Tag Archives: banking

Only President Uhuru Now Stands Between Borrowers And Low Interest Rates

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s signature is the only remaining hurdle to lower interest rates on loans and higher returns for deposits.

Thursday, MPs defied strong lobbying by commercial banks to unanimously pass a Bill that intends to regulate interest rates applicable to bank loans and deposits,…read more…

Biometric Security: From Selfies To Walking Gaits

“…Behavioral biometrics are currently considered less reliable than the physiological system, but as this technology is still in its early stages, this premise could change…” – original author


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The payments industry, facing the risk of increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks and various types of credit card fraud, has begun incorporating various types of biometric technology to enhance security and prevent breaches.

As recently reported, MasterCard is launching a facial recognition payment service based on “selfies” taken on a smartphone. This new technology features a photo scanner that creates a map of the shopper’s face, which is then translated into a code for confirmation of future payments.

For now, MasterCard customers must still use a password when making purchases via the “SecureCode” service, but soon a “selfie” from a smartphone will be enough to close transactions. This program is to be tested initially on 500 card users in the coming months. MasterCard stated that it also is working on a payment program based on voice recognition.

MasterCard’s imminent transition to biometrics was preceded by Apple Pay’s launching in October 2014 of…

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Why Is The White House Threatening To Veto An Imaginary Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)?

‘…This amendment specifically goes out of its way to state that it would not “restrict the exercise of domestic monetary policy.”…’ – original author

The Baseline Scenario

By Simon Johnson

At today’s daily briefing, White House spokesman Josh Earnest communicated the president’s threat to veto any trade promotion authority (TPA) that “could undermine the independence or ability of the Federal Reserve to make monetary policy decisions”.  (The question was posed at minute 42:50, Mr. Earnest’s answer starts at 43:31, and the lead up to this quote starts around 45:20.)

Mr. Earnest’s statement seems clear enough, but what potential TPA is he talking about?  Either the White House is confused or some other communications strategy is at work here.  Either way, Mr. Earnest is describing some imaginary version of TPA that is simply not on the congressional table.

He most certainly cannot be accurately describing the bipartisan Portman-Stabenow amendment, currently before the Senate.  This amendment specifically goes out of its way to state that it would not “restrict the exercise of domestic monetary policy.”

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