The US electronic benefit transfer or EBT system is attractive to fraudsters due to lack of adoption and investment in new technologies. Continue reading
Cybersecurity firm VST Enterprises has teamed up with an international fashion business to provide scannable code technology for clothing, footwear and accessories.
Dewhirst will use the proprietary technology, VApparel, at the point of sale to enable speedy purchasing and instant related product information.
The VCode technology behind the textile project will also prevent international circulation of counterfeit products and enable garment traceability.
Significantly, the universal technology is not limited to existing Dewhirst clients and can be deployed by any garment and accessory manufacturer or retailer wishing to improve protection against counterfeiters and fraudsters.
Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises, said: “Dewhirst has a predilection for value, ethics and innovation, and the partnership will bring this traditional but innovative fashion brand to the forefront of modern technology.
“Dewhirst is pioneering the use of this technology on wearable items across its international network and we plan to work together to use VApparel for many more applications in future.
“We are looking forward to defining new ways to apply the technology as our partnership evolves.”
The technology will combat counterfeiting, which provides a sustained and expensive threat to the fashion industry, and results in regular legal proceedings, product redesign and lost revenue.
The cost of counterfeit in the EU sporting goods market alone is estimated at over €500m per annum.
This loss of revenue contributed to 2,800 jobs in the sector being cut in 2015. Though cheaper, ‘fake’ fashion can seem like a good deal to consumers, it is consistently of lower quality and, when damaging chemicals are used during production, it can even prove fatal to the wearer.
Anthony Wood, CEO of Dewhirst, said: “VST Enterprises is one of the most innovative businesses that I have come across, and Louis is one of the most creative entrepreneurs that I have ever met.
“It will revolutionise engagement with the customer pre- and post-purchase, across sectors and geographies, ensuring quality, safe, genuine fashion.”
VApparel also enables the delivery of targeted offers and promotions to compliment loyalty programmes and marketing strategies.
VRCO agrees partnership with VST Enterprises for the use of VCode
Innovative cyber security firm VST Enterprises (VSTE), has today executed a Memorandum of Understanding on the use of VCode® on the Neo X Craft project led by VRCO Limited, which is supported by Derby University, The Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering and the European Regional Development Fund.
VST Enterprises’ VCode® technology will provide secure end-to-end traceability, maintenance monitoring on aircraft, parts and components on VRCO’s low-emission, vertical take-off and landing autonomous flying vehicle.
VCode® is particularly suited to the Neo X Craft project as it can be scanned on or from a moving vehicle, from any angle and from great distances. While the vehicle is in prototype stage, VCode®’s flexibility will be indispensable, since permissions and data contained within the code can be altered to suit any developments that will emerge from testing and developing the craft. In addition to verifying identity, logging service records and tracing vehicles and parts, VCodes can be set to provide access only to users in a specified location.
Louis-James Davis, CEO at VST Enterprises, said: “VRCO is building an autonomous, aerial vehicle, and we are truly excited to deploy our adaptable, secure and versatile technology in such a future forward environment. Thanks to VRCO, a true personal VTOL craft will be available soon, and the benefits that VCode® can provide make it exactly the right choice for the vehicle of the future.”
Mike Smith, Chairman VRCO, said: “VCode® provides us with certainty around our craft, who flies them, which engineer works on them along with key metrics on operational hours down to the component level. The asset tracking and access control is a unique technology which we are delighted to adopt on our project. We can see many more applications for VCode® going forward.”
The Memorandum of Understanding covers the use of VCode to facilitate secure end-to-end traceability, maintenance monitoring on aircraft, parts and components. The unique features of VCode® will also enable authentication, service history intervals and warranties to be well managed. Further use of VCode® will cover pilot and engineer access and security.
VCode® is already being used to verify entitlement to benefits in India, as a method of payment for parking at 485,000 car park pay points across the UK, and to reduce fraud in the gaming industry.
