EMV goes live: What to expect

first_imgIn the coming months, EMV security technology will begin appearing at many of the nation’s checkout counters as merchants work diligently to meet U.S. EMV liability shift set by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.While full U.S conversion to EMV technology may take years to achieve, many of the country’s big-box merchants have already implemented EMV-enabled payment terminals, and a long list of others promises to follow suit by the end of the year.“For the most part, consumers today are carrying around at least one card with an EMV chip embedded in it,” said Michelle Thornton, director of product development for CO-OP Financial Services. “And now that merchant adoption of the technology is moving forward, we are beginning to see how EMV is working in the marketplace and what consumers can expect going forward at the point of sale.”Early Adoption at High-Volume MerchantsIndustry experts predict that around 50 percent of U.S. payment terminals will be EMV-capable by year-end, and approximately 19 percent will be EMV-enabled. However, Thornton emphasizes that these numbers don’t tell the whole story.“For example, if Walmart has all its EMV terminals up and running at a certain point, this alone can skew the data,” she said. “What is trending now is early adoption among high-volume merchants that have the most to lose in the event of a security breach, and that represents a large portion of the market. Interestingly, we are also seeing a segment of small merchants up and running with EMV due to their processors’ ‘EMV packaging’ and readiness.”Consumers can also expect payment terminals to be upgraded in phases, with adoption of EMV debit lagging behind credit because of regulatory complexities surrounding EMV debit transactions.“While we expect the majority of merchants to implement EMV technology much sooner for credit than for debit, we are seeing some instances where merchants are enabling both credit and debit transactions in the early stages of EMV deployment,” said Thornton. “The fact that PIN debit transactions are generally more profitable for merchants may be prompting this move. However, regardless of why it is happening, large retailers are adopting EMV technology for debit as quickly as they can.”Another market dynamic consumers may notice is a delay in EMV adoption at the gas pump. “The EMV liability shift for gas stations doesn’t go into effect until 2017,” said Thornton. “So consumers can expect to continue swiping cards when they purchase gas in the near term.”EMV Terminals Come in Many FlavorsWhile EMV technology is regarded globally as the universal security standard for card-present payments, Thornton notes that EMV payment terminals come in a wide range of configurations. “There are different manufacturers of EMV terminals, and different types of EMV terminals from each manufacturer,” she said. “Plus, each payment terminal has to tie into the back-end processing systems of the merchant implementing it, and this can involve a fair amount of software customization.”Consider also that many organizations are phasing in EMV technology incrementally. “This means that consumers may have to wait for some common payment options to be enabled,” she said. “For example, although you were able to check the ‘cash back’ box at your local grocery store’s mag stripe terminal last week, this feature may not be available yet on the new EMV terminal,” she said. “But it may be operational a few weeks from now. So consumers can expect a certain degree of inconsistency in the way EMV terminals function, especially at first.”What is consistent about EMV technology is that transactions take a bit longer than mag stripe transactions. “It can be just a few seconds longer in many cases, but people will notice it,” said Thornton. “These are all things consumers should know, and as a credit union you can show your industry expertise and commitment to members by educating them. We recommend impressing upon members the added security benefits of EMV technology and advising them to expect a learning curve when first using their new EMV cards. Ultimately, the benefits of EMV technology extend to all of us and are well worth the inconvenience initially.”For more information on what to expect during the transition to EMV, listen to our recent webinar, A New Era in Security after the EMV Liability Shift. 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bill Prichard Bill Prichard is Senior Manager, Public Relations and Corporate Communications, for CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., a financial technology provider to credit unions. Prichard can be … Web: www.co-opfs.org Detailslast_img read more

