BMA International Taps HID Optical Fingerprint Readers to End Point-of-Sale Fraud

Established in 1997, Dubai-based BMA International operates fashion retail in the Middle East and Asia across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar with more than 250 stores offering two major brands — Redtag and twenty4. BMA’s steady growth is a testament to its focus on building trust with its shoppers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders to create a company that is people-centric, ambitious and results-oriented.

CHALLENGE

Fraud is a common problem in the retail sector, particularly within large chains with hundreds of locations and tens of thousands of employees. BMA’s retail stores were no exception. Following an internal audit, security of point-of-sale (POS) terminals in retail outlets were identified as a serious concern, particularly the misuse of floor supervisors’ credentials to access terminals and modify or cancel transactions.

The problem persisted even after BMA switched from passwords to a smart card-based authentication system. The most common issues involved supervisors leaving smart cards with cashiers to use in their absence and failing to return the cards when a separation from an employer occurs — a frequent occurrence as many of BMA’s retail employees are expatriates who often return to their home countries.

Fraudulent use of the smart card was also a common problem. Once a sale was completed and the customer had left the store with their purchased items, the smart card could be used to improperly access the system so the cashier could void the transaction and pocket the “refund,” resulting in both monetary and inventory losses.

“BMA’s internal auditors were concerned with the lack of control over the
cards and the potential for fraudulent transactions due to their mishandling. They observed clear gaps in security and authentication practices that led directly to fraud and revenue leakage, resulting in the Internal Audit Committee recommending to the BMA Board of Directors that action be taken to plug the security holes by tightening the authentication process,” said Nainan M. Kurian, CEO of Technowave International LLC.

The decision was made to transition authentication to a biometric-based system that would provide the required security at a competitive price which aligned with the aesthetics of the retail stores. The system also needed to be compatible with the Oracle Retail Xstore Office Cloud Service, which BMA International was adopting across its brands.

SOLUTION

BMA International and its technology partner, Technowave International LLC, determined that the HID DigitalPersona® 4500 Fingerprint Reader met all their requirements — a decision supported by recommendations from other retailers that had deployed the product, and by the fact that competitive solutions were incompatible with Oracle Retail Xstore, a crucial requirement.

A USB peripheral with a compact design to conserve space, this fingerprint reader from HID is ideal for use by multiple people in a shared environment. Its professional, modern design looks elegant in retail settings while offering superior authentication control via biometric functionality that uses optical scanning technology to achieve excellent image quality and reliability.

With this easy-to-use technology, floor supervisors simply place their finger
on the reader window, which rapidly captures and encrypts the fingerprint image, then provides a red flash as a visual cue indicating that it was properly captured. That image is sent to the DigitalPersona FingerJetTM biometric engine for verification, and once the user has been authenticated, access to the POS terminal is granted.

“Deploying the HID DigitalPersona 4500 Fingerprint Reader was simple and caused no disruption to retail operations. It paved the way for significant reduction in the malpractice that had been occurring with the smart card system,” said Kurian.

RESULT

Since deploying more than 1,100 HID fingerprint readers in retail outlets across KSA, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, BMA has eliminated nearly all POS fraud and abuse. The system has also driven tangible improvements in the attendance and punctuality of floor supervisors, who must now be physically present in the store for authentication to take place.

The HID authentication system is also capable of multiple types of authentications — providing flexibility that is appreciated by users who work at multiple locations.

“Because the HID DigitalPersona 4500 Fingerprint Reader requires proof of presence for authentication, there is greater accountability among supervisors which resulted in immediate cessation of POS fraud and stopped both revenue and inventory leakage. The exceptional support provided by HID Global has also allowed BMA to take full advantage of the system’s functionality and flexibility,” said Kurian.

Pastel Party by MANGO Teen

MANGO Teen boasts a joyous celebration of color in the newly launched Pastel Party collection. The new edit reinvents popular streetwear pieces in summer-appropriate prints and textures, playing around with a selection of pastel shades, from mint, mauve, and powder pink to butter-dipped yellow. In line with this season’s relaxed theme, the collection also features comfy hoodies, baggy trousers, and a range of graphic print t-shirts.

