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Get the latest announcements from MEF Members across the mobile ecosystem globally in this weekly review of member news…

BICS launches service to tackle voice fraud

BICS has unveiled its Voice Roaming Firewall solution, which helps operators reduce fraud losses connected to roaming.

It can take hours or even days to detect incidents of fraud in roaming, and this has been exploited by criminals.

The Voice Roaming Firewall solution is an automated and fully managed service that blocks fraudulent voice call attempts in real time. It taps into BICS’ crowdsourced database of 50+ million fraudulent numbers.

Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud Prevention Operations & Services at BICS, said: “Our fraud intelligence database has already helped block 550+ million minutes of fraudulent traffic on our carrier platform. We anticipate our new Voice Roaming Firewall solution will achieve so much more.”

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Alibaba and Gemalto team up to make China’s IoT market secure

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba has grand ambitions in IoT, and it has now partnered with Gemalto to improve the safety of smart devices.

Gemalto will apply its Allynis Trusted Service Hub to YunOS, Alibaba’s operating system for IoT devices, chips and sensors.

“The YunOS is not merely about connecting things, it connecting everything by credible perception, reliable connectivity, and efficient circulation of services,” said Zhang ChunHui, Alibaba OS Business Group President.

“By being a one-stop IoT security solutions provider and a long-time trusted partner, Gemalto has the right credentials and is an ideal fit to fulfil our YunOS vision.”

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Mastercard and FitPay join forces to make wearable payments a thing

The era of paying with a tap of your wristband just got a little closer thanks to a major new push by Mastercard.

It has teamed up with FitPay to reduce the time-to-market, cost and complexity of putting contactless payment inside wearables. Device maker Wearatec has already signed up.

FitPay says its platform requires quick set-up and no investment in software development. The new partnership will see the platform sync with the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES). This is the service that tokenises payment information to make it safer to move around.

Kiki Del Valle, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments and Labs at Mastercard, said: “The Commerce for Every Device programme puts in place a standard for expanding secure contactless and embedded payment options globally, and our work with Fit Pay and its set of cutting-edge device manufacturers will further help us meet merchant and consumer needs.”

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Veoo opens new office in Hungary

Mobile messaging specialist Veoo has strengthened its Eastern European footprint with a new base in Hungary. This follows an office opening in Ukraine earlier this year.

Veoo says the market for SMS competitions around subscriber content is booming in Hungary. It plans to ‘take the pain out of Premium Billing Services’ by providing a 24/7 customer care, local translations, regulatory and compliance support and localised marketing/content campaigns.

Matthew Winters, CEO of Veoo, said: “The take up for this particular offering has been terrific. As a result I am sure that with our full service capabilities on the ground we will see other products really take off.”

Veoo has tripled in size and turnover in the last year and expects to double its revenue in 2016. It has offices in the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Russia and Ukraine, but expects to have a presence in more than 26 countries before the end of 2016.

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Axis Bank: take a photo, submit your tax return

Taxpayers in India can dramatically simplify their tax affairs by using the new ‘Insta Services’ app from Axis Bank.

The app lets any citizen submit the Form 15G/H by taking a photo of KYC documents such as passport, visa and so on inside the app.

Axis Bank is the first bank to digitise the process this way. Rajiv Anand, Executive Director, Axis Bank said: “Insta Services further reinforces our commitment to improve our customers’ online experience by deploying cutting-edge technology solutions that provide both security and convenience.”

Form 15G/H are required by senior citizens who wish to apply for tax relief on investment income.

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Faster, prettier, more profitable – Calldorado overhauls its Caller ID app

Calldorado has completely redesigned its app – and it even makes money for developers when users are inactive.

The Danish company offers an app that Android users can use to see the identity of a caller even if they are not a contact. Meanwhile if offers developers an SDK, so they can serve ads to the Caller ID screen at the end of a call. In theory this means developers can make money even when their app is inactive.

Calldorado 2.0 also includes a bold new design, improved ad targeting, and additional ad formats.

“We’re committed to constantly improving the Calldorado experience for both users and developers,” said Claudia Dreier-Poepperl, Calldorado co-founder and CEO. “We had good feedback on our first iteration, but Calldorado 2.0 is even faster, more intuitive and can boost revenue generation.”

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Hungama offers free music subscriptions inside Xiaomi handsets

One million of Xiaomi phone owners in India can claim one year of free Hungama Music app membership, and three months of membership to Hungama Play.

The offer is available to anyone who buys a Redmi 3S, Redmi Note 3, Mi Max and Mi 5. To activate the membership, users must download the Hungama music app and Hungama Play app from the Google Play Store.

Xiaomi made a $25m investment in Hungama in April 2016.

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