While our understanding of cybersecurity is growing, it’s still far too limited. This year’s Cyber Governance Health Check Report revealed that only 33% of UK boards have clearly set and understood their appetite for cyber risk, both for existing business and for new digital innovations they have absorbed or introduced. Although this is up from 18% last year1, it may be nowhere near enough, since our vulnerability to cyber-attack is an urgent and growing threat.
Businesses don’t have to be technology companies to mitigate the threats. They need simple, ubiquitous tech with end-to-end encryption, managed by experts in an uncertain and ever changing landscape of new opportunities and threats.
Innovation must be nimble and quick to market
2016 has been about maintaining stability amid uncertainty. “Innovations” in secure payment, document transfer and delivery that have gone to market have echoed technology of pre-existing solutions, and the most revolutionary has been Microsoft’s 3D scan facial verification technology that we’ve seen in services like Selfie Pay. In 2017, security solutions must move beyond building upon pre-existing solutions. Research and development, and governmental investment in particular will be instrumental in safeguarding businesses against security threats and product shrinkage, as well as revolutionising process efficiency.
The counterfeit trade weakens global economies
Counterfeiting was a direct cause of India’s cash crisis. On the surface the cash crisis seems a sudden threat, the reason for the withdrawal of the bank notes was driven by a rapid response to reform. Prior to the ban on old 500 and 2,000 Rupee notes, individuals were passing off fake bank notes for payment recreated with easy to acquire materials such as ink and synthetic paper. The reform momentum in India is building, and while the demonetization move may appear to be a threat, it signifies a positive move towards economic stimulus, minimising the circulation of bogus bank notes.
Counterfeit goods are a significant issue globally, and between November 2015 and February 2016, Interpol had gathered the largest ever haul of counterfeit food and drink ever seized. In the UK alone during that period, authorities recovered nearly 10,000 litres of fake or adulterated alcohol including wine, whisky and vodka.2 Some see these as victimless crimes, but the cost is spread to every individual, both financially through tax and physically, as products passed off as the real deal can contain harmful ingredients that can cause illness and even death.
In monetary terms, £600m in wine and spirits duty is lost through alcohol fraud annually. This is enough money to build a hospital the size of Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital every single year. Fake cigarettes cost the UK economy £2billion a year3. If anti-counterfeiting solutions were implemented, these considerable sums would relieve strain on our public services and leave us all better off.
In 2017, the EU and UK governmental agenda will focus on crackdowns on counterfeit and corporate corruption. This will be a key driving force behind technological investment in 2017.
Mobile: the catalyst to innovation
Mobile has seen significant growth in 2016, and more and more consumers trust their devices enough to use them to pay for goods or services at the point of sale. APAC leads the way in mobile payments, with 53% of connected consumers using their mobiles to make payments, in comparison to 33% in North America and 35% in Europe.4 When I think back to one my first mobile phones, Nokia’s 3210, which sold over 160 million units over its lifespan, it’s incredible to see the technological trajectory that mobile has taken.
We’ve seen mobile technology grow in ways we never could have imagined, and technological convergence has been the main proponent in this evolution. It’s amazing to think that one of the world’s first computers, the Manchester Mark 1 built in 1948 was the size of a room and performed what we would now consider to be basic mathematical calculations. Today computers are the size of your palm and we use them as our personal assistant, accountant, post office and shop front with no need to bring additional tools along with you. In 2017, tech companies will hone mobile solutions that will encourage better security and more consumer trust.
IT security must not be kept in silos
In 2016, IT security has been treated differently depending on the user. Separate security strategies exist for mobile devices, the public sector, the b2b and b2c markets, the public and the private sector. As the way we work with electronics in our work and home lives converges, it is becoming more clear that the principles of cybersecurity should be the same for everyone. Simply put, this should be to ensure that data and transactions sent are genuine and uncorrupted, and that data and money goes directly to the intended recipient without interception.