Hotelandrest News Website: The cruise line connecting Abu Dhabi, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and Aqaba will enhance intra-Arab tourism

Hotelandrest.com, a popular Abu Dhabi based news website, stated that Abu Dhabi Ports Groups intention to operate the first cruise line that links the coastlines of Abu Dhabi, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and the Jordanian city, Aqaba, will enhance the intra-Arab tourism.

The news website asserted that the development plans for such a cruise line, which will be operated according to an agreement signed between Abu Dhabi Ports Groups and Egypt’s Red Sea Ports Authority, is an actual translation of the ambitious and long-awaited projects to enhance intra-Arab tourism.

According to the news website, the cruise line is expected to transport thousands of tourists from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and other GCC cities across the Red Sea, especially with the extreme lack of direct flights to the cities situated along the Red Sea coastlines and the Jordanian Aqaba. This will also activate cruise ships, hotels, and resorts of Abu Dhabi, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and Aqaba all year long due to the affordability of such cruises and the amusement travelers experience while traveling across the sea.

Hotelandrest.com emphasized that the economic revenues will be huge as the cruise line will attract more tourists from Europe, Asia, and other Arab countries to travel across the Arabian Gulf to the Red Sea which is known for its rare coral reefs, mild weather, natural reserves, and luxurious resorts.

In addition, this line will be competing the European cruise lines across the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Atlantic, and others, which attract tourists from the Gulf and the Arab countries to different European-Mediterranean destinations.

According to the announced agreement, Abu Dhabi Ports Group will develop, operate, and manage a multipurpose terminal cruise ship in Safaga port in collaboration with the Egyptian Group for Multipurpose Terminals Company, the commercial division of the Egyptian Ministry of Transportation.

The news website stated that operating the cruise line that links the coastlines of Abu Dhabi, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and Aqaba, and conducting the necessary developments to enhance tourists’ experience, will create an unprecedented tourism activity and provide more work opportunities. It will also promote commercial and industrial activities across the Red Sea region.

THREE TRAVEL-FRIENDLY SKINCARE ESSENTIALS FROM CODEX BEAUTY LABS

Codex Beauty Labs is the plant-based biotechnology brand that formulates clean, sustainable, and effective skincare. Codex Beauty Labs was founded in 2018 by Dr. Barbara Paldus who’s mission was to set the next generation of standards in the organic beauty space. Since the launch of the brand, Codex Beauty Labs has released the two skincare lines Bia and Antü which both contain unique and potent ingredients. Codex Beauty Labs presents protective, restoring, and under 100ml selection

of essentials that are perfect for travelling.

Bia Skin Superfood Moisturizer: the all-round moisturizer

Whether travelling to warmer or colder climates, the skin appreciates deep hydration and the Bia Skin Superfood Moisturizer provides this to all skin types. Formulated with a blend of botanical extracts that address hydration in a distinct yet complimentary way, this cream boosts the skin’s capacity to retain moisture. Use on areas experiencing dryness to feel immediate relief. Ideal to bring on flights where the skin is extra prone to dehydration.

Antü Radiance Mist: protective and refreshing multi-purpose mist on the go

The Antü Radiance Mist is an invigorating spray with Codex Beauty Lab’s own patented AntuComplexTM formula. The mist is packed with the power of bio-actives from three Patagonian plants (Matico, Maqui, and Murtilla) which together with hyaluronic acid soothe irritation and reduce inflammation while supporting the skin’s microbiome. Incorporate the spray in the morning or evening skincare routine to tone and protect skin from pollutants and keep on hand to refresh throughout the day.