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Wuhan lab denies any link to first coronavirus outbreak

first_imgUS President Donald Trump again fanned speculation about the origins of the virus at a Saturday news conference, in which he said China should face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the outbreak. The US president has at times referred to the disease as a “Chinese virus,” a term he said he embraced after a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman tweeted an unsubstantiated theory about US Army athletes introducing the pathogen to Wuhan.“What we know is that the ground zero for this virus was within a few miles of that lab,” Peter Navarro, a Trump trade adviser, said Sunday on Fox News. “If you simply do an Occam’s razor approach that the simplest explanation is probably the most likely, I think it’s incumbent on China to prove that it wasn’t that lab.”The US-China blame game has helped fuel scrutiny of the Wuhan lab, which was studying bat-borne coronaviruses like the one that causes Covid-19. US diplomats sent back warnings about safety procedures in the lab after visits two years ago, the Washington Post reported in an April 14 commentary, citing diplomatic cables.“They don’t have any evidence on this, what they rely on is only their guess,” Yuan told CGTN on Saturday. “I hope such a conspiracy theory will not affect cooperation among scientists around the world.” Earlier accidentsThe P4 lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology began operations in January 2018 and was the first of its kind built in mainland China.It was designed with help from France as part of a joint research initiative focused on infectious diseases and equipped for the highest level of bio-containment, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The first project undertaken at the lab was to research Xinjiang hemorrhagic fever, a tick-borne virus with a fatality rate of as much as 50% in humans, the report said.The facility has been the center of multiple conspiracy theories, including one that’s circulated on Chinese social media since late January that the new coronavirus escaped from the lab. Multiple posts have cited previous blunders by Chinese scientists as evidence that similar research projects haven’t been executed properly.Among them was a 2017 report by the Wuhan Evening News that said Tian Junhua, a researcher at the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, had to quarantine himself for 14 days after accidentally coming into direct contact with bat urine during a 2012 research trip.Social-media users also cited a 2004 accident at a national lab in Beijing during experiments with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related coronavirus that led to infections — and one death. Five top officials at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention were punished at the time, according to China Daily.Some countries including Australia have urged an independent review of how the pandemic came to infect more than 2.4 million people and kill more than 166,000. “The issues around the coronavirus are issues for independent review and I think that is important that we do that, in fact Australia will absolutely insist,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne told ABC Australia’s “Insiders” program Sunday.While many Republicans have emphasized the Chinese origins of a virus that has killed more than 40,000 Americans, Cotton has been among the most vocal urging an investigation into the lab’s role. On Friday, he told Fox News that “circumstantial evidence” was “stacking up pretty quickly that this virus may have originated in those labs in Wuhan.”Although the first known cluster centered on a wet market in Wuhan, the ultimate origins of the virus remain a mystery and Chinese officials have raised the possibility that the virus didn’t begin in the country at all. Meanwhile, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has endorsed studies that have shown the virus evolved naturally, as opposed to being genetically engineered.Shi Zhengli — a researcher at the institute known as “Bat Woman” for her expeditions in bat caves — said in a February social media post that she would “swear on my life” that the virus had nothing to do with the lab.On Feb. 19, the Wuhan Institute of Virology issued a letter to staff, saying it received its first sample of the virus from Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital on Dec. 30, a day before Chinese authorities first disclosed the outbreak to the world. Researchers finished gene-sequencing in 72 hours and submitted its findings to the national virus database by Jan. 9, the institute said, adding “we have a clear conscience looking back on what we’ve gone through.” A top Wuhan laboratory official has denied any role in spreading the new coronavirus, in the most high profile response from a facility at the center of months of speculation about how the previously unknown animal disease made the leap to humans.Yuan Zhiming, director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, hit back at those promoting theories that the virus had escaped from the facility and caused the outbreak in the central Chinese city. “There is absolutely no way that the virus originated from our institute,” Yuan said in an interview Saturday with the state-run China Global Television Network.Yuan rejected theories that the yet-to-be identified “Patient Zero” for Covid-19 had contact with the institute, saying none of its employees, retirees or student researchers were known to be infected. He said US Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, and Washington Post journalists were among those “deliberately leading people” to mistrust the facility and its “P4” top-level-security pathogen lab.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Lithuania selects where 700 MW offshore wind farm will be built

