Costa Rica banks – Gran Logia Costa Rica http://granlogiacostarica.org/ Mon, 09 May 2022 11:18:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://granlogiacostarica.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-1-32x32.png Costa Rica banks – Gran Logia Costa Rica http://granlogiacostarica.org/ 32 32 World’s Best Banks 2022: Central America https://granlogiacostarica.org/worlds-best-banks-2022-central-america/ Fri, 06 May 2022 01:11:51 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/worlds-best-banks-2022-central-america/

High growth and low inflation drive up balance sheets.



Central American economies had a particularly prosperous 2021. Propelled by surging remittances and rising commodity prices, the region’s economies have on average fared better than neighboring South America. Inflation in the region was also significantly lower than most parts of the southern hemisphere, hovering between 3% and 5% in most economies in the region in 2021.


These figures allowed central banks to maintain a favorable monetary policy throughout the year, leading the capital markets to solid profitability. Currently, base interest rates fluctuate between 2% and 3% in the region.


In this flourishing scenario, our best bank in Central America, BAC Credomatic, has secured its position as the most profitable financial institution in the region.


The secret to the bank’s success is a strong and diversified presence in all major economies in the region, enabling BAC to offer its clients competitive advantages in cross-border and domestic transactions.


With $27 billion in total assets, $17.2 billion in total loans and $21 billion in total deposits as of September 2021, the bank has significantly outperformed the competition in several markets in the region.


To stay ahead of the digital banking market in Central America, BAC Credomatic has focused its innovation efforts on mobile payments, becoming one of the first banks in the region to integrate ApplePay into its mobile payment portfolio. services.


BAC Credomatic has also thrived in helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region with its new e-commerce tool, Click Purchase, allowing businesses to transact securely online through the bank’s system. Click Purchase generated $546 million and helped 745 SMEs in 2021.


BAC also won Best Bank in Costa Rica, with net income of $85 million, strong return on equity (ROE) of 10.7% and return on assets (ROA) of 1.1 %. Furthermore, the bank has steadily increased its market share in the country, totaling 27% at the end of 2021.


Banco Custaclán is our Best Bank of the Year in El Salvador for its growing market share and strong loan portfolio. After merging with Scotiabank in 2020, Custaclán has taken the lead as the fastest growing financial institution in the country, prioritizing its operations in SMEs and retail. Currently, the bank is outperforming its market in most credit-related transactions, with a substantial advantage in mortgage lending.


A similar trend also took place in Belize. After acquiring the operations of Scotiabank, the National Bank of Belize experienced undisputed growth in its territory, achieving a market share of nearly 50%. The bank’s systematic efforts in sustainability and digitalization have helped confirm that the bank is the best in Belize in 2021.


In Guatemala, Banco Industrial took advantage of macroeconomic tailwinds to post diversified growth that amounted to a total jump of 11.1% in total assets, winning our award.


The bank has significantly increased the number of banking agents in rural areas, helping the country’s businesses and producers thrive amid soaring global commodity prices. As a result, agricultural transactions increased by 35% year-on-year (YoY).


In Honduras, Banco Ficohsa wins the award for best bank of the year for its recurring investments in financial services and online banking. Ficohsa recorded an 11% year-over-year increase in assets and currently holds the largest market share in Honduras. The bank also saw its net profit increase by 38%, with an ROE of 12.9%.


Banco Lafise Bancentro wins our Best Bank in Nicaragua award for maintaining its leadership position in several fundamental trends of the year. The bank recorded 29% growth in total remittances, representing a market share of 28.1% in the category, the highest in the country.


Lafise also excelled in the area of ​​international transactions, with a 35% increase in the total number of transactions leaving the country and a 21% increase in transactions entering the country.


Additionally, the bank’s online branch, Bancanet, increased its transactions by 28.1%, representing an astonishing 90.7% of the bank’s total traded volume.


Panama’s economy soared in 2021, outpacing most of its Central American counterparts. Construction, manufacturing, trade and shipping contributed to GDP growth of 15.3% year-on-year. The country’s economy has also received a huge boost from soaring global copper prices, which propelled the country’s Cobre Panam to profitability.


In this environment, Banco General maintained its secular leadership in credit and deposit activities, securing 27.6% of the country’s market share in the first and 18.1% in the second.


The bank has also moved rapidly in the area of ​​digitalization, increasing its total digital transactions to 58% during the year.


While the country still holds lower levels of digital transactions than most Central and South American economies, recent metrics point to growing profitability in the industry.



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PayRetailers strengthens its operations in Latin America https://granlogiacostarica.org/payretailers-strengthens-its-operations-in-latin-america/ Wed, 04 May 2022 10:15:00 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/payretailers-strengthens-its-operations-in-latin-america/

Barcelona, ​​Spain–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Payment technology solutions have found fertile ground for expansion in Latin America given the lack of financial inclusion in the region, which in turn has placed companies in this sector in a favorable business position. Latin America is home to approximately 300 million digital buyers, a figure that is expected to increase by more than 20% by 2025.