The need to move towards a ubiquitous way of treating data becomes clearer as business and consumer IT overlaps more and more. Separate approaches to security threatens quick action against universal threats that loom over electronic payments, confidential patient records and even proof of entitlement to travel, work or claim benefits alike.
As we go into 2017, the takeaway lesson is that change is inevitable and necessary, presenting opportunities to become smarter, better and more effective. Technology must not stagnate. Old solutions will not be effective against new problems, and those who champion technology for good must be as reactive, nimble and hungry to drive forward as those malicious few who exploit the holes for financial gain, notoriety or simply to cause chaos.
VST Enterprises (VSTE), a pioneering cyber security firm has today announced a new multi-million pound deal with Sreeven Paytech, that will see the companies combine to eliminate fraud from the Indian benefit system.
VST Enterprises’ VCode® technology will provide strong authentication for the electronic benefit transfer system, benefitting 40 million households inititially. In addition, the companies will also be facilitating 2 million electronic financial transactions per month before expanding within the market.
An estimated $2bn is set to be saved for the Indian government by implementing the secure system. The VCode® system allows users to authenticate themselves and help fight against fraud, ensuring benefits and financial transactions reach the genuine recipients and not the fraudsters.
The opportunity will also add a minimum of £4bn of user value to VST Enterprises’ company worth. A comparison in tech terms to the recent Facebook IPO whereas 1 active user is valued at $100.00.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said:
“VST Enterprises is a prime example of how UK firms are seizing the numerous opportunities available in overseas markets.”
“India is one of the world’s biggest and fastest growing markets, which is why the Prime Minister and I recently led a delegation of businesses there. It’s great to see VST Enterprises follow that with a new contract which will use the best of British innovation to deliver huge benefits for India and for the UK.”
Louis-James Davis, CEO at VST Enterprises, added:
“At VSTE we believe in infinite possibilities, so are thrilled to secure a major new deal to authenticate payments and help eliminate fraud from the Indian benefit system.”
“Its great to see VST Enterprises follow the trade mission with a new contract which will use the best of British innovation to deliver huge benefits for India and for the UK.”
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox
“Online security is a challenge facing large-scale government schemes across the world and VCode® will help provide faster payments quicker and safer than ever before.”
“We were honoured to join the Prime Minister’s trade mission to India and hope our technology can play a significant role in improving the lives of over 40 million households. And we hope this is just the beginning of our development into the Indian market.”
“The money saved for the government by implementing our system could provide life changing benefits to the population. India and could see new infrastructure, schools and a boost in their economy.”
K S Raju Managing Director,Sreeven Paytech Pvt Ltd, added:
“At Sreeven Paytech, quality is a continuous process that is reflected in the companies emphasis on improving technology and adopting global best practices to provide utmost quality deliverables to our clients.”
“We are excited to announce our joint venture company VEBT India Pvt Ltd with VST Enterprises for promoting their advanced VCode technology which can provide improved transparency in ‘electronic benifit transfer’ to protect against fraud and we are confident in bringing quick adoption of the VCode technology to India.”
“The recent developments in India with boosted online transactions has opened up various opportunities for VST Enterprises for creating custom solutions to multiple business verticals including media advertisement, healthcare, retail for loyalty and end-to-end traceability solutions to eliminate mainstream counterfeiting.”
The UK-India TECH Summit was hosted in New Delhi in November by the Prime Minister and her Indian counterpart, boosting hi-tech trade between India and the UK.
VST Enterprises’ VCode® technology allows genuine users to authenticate themselves across a variety of online transactions and interactions. It is currently being used to protect against fraud in many sectors, from document verification, to unattended car park payment systems, and interactive charitable-giving transactions.
VST Enterprises, the Manchester-based technology company behind award-winning scannable symbol technology, VCode® today announces the appointment of former KPMG Partner John Hughes as Chairman.
The announcement comes at a pivotal time in VST Enterprises’ international growth, having recently announced the addition of two former Elavon Vice Presidents to its business development arm in the US.