first_imgThe tender to select the owner and developer of the wind farm is scheduled to be held in 2023, the government said. The draft legislation will then be submitted to the interested institutions for coordination, and to start coordinating the proposed support scheme with the European Commission. Prior to this period, the approved spatial planning and environmental procedures – the special plan, the strategic environmental impact assessment, and the environmental impact assessment – will be performed by the Lithuanian Energy Agency. The Government of Lithuania has settled on the position of the country’s first offshore wind farm, with the capacity of up to 700 MW, in the Baltic Sea. The project is expected to attract around € 1 billion in private investments. Once commissioned, the wind farm is expected to generate up to three TWh of electricity annually, corresponding to one-quarter of the country’s current electricity consumption. The site covers an area of 137.5 square kilometres, with a distance from shore of approximately 29 kilometres, an average water depth of 35 metres, and an average wind speed of approximately 9 m/s. The government also approved the concept of wind power development in the Lithuanian maritime territory prepared by the Ministry of Energy, which proposes changes in the legal regulation taking into account the recommendations of a working group consisting of state institutions and social partners.center_img The government has decided that the wind farm will be built and commissioned by 2030 at the site previously proposed and considered in the draft Government Resolution, which has now been adopted. The government instructed the Ministry of Energy to prepare draft laws regulating the support scheme for offshore wind farms by 1 July. Amendments to law “By employing offshore wind, we will achieve ambitious renewable energy targets and reduce electricity imports from other countries. Our goal is to develop offshore wind in the most efficient and competitive way, and at the same time it will be an opportunity to attract world-class investors to Lithuanian energy,” said Lithuania’s Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. In addition, taking into account the experience of foreign countries and the fact that the development of networks for the connection of planned power plants in the maritime area may take up to eight years, the government proposed to the transmission system operator to start preparatory work for the connection of offshore wind farms to the grid.last_img read more

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Sterling said to have rejected £100,000 a week Anfield offer.

first_imgIt’s widely reported he will not sign a new contract with the club.Sterling still has two years to run on his current deal and is expected to meet with manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre this week.It’s understood Liverpool’s position hasn’t changed, saying the English star is not for sale. Both Manchester City and Arsenal are said to be interested if Sterling becomes available.last_img

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Help clean South Africa ‘to honour Madiba’

first_imgCapeNature, the conservation authority in the Western Cape, marked Mandela Day 2013 by conducting a clean-up in areas surrounding their head office (image: CapeNature)The government has called on all South Africans to honour former president Nelson Mandela by actively participating in the Clean South Africa campaign this Mandela Month.The campaign was first mooted by President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address last month, when he called on South Africans to begin planning for a major clean-up of cities, towns, townships, villages and schools.Speaking to reporters in Pretoria on Thursday following the Cabinet’s latest fortnightly meeting, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said a Clean South Africa award would be presented to the country’s top three municipalities for Mandela Month.“We all have a responsibility to honour [Mandela’s] life by cleaning, improving and beautifying our communities,” Muthambi said.Celebrated across the globe in honour of the late statesman’s birthday on 18 July, the day gives everyone the opportunity to emulate Mandela’s role as public servant.“Mandela Day is not only about doing good, it is about service,” Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang said at the launch of this year’s event in April. “It is an opportunity to build upon Mr Mandela’s lifelong belief that we must live to serve every day, in whatever we do.”Mandela Day, Hatang said, creates an opportunity for society’s “haves” and “have nots” to work together to confront social ills within their communities and to build a better world.This year’s Mandela Day will be particularly symbolic in that it offers South Africans, and the world, an occasion to honour the ethos of the late Mr Mandela in the year that marks South Africa’s 20th year of democracy.The idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008, when he said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”The United Nations officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognising Mandela’s “values and his dedication to the service of humanity” and acknowledging his contribution “to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world”.The Mandela Day campaign asks that individuals, groups and corporates pledge 67 minutes of their time on 18 July, and every day thereafter, to give back. This can be by supporting a charity or serving the community. No matter how small the action, the aim is to change the world for the better – just as Mandela did.last_img read more

