Hackers stealing $1.5m a week from ICOs

Fraud, phishing attacks and security vulnerabilities have enabled hackers to steal almost $400m worth of crypto-currencies in the past two years by exploiting initial coin offerings, according to research by EY. A total of 372 ICOs have been attacked since 2015, with hackers stealing an average of $1.5m each week, one of several factors leading regulators, including most recently the US Securities and Exchange Commission, to start clamping down on the activity. Globally ICOs have raised an estimated $3.7bn, outstripping venture capital investments into blockchain-related projects.

Mastercard sets 2019 deadline for biometric payment introduction

Mastercard will enable all cardholders in Europe to use biometric authentication from April 2019, setting a deadline for banks to start supporting payment verification systems using fingerprints and facial recognition in addition to PIN codes. The payment processor is pressing for the transition to biometric security following the introduction of the EU’s revised Payment Services Directive, which introduces requirements for stronger payment authentication, and with broad consumer support for biometrics as an alternative to PINs and passwords.
Planet Biometrics

UK banks drag feet in open banking rollout

Only three of the nine biggest banks in the UK have made the technical changes required to meet regulatory requirements obliging them to share customer data with authorised third-party financial services providers, frustrating fintech firms that are looking to expand their operations. Six leading banks have asked for an extension to the January 13 deadline to implement open banking under the EU’s revised Payment Services Directive. Fintech firms accused them of exaggerating fears about potential security and data privacy risks.

Deutsche Börse uses AI to identify leaders in AI

Deutsche Börse has used artificial intelligence to create a stock index that tracks leaders in the adoption of artificial intelligence technology. Developed in partnership with California-based AI firm Yewno, the algorithm analyses company filings to identify the 200 leading early adopters of AI technology, including companies such as Apple, Bank of America and Facebook, which are included in the recently launched AI STOXX Global Artificial Intelligence Index.

Banks prioritising digital transformation in 2018: EY

Some 85% of banks cite implementation of a digital transformation programme as a business priority for this year, according to EY’s Global Banking Outlook 2018. The survey of senior executives at 221 institutions across Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and other emerging markets indicates that 60% of banks expect their technology investment to rise by more than 10% this year.