PayRetailers, LATAM Fintech’s leading payments specialist, has announced the opening of new offices in Peru, a move that will help the company get closer to its customers and consolidate its presence in one of the fastest growing markets. faster. Additionally, it will enable the company to serve strategic markets throughout Latin America and innovate alongside dynamic financial service providers to deliver differentiated and innovative digital experiences to its customers.

Given the myriad of opportunities in the region, the company continues to expand its team and technology to build a robust and inclusive payment infrastructure. With a broad offering of card payment solutions and local alternative methods for global businesses expanding into Latin America, PayRetailers today has teams of over 20 different nationalities and operations in over 15 countries across Europe and from Latin America.

New strategic acquisitions in the region

The company recently acquired two online payment platforms, Paygol from Chile and Pago Digital from Colombia. Both acquisitions reinforce PayRetailers’ broad and deep drive to unlock the potential of e-commerce payments in Latin America. The agreement gives Paygol and Pago Digital access to PayRetailers’ extensive technical expertise, marketing resources and financial investment to grow at scale.

Understanding the complexities and challenges specific to the continent’s markets is one of the biggest challenges that companies looking to expand their operations in the Latin American market must face. The acquisitions strengthen PayRetailers’ position as the leading Fintech payments specialist for Latin America and efforts to simplify B2B e-commerce in the region.

Paygol CEO Carlos Varas said, “Paygol believes passionately in the power of local knowledge to cross international borders. It’s a notion we share with PayRetailers as we move forward together to truly unlock the potential of e-commerce businesses in Latin America.

William Talero, CEO of Pago Digital, said, “Pago Digital was founded on a vision of simple and accessible online payments. We’ve come a long way in 10 years and now we’re excited to take it to the next level with PayRetailers: sharing technology, experience and expertise to offer our customers even more opportunities.”

Royal Park Partners acted as exclusive financial and strategic advisor to PayRetailers in the acquisition of Pago Digital.

Challenges Fintech Companies Face for the Sake of Financial Inclusion in Latin America

The Fintech ecosystem in Latin America is doing better year after year; in 2020, there were nearly 1,500 parties, including startups, regulators, and traditional businesses, such as banks. As new technologies such as cryptocurrencies or the metaverse take hold, these organizations face greater challenges as part of the fourth industrial revolution.

According to a survey published in January 2022 by VISA, the growth of the Fintech ecosystem in Latin America can be confirmed by taking into account the 52% increase in funding to the sector.

Latin America had the fastest growing e-commerce retail sales boom in the world in 2020. In Mexico, e-commerce brought in nearly 316 billion pesos ($15 billion) over the last year, which represents an annual growth of 81% and 9% of the total. retail sales, according to the Mexican online retail association AMVO. The pandemic has shown Mexico what it means to be unprepared for the future, bringing major changes to the daily lives of Mexicans, living in a reality where going out on the streets was no longer an option for many people.

To meet demand, in 2022 Fintech and non-banking companies launched solutions such as e-wallets, credit cards and prepaid cards, especially in underserved markets. Digital payments, including through new forms such as QR codes, instant payments or contactless payments, are expected to proliferate among buyers and sellers.

Also noteworthy are the regulatory updates and adoption of the blockchain ecosystem in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, and Venezuela. El Salvador becomes the first country in Latin America to adopt Bitcoin as its official currency from September 7, 2021, a movement that is gaining momentum throughout Latin America. As regulation matures around the world, Latin America is proving to be a thriving ground for blockchain development.

With a focus on expanding its customer base and exponentially increasing its product reach over the next decade, PayRetailers aims to strengthen verticals such as digital services and e-commerce. Its strategy has allowed it to offer services and occupy spaces not served by traditional payment providers, a player to watch closely in the years to come.

About PayRetailers

PayRetailers is a leading online payment service provider dedicated to creating a quick and easy checkout process for merchants and shoppers. The company offers a full suite of payment solutions to help e-commerce businesses accept payments online through a single API integration.

A clear understanding of consumer behavior and spending in their specific industry will make the difference between success and failure for merchants looking to expand internationally in certain e-commerce verticals. By accepting local payment methods, PayRetailers allows anyone to shop online, even if they don’t have a credit or debit card.

PayRetailers is headquartered in Spain, with regional offices in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and Peru.

]]> PIN up, four-digit security code required for purchases over 30,000¢ https://granlogiacostarica.org/pin-up-four-digit-security-code-required-for-purchases-over-30000%c2%a2/ Tue, 03 May 2022 09:59:25 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/pin-up-four-digit-security-code-required-for-purchases-over-30000%c2%a2/

QCOSTARICA – Effective Sunday, May 1, retail purchases over 30,000¢ no longer require the cardholder’s signature, but the customer enters their PIN (personal identification number) at ” datafono” (data phone) from the merchant, as commissioned by the Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR) – Central Bank of Costa Rica.

