December 24, 2011

Ottawa says air travel to U.S. to get easier

Canadians with a Nexus card will soon be able to use it to fly to the United States, allowing them to pass through security at airports faster, the federal government said Thursday.

Source Link

Steven Fletcher, minister of state for transport, and other Conservative MPs and ministers held events at airports across the country to remind Canadians about the government's efforts to make air travel easier. They also highlighted changes to baggage screening for travellers to the United States.

BEYOND THE BORDERHighlights from the new Canada-U.S. deal
The Nexus program has been in place for several years and it expedites customs and immigration processing when crossing the Canada-United States border by air, land or sea. In 2010, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority launched a pilot program at three airports that allowed Nexus cardholders to access designated security screening lines.
The experiment only included domestic and international flights, not those to the United States. Once deemed successful, the special "trusted traveller" lines were set up in eight airports earlier this year.

"And now, thanks to this agreement Canadians travelling to the United States will also be able to use their Nexus cards to expedite screening at eight airports that have pre-screening checkpoints to the United Sates," Fletcher said. The screening lines are considered an additional benefit for Nexus members because they cut down on wait times at security lines.

"These changes will take effect just in time for spring break," he said.

The Nexus program is available at the airports in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

The existing benefits for Nexus members travelling by air to the United States involved using self-serve kiosks instead of standing in line to speak to a border or customs agent in the pre-clearance areas before moving on to the security screening areas. The kiosks have cameras that use iris recognition biometric technology. A touch screen on the machine is then used to answer standard questions.

It costs $50 to apply for membership in the program and a card is valid for five years. Applications must be approved by the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. If the eligibility requirements are met, a card will be issued within about six to eight weeks.

"I encourage you to apply now for the Nexus card and soon your passenger screening will be faster for both domestic and US travel," Fletcher said.

The government is hoping to have the expanded program complete by February 2012.

Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of Canada or the United States and must have lived in the country for three consecutive years. People with a serious criminal record or who have violated immigration, customs or agriculture laws are not eligible.

P.O.V.
What part of air travel causes you the most delay? Take our survey.

Speeding travel between the two countries was one of the key points made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama when they announced a "roadmap" for a new trade and security deal on Dec. 7.

In particular, the framework deal commits the two countries to ending the practice of re-screening baggage already cleared by security at Canadian airports when connecting flights are made in the United States.

Fletcher also highlighted that change Thursday, saying it will be phased in over the next three years.

"Once implemented it will make for a better travel experience, faster and more efficient for those who do business travel on a regular basis across the Canada-United States border," he said.

The border security agreement also promises greater harmonization of Canadian and U.S. security measures, rules to govern the sharing of information, upgrades to border infrastructure and the removal of some cross-border trade barriers.

Posted by CraigKeefner at 09:43 AM

October 20, 2011

Biometric technology “the most important component of the future travel process”

Incheon International Airport boasts one of the industry’s most innovative self-service solutions by way of its ‘U-Airport’ concept. Essentially, the concept relies on the e-Passport and biometric-based technology to expedite the airport experience.

Biometric technology “the most important component of the future travel process” - Future Travel Experience

By Ryan Ghee

Incheon International Airport boasts one of the industry’s most innovative self-service solutions by way of its ‘U-Airport’ concept. Essentially, the concept relies on the e-Passport and biometric-based technology to expedite the airport experience.

However, with such limited human interaction throughout the process, how can passenger security not just be maintained, but further heightened?

U-Airport focuses on the four basic processes that the passenger encounters in an airport environment: check-in, security, immigration and boarding. At Incheon International Airport, each of these processes can be completed with just the e-Passport and biometric information.

“Biometric technology is essential for the u-Airport concept,” explained Anna Park, Senior Manager, U-Airport Team, Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC).

For example, passengers using the U-Immigration gates can simply place their e-Passport on a reader and then confirm their identity via either fingerprint or facial recognition technology. This allows the immigration process to be completed in less than 20 seconds, or in as little as nine seconds for transfer passengers. Facial recognition technology has also been applied to the boarding process.

Enhancing security

Although human intervention is on standby to deal with any “emergency events” that may arise, Park explained that biometric technology, coupled with use of the e-Passport, is the most secure way of accurately identifying a passenger.

