the region’s workforce.
- The organisation said that given current price trends, there is a diminishing incentive for farmers to invest in their crops, and the use of inputs such as fertilisers and labour will likely be reduced.
Coffee and tea farmers in East Africa will see a sharp reduction in earnings in the remaining months of this year, following a drop in world prices of the two commodities and the continued political turmoil in Egypt, one of the top buyers of the region’s tea.
At the same time, latest data from the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) shows that reduced prices internationally have pushed the ICO composite indicator — which tracks the prices of coffee — down by 7.4 per cent, the lowest level since September 2009.
Tea and coffee exports make up the bulk of foreign currency inflows to the governments of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.
Kenya’s Central Bank (CBK) warned on Tuesday that the unrest in Egypt and the Syrian conflict — which is threatening to draw in the larger Middle East — as well as the Eurozone crisis, posed a threat to agriculture exports from the region.
Coffee and tea regulators in the region also say poor weather conditions could significantly change the fortunes of the agriculture sector that employs more than 60 per cent of the region’s workforce.
Kenya’s coffee prices fell to a low of $2.73 per kilogramme in May from $3.96 per kilogramme in January, and the ICO said that commodity prices in general have been on a downward trend mostly due to negative economic news from China and the US.
The organisation said that given current price trends, there is a diminishing incentive for farmers to invest in their crops, and the use of inputs such as fertilisers and labour will likely be reduced.
“This could potentially have a negative impact on production volumes and quality over the next couple of years, resulting in increased price volatility and a less sustainable agricultural value chain,” said the ICO.
Rwanda earned $69.5 million from coffee in the year ended June 2013, against the target of $74 million, while tea earnings were $63 million against the projected $69 million, reflecting the fluctuating prices internationally.
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Norman Mutekanga, the strategy and business development manager at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, said the prices will likely stay low due to the high production expected from major coffee-producing nations.
In countries like Indonesia and Brazil, the largest producers of coffee, a record year of production of around 48 million bags is expected while production in Vietnam is forecast to be around 24 million bags.
The international markets
Data from the Tea Board of Kenya for the first five months of this year also show prices on a downward trend, falling to a low of $2.50 per kilogramme in May, from a high of $3.28 per kilogramme in January.
Most of the tea in the East African region is sold at the Mombasa Tea Auction and the prices provided by the Tea Board of Kenya are an indication of what the region should expect from sales in the first half of the year.
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), a company owned by about 560,000 small-scale farmers, said prices of its teas dropped to an average of about $2.65 per kilogramme in June from $3.66 per kilogramme in January.
The year has witnessed a fluctuation in the weekly tea auction prices at the Mombasa Tea Auction, with the average of all teas from the region sold at the auction dropping to $2.37 per kilogramme of tea from $2.99 per kilogramme.
“Prices remained low from January to June this year as supply continued to increase. However, the general impact on overall earnings of this price drop to the farmers is currently being analysed by KTDA, covering the financial year July 2012- June 2013,” said KTDA, adding that this will also be affected by the effects of fluctuations in the exchange rate during the year.
The current political instability in Egypt, one of Kenya’s key export markets, has had a negative impact on prices in the past week, with the upward trend that had been seen in recent weeks being reversed.
In the 2011/12 financial year, tea earnings topped Ksh61.4 billion ($722.35 million), with a total payout of Ksh45.3 billion ($532.9 million).
“Whenever prices keep changing on the international market, the impact is felt by Rwandan farmers and the economy as well,” said Cornielle Ntakirutimana, acting director general of Rwanda National Agriculture Exports Board (NAEB).
NAEB is now targeting $99 million from coffee on account of improved quality and quantity and $83 million from tea exports for the current financial year that began on July 1.
Last year, coffee farmers in Rwanda saw their earnings drop as international prices fell, but the impact was minimal in the tea industry as farm gate prices set by government remained relatively stable.
“Brazil produces a lot of coffee which is also subsidised, and we are forced to sell our coffee at a cheaper price because we can’t compete with Brazil,” said Marion Rukundo, a Rwandan coffee farmer and dealer.
Mr Mutekanga said that as a result of this, prices may not show much improvement with Arabica coffee expected to be the most affected by the increase in production while Robusta prices remain flat.
Robusta however accounts for 80 per cent of Uganda’s export volumes and therefore the country might not see a significant drop in its number one foreign currency earner.
Francis Alfred, senior planning and promotions officer of the Tea Board of Tanzania said that the average price of tea dropped to Tsh2,707 ($1.71) in the first three months of this year, which was below the national average of Tsh2,992 ($1.89) per kilogramme in the past year.