The requirement imposes a burden on customers who do not know their PIN, a practice that until Sunday was strictly reserved for those using an ATM.

Purchases over 30,000¢ no longer require a signature, but instead the four-digit PIN to complete the transaction

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It has also placed a burden on banks who have struggled to meet their customers’ demand for card PIN requests.

However, this means a massive visit by customers to branches, as PIN requests can be made directly on the bank’s online portals. In some cases, customers need to visit a branch to resolve any issues with their PIN request.

A controversial measure

Consumer groups in Costa Rica have asked the Central Bank to consider increasing the minimum amount for PIN request.

“We believe that companies are not so well prepared to ensure user privacy,” said Erick Ulate, president of Consumers of Costa Rica.

El Financiero, Costa Rica’s financial newspaper, reported last Friday that chain stores such as Walmart (and its Masxmenos and Pali), Pricemart, for example, have an adequate infrastructure to ensure customer confidentiality when entering the PIN code, the the reality of other companies is not the same.

On January 21, 2022, the sociación Bancaria Costarricense (ABC) – Banking Association of Costa Rica – issued a press release in which it asked the Central Bank to reconsider this measure, which it described as a setback in the way that the banks have led them to invest. in contactless information technologies.

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Moreover, according to the association, this change does not guarantee the prevention of fraud and could rather generate greater insecurity.

“Banks have made a big effort and invested to put in place products and platforms that guarantee the least contact for users, which means a setback in this trend,” said Ronulfo Jiménez, economic adviser to ABC, at El Financiero.

Jiménez also mentioned that this measure would discourage the use of cards and encourage users to opt for less secure payment methods.

What to do if you forget the PIN code?

In cases where the user forgets the PIN code of his credit or debit card, the issuers (banks) must provide their customers with the necessary facilities to receive or change the PIN code free of charge, provided that the request is made through online banking channels, such as online banking or ATMs.

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However, if the procedure is carried out in person on the service platform or via a third-party ATM, the issuer may charge for the service provided. This is stipulated in the regulations of the central bank card scheme.

Banks such as Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), Scotiabank and BAC Credomatic have already launched communication campaigns to inform their customers of how they can obtain their PIN code easily and immediately through the digital channels of each entity.

“This service, which has been available to customers for a year now, is part of BCR’s efforts to have more and more self-managed procedures, without the need to go to a commercial office,” said Jose Ledezma Fallas, Director of Digital Banking through a press release.

Foreign cards

The measure may present problems for foreigners using their cards (credit or debit) in Costa Rica.

For example, it has come to our attention that US-issued VISA and Mastercard credit cards, unlike credit cards issued by European and Canadian banks, never receive four-digit PINs for purchases. In the United States, the PIN is issued to credit card holders only for the purpose of making cash advances at ATMs.*

US expats living in Costa Rica should contact their US bank to obtain their PIN and rules for use. American tourists must do this before travelling.

Recommendations on the use of the PIN code

  • Memorize your PIN. It may seem like a logical recommendation, but memorizing your PIN will save you the risk of information theft. Writing the PIN code on the computer, mobile phone or laptop makes them a more vulnerable target.
  • Be careful when entering your PIN. When you have to enter your PIN code at a kiosk, be sure to block the visibility of people around you with your hands, this way you will prevent third parties from knowing your sensitive banking information.
  • Choose a hard-to-predict PIN. Avoid using common passwords, such as birth or birthday dates, or even consecutive or repeating strings, such as 1111 or 1234.
  • Never share your PIN. The security PIN of your cards must be confidential. Never share your password with third parties. Remember that no banking entity will ask you for this information.
  • Update your PIN regularly. To avoid confusion or forgetting the secret key, this change should not be very frequent. Experts recommend changing the PIN every year to avoid security breaches.

*With information provided by D. Davis, editor of ‘Que Pasa Grecia’.

Update (May 4): Mr Davis wrote to advise that while traveling in Spain where PINs are required: “When I use my credit card, the merchant’s card reader recognizes that my card doesn’t have a PIN and doesn’t ask for one…”.

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US IT Company Eyes High-Value BPO in PH – Lopez – Manila Bulletin https://granlogiacostarica.org/us-it-company-eyes-high-value-bpo-in-ph-lopez-manila-bulletin/ Mon, 02 May 2022 09:08:00 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/us-it-company-eyes-high-value-bpo-in-ph-lopez-manila-bulletin/

US-based IT company Mphasis Corporation has expressed strong interest in establishing its first high-value business process outsourcing (BPO) operation in the Philippines, Commerce and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has announced.

Lopez met with Mphasis Corporations CEO Nitin Rakesh and Senior Vice President and Global Head of Industrial Solutions Group Indranil Roy in late April while in the United States to discuss the company’s plans. to have its first BPO presence in the Philippines.