“Each passenger possesses their own biometric information – face, iris, fingerprints. Through this biometric information, we can acquire not only fast service, but also a high level of security,” she said.

Having so far proved to be reliable and secure, The U-Airport concept is continually being developed and it currently covers U-Self Check-in, U-Departure Gate, U-Immigration and U-Automated Boarding. According to Park, the key enabler for each of these processes is the use of biometric technology – both to expedite and secure air travel.

“We are absolutely sure that biometric technology will become the most important component of the future travel process,” she explained. “In the near future, we expect that the travel process will be completed only with biometric technology.

“At that time, we will no longer need passports and boarding passes.”

Anna Park, Senior Manager, U-Airport Team, IIAC, is among the expert speakers already confirmed to speak at Future Travel Experience 2011. She will address delegates on the issue of ‘Automated self-service projects in a common use environment’.

Biometric technology “the most important component of the future travel process” - Future Travel Experience

Posted by staff at 09:01 AM

December 02, 2010

Tech Biometrics - Fingerprinting Phones & PCs

Device fingerprinting is a powerful emerging tool in ad trade. It's "the next generation of online advertising," Advertisers no longer want to just buy ads. They want to buy access to specific people.

Race Is On to 'Fingerprint' Phones, PCs - WSJ.com


Companies are developing digital fingerprint technology to identify how we use our computers, mobile devices and TV set-top boxes. WSJ's Simon Constable talks to Senior Technology Editor Julia Angwin about the next generation of tracking tools.

He's off to a good start. So far, Mr. Norris's start-up company, BlueCava Inc., has identified 200 million devices. By the end of next year, BlueCava says it expects to have cataloged one billion of the world's estimated 10 billion devices.

Advertisers no longer want to just buy ads. They want to buy access to specific people. So, Mr. Norris is building a "credit bureau for devices" in which every computer or cellphone will have a "reputation" based on its user's online behavior, shopping habits and demographics. He plans to sell this information to advertisers willing to pay top dollar for granular data about people's interests and activities.

Device fingerprinting is a powerful emerging tool in this trade. It's "the next generation of online advertising," Mr. Norris says.

It might seem that one computer is pretty much like any other. Far from it: Each has a different clock setting, different fonts, different software and many other characteristics that make it unique. Every time a typical computer goes online, it broadcasts hundreds of such details as a calling card to other computers it communicates with. Tracking companies can use this data to uniquely identify computers, cellphones and other devices, and then build profiles of the people who use them.

Until recently, fingerprinting was used mainly to prevent illegal copying of computer software or to thwart credit-card fraud. BlueCava's own fingerprinting technology traces its unlikely roots to an inventor who, in the early 1990s, wanted to protect the software he used to program music keyboards for the Australian pop band INXS.


Full Story -- Race Is On to 'Fingerprint' Phones, PCs - WSJ.com

Posted by staff at 07:15 AM

June 17, 2010

Sharp Adopts Biometric Palm ID for Patients

Sharp Healthcare is implementing palm recognition software to verify patient identity as they check in for appointments or are admitted to the hospital.

The technology will better ensure proper identification of patients, matching them to their own personal medical records and protecting against identity theft, says Dan Gross, executive vice president for hospital operations at the San Diego-based delivery system.

Sharp is using the PatientSecure technology of HT Systems, Tampa, Fla. Palm scanners have been put in the Sharp Reese-Stealy medical office in downtown San Diego. Other offices and Sharp's eight hospitals will get the system during a nine-week period.

More information is available at sharp.com and patientsecure.com.

Sharp Adopts Palm ID for Patients

Posted by staff at 03:33 PM

August 24, 2009

Biometric News - L1 deals, Datacard & UPEK

Round of Secure ID stories in the news includes Clear and its data, L-1, Datacard id system in Guatammala, and UPEK fingerprint launches Windows 7 program.