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On-Site Storage Is the Great Equalizer

first_imgThe need for on-site storage technologyAs companies such as Tesla/SolarCity and Mercedes produce more affordable batteries for electric vehicles, energy storage technology is spilling into the housing sector. Grid connection is essential for zero-energy buildings, which need to bank excess production from sunny times to use at night and on cloudy days. The disconnect between when energy is produced by solar panels and when it is needed to meet peak demand remains a problem. On-site battery storage offers a solution.While utility-scale, grid-based storage is coming online in California and Hawaii, battery products can now be installed behind home electric meters and intelligently integrated with the grid. Tesla’s new Powerwall 2 includes a built-in inverter that converts the direct current from panels into alternating current for household use and exports power to the grid when energy is most in demand. Thinking big, every one of California’s “million solar roofs” could easily contribute to the overall energy mix making the energy grid more efficient. Will a Merged Tesla-SolarCity Put a Solar-Powered Battery in Every Home?Tesla Will Sell Home BatteriesVermont Utility Is the First to Offer Tesla BatteryA First in New England: Utility-Scale Battery StorageBatteries for Off-Grid Homes Are Solar-Plus-Battery Systems Coming to a Neighborhood Near You? We are now in a world where decentralized electricity production, such as rooftop solar, is more viable than ever for the public and more threatening than ever to utilities. The public is more willing to adopt in-home renewables thanks to reliable technology, solid performance, declining costs, and the growing availability of loans.Utilities are threatened by uncertainty about how to integrate thousands of new decentralized energy sources into the existing network. And ratepayers without rooftop solar are fearful that their rates will rise. On-site energy storage is one new technology that promises to address all sides of this dilemma. The challenge of net-energy meetingMost utilities have reluctantly agreed to “net energy metering” arrangements when negotiating rate cases with state regulators. Net metering means that utilities accept energy from decentralized sources, although contract terms vary widely around the U.S. The phenomenal growth of these systems shows huge promise for addressing climate change, pollution, and national energy security.When there were few decentralized producers, mostly rooftop photovoltaic arrays, there wasn’t much of a problem for the grid. Unfortunately, electric utilities are largely dealing with an electricity grid that doesn’t look much different from the days when George Westinghouse and Nicola Tesla installed the first large-scale powerhouse at Niagara Falls. The grid is in desperate need of a 21st century upgrade in order to better meet peak demand and integrate decentralized energy production. Time-of-use pricingThere is a third possible scenario that would benefit a solar/storage setup most of all and it involves time-of-use pricing. Although uncommon, this rate structure changes prices to reflect the actual cost of utility power. The most expensive energy coincides with the highest demand for electricity, which usually occurs in late afternoon or early evening. Retail customers would save money if they used batteries to carry them through the high-priced peak. This would be true even if the batteries were charged with grid power rather than solar. Benefits for owners and utilitiesUtilities benefit from on-site storage in two ways. First, they don’t have to supply as much power to the home during peak hours. Second, with smart integration and a fair net-metering agreement, utilities could pull stored energy into the grid to meet a short-term need. Later, when demand subsides, batteries could be recharged with grid power or the customer could be paid a fair price for the amount of energy he or she supplied.On-site storage is good for solar panel owners, because it allows power shifting from daytime production peaks to evening consumption peaks. Few zero-energy homes use as much energy at midday as they produce. But when evening arrives, families begin to use lights, appliances, and energy-sucking devices like game consoles. On-site storage allows them to use banked energy to offset evening use when demand and utility production costs are higher.Whether specific customers benefit from on-site storage depends on how they are credited for power returned to the utility under their net metering agreements. One factor is the timing of credit expiration. Some agreements generously set an annual expiration, usually each spring. This allows credits to accumulate over the sunny months to be used during the cloudy winter months. These customers don’t have much to gain from on-site storage other than as an emergency back-up, because they gain full value for the excess energy they return to the grid.In other agreements, credits may expire each month. During sunny months that could mean leaving hundreds of kWhs on the table. For these customers, batteries allow the excess energy from each day to be used that same night. This reduces the amount that would be lost each month, and saves the customer money.Under some net-metering contracts there is a difference in the customers’ buy price and their sell price. These customers receive a lower price when selling excess power than it costs them to buy power from their utility. The sell rate is often based on the utility’s wholesale power costs, which can be anywhere from 20% to 50% of the retail price. Solar owners may generate excess power during the day and sell it at the wholesale rate, but buy power later the same day at the full retail price.Batteries store excess power on-site, so customers use it themselves. This replaces power that they would have purchased from the utility at the higher retail price. In essence, on-site storage allows owners under these types of net metering contracts to capture the full retail value of the energy they produce.center_img On-site storage allows solar owners to store excess energy for later use, even during a power outage. Residential-scale batteries hold between 5 and 20 kWh of electricity. This is in the same range as the 15 to 20 kWh used per day by a typical newly constructed American home. Batteries currently available will help a typical zero-energy home even out the peaks and valleys of daily energy fluctuation. A win-win-win solutionThe grid will still be needed to address the bigger seasonal fluctuations from sunny seasons to cloudy ones. However, on-site storage can be valuable to consumers and utilities as it balances daily supply and demand variations. In the future, successful grid integration will require each zero-energy building to capture excess production on site for later use and make that stored energy available to the grid as needed.Properly done, it will make the grid more efficient and keep energy prices lower for everyone. On-site energy storage will be a benefit for homeowners with solar collectors, for electric utilities, and for ratepayers without solar. It’s the kind of win-win-win solution the world needs to make the shift to mainstream zero-energy living. RELATED ARTICLES Bruce Sullivan is a building science consultant. This post originally appeared at Zero Energy Project.last_img read more