Antü Eye Cream: remove all signs of tiredness

Different time zones, busy schedules, long journeys all contribute to the appearance of undereye dark circles. Make sure to take care of the sensitive area around the eyes especially when travelling. The Codex Beauty Labs Antü Eye Cream is a lightweight daily essential in a travel-friendly size. Made with AntüComplexTM formula this potent eye cream re-hydrates the skin, and is clinically proven to firm,

smooth and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Use daily to make sure the skin looks well-rested in holiday photos.

Codex Beauty Labs is available on  Powderbeauty.com Bia Skin Superfood Moisturizer, 75ml –  235 AED Antü Radiance Mist, 30ml –  115 AED

Antü Eye Cream, 15ml –  245 AED

Ziina brings the future of the cashless economy closer

The metaverse isn’t some distant future. It’s here. It’s been here since we transitioned from wads of cash in wallets to glossy cards in sleek cardholders, to paying online and finally digital currencies. The world of payments is already virtual. So why not make it fun?

With technology woven into the fabric of our day-to-day life, Ziina is taking the awkwardness out of digital payments by making them simple, fast, and interactive. A progressive digital wallet that makessending cash as easy as sending a text message, The Dubai-based, YC-backed start-up is on a mission to revolutionize online money transfers for consumers in the Middle East and is designed with today’s digital economy and consumers in mind.

Launched in February 2022, Ziina allows consumers to easily send and receive payments in just a few taps. Not content with eliminating the tedious process of entering IBANs and swift codes, Ziina took it one step further and abstained from collecting user’s emails. As anyone with a spam folder knows, we could all receive less promo emails.  Users also have the option to punctuate their payments with GIFs, photos, texts and emojis. Requesting money from someone using a winking Zach Galafinakis GIF feels a lot more like a text than a payment request.

With the formation of its innovative Cashless Dubai Working Group, Ziina is at the forefront of shifting transactions, and the numbers support this. Euromonitor International reports that in 2019, 60% of all consumer payment transactions in the UAE were non-cash payments, a rate that is set to reach 73% by 2025. This is where Ziina’s two-click payment system is leading the way.

On its quest to help enable a cashless economy and make it a reality in the UAE, Ziina is focused on developing state-of-the-art tools that are fun to use, empowering individuals to gain more control of their financial future. And they’re doing it in less taps than any other platform. 

But it’s not just money transfers among friends and family that Ziina serves. Business owners can expect to replace PDF invoices with QR codes and payment links — keeping both vendors and consumers at ease.

For a pain-free financial experience in the UAE, download Ziina. No IBANs, Swift Codes, or e-mails needed. Available on the App Store and Google Play.

Cavotec Airports to become Dabico Airport Solutions

Cavotec Airports will be re-branded to Dabico Airport Solutions, following its upcoming divestment from the Cavotec group. With a renewed focus on growth, innovation, and service, Dabico Airport Solutions is set to expand its existing offering that enables its customers to maximise safety, availability, efficiency, and sustainability. 

“Building on Cavotec Airport’s 50-plus year track record in the industry, Dabico is now well-positioned to devote its extensive expertise into continued product development and long-term growth – one of our key growth drivers will be a number of new products that we plan to launch in the months ahead,” says Juergen Strommer, Dabico Airport Solutions CEO designate. 

Dabico plans to showcase its full range of innovative ground support systems – and premiere three new products – at the upcoming Dubai Airport Show that kicks off on 17 May. 

The company’s vital role as a trusted partner to the aviation industry is defined in its vision statement “Accelerating our journey towards a sustainable future, and mission to bring innovative solutions to the aviation industry that safeguard people and protect the environment, while increasing productivity

As a leading ground support equipment manufacturer and service provider, Dabico Airport Solutions offers a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art, turn-key systems for contact gates, remote aprons, and maintenance repair and overhaul hangars for commercial and defence applications. 

Its innovative solutions include 400Hz and 28VDC ground power units, pre-conditioned air systems, wet services and fuel systems that are integrated under passenger boarding bridges or in in-ground pits and tunnel systems. These systems reduce the use of mobile diesel-driven ground support equipment and quicker shut down of aircraft APUs, resulting in better operator safety, reduced environmental impact, and faster turnaround times driven by efficient and reliable operations. 