Clear ordered to not sell biometric data
Clear, a company that once promised to provide frequent travelers with a quicker way through airport security checkpoints via a membership fee and submitting certain biometric information, has been ordered by a judge to not sell any of their members’ biometric data following their shut-down of service this summer, according to a Wired article.
link

California DMV reups driver license deal with L-1
L-1 Identity Solutions Inc. was awarded a five-year $62.8 million contract by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to continue providing secure driver’s license solutions. Two two-year extensions are options for the state and if exercised would add an additional $45.8 million to the contract’s value.
Read More

Datacard Group announced that they were chosen to supply card personalization equipment and software for the new national identification system planned in Guatemala. The country’s Registro Nacional de Personas (“RENAP”) intends to issue electronic identity cards to more than 11 million residents to improve the process of citizen authorization and reduce benefits fraud. Issuance of the cards began July 1, 2009.
Read More

UPEK launches developer contest for Windows 7 biometric applications
UPEK, a California biometric fingerprint solutions provider, has launched, in conjunction with Microsoft, the Worldwide Biometric Challenge, seeking to encourage development of biometric applications for Windows 7, the first Windows operating system with native support for fingerprint biometric authentications. Microsoft’s newest operating system is slated for general release Oct. 22.
Read More …

RIM announces new BlackBerry smart card reader
Research In Motion has announced a new model of its BlackBerry Smart Card Reader that makes it easy for organizations to implement multi-factor authentication for computers, Blackberry smart phones and public key infrastructure applications. The lightweight, wearable, ISO 7816 compliant card reader enables proximity controlled access to a user’s smart phone and computer.
Read more …

L-1 Identity receives more orders for biometric ID products
The Biometrics Division of L-1 Identity Solutions, a Stamford, Conn. provider of identity solutions and services, has received $9.6 million worth of new orders for HIIDE and PIER mobile biometric recognition systems that are being deployed in areas of conflict. Two thirds of the HIIDE order and all of the PIERs are expected to ship in the third quarter. The remaining HIIDEs will be shipped in the fourth quarter.
Read More …

Posted by staff at 09:42 AM

May 01, 2009

Healthcare Kiosk and Security in one kiosk

fujitsu.jpgFujitsu, partnering with Allscripts, recently introduced the Allscripts Patient Kiosk, a revolutionary way for health care patients to confirm their identities. The kiosk allows individuals to rest their palm above a reader where an infrared light scans their palm and reads the vein mapping or patterns in the hand.

Security in the Palm of Your Hand
April 29, 2009
by Sean Ruck, Editor-In-Chief
Fujitsu Limited's recent product release may seem like science fiction, but it's firmly based in reality.

Fujitsu, partnering with Allscripts, recently introduced the Allscripts Patient Kiosk, a revolutionary way for health care patients to confirm their identities. The kiosk allows individuals to rest their palm above a reader where an infrared light scans their palm and reads the vein mapping or patterns in the hand. The reader is quick, painless and simple to use. Fujitsu built upon their Palm Secure technology to bring this product to market. More accurate than fingerprint scans and more inviting than retinal scans, this may be the future of patient identity verification.

allscripts.jpg

New patients will still need to fill-out or type-in their vital information, but once that information is matched with their biometric template, they will be able to quickly check-in for procedures without having to complete paperwork each time or worry about the security of that filled-out paperwork.

Currently, three major U.S. hospital groups are using the Palm Secure technology for their patient records. However, Springfield Clinic, is the first to use the self-service kiosk.

Larger Image

"Physician practices are always on the lookout for ways to lower costs while improving patient satisfaction, and the Allscripts Patient Kiosk is the answer," said James Hewitt, Chief Information Officer of Springfield Clinic, a 260-provider multi-specialty physician group with 24 locations in Springfield, Ill. and the surrounding 14 counties. "Patients love the kiosk because they are in control." Springfield, who co-developed the health care solution with Allscripts to work on the medical kiosk from Fujitsu, will be deploying 50 of the kiosks this quarter.

Beyond just health care, the Palm Secure technology also serves as a method to prevent physical access into an area as well. Fujitsu currently uses it in their headquarters to prevent access by unauthorized individuals into restricted areas. There has also been interest by companies looking to bring an added layer of security to their properties.

