Source: Level Four
Level Four Software is expanding its global footprint via a distribution agreement with Makeena Corporation that will give customers in Asia Pacific access to its market-leading ATM and POS testing and development software.
Based in Malaysia, Makeena delivers innovative payment solutions and system integration for customers throughout the Asia Pacific region, and with this agreement, becomes a third-party distributor of Level Four's ATM Channel Development Suite. Makeena's operations provide sales and services to customers in Australia, Brunei, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Banks in Asia Pacific are migrating their ATM and POS networks in order to be compliant with the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) global chip card standard ahead of the January 2006 deadline. While EMV migration across Asia Pacific is at various stages, fraud prevention is a common and primary driver for all countries to meet the industry standard, which will enhance card security.
Credit card fraud in Malaysia, one of the region's early adopters for EMV migration, topped RM100 million (US$45 million) in the first half of 2004, according to the Agency for Combating Trade-Related Crimes. Conversely, credit card fraud losses in Australia fell by 8% in 2003 (Datamonitor) but 50% of the credit card fraud activity was a result of "skimming" (counterfeit cards). Banks in South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong have also lost heavily to counterfeiters.
"EMV implementation in Asia Pacific will speed up once early adopters such as Malaysia demonstrate how the technology can be used," said Martin Macmillan, CEO at Level Four Software. "Although smart card infrastructure can be expensive, smart cards significantly help reduce fraud and enable banks to deliver new applications to their customer's chip cards in an efficient and cost-effective way. But the added complexities of EMV require banks to test their ATM and POS networks extensively before deployment to ensure that their customers experience a smooth migration from magnetic stripe to chip cards. With the Asian EMV deadline only 9 months away, there is a real and urgent need for banks in Asia Pacific to evaluate how they are testing their ATM and POS software, regardless of what stage of migration they are at."
Under the agreement, Makeena will distribute, install and support key components of Level Four's ATM Channel Development suite, including ATM Simulator, ATM Reporter, ATM Developer and key plug-ins such as EMV FastTrack and Triple-DES FastTrack.
Level Four's software is open standards-based and technology-agnostic, so interacts seamlessly with the best of breed technology solutions already supported by Makeena. Makeena's products and services cover the broadest spectrum of payment system requirements - from initial functional definition to new interface development to end-to-end customised solutions. In addition, Makeena's solutions extend to related payment business applications designed to decrease fraud, increase customer retention, and reduce the cost of business operations.
Level Four's ATM Channel Development Suite enables ATM content to be modified quickly using a simple graphical interface. Testing is automated by a set of pre-defined simulations, reducing human error and increasing certainty before deployment. The software also helps banks to migrate their ATM and POS networks to support EMV smart cards, increasing security and reducing the potential for fraud.
Jorge Noguera, CEO at Makeena Corporation, said: "The combination of Level Four's EMV experience in Europe and the Middle East and Makeena's established presence with over 50 customers and payments experience in Asia Pacific is a winning formula that will help banks in Asia Pacific overcome the hurdles of EMV migration. Together, we hope to be a driving force in supporting EMV migration for banks in the region."
Macmillan said: "With our expansion into Asia Pacific, we aim to build on our successes in Europe and the Middle East. The partnership with Makeena is a significant step for Level Four as we rapidly move towards our goal of becoming the global leading provider of ATM and POS testing and development tools."