Archive for June 7, 2018

Flexiti Acquires TD Private Label Credit Card Portfolio for $250M

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 7, 2018 by itnerd

Flexiti, a leading provider of Point-Of-Sale (POS) financing and payment technology, today announced the acquisition of TD Financing Services’ (TDFS) Canadian private label credit card portfolio valued at approximately $250 million. This is a significant transaction in the consumer lending space, making Flexiti a leading private label credit card issuer in the country. The acquisition includes an equity investment of over $50 million led by Globalive Capital, giving them a controlling position in Flexiti. A founding investor, Globalive Capital’s follow-on investment demonstrates its commitment to accelerating Flexiti’s growth and innovation in the alternative lending space. Flexiti has also secured new $350 million senior and mezzanine credit facilities, including $300 million provided by Credit Suisse AG,Cayman Islands Branch, providing capital to support the portfolio acquisition and its strong growth trajectory.

The acquisition adds more than one million new credit card customers, and 900 new merchant locations currently offering TDFS credit card financing at their locations, to Flexiti’s client base.

Founded in 2013, Flexiti is a Toronto-based fintech private label credit card issuer, offering POS financing at big-ticket retailers to make their customers’ purchases more affordable. Through its award-winning mobile application process, customers can apply for financing and receive approval within minutes – no paperwork, no scanning or mailing. With minimal integration required into existing POS systems, retailers can quickly scale across multiple locations and sales channels to offer financing to all of their customers, in-store and online.

 

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There’s A Deal Between The US & ZTE… Which Is A Slap On The Wrist To ZTE

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 7, 2018 by itnerd

Well, it seems that ZTE may live another day thanks to a deal that they cut with the US. Here’s what they have apparently agreed to:

China’s ZTE will pay a $1 billion penalty and will embed a U.S. appointed compliance team, terms that are similar to those President Trump discussed last month when he revealed that Chinese leaders had asked him to look into the matter. “At about 6 a.m. this morning, we executed a definitive agreement with ZTE,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC in an interview Thursday. “And that brings to a conclusion this phase of the development with them.” Trump asked the Commerce Department to investigate the restrictions on ZTE in April following a request from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Commerce imposed a seven-year ban after the company sold American-made products to Iran, a violation of U.S. sanctions.

In my humble opinion, ZTE really won’t suffer. ZTE will easily recoup the $1 billion in penalties just by the fact that its share price will certainly jump up with this news alone. So they come out the winners in all of this. And the US would have missed a glorious opportunity to send a message to those who wanted to copy and paste ZTE’s behaviour.

VPNFilter: The Pwnage Is Worse Than Previously Thought

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 7, 2018 by itnerd

I have some bad news for you.

The VPNFilter malware that infected over 500,000 routers and NAS devices across a number of countries is much worse than previously thought. According to new research by the Cisco Talos security team, the malware which was initially thought to be able to infect devices from Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, TP-Link, and QNAP can also infect routers made by ASUS, D-Link, Huawei, Ubiquiti, UPVEL, and ZTE. I would take a look at the list that Cisco Talos has come up with and see if your networking hardware is on the list.

Now if it is on that list, the plan of action that you should take to protect yourself is to update to the absolute latest firmware for your device. But you should also factory reset your router, turn off remote administration, and make sure you have it using a strong non-default password.

One other thing, you should consider the list above to be incomplete. It is highly likely that many other devices are affected by VPNFilter. Thus out of an abundance of caution, you may want to perform those steps on your router even if it isn’t on that list. I know I did.

 

Infographic: The Basics of Amazon

Posted in Commentary on June 7, 2018 by itnerd

Since it was founded in July 1994 by Jeff Bezos as an online bookseller, Amazon has grown rapidly and it is now one of the world’s largest companies, and by far the world’s largest ecommerce company. This is pretty good, considering Amazon’s humble beginnings.

No matter what product you are looking for, you can probably find it on Amazon. Amazon holds almost 50% of the US ecommerce market, and there are over 3 billion products on its website. What’s more, lots of other successful companies such as Styletread have started to form partnerships with Amazon, in hopes of further increasing their own profit by selling their products on the eCommerce giant’s website. The bottom line is that if you can’t find a product on Amazon, you probably won’t find it anywhere else.

Amazon often has lots of interesting offers and deals too, which has helped it get very popular over time and grow to its lofty heights.

The US market is not the only place where Amazon has a presence and found huge success. The ecommerce giant has a number of local sites which are dotted around the world, and Bezos has ambitions of Amazon reaching all corners of the globe.

Amazon is now one of the internet’s most formidable success stories. Over time, Jeff Bezos has turned Amazon into a household name which everybody has heard of, and most people have used. It is now a mainstream success and has seen rapid growth over the last decade. Its innovative developments and unique approach to business have been key to its success.

Amazon is also huge on all things robotic and AI. It is now incorporating AI technologies into its daily operations and Amazon utilizes over 45,000 robots at present in its warehouses and fulfilment centres. The company is even piloting a drone delivery system, and expects to has 450,000 drones in its fleet by 2020!

If you want to learn even more interesting facts about Amazon, give our infographic below a quick read, where you can find lots of cool facts and figures.

december-28-2018-amazon-infographic-1

 

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses The Fact That Facebook Shares User Data with Phone Makers

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 7, 2018 by itnerd

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has shown that Facebook harvest, shares and profits from users’ data. A new report demonstrates that the issue with Facebook’s data collection goes much deeper than that.

According to the recent news, Facebook shares users’ data with phone makers, sharing it with at least 60 different device producers, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and many others. It turns out Facebook has been sharing user details for over a decade, despite users’ privacy and data sharing preferences.

How does Facebook go around the necessary user consent in sharing their data? It has simply categorized these phone producers as partners rather than third parties, which allows Facebook to share data with them without explicit permission.

In addition, Facebook shares the data of users’ friends, even after having claimed that it had cut off third-party access to friends’ data back in 2015. However, since device makers are not considered third parties, users friends’ data is shared.

Where does the data go?

“Once the data is collected, it can be used for various purposes,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN. “Even though people think that harvested data is harmless, as it’s mostly used for targeted ads or service improvement, collecting information makes it very vulnerable. The Cambridge Analytica scandal has shown us that data could be used for sophisticated political targeting campaigns. There are many other ways how data can be abused, especially if it ends up in the wrong hands.”

Deleting Facebook app from one’s phone might prevent Facebook from sharing one’s data, but only if the phone is new and the person has never logged into the app in the first place. Even doing that might not stop the data collection, because everyone’s data is already probably shared through their friends who are on Facebook.

Therefore, those who really want to protect their data, should quit Facebook – and if they are in Europe, they can also request to delete all their data and to share the list of third parties with which one’s data was ever shared.

Other online security tips include keeping software up to date, not clicking on suspicious links and using password management services.  It’s also advisable to connect to a VPN when going online, as VPN encrypts users’ online activity into a secure tunnel.