Posted by staff at 07:47 AM

February 18, 2009

Technology Demo - Palm Vein biometrics

VIDEO: Jerry Burns of Fujitsu does a demo of palm vein reader for Chris Corum of SecureIDNews. Nice demo.
Watch video

Posted by staff at 09:24 AM

May 12, 2008

How Things Work - Fingerprint Imaging Encoding

Did you wonder what the guidelines are for encoding and decoding fingerprints? it's more abnd more important. The Wavelet Scalar Quantization (WSQ) Gray-scale Fingerprint Image Compression Algorithm is the standard for the exchange of fingerprint images within the criminal justice community.

source link


WSQ Fingerprint Image Compression
Encoder/Decoder
Certification Guidelines
January 12, 1999
Introduction

The Wavelet Scalar Quantization (WSQ) Gray-scale Fingerprint Image Compression Algorithm is the standard for the exchange of fingerprint images within the criminal justice community. This document describes the processes and procedure for obtaining FBI certification of WSQ implementations for compliance with the WSQ Specification. This certification program will facilitate interoperability between agencies and ensure efficient access to FBI criminal justice information services.

Scope

The WSQ Specification defines a class of encoders and a single decoder with sufficient generality to decode compressed image data produced by any compliant encoder. This provides an opportunity for future enhancement in key areas while maintaining compatibility with an installed base of equipment. To obtain certification, a WSQ decoder must implement the full range of functionality contained in the WSQ Specification, Part I: Requirements and Guidelines. This includes the ability to reconstruct images using even and odd length filters and imbedded restart codes. Part III of the WSQ specification contains the specific parameter values that must be implemented by encoders for certification.

Compliance with the WSQ Specification is determined by comparing the output from the implementation under test with the output from a double precision reference implementation developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The comparison criteria and accuracy requirements are contained in the WSQ Specification, Annex AA: Procedures for Determining Compliance.

Certification Procedure

The vendor using the reference test set created from the NIST reference implementation conducts initial certification testing. This self-test procedure enables a vendor to react quickly to technology advancements and market requirements without being constrained by the FBI's limited personnel resources. Once the vendor has determined that the equipment meets all the requirements in the WSQ Specification, an FBI WSQ software implementation number must be obtained from:

Mr. Tom Hopper
FBI, JEH Bldg.
CJIS Div / Rm 11192E
935 PA Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20537-9700
202-324-3506
thopper@leo.gov

The reference test set can be downloaded from NIST via the Internet.

ftp://sequoyah.nist.gov/pub/cmp_imgs/cmp_imgs/

Details on access procedures using 'ftp' and a directory listing are contained in Attachment A. The test set is based on 19 images; each compressed at two different bit rates, producing 38 separate tests for the encoder. For each test, the encoder under test must match the file size, the parameter values in the header, and the quantized wavelet coefficient bin index values of the reference data within the accuracy requirements contained in the WSQ Specification. The WSQ software implementation number assigned by the FBI must also be contained in the Frame Header of each compressed file.

In addition to the 38 compressions above, the decoder test set also contains 6 images compressed with parameter values other then those given in Part III of the WSQ Specification. These additional tests evaluate the decoder's functionality on the full range of parameter values given in Part I of the WSQ Specification. For each of these 44 tests, the reference-compressed image is reconstructed using the decoder under test and the result compared to the reference reconstruction.

After processing the appropriate files for the encoder and decoder, a certification request containing the test report, test results, and all generated compressed and reconstructed files (cmp000xx with extensions '.wsq' and '.rec') are forwarded to the FBI for review and evaluation. The certification request must also identify the FBI implementation number acquired from Tom Hopper, the implementation platform, including the hardware, operating system, and compiler. The FBI may request additional information or conduct supplemental tests to determine full compliance with the WSQ Specification.

If all the required information is complete and the results are satisfactory, the IAFIS Program Office will issue a letter certifying that the implementation is compliant with the WSQ Specification. That implementation number and description will than be added to the current list of approved implementations maintained by the FBI.

The FBI certification for an implementation will apply only to a specific configuration. A configuration encompasses the software version of the encoder/decoder, hardware platform, operating system, and compiler used. As any of these components change, a recertification will be required.

Attachment A: Reference Test Set

The reference test files are available on the Internet at the NIST ftp site sequoyah.nist.gov [129.6.61.25]. The files can be downloaded using the following commands:

- "ftp" to sequoyah.nist.gov and use "anonymous" as the login name;
- Use your e-mail address as the password (e.g. teh@cais.com);
- Change to directory pub/cmp_imgs by typing "cd pub/cmp_imgs/cmp_imgs";
- Set non-prompting mode by typing "prompt" on a line by itself;
- Set transfer mode to binary by typing "binary" on a line by itself;
- Transfer all the original image files from this directory by typing "mget *.raw";
- Use similar commands to transfer the rest of the files;
- Disconnect from sequoyah by typing "quit" on a line by itself.