The American information technology (IT) company has expressed interest in the Philippines as a major investment location for its high value-added services with an initial workforce of 1,500 to 2,000 jobs in the centers of computer calls.

Roy also revealed that a number of their clients, who are major US banks and insurance companies, have advised them to look to the Philippines for their BPM operations, highlighting their preference for the Philippine brand of services and skills.

As Mphasis prides itself on being known in the industry as a customer-centric organization, it is willing to accommodate customer wishes such as setting up operations in the Philippines. The company provides IT services to banking and finance, healthcare, telecommunications, logistics and other high-tech industries. They employ approximately 40,000 employees across the globe, such as IT-BPO facilities in India, Mexico, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Germany, and the UK. Mphasis is a subsidiary of New York financial giant Blackstone Group.

Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Director and DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo participated in the discussion. .

Rodolfo added that another resource they can tap into is the returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who have an experience advantage with their new knowledge and skills acquired in their respective countries. The ace. Rodolfo also outlined the benefits of the Business Recovery and Tax Incentives for Businesses Act (CREATE).

“Our country is increasing its ability to become a global player in IT services through the development of analytical and AI skills, a favorable competitive environment and cost savings. This ensures that investors can profitably service fast-growing international and regional markets,” Lopez said.

Despite the challenges, Lopez said the Philippine IT process management (BPM) industry hasn’t laid off workers during the pandemic. He mentioned that resources would not be an issue as the country has 49 million workers, generates 800,000 graduates per year, of which 30% come from the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) .

The Philippine information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry contributed a total of $26.7 billion and $23.8 billion in service exports in 2020. The Philippines have gained 13% of the global market share and serve North America, APAC and EU. Markets.

The industry contributed 1.3 million direct jobs and 4.5 million jobs with over 700 BPO companies in the country. The country’s startup ecosystem also has great potential to flourish with around 500 start-ups.

“Our continued efforts to upgrade the skills of our workforce and liberalize our industries through major economic reforms under the guidance and leadership of President Duterte, coupled with our strong economic fundamentals, have proven our ability to position Philippines as an ideal investment hub in Southeast Asia. We look forward to seeing how the next generation of leaders can continue to build on these successes,” said Lopez.

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How piracy affects streaming companies’ bottom line https://granlogiacostarica.org/how-piracy-affects-streaming-companies-bottom-line/ Sat, 30 Apr 2022 10:22:06 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/how-piracy-affects-streaming-companies-bottom-line/

“The problem is that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is not very effective. This is not a constraint in many countries. People host their servers and market their content using it as a sales tool because they know their content won’t get out. They (pirates) say, ‘regulations don’t matter to me,'” revealed Pankaj Gupta, Director – Solution Consulting, Synamedia during a discussion at the ‘Future of Video India’ event hosted by Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA).. The conversation was moderated by Shad Hashmi, Manager of APAC Partners, Media and Entertainment, Amazon Web Services, in which the duo discussed several facets of piracy and how it affects the bottom line of streaming companies. in line.

What is the DMCA? The DMCA is part of US copyright law and is about a set process for removing content from the internet. It discusses the rights and obligations of owners of copyrighted material who believe that their rights under United States copyright law have been violated on the Internet.

“The problem is that the end user doesn’t even know if he sometimes uses a pirate service. They think they are consuming a legitimate service because they are configured so well,” Gupta remarked.

Gupta warned that the hackers were exploiting some sort of advice. “They actually teach people how to steal content and how to post stolen content by providing free support services. If you have some software knowledge and know some part of the Python language, you can easily steal content and publish it. With Python, one can open Google Chrome, access the source code, modify that source code and start getting the content for free,” he explained.

Piracy has become a sore point for major streaming companies, resulting in significant revenue loss. The AVIA discussion highlights the pervasiveness of piracy in today’s world.


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Main takeaways from the discussion

Hashmi warned that platforms dealing with pirated content have become “quite advanced” as they even boast parental controls. “These hackers are starting to look legitimate and are hiding their activities from the end consumer, which I find disturbing,” he said.

State of India’s Piracy Ecosystem: “We have seen that content is really vulnerable when it comes to the Indian landscape. People fly left, right and center. We have seen blockbusters released in India (on OTT platforms) available on Telegram’s social media pages within just five minutes of release. I have yet to come across any content produced in India that is not available on the pirate network,” Gupta said.

How hackers work: “A marketing ad is placed on social media by one of the hackers. They do content aggregation. You watch premium content from around the world available in one place and that too at a fraction of the cost. aggregate and put it on sites where it’s legitimately difficult to remove it.” says Gupta. He added that piracy in the days of broadcast required investment and skill to hack the content. “But now it’s “has become so easy. Technology is available online and content is available online through a whole chain of distributors, wholesalers and resellers. They distribute content using social media as a marketing tool. Technology to rebroadcast content is available for as little as $30 per month and contains premium features including billing and payment systems to collect pirated content electronically,” said Gupta declared.