Dabico Airport Solutions brings together former marque Cavotec brands of Combibox, Dabico, Fladung, INET, and Meyerinck, to create a unique airport solutions provider. Cavotec announced the divestment of its Airports division to the Fernweh Group in February. Under private ownership, Dabico expects to have the agility to make decisions faster and the flexibility to invest in the future. 

“We are excited by the opportunity to acquire the Cavotec Airport business and look forward to working with management to continue to strengthen the business. The acquisition is an integral part of Fernweh’s investment thesis and will be a strategic platform on which to build a major airport ground support equipment franchise,” says Nick Santhanam, CEO of Fernweh Group.

MENA Businesses Deliver A ‘Good’ Total Experience

Total Experience is seen as the interconnection between Customer, Employee, User and Multiexperience.

A Global study conducted by IDG Communications found that over half of MENA enterprises believe they offer a ‘good’ Total Experience.  However, many businesses struggle to deliver on the individual facets that make up Total Experience: Customer, Employee, User and Multiexperience.

Avaya (NYSE:AVYA), a global leader in solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, announced results of an online market research survey conducted by IDG Communications, indicating that just over half of businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) believe they offer a “good” Total Experience.

Total Experience is the interconnection between Customer, Employee, User, and Multiexperience. While companies often develop the right strategies, the best customer outcomes occur where tools and strategy intersect and focus on this interconnection to deliver a superior Total Experience. Total Experience has been described by Gartner as one of the top strategic technology trends for 2022.

The global research polled business and technology leaders from a range of industries across the globe, including 80 from the MENA region, to explore the journey of enterprises as they evolve customer and employee experience from individual channels or applications towards a more interconnected experience.​ Respondents worked at firms with a minimum of 500 employees, and were manager-level and above.   

It found that, despite rating themselves ‘good’ when offering a Total Experience, many MENA firms are struggling to deliver on the individual facets that enable them to become truly customer-centric. Exactly half believe that they deliver a good Employee Experience, and just 33% say they offer a good Multiexperience. Just over half of MENA companies (54%) agree that they deliver a good User Experience, but only 43% say they offer a good Customer Experience.

“Regional businesses rightly place a high premium on customer experience, so it comes as no surprise that the majority are expanding their strategies to uplift the experiences that they deliver to their customers. To be truly customer-centric, organizations need a cohesive CX strategy that gives employees the tools to wow every customer on any device. The good news is that MENA firms realize this, and are already working towards it – 74% say they have a cohesive customer interaction strategy,” said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, President, Avaya International.

The vast majority of MENA firms (93%) say that customer experience is an intrinsic part of their brand value. However, those who scored higher in Total Experience empower employees with newer tools and platforms only used by some MENA firms – messenger platforms (44%), video chat (33%), chatbots (43%), and AI-based virtual assistants (31%). The organizations that support these newer tools have found that they simplify support, transform customer experiences, and benefit from more complete analytic tools.

Avaya OneCloud™ CCaaS makes it easy to connect everything—voice, video, chat, messaging, and more—to deliver effortless experiences for customers and employees at every touchpoint, enabling businesses to provide a Total Experience.

“A monolithic, one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t meet the wide range of needs that businesses have as they look to compete in the experience economy,” said Abou-Ltaif. “When companies combine customer, employee, user and multi experience thinking, they elevate everything these approaches can achieve on their own. This enables them to deliver exactly what’s needed at every interaction. Avaya OneCloud is a Total Experience platform that lets you compose the experiences that each moment demands—for both customers and employees.”

#MENABusiness #TBI #TrendingBusinessInsights #Technology #Avaya #OneCloud #magazineUAE #magazine #mediaUAE #UAEbusiness #myDubai 

Executive Suites Hotels and Resorts launches at ATM 2022

New hospitality management company aims to offer enhanced portfolio of services to hotel properties in the UAE

Abu Dhabi based hospitality Management Company, Executive Suites Hotels and Resorts, founded in March 2022 successfully launched at the Arabian Travel Market 2022 introducing its core hospitality product and service offering.