Prior to joining VST Enterprises, John worked with KPMG for 28 years where he became Partner in charge of Transaction Services.
As Chairman for VST Enterprises, John will not only bring his professionalism and breadth of industry experience, he also brings a work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit to match the current executive team. An essential combination to succeed in today’s competitive technology arena.
Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises has said, “John is exactly the right person to act as Chairman for VST Enterprises. He recognises the rising urgency for a solution like VCode® and will channel our recent rapid progress into long-term success. Ultimately John will play a key part in enabling us to achieve our goal of eradicating fraud and counterfeiting on physical items with end-to-end traceability, by making VCode® a ubiquitous standard for user authentication and access control.”
At KPMG, John built a reputation for fostering success, working with budding new businesses including Pets at Home and Moneysupermarket.com to transform them into household brand names. John was at the forefront of defining how businesses approach due diligence, and conducted worldwide training on professional standards for business transactions.
“When I was first introduced to VST Enterprises, I recognised instantly a team of astute innovators determined to solve a security issue that negatively affects many lives and organisations on a daily basis. At VST Enterprises we have one goal right now; to deliver efficient solutions to counterfeiting and fraud that will improve access and security globally. This capability will range from online shopping and gaming, through to electronic benefit transactions and national ID cards.” Said John Hughes, Chairman of VST Enterprises.
“At KPMG I saw a number of smart businesses grow from a powerful vision into something very special, I helped foster growth and brought professionalism to bright young ventures. I am looking forward to doing the same for VST Enterprises.”
The versatile VCode technology allows genuine users to authenticate themselves across a variety of online transactions and interactions. It is currently being utilised to protect against fraud on a diverse range of financial transactions including shopping, gaming, document verification, unattended car park payment systems, and charitable giving.
VSTE bosses are already planning expansions into Asia through their office in Singapore.
“A pioneering Manchester firm is taking its cutting edge technology to India – alongside the Prime Minister.
VST Enterprises (VSTE) has been lauded for its development of VCode, which, among other applications, has the potential to revolutionise financial transactions on the internet.
The versatile VCode technology allows genuine users to authenticate themselves across a variety of online transactions and interactions. It is currently being utilised to protect against fraud in many sectors, from document verification, to unattended car park payment systems, and interactive charitable giving transactions. VSTE bosses are already planning expansions into Asia through their office in Singapore.
And their trip to India, which will see them board the new Prime Ministerial plane alongside Theresa May – will allow them to explore new markets in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“I know VSTE prides itself on its ‘infinite possibilities’ – and it is exactly that sort of optimism this country needs to power its economy.
“The internet is already part of our everyday lives, but we haven’t even scratched the surface of its potential.
“Manchester’s exciting tech industry is already sparking new ideas and new businesses and VSTE will be able to spread the word in India.”
VSTE will be joining other small and medium sized firms in seeking new business on the trip to one of the world’s biggest economies.
Louis-James Davies, CEO at VST Enterprises, said:
“We are truly delighted to be taking the next step towards international growth as part of the Prime Minister’s trade mission. We have come an incredibly long way in such a short amount of time and I believe this is due to the growing need for a solution like VCode across international markets and sectors. In India specifically it’s about providing assured online security across large-scale government schemes, such as ID cards and the benefit system. We hope our technology can play a key role in the deployment of such schemes and are looking forward to conversations around this in the days ahead.”
The visit will include South Asia’s largest tech fair. The UK-India TECH Summit will be hosted in New Delhi by the Prime Minister and her Indian counterpart. It is designed to help boost hi-tech trade between India and the UK.
The Prime Minister will use the Indian visit to deliver on the ambitious vision for Britain after Brexit she set out in a speech last month, forging a new global role for the UK as a country with the self-confidence and the freedom to look beyond the continent of Europe.