The README file provides additional documentation and the DIRECTRY file, listed below, provides a complete listing of all files.

total 8740
drwxr-xr-x 2 root 4096 Jun 28 08:06 225
drwxr-xr-x 2 root 4096 Jun 28 08:09 75
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 814 May 10 13:38 CHANGES
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 0 Jun 28 08:19 DIRECTRY
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 2698 May 10 13:26 README
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 356345 Apr 4 08:59 cmp0000l.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 638976 Apr 4 08:59 cmp00002.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 638976 Apr 4 08:59 cmp00003.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 612880 Apr 4 08:59 cmp00004.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 638976 Apr 4 08:59 cmp00005.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 638976 Apr 4 08:59 cmp00006.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 347710 Apr 4 08:59 cmp00007.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 600000 Apr 4 08:59 cmp00008.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 347136 Apr 4 08:59 cmp00009.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 197250 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000l0.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 440238 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000ll.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 369456 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000I2.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 350889 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000l3.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 269348 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000l4.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 292120 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000l5.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 504828 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000l6.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 346986 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000l7.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 562500 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000l8.raw
-rw-r--r-- 1 root 562500 Apr 4 08:59 cmp000l9.raw
drwxr-xr-x 2 root 8192 Jun 28 08:l1 not_7_ 9

All reconstructed and compressed files are in subdirectories 75, 225, and not_7_9

Posted by staff at 09:28 AM

March 26, 2008

Pay By Touch To Shut Down All Biometric Services Immediately

New announcement from Pay By Touch (aka Solidus) has ceased processing biometric transactions (ie shut down). Remains to be seen what IP held.

source

metric authentication transactions to cease at 11:59:59PM March 19, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO - (March 19, 2008) - Solidus Networks, Inc., dba Pay By Touch, regretfully announced today that it will no longer process biometric transactions on behalf of its merchant customers and consumer membership base, as of 11:59:59PM March 19, 2008.

On December 14, 2007, Solidus Networks filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. As part of the company's restructuring, it was determined that the enterprise could no longer support the biometric authentication and payment system as it currently exists, based on lack of funding and current market conditions.

Other non-biometric Solidus Networks business units will continue on their current business paths.

Solidus Networks extends its sincere gratitude to the shoppers, merchants, vendors, investors, partners, and employees who have been supporting the company's vision since its first biometric payment transaction in 2002.

Additional background and comments recommended out on
http://biometricpayments.blogspot.com/


Pay By Touch, which signed up more than 3.6 million consumers for its service, had some success here – at least enough to attract round after round of funding. The Journal once called the company “fast growing” and Pay By Touch routinely issued press releases with titles like “Pay By Touch on Course to Change the Way the World Shops.” Nonetheless, Pay By Touch will stop processing payments at 11:59 tonight, according to the company, at which point the 3,000 or so stores that have installed its scanners will have to take the devices down.

Why did Pay By Touch fail? In hindsight, making something like a biometric payment system mainstream was a monumental challenge, one that could withstand few missteps. And Pay By Touch has had its missteps: The gossip blog Valleywag wrote a seemingly endless string of posts about the shortcomings of the company’s CEO – everything from allegations of drug abuse, mismanagement and avarice. Pay By Touch officials didn’t immediately respond to calls and an email seeking comment, but we’ll update this post when we hear back.

Whatever the reason, it’s another lesson that a technology’s success depends on more than just the technology.

Posted by staff at 04:17 PM

December 04, 2007

Clear Registered Traveler in Denver

arinc-clear-120.jpgThe kiosk at the Hyatt allows customers to complete the Clear enrollment process, as it takes a scan of a customer's finger and iris. The images — along with an application filled out online prior to the scans — are then sent to the Transportation Security Administration for a threat assessment and ultimate approval.

arinc-clear-100w.jpg

Travelers looking for the fast lane at Denver International Airport can actually start at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center.

The Denver Tech Center hotel has installed a kiosk from Clear, a New York-based company that provides an airport-security fast-pass program.

Customers pay an annual $99 fee to Clear to go through a special security lane at 11 airports nationwide. The concierge-type service lane is expected to be in operation at DIA in January and promises to help Clear members get through a special security line faster than a basic security line.