Telegram Bane: Gupta said hackers target most social media platforms, but their DMCA is highly effective, causing marketing campaigns to be quickly taken down as soon as they are highlighted. “But the problem with Telegram is that it is not very quick to remove such an advertisement or a stream served by the hacker,” Gupta added.

The convenience of payments: “Hackers use every possible mechanism, be it regulations or payments, to stay anonymous. They use all payment methods including bitcoin. They also accept payment in other forms. You can pay them by PhonePe. You can pay them through JazzPay in Pakistan. All possible payment methods are accepted by them, making it easy for end subscribers to get their content,” Gupta added.

Different actors in the pyramid: Gupta said pirates operate in a hierarchy where they pass content on to those below the food chain. “Aggregators sell it to wholesalers at a discount, and then those wholesalers pass it on to resellers through social media. So everyone in the food chain takes a cut of the subscription that people pay to those admin panels of social media,” Gupta revealed.

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  • Problem of resellers and retailers: Hashmi said there was no barrier to entry if someone wanted to try their hand at hacking. Gupta said resellers offer content at 33% off the sale price. “The end user in turn realizes 66% or twice the revenue of its cost. They are so organized that everyone knows where to find the content. Everyone knows where to find technology. And everyone knows how to publish and market these pirate streams using social media without any cost,” Gupta lamented.

Importance of Content Audit: Gupta said a content audit will help streaming services uncover any vulnerabilities in their video distribution ecosystem that allow hackers to steal content. “We have done such activities with some of our clients and they were amazed at what we found and could link it directly to lost revenue,” Gupta added. He also suggested that services monitor their content on different platforms including social media, open web, closed IPTV networks, Telegram and others.

Block password sharing

Credential sharing is a big problem, according to Gupta. He said none of his relatives in India were using a legitimate subscription. “Friends share passwords and share the cost of getting the content with each other. They actually go on social media and buy credentials from a hacker because they don’t want to pay all of it.

He said there are scammers selling their credentials online. “They sell the credentials at a subsidized rate so they can make some money off of them.”

Netflix’s experiment to curb the practice

Netflix, the largest streaming company based on the number of users, recently announced a pilot project in three Latin American countries, Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, in which it asks users to pay fees to add profiles outside of their own household. The fees will not be what they usually charge and are available at a discounted rate. Users will be allowed to add up to two people outside their homes, the company said.

“Accounts are shared between households, which impacts our ability to invest in new TV shows and movies for our members.” – Chengyi Long, Director, Product Innovation, Netflix, had reasoned in the company’s message.

Additional users will receive their own profile, personalized recommendations, username and password.

“We have just done the first big tests by country, but it will take time to sort all this out. I think we’re going to spend about a year iterating and then rolling it all out to get this solution launched globally, including in markets like the US,” said Greg Peters, Chief Product Officer and Director of the operation of Netflix. said during an earnings call.

Outside of Netflix, there’s no word on another major OTT company exploring measures to stem password sharing.

How do hackers access encrypted content?

Hashmi said people spend a lot of money on digital rights management to encrypt their content. Gupta offered the analogy of a gold reserve. “The gold needs to be transferred from one point to a bank or multiple banks. We use an armored vehicle to transfer the gold, and it is driven by a designated driver. The gold reserve is your CDN (Content Delivery Network).The armored vehicle is your DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the driver is the token.Gupta continued.The bank is the end user.

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“You have to make sure that the driver is the driver and that no one steals the identity of the driver and takes the armored vehicle to another place. That’s what happens in the real world. The identity, which is the token, is stolen, then it’s cloned, it’s redistributed, and the content ends up in many other places instead of the bank.

Gupta said that even if you secure the identity of the driver bringing the gold to a bank, “the bank itself could be vulnerable. You can easily impersonate a bank to make it a legit bank by jailbreaking the device and installing mod APKs in the device. The modified app behaves like a legitimate app provided by the service provider, he added.

Understanding Analog Hole and Forensic Watermarks

Hashmi explained that hackers use high-quality cameras mounted on a phone to broadcast streams everywhere. There are 4K cameras available for a few $100. This tactic is also known as the analog hole.

Gupta proposed a way to protect the content of screen recordings using forensic watermarks. The forensic marker will insert bits of its code into the video itself that cannot be recognized by anyone. “This is done for each user so that you (the streaming company) can, by watching the video or running that video in the system, identify who the end user is,” Gupta said.

Gupta said hacking monitoring cannot be done by people. Companies will need to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) because hackers have no modus operandi, he said.

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UN warns of weaker growth in Latin America https://granlogiacostarica.org/un-warns-of-weaker-growth-in-latin-america/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 04:00:00 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/un-warns-of-weaker-growth-in-latin-america/ In 2021, the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 6.2%, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) predicted …]]>
SANTIAGO

Economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean will be weaker than expected at 1.8% this year due to the war in Ukraine, a UN body has said.

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In 2021, the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 6.2%, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) predicted January growth of 2.1% for 2022.