And she will use the visit to deliver on her pledge to create an economy that truly works for all, by introducing new and emerging enterprises, as well as more established players, to the key Indian market.”
“In a decisive move, UK-based VST Enterprises has announced the addition of two former Elavon Vice Presidents to its business development arm in the US. The experienced duo will be joining collectively under the company Relevant Payment Consulting.
Joseph Cohane, ex Executive Vice President, and Stephanie Sharp, ex Vice President and Controller of the leading payment processor, bring more than 40 years combined payments expertise and will be specialising in the financial transactions and fraud prevention functionality of VST Enterprises’ award-winning scanable symbol technology, VCode.
Designed and developed by entrepreneurial partners Louis-James Davis and Andy Giblin, the versatile VCode technology is currently being utilised across many sectors, from document verification, to unattended car park payment systems, and interactive charitable giving transactions.
Cohane comments: “I am very pleased to be joining VST Enterprises. My experience tells me that this business is one of few start-ups operating in the authentication space that has the genuine capability to transform lives, and unite security protocol across verticals. I am very excited to be able to play a part in its success.”
Sharp adds: “VCode presents a solution to security and authentication issues that continue to hinder the next generation of financial technology. The business is committed to international expansion so it will be really interesting to see the impact it has on the global payments arena. I have no doubt that this will just be the beginning of even bigger things to come from the team.”
The announcement comes on the back of the news that the company has opened a new office in New York, and will be opening a second U.S office in Reno later this year.
Louis-James Davis, chief executive and founder of VST Enterprises, says: “The addition of Joseph and Stephanie comes at a very important stage in our company’s progression, it marks further expansion to the U.S. and demonstrates our commitment to being experts in our vertical markets, such as payments.
“We’ve come an incredibly long way in such a short amount of time, I believe this is due to the growing need for a solution like VCode in the market. We’re delighted to be taking the next step towards offering our scanable, secure image technology to a global and varied customer base.”
The proprietary VCode app is compatible with all iOS and Android smart phones and tablets and, unlike traditional bar or QR codes, VCodes can be scanned from any screened media, from distances of up to 100m and virtually any angle. Furthermore, each code is completely unique to eliminate the problem of mainstream counterfeiting.”
“Manchester-based VST Enterprises has appointed 10 new sales consultants to its new business team, bringing its number of employees up to 30, in response to the company’s rapid growth and continued plans for expansion.
Based at various locations including the USA (New York, Reno & Chicago), India, Isle of Man, Singapore and Kuwait. The team will be responsible for liaising with blue chip companies and governments with the aim of creating opportunities for VST Enterprises’ versatile scanable technology, VCode, where it has the potential to revolutionise new industries.
The appointments come as the company reaches the final stages of its fifth round of funding at a £30m pre-money valuation, following the opening of its first US office in New York. The company is also due to open a second US office in Reno later this year.
VCode was developed by co-directors Louis-James Davis and Andy Gilbin and allows any mobile handset user to gain a range of information instantly and securely. By downloading the app, scanning a VCode takes the user directly to a company’s website or portal.
The versatile technology is currently being used to reform information delivery in many sectors including document delivery, car park payment systems, and oil shipping.
Louis-James Davis, chief executive and founder of VST Enterprises, says: “It has been an amazing year for the company and our expansion rate has been incredible considering we’re still in the start-up phase.
“It feels like now is the right time to expand our new business team, and I have no doubt that they will play a huge part in our goal to establish ourselves as a global leader in scanable technology.”
Among the new appointments is Ian Grieve, Gordon Livingstone and Timothy Wright III.
The VCode app is compatible with all iOS and Android smart phones and tablets and, unlike traditional bar or QR codes, VCodes can be scanned from any screened media, from distances of up to 100m and virtually any angle. Furthermore, each code is completely unique to eliminate the problem of mainstream counterfeiting.
For further information on VST Enterprises, please visit www.vstenterprises.com or to download the app, visit the App Store or Google Play.”