FinTech Daily: NatWest Pilots App That Helps Track Business Spending; WannaCry Cyberattack’s Author
NatWest Pilots App That Helps Track Business Spending
NatWest has teamed up with Silicon Valley startup SpendLabs to trial an app that helps businesses track and control commercial card spending. The ClearSpend app allows businesses to set budgets at company, business and cardholder level, place limits on spending, receive real time alerts and control when, where and how commercial cards can be used. It is currently being piloted by 100 NatWest Commercial Card customers, with a possible full rollout later this year, coming to NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank clients on iOS, Android and a web app. Alison Rose, CEO, commercial and private banking, NatWest, says: "This is another example of how we are working alongside enterprising new technology businesses to develop innovative solutions that will really make a difference to our customers. “Every business owner knows the importance of budget control. And that includes monitoring expenditure on commercial cards. Administering expenses can be ineffective and time consuming and does not provide the up to date information businesses need. "ClearSpend provides an answer to these challenges. It is one of a number of great ideas I came across during a recent visit to Silicon Valley."
WannaCry Cyberattack’s Author Was “Native Or Fluent” Chinese Speaker
The latest research on the WannaCry cyberattack suggests at least one of the perpetrators was a Chinese speaker. Analysis of the ransom notes distributed to victims of the international attack by security firm Flashpoint appears to show linguistic traits of a “native or a least fluent” Chinese speaker. “Analysts also compared the ransom notes to previous ransom messages associated with other ransomware samples to determine if there was reuse. Unsurprisingly, there are many similarities, but an exact match was not found,” the firm continued in a blog post. Findings determined that such a speaker had written the original note, which was then translated into 28 languages. Of these translations, only the English and two Chinese versions were done by a human, with the rest the result of Google Translate. “Flashpoint assesses with moderate confidence that the Chinese ransom note served as the original source for the English version, which then generated machine translated versions of the other notes,” the blog post comments. Despite the relatively small Bitcoin profits gained from WannaCry, the disruption continues to see nervousness among the international business community, which is scrambling to ensure it is not held to ransom on such a scale yet again. The exact nature of the attack remains shrouded in mystery, however, with mainstream media yesterday citing ex-US Security Chief Michael Chertoff’s suspicions the party behind it could, in fact, be North Korean.
Category: Cyber Security
First Data To Buy CardConnect For $750M
As of yesterday, First Data has officially agreed to acquire rival payment processor CardConnect for around $750 million. The deal will reportedly be covered mostly in cash — and will include the repayment of CardConnect’s debt. This buy represents First Data’s biggest acquisition since going public in 2015. First Data handles, on average, $2.2 trillion in monetary transactions each year — meaning calling CardConnect a competitor is likely putting too fine a point on it, since the firm processes around $26 billion in payments per year. CardConnect recorded sales of about $589 million last year, but lost nearly $16 million. The firm went public last year shortly after it was acquired by FinTech Acquisition Corporation, whose public stock converted to CardConnect stock. To snap up CardConnect, FD will pay $15 per share, a 10 percent premium over the Friday closing price of the stock. “This transaction is consistent with our strategy of integrating and scaling innovative technologies across our distribution footprint to better serve our partners and customers,” Frank Bisignano, First Data’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We are thrilled with the opportunity for CardConnect to partner with an organization that has the world class capabilities of First Data,” said CardConnect President and CEO, Jeff Shanahan. “This transaction improves our ability to innovate and deliver leading technology-oriented commerce solutions to our combined customer base. In addition, we believe our growth trajectory improves with First Data’s breadth of products and its powerful distribution network.”