The company is currently managing the Executive Suites hotel, centrally located in Al Nahyan Camp area, Abu Dhabi near top tier corporate entities and government entities and major malls. Based only ten minutes away by car from Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Executive Suites is a perfect location for local residents and visitors coming to the UAE for business and pleasure.

Mahmoud Tharwat, Hotel Manager of Executive Suites Abu Dhabi said, “We are excited to use ATM as a platform to introduce our hospitality management offering and show the USP’s of our main hotel in Abu Dhabi.”

“Whether you are working, relocating or traveling with your family, our elegantly decorated 120 studios and apartments offer a host of amenities like LCD Televisions, cable/ Satellite TV, in Room Safe and coffee and tea making facilities,” he added.

The hotel offers free High-Speed wireless internet, Business Center services, same day laundry and dry-cleaning services, travel and tours reservations, multilingual Team, shoeshine Service, 24 Hours concierge services and a massage center for tired travellers. For leisure and recreation, facilities include a roof-top pool, sauna and a fully equipped gym.

For added convenience, the hotel has within the property the L’Auberge Palace Restaurant & Cafe serving traditional Lebanese cuisine. It serves international dishes, snacks and a selection of teas and coffees. At Rooftop Café, patrons can enjoy an assortment of the best shisha flavors.

The in-room amenities that adds convenience to long term stay guests includes, fully equipped kitchenette, washing machine, writing Desk, IDD Telephone Facility, choice of smoking and non-smoking rooms and accessible rooms for people of determination.

Executive Suites is ideally located in the hub of Abu Dhabi and meets the needs of local residents and travellers from abroad. The management services of the hotel will be done by the parent company, Executive Suites Hotels and Resorts.

NFT: Where is the internet leading us?

Musfir Khawaja, Co-Founder nftONE.me

It would not be factually incorrect to assume that a considerable population of the world lives and dies while on the internet. The internet as we know has come a long way. From sending emails and messages to buying automobiles, one would think that there is not much left the internet cannot do. But industry experts say the show is just getting started because with NFTs, the internet has morphed into one big decentralized investment bank.

In simple terms, NFTs are the first step in the securitization of digital data. Most people think that NFTs are digital art, memes, music or audio but in reality, any data whose ownership is recorded on to the block chain, becomes an NFT.

You (anyone, anywhere) can sell anything digital (including images, video, audio, any other forms of digital data) by simply documenting its usage terms on to a smart contract on a block chain, creating a token out of it and then selling it to the highest bidder.

With an increase in the adoption of block chain technologies and the growing popularity of decentralized finance, NFTs have risen as a new asset class. To be fair, they are very speculative in nature. The digital data (lets for argument value assume is your photo of Dubai’s skyline) that you are selling as an NFT may or may not sell at all. There has to be a good reason for anyone to buy an NFT (Digital Asset). Lets look at some scenarios below

  1. Trader mindset: Investor buys into a digital asset because they feel its undervalued presently and will quickly appreciate in value.
  2. Collector mindset: The collector appreciates the aesthetic or collectible value of the digital asset and buys it to keep it in their collection.

For creators, NFTs open a new revenue stream. Where people earlier were collecting only physical art, digital art is fast catching up as a store of value and culture. Digital screens are everywhere, digital art is easy to load and even easier to store.

Recently, an NFT of “The Pontifex Carpet” was sold for over US$ 85,000 in Dubai, UAE.  The Pontifex carpet was gifted by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Pope Francis during a visit to the Vatican City. In September 2016, the two met to discuss the strengthening of the diplomatic relations between UAE and the Vatican as well as the promotion of inter-religious harmony.

In this scenario, the collector considers this digital asset as a store of value, culture and history at the same time. The NFT represents a watershed moment in history, a unique gift and involves two very influential people alive in this day and age.