But in an April 27 statement, he adjusted the figure down, saying the war has increased inflation, increasing financial volatility and costs.

South American economies are expected to grow by 1.5%, Central America and Mexico by 2.3% and the Caribbean by 4.7%, ECLAC said.

“The war in Ukraine has also caused an increase in the prices of raw materials, mainly fossil fuels, some metals, food and fertilizers,” he added.

Along with rising costs due to supply chain disruptions, rising prices have caused inflation in some countries to reach historic highs in 2022.

Last month, regional inflation was estimated at 7.5% and many central banks forecast high and sustained inflation for the rest of the year.

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As growth slows, the agency also warned of higher unemployment rates.

For Brazil, the region’s largest economy, ECLAC predicts growth of 0.4% for 2022.

His projection for Mexico was 1.7%, for Argentina 3.0%, Venezuela 5.0%, Colombia 4.8%, Chile 1.5%, Peru 2 .5% and Costa Rica 3.7%.

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How Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown could fail – Forbes Advisor UK https://granlogiacostarica.org/how-netflixs-password-sharing-crackdown-could-fail-forbes-advisor-uk/ Tue, 26 Apr 2022 13:57:43 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/how-netflixs-password-sharing-crackdown-could-fail-forbes-advisor-uk/

Streaming giant Netflix is ​​developing plans to charge subscribers an extra fee for sharing their passwords with friends and family outside of their homes.

Research by Digital i and reported by The Guardian today claims that at least 27% of Netflix’s 14.9 million UK subscribers share their passwords with non-paying friends and relatives.

In a letter to shareholders last week, Netflix acknowledged that while password sharing has had a positive effect on its growth to date – with 222 million paying households signed up globally – around 100 million additional households are accessing to the service using shared credentials without paying.

In a blog post, the company said the ability to create profiles for different users under one account had “created confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared.” Netflix says sharing passwords impacts its ability to invest in content.

Trials are currently underway in Peru, Costa Rica and Chile, where Netflix subscribers are being asked to pay an additional £1.50 to £2.50 per ‘sub-account’ using the holder’s login details from the main account.

As it stands, Netflix identifies legitimate “internal” account sharing using IP addresses and device IDs, but identity verification experts say it can be spoofed, so which makes sub-account users appear to be the main account holders.

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Gus Tomlinson of GBG, a company specializing in identity verification technology, said Netflix may have to use stronger authentication methods to catch password-sharers: “What is clear is that Netflix will need to balance business needs with customer expectations. And it all starts with better understanding the identity of the true account holders.

She added: “We can see them moving into transaction monitoring, where they monitor user behavior and spot trends to identify what is normal and what is not, the same way banks monitor your account to identify potential fraudulent activity.

“So, for example, if they know you’ve never watched a rom-com but all of a sudden your account starts streaming When Harry meets Sally and You’ve got mailwhile you watch Thesilenceofthelambsthis could indicate that a password has been shared and a non-paying user is accessing the account.

Some have speculated that Netflix might use two-factor authentication (2FA) to authenticate logins, requiring users to enter a code sent to the account holder’s phone number or email address.

And while a passcode can be shared just as easily as a password, frequent 2FA requests could signal password sharing on an account.

The shift to sub-account monetization follows Netflix’s first-ever drop in subscriber numbers. In the first three months of 2022, the streamer lost 200,000 customers worldwide. He also warned shareholders that two million more subscribers were likely to leave in the three months to July.

Netflix announced price hikes last month, with monthly costs of up to £24 a year for some subscribers.

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Data Breach Leads to Compromise of Aeropost Customer Cards – Jamaica Observer https://granlogiacostarica.org/data-breach-leads-to-compromise-of-aeropost-customer-cards-jamaica-observer/ Mon, 25 Apr 2022 11:49:13 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/data-breach-leads-to-compromise-of-aeropost-customer-cards-jamaica-observer/

Customers of many regional freight forwarders rushed to call their banks after their debit and credit card information was compromised in a data breach affecting Aeropost Inc.

Aeropost emailed customers on Sunday saying their credit cards may have been compromised. He said that “While our systems securely store your credit card information encrypted, it is possible that law enforcement may attempt to execute transactions.”

Aeropost is an integrated e-commerce provider that provides end-to-end services in 38 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has been around since 1988 and operates a 177,000 square foot international logistics center at its headquarters in Miami, Florida.

To further protect its customers, it reset the credentials of all system users and deleted all credit cards stored in its system. The company also encouraged users to check their credit card statement and request a replacement credit card. This prevented users from checking the status of their orders and whether they reached the Miami address.

As Aeropost notified customers on Sunday, many users in the region reported transactions being made with their cards on various websites they had never seen before.

On Twitter, a user from the Bahamas asked how his bank’s fraud detection system failed to block his card when 22 transactions of $112 each were made, totaling $2,464 ($381,920). A Jamaican user on instagram said she was charged eight times US$100 because fraudsters used her card details on different online websites.