"Denver is our 12th airport. We've been coveting Denver for a long time," said Steven Brill, Clear's chief executive. "Our goal is, you give us $100 a year, and we give you a better service experience going through security."

Among the airports with the Clear system in place are Orlando, Fla.; San Francisco; Newark, N.J.; Cincinnati; and New York's John F. Kennedy at select terminals.

Clear has 80,000 people enrolled in its program.

The kiosk at the Hyatt allows customers to complete the Clear enrollment process, as it takes a scan of a customer's finger and iris. The images — along with an application filled out online prior to the scans — are then sent to the Transportation Security Administration for a threat assessment and ultimate approval.

Within a few weeks, Clear sends customers a card with their biometric embedded in it. The card is then presented at different verification kiosks at airports that have special Clear security lines. The kiosks check the biometric markers of the person standing there against the one on the card.

While Clear cardholders still have to take off their shoes and go through all the same security steps as non-cardholders, the company is "future-proofing" its service. Clear is working on installing special scanners that would eliminate the need for passengers to take off their shoes and outer garments or remove notebooks from bags, Brill said.

The privately held company was founded more than three years ago and has received financial backing from General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Lehman Brothers and private investors, Brill said.

On its first day at the Hyatt, about 30 people came to the kiosk to complete the enrollment process, local Hyatt officials said. Other Clear kiosks are expected to be installed at DIA and the Grand Hyatt Denver over the next few weeks.

Posted by staff at 03:21 PM

November 19, 2007

Followup on Pay By Touch

Back on Nov 5th it was termed a "reevaluation of organization focus" at the same time Shell began its trial in Chicago. Now it seems to escalated into including Board Fight and Possible Bankruptcy


Source

(November 6, 2007) Biometrics payment technology provider Pay By Touch reaped a bushel of favorable publicity last week when it launched its fingerprint-based system at 10 Chicago-area Shell stations in the company’s first petroleum-sector rollout. What went unmentioned, however, was that Pay By Touch’s parent company was entangled in court fights on the East and West coasts that include an involuntary bankruptcy petition filed against the company by three employees, a fight between institutional investors and embattled founder and chairman John P. Rogers over control of the company, and Rogers’s own filing for bankruptcy.

Further roiling the boardroom battle, an investment firm claims the employees’ bankruptcy petition is a move by Rogers’ supporters to help him keep control of the 5-year-old San Francisco-based company.

While the legal disputes raise questions about Pay By Touch’s financial viability, spokesperson Shannon Riordan told Digital Transactions News late Monday that, “we’re business as usual.” Riordan says she can’t comment in detail about the allegations in the court filings, but she insists the 700-employee, privately held company is moving forward. “We at Pay by Touch are completely confident that this is a temporary situation … that this soon will be behind us,” she says. Riordan insists a recent trade-press report that Pay By Touch might sell assets and exit point-of-sale biometrics is “not true.”

Riordan also notes that Pay By Touch is not in bankruptcy despite the petition by three employees claiming they’re owed about $45,000 in back wages and other compensation. “We have 20 days to figure out how we are going to respond to this bankruptcy petition,” she says. But when asked if the company is behind on meeting payroll, she says, “I’m not allowed to talk about that.” A lawyer for the employees did not return a Digital Transactions News call.

What is true is that the leadership of the company is in dispute, and that the legal bills will be piling up fast thanks to actions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles, where the employees filed suit, and in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington, Del. Pay By Touch’s parent company, Solidus Networks Inc., is incorporated in Delaware. Riordan would not name Pay By Touch’s current leadership other than to say that Rogers is the acting chief executive officer and executive chairman.

Rogers founded Solidus in 2002 and has raised $300 million in debt and equity capital since then. But the company has accumulated “substantial losses since inception and has not achieved significant revenues to date,” according to a filing from Plainfield Special Situations Funds Master Fund Limited. That fund and its affiliate, Plainfield West Investments LLC, both run by Stamford, Conn.-based investment firm Plainfield Asset Management LLC, are major investors in Solidus debt and preferred stock, including $50 million in promissory notes. Solidus has $200 million in secured debt, according to Plainfield.