In May, the price increased to Tsh3,356.20 ($2.12) per kilogramme and was followed by a drop to Tsh2,517.20 ($1.59) in June.
Tanzania produces an average of 32,000 tonnes of tea each year of which 80 to 85 per cent is exported. The country is expecting to earn about Tsh85.5 billion ($54 million) from tea exports in the current financial year up from last year’s Tsh82.3 billion ($52 million).
Primus Kimaryo, director of coffee quality and promotions at the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) said that initial farm-gate prices recorded for this season for Arabica coffee in southern regions of Mbeya and Ruvuma has dropped by about 25 per cent to Tsh2,400 ($1.48) per kilogramme. Robusta prices have fallen by 15 per cent to Tsh1,100 ($0.68) per kilogramme.
“It’s not uncommon in the coffee trade to see this kind of price volatility. Coffee is one of the most volatile commodities in the world. The main challenge is how farmers should respond in these situations,” said Mr Kimaryo.
He said TCB is encouraging producers to move to specialty markets which provide better prices.
Last year, Tanzania coffee production rose by more than 93 per cent to 70,000 tonnes compared with the previous year’s production, earning the country Tsh270.7 billion ($171 million).
By David Mugwe, Alex Ngarambe, Benedicta Asiimwe and Mike Mande
I’M MADE AS HELL AND I AIN’T GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!
Author’s note: Allow me a platform for a moment please! While you and I are struggling to make ends meet, once again WE (the Americans) are paying with our tax dollars for the current administration to galavant around the world at our expense. I am listing some articles below to prove my point in case!!! I am to pissed off to even think logically and will let the mainstream jokia tell the story. I written til I am in blue in the face about “current administration” and shown proof after proof since obama got elected what this country was in for! To those of you who “refuse” to wake up you will get what you voted in. I done dealing with ” bull$%#@” and you all can eat what you served yourself!!! I will have no part in it. I will stop here because He is not worth the butter on toast to get my blood boiling anymore. ORDER’S UP AMERICA—ENJOY!
Obama’s Africa trip will cost taxpayers $100 mln
US President Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama board the presidential plane Air Force One (AFP Photo / Odd Andersen)
President Barack Obama’s trip to Africa is estimated to cost American taxpayers $100 million – a hefty travel expense that has sparked criticism as the federal government is dealing with its sequester-related budget cuts.
The president is traveling to sub-Sahara Africa with his family from June 26 to July 3. The Obamas will be accompanied by hundreds of Secret Service agents and staff, which stack up transportation and accommodation costs. Military cargo planes will bring 56 vehicles including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the Obamas will stay. Fighter jets will fly in the air space above the first family to provide round the clock protection.
“For the cost of this trip to Africa, you could have 1,350 weeks of White House tours,” Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) said on the House floor last week. “It is no secret that we need to rein in government spending, and the Obama administration has regularly and repeatedly shown a lack of judgment for when and where to make cuts… The American people have had enough of the frivolous and careless spending.”
Holding reminded lawmakers of the $16 trillion debt the US carries on its shoulders, and scrutinized the administration work spending an estimated $100 million on a weeklong visit. Holding said that while it is important to have security for the first family, the costs for this particular trip are “excessive”.
“The numbers don’t lie: either the administration is bad at math, or they simply don’t see a problem with their excessive spending,” he added.
And while $100 million is a hefty price for a week of travel, the Obamas initially planned to spend even more: the first family had plans to go on a safari tour that would have included the expense of a sharp-shooting team to protect them against wild animals. But the Obamas cancelled the Tanzania safari to avoid bringing the counter assault teams.
Although many presidents come under scrutiny for their travel expenses, Obama’s Africa trip has been heavily criticized because he is incurring the costs at a time when the national debt is at its highest, government budget cuts have led to nationwide furloughs, and Americans continue to struggle in today’s economy. The president has already been criticized for his lavish beach vacations in Hawaii, which have racked up significant transportation costs due to the island’s flying distance from Washington.
President Bill Clinton was also criticized for the expenses of his 1998 Africa trip, but the costs only racked up to $42.7 million at the time.
But the White House alleges that Obama’s trip is a good deal, since he is providing invaluable attention to a region that is too often ignored.
“Frankly, there will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa, because when you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you can have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told The Hill.
The president and his family will travel to South Africa, Senegal and Tanzania, which will mark Obama’s first official trip in which he solely visits Africa.
Irrefutable Proof That The GOP Doesn’t Care About Helping The American People
Read more: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/06/16/more-bill-republicans-blocked/#ixzz2ZAK6yhUe
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Tomgram: Engelhardt, The OED of the National Security State
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