A user shared a screenshot of an attempted transaction on a Japanese website second street online for ¥20,460 ($20,684.47) who was blocked because his card was blocked. A common website reported by many users is Apple Inc. the common trading day being April 20.

Users in Costa Rica, Barbados, Peru, El Salvador, and Trinidad and Tobago have also reported that their cards have been compromised.

Mailpac Group Limited uses Aeropost to process orders sent to the Miami address before they travel to Jamaica and ultimately to their stores for collection.

“We regret to confirm that there was a short-lived data breach on the technology platform operated by Aeropost, resulting in the compromise of some customers’ credit cards. Fortunately, we were able to neutralize the breach and have made our platform more secure to prevent it from happening again in the future,” a post on Mailpac said. Twitter page.

A full stack developer on Twitter explained the significance of the violation.

“[It] Seems they also stored CVV and full card number and other customer information to validate transactions. Cipher cipher probably used [was] so weak. Disappointing security practices and major loss for customers,” the developer said.

Another user explained that while the card data might have been encrypted, it probably wasn’t hashed, which would have replaced the information with a hash code. He also mentioned that card information should not be stored on a website and more money should be spent on data security.

This was backed by software developer Khary Sharpe who tweeted a recommendation for other developers to tokenize or plain text payment information. Sharpe pointed out how this violation of payment card industry compliance can result in fines from the many jurisdictions in which they operate. The breach left many users waiting for new cards issued by their banks.

Sharpe pointed out that he does not save card information on any website unless it is a subscription and it is required. He also encouraged everyone to turn on text, email and app notifications from their bank and use a password manager to generate strong passwords and ensure they don’t reuse them.

Aeropost’s former cross-border casillero and marketplace business was sold by Nasdaq-listed Pricemart Inc in October to Bahamian Click to Collect Company Limited. Pricemart received US$4.96 million as proceeds from the transaction and recorded a pre-tax gain of US$2.7 million. Pricemart retained the services of key personnel from Aeropost and provided US$2 million of logistics services to Pricemart for 36 months. Pricemart originally acquired it in March 2018.

This is the latest blow to freight forwarding businesses in the Caribbean after Amazon Inc on Feb. 27 blocked users from sending their orders to addresses provided by their freight forwarders. This included local companies like Rocketship, Reliable Courier, ShipMe and Packit4u, while Trinidad and Tobago companies included CSF and Web Source. The issue was apparently resolved a few days later. Mailpac was one of the unaffected local businesses.

In addition to apologizing for the violation, Aeropost encourages users to send additional questions to payments@aeropost.com.

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Transcript: CBS News interviews Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas https://granlogiacostarica.org/transcript-cbs-news-interviews-homeland-security-secretary-alejandro-mayorkas/ Fri, 22 Apr 2022 19:44:00 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/transcript-cbs-news-interviews-homeland-security-secretary-alejandro-mayorkas/

The following is a transcript of an April 22 interview with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who told CBS News his department is set to implement a major policy change along the US-Mexico border in May. Transcript lightly edited for clarity.


CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ, CBS NEWS: I jump in right away. Secretary, you were recently in Panama to discuss migration and the administration’s regional approach to this issue. What exactly are you, Secretary, asking Panama and other countries in our hemisphere to do differently to help the United States manage these, frankly, unprecedented levels of displacement and migration?

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: I think it’s very important to recognize that the challenge of migration, an increased level of migration, is not unique to the United States. This is something that the countries of our region are experiencing. And I think that’s very powerfully demonstrated, for example, in the number of Venezuelans currently residing in Colombia; the number of Nicaraguans currently residing in Costa Rica. And therefore, addressing a regional challenge requires a regional response. And what we’re asking, and it’s not just the United States asking other countries, but all countries asking each other. And that’s one of the things that was pretty obvious. This is not a request from the United States to other countries. These are countries that ask each other. A collaborative and harmonized approach to increase migration across the region.

And we discussed the different elements of that answer. We talked about the responsibility to manage borders across the region in a humanitarian, law-abiding manner, meaning those who are eligible for aid in a particular country receive that aid and those who are not are repatriated. For those receiving assistance, develop stabilization efforts so that they have the ability to work and integrate into communities. Repatriation efforts must be carried out in a way that allows people to return safely to their country of origin. We have talked about developing safe and legal routes so that people, for example, seeking relief, do not have to go through the very treacherous region of Darién, which I saw with my own eyes during my visit to Panama. And we talked about collaborating on repatriation efforts. And then, of course, fundamentally, and that’s why the broad participation was so critical, we have the development banks, the international development banks, there. That we must also adopt a durable solution. And it deals with the reason, the underlying reasons, why people leave their homes, their country of origin, only to go to other countries with which they are not familiar. And so we’ve covered quite a wide range of topics that are involved in the complexities of regional migration.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: You just mentioned that in your opinion, migrants who are not eligible for assistance under US law should be removed in a humane manner. This is not always the case, as you know, particularly because of the impossibility of returning people to certain countries such as Cuba and Nicaragua. Does this regional strategy also involve, Mr. Secretary, asking and convincing these countries to accept the return of their citizens if they are not eligible for asylum here in the United States

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: Yes. I think it is, Camilo, difficult. For example, it is quite difficult to deal with a country like Venezuela, where diplomatic relations, if any, can be strained. And so we have to be practical here in dealing with the realities.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: But you are trying to establish some kind of dialogue with these countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to see if they can take back some of their nationals who, again, are not eligible for (l help under) our laws. And I ask this question because, as you know, Mr. Secretary, Cuba last month became the second largest source of migration to the border.