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Repair Work on Robin’s Bay Bridge Completed

first_img Repair work on the Robin’s Bay bridge in St. Mary has been completed. The project was implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA).The three-month project, which was financed by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing at a cost of $33 million, entailed repairs to the roadway and approach in the immediate vicinity of the bridge, and construction of three box culverts to facilitate easy flow off of water that accumulates, particularly when it rains.The repairs, which were carried out by the firm, Dwight’s Construction Limited,  became necessary after the structure, which is parallel to the sea’s shoreline, was damaged during Hurricane Sandy’s passage in October 2012.State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Richard Azan, who along with representatives of the NWA and the contractor, visited the project site on July 17, expressed satisfaction at the work undertaken.“The team did an excellent job. The culverts are much bigger and water will flow easier under the bridge. The job was completed within budget and on time,” he said.Regarding repairs to the entire Robin’s Bay corridor, which has eroded, Mr. Azan said Minister without Portfolio in the Transport, Works and Housing Ministry, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, has had discussions with him and the Chief Executive Officer of the NWA, Mr. E.G. Hunter, and  they took the decision to do an inspection (on July 17).Mr. Azan said he was unable to give a commitment when repairs would be effected, pointing out that this is contingent on the availability of resources. “We have seen the need, but everything (depends on us identifying) funding,” he indicated. The three-month project costs $33 million Story Highlightscenter_img Repair work on the Robin’s Bay bridge in St. Mary has been completedlast_img read more

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Southwest Agent Asks College Basketball Coach to Provide Proof

In an Aug. 30, 2017, photo, California women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb holds her then-6-month-old son, Jordan, during NCAA college basketball practice on the campus.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southwest Airlines apologized Tuesday to the Cal women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb after she claimed an airline employee stopped her from boarding because the worker didn’t believe her 1-year-old biracial son was hers.A desk agent questioned Gottlieb ahead of a flight from Denver to Oakland Sunday, saying she “had to ‘prove’ that he was my son, despite having his passport,” Gottlieb said in a series of tweets.“She said because we have different last name. My guess is because he has a different skin color,” Gottlieb tweeted Monday. The head coach from the University of California, Berkeley was traveling with her fiance, Patrick Martin, the boy’s father, who is black.Airlines aren’t required to match the last name of a child and guardian for domestic flights.“We have reached out to Ms. Gottlieb directly to address her concerns and will utilize the situation as a coaching opportunity for our Employee,” Southwest said in a statement. “We apologize if our interaction made this family uncomfortable — that is never our intention.”Gottlieb said Tuesday that the encounter was hurtful, but she appreciates Southwest’s apology.“I felt that in this situation it was my responsibility to say ‘Hey, this isn’t ok,’” Gottlieb said in a statement to The Associated Press. “I hope the coverage this has received can serve as a learning opportunity and that all families — regardless of how ‘traditional’ they may or may not look — are treated with dignity and respect.”Gottlieb, Martin and their child were eventually allowed to board. read more

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