This asset could be sold for much higher in the secondary market if a new collector decides it is imperative for them to collect this NFT for whatever reason.

Now imagine a less established creator trying to sell a photo of Dubai’s skyline as an NFT. Could it sell as an NFT? Yes, but who will buy this as a digital asset that by definition should appreciate in value over time.

The answer is a bit complicated as the buyers will be either people who believe that buying this photo is a sound financial investment and it will be highly sought after in a few months could jump at this opportunity or those who want to buy the photo as digital art and are happy to receive an in-tangible return on their investment by only looking at it or perhaps using it to fill an empty space in their otherwise empty wall.

Most buyers in the NFT space today, however, are traders who are speculating on a sharp increase in value of a certain digital asset. This could very easily turn out to be dud investments in three to six months’ time but in order to hedge their risk, these buyers hype up the value of that digital asset and then invite others to buy it from them at a higher price because they want the new buyer to believe the asset is still undervalued and soon it will appreciate even further.

If you are considering getting into the NFT space, do your own extensive research before buying a digital asset. You must have a reason to buy it.

KPMG launches second edition of global tech innovator competition

News Highlights

1). 2022 KPMG Private Enterprise Global Tech Innovator competition is being hosted in over 21 countries round the world

2). 2022 edition of Global Tech Innovator competition will find the most influential tech innovator

3). 2021 competition attracted close to 700 competitors from around the world where Natufia – a smart kitchen garden concept stood the winner of local competition

4). The final Global Tech Innovator event will be held during the Web Summit 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal

Following the acknowledged success of the 2021 edition, KPMG in Saudi Arabia has returned with another competition, to find the most influential and inspiring tech innovator of the year. The firm is looking to find technological disruptors and influencers who are helping to reshape the world and leave a positive impact, and has invited entrepreneurs and start-ups to apply.

The 2021 KPMG Global Tech Innovator competition attracted close to 700 competitors from around the world, with for the first-time applicants from Saudi Arabia. The winner of the local competition, Natufia – a smart kitchen garden concept – went on to Lisbon to compete on the global stage. The start-up, which was up against four other tech start-ups in a closely contested competition from BRAQ Aerospace, Juleb Digital Pharma Company, Mawidy and Tarjama who were shortlisted in this inaugural edition.

To be recognized as a leading tech innovator, companies from start-up to accelerated growth stages are invited to pitch their innovations and present their strategic ambitions to panels of local and global industry experts. This is their opportunity to be recognized as one of Saudi Arabia’s most innovative and successful technology entrepreneurs.

Shortlisted companies will be given exclusive networking opportunities among industry experts and tech leaders. The winner in Saudi Arabia will progress to the Global Tech Innovator final event during the Web Summit 2022 in Lisbon Portugal, where they will pitch their growth plans to an international judging panel and compete with the participants from other countries for the global recognition.

In 2021, Brazil’s rapidly growing AgriTech startup Krilltech NanoAgtech was crowned the KPMG Private Enterprise Global Tech Innovator winner, following an intense competition with 16 other finalists including Natufia.

Commenting on the competition, Dr. Samer Abdallah, Head of ICT Sector, KPMG in Saudi Arabia, said, “We are excited to see that start-ups are booming in Saudi Arabia. More and more entrepreneurs are succeeding each day, and their success inspires others. By bringing innovative technologies to light, we are supporting the growth of companies that are changing the world for better. No matter what type of technology a business is utilizing, whether they are tech-enabled, tech-led, or tech-driven, we encourage them to apply to this competition and take advantage of this incredible opportunity.”

“Making connections and gaining recognition among some of Saudi Arabia’s most respected advisors, industry leaders, and other major world markets through the global exposure in the competition, is an opportunity that every tech entrepreneur would be excited about.”

The 2022 KPMG Private Enterprise Global Tech Innovator competition is being hosted in over 21 countries round the world.