While Rogers holds 64% of the company’s voting stock, Plainfield gained the right to name board members under certain conditions through a February financing agreement. Plainfield exercised that power Oct. 17 after determining Solidus was in default of its financing covenants and that Rogers had taken “erratic action” in the weeks before while apparently trying to raise money as cash-flow problems mounted. According to Plainfield, the actions included several “disturbing e-mails” related to “manic fundraising efforts,” e-mails the filing says included “depressing threats” against investors. The alleged actions culminated with the sudden firing of chief operating officer Eula Adams and independent director Arthur Petrie. The firings reportedly prompted chief executive John Morris to resign.

Plainfield’s reconstituted board of directors let Rogers stay on as a director, but brought back Morris, Adams, and Petrie and included Tim Robinson, the former chief executive of BioPay LLC, a rival Pay By Touch acquired in January 2006. Rogers and a lawyer for Solidus resisted Plainfield’s action, according to filings from Plainfield and two other institutional investors that hold $92 million in Solidus debt. Rogers reportedly named a five-member board that includes himself, Petrie, and three others. Plainfield took the matter to the Delaware court Oct. 19, and a court official on Oct. 23 issued a status-quo order limiting Solidus’s activities to normal day-to-day business as a first step in resolving the issue.

That Delaware order was supposed to have prevented Solidus from declaring bankruptcy. But Plainfield is suggesting in a Friday filing that Rogers is trying to get around that restriction, claiming that “most if not all” of the employees who filed the petition for involuntary bankruptcy Oct. 31 have close ties to him, one being his brother-in-law. The filing does not name that relative, and a Plainfield lawyer did not return a Digital Transactions News call. It was shortly after the employees filed the involuntary petition that Rogers filed his personal bankruptcy petition, according to Plainfield. Information about that filing was not immediately available.

The Chancery Court had a scheduling hearing set for Nov. 1 to set a date for expedited trial in the board dispute, but the employees’ bankruptcy filing brought the Delaware court proceedings to a temporary halt. Now the court action is shifting to the federal bankruptcy court in Los Angeles. That’s where a hearing is set for Wednesday on Plainfield’s emergency petition, supported by other institutional investors, to lift the restrictions the involuntary bankruptcy petition is imposing on the Delaware court’s ability to resolve the board dispute.

Some insiders have no doubts about the ultimate outcome. “Plainfield will be able to control the board,” says Robinson. “It’s just a question of how long it will take and how much turmoil the company will have to go through.” At the same time, he has no qualms about the company’s long-term prospects. “Pay By Touch has tremendous opportunity for greatness,” he says. “It’s a fabulous business opportunity.”

Posted by staff at 01:34 PM

November 06, 2007

Biometric Gas Pumps & Pay By Touch

Test by Shell is going on in Chicago with 10 statiosn there. Customers scan fingerprints at kiosk and literally pay by touch...In unrelated news it appears "Pay By Touch" is re-evaluating its focus and may turn to targeted marketing services and sell it biometric payment technology assets.

Fingerprints pay at the gasoline pump

Staff report

Drivers soon may be able to pay for gas with a simple fingerprint scan. Ten Shell stations in Chicago are testing biometric systems that let consumers scan their fingertips on a payment device. The systems are directly linked to customers' checking or credit-card accounts.

"When we talk to customers, they're always looking for ways to make buying gasoline quicker and easier," said Chris Suess, Shell's manager of global refueling innovations. "They don't want to carry more cards, kits and key chains, and they want it to be free."

Customers initially will scan their fingerprints at a kiosk inside the gas station and can link payment information there or online.



Pay By Touch reevaluates organization focus
Monday, November 5 2007

Pay By Touch LogoPay By Touch, which has made a major push in point of sale biometric payments, is refocusing their business, according to the current issue of The Nilson Report, a major payments newsletter. "Pay By Touch has shifted its focus away from being a company that provides biometric-based payments at the point of sale to becoming one that provides target marketing services," the report said. "As a result, its payment processing assets are no longer part of the company’s core business and are being considered for sale. Those assets include Pay By Touch Payment Solutions and Pay By Touch Processing, which handle merchant card processing contracts and a proprietary card-not-present gateway." Despite the seemingly bad news for the company, Pay By Touch did confirm that Shell Oil will be the first gas station chain to test biometrics-at-the-pump. Shell said it would be piloting the devices at 10 Chicagoland retail stores.

Posted by staff at 07:48 AM