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: Yeah, so Camilo, that’s why the regional migration talks were so important in Panama, because it’s not something we can do alone. And if we don’t have the relationship with another country that will allow this constructive dialogue, then maybe other countries can be part of the solution. And that is why a regional approach is so vital, and as I know you are well aware, we had discussions with Cuba yesterday to begin a dialogue on migration agreements, a process that has indeed historically provided an avenue orderly and safe for a number of Cubans to seek relief in the United States.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: And also their commitment to accept the return of their citizens as well, right? It was another part.

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: One element of the discussion.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: I would be remiss, Secretary, if I did not ask you about the planned termination of Title 42. I understand that this is a CDC decision. But there is a growing number of lawmakers and, frankly, ordinary Americans, who don’t think your department, Secretary, is ready to implement this change. Can you assure them that they will not see dangerous overcrowding at border facilities, that asylum seekers will be dealt with effectively, and that you will be able to manage these already very high levels of migration once this policy ends on the 23rd may ?

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: Camilo, the claim that we have no plans is a claim that is not based on facts. We have been planning for months to deal with the increase in migration; the ones we’ve already been through and the ones we may experience when Title 42 comes to an end. transportation, medical resources, development of additional facilities to support border operations. These plans have been in the works for months. And so, we do have plans and I can assure the American people and their representatives that we do.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: And you are confident, Mr. Secretary, that you will be able to implement this change on May 23.

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: We are confident that we can implement our plans when necessary. And we’re also very aware of the fact, Camilo, that we’re planning for different scenarios. And some of these scenarios present significant challenges for us. There is a fundamental point, Camilo, that is so important to communicate every time we talk about these challenges, and that is that we are operating within the confines of a system that is entirely broken, and has been waiting for a legislative solution for a long time.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: In that vein, Mr. Secretary, will you look to Congress to ask either for legal authorities to be changed or for more funding to help you meet these challenges?

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: We are currently working within the funding provided to us, Camilo, but yes, I will continue to push for law reform to be implemented. There is unanimity in saying that it is necessary. And President Biden offered on his first day in office a legislative package to fix what everyone agrees is a broken system in its entirety.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: Secretary, if you are someone right now in Haiti, in Colombia, in Nicaragua, in other countries in our hemisphere, and you are planning to migrate to the US border after May 23, after the lifting of title 42, because there is the belief that they will be able to stay here. Is this belief accurate, inaccurate?

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: That belief is incorrect. And Camilo, we have seen individuals undertake the perilous journey, we have seen them take this journey by sea, and we have seen the fatal or disastrous consequences. I visited the Darien, an extraordinarily treacherous terrain, and learned firsthand the disastrous consequences of this enterprise. We are committed to building safe, orderly and humane pathways. Individuals who do not qualify for assistance in the United States will be removed.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: Okay. Last question, if you allow me. In March, Secretary, your department recorded 221,000 arrests along the southwest border, a 22-year high. Obviously, this number is inflated by a very high recidivism rate among single adults in particular. What kind of numbers are you seeing now in April, Secretary? And again, I want to ask you the question, do you think you’ll be able to handle some of the projections that the agency has made when Title 42 is lifted?

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: Camilo, I think you identify a very important point that needs to be emphasized, which is that it’s about the number of encounters, not the number of unique individuals encountered at the border. And we will continue to abide by the laws that guide us. And that includes humanitarian assistance laws and deportation laws that mandate deportation when a person is ineligible.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: How do you reduce that? Sorry to interrupt you, secretary, how do you reduce this recidivism rate which is very high at the moment. And that inflates those numbers significantly?

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: Is that in the context of, Camilo, you’re asking in the context of title 42?

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: Why many adults try to cross multiple times.

SECRETARY MAYORKAS: So we’re dealing with that under our enforcement regime, Camilo. And individuals who make repeated attempts, who seek to defy the law, are subject to criminal prosecution in appropriate circumstances. And we are working with the Department of Justice to achieve this.

]]> Inflation, a growing threat to the poor and vulnerable in Latin America and the Caribbean https://granlogiacostarica.org/inflation-a-growing-threat-to-the-poor-and-vulnerable-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean/ Mon, 18 Apr 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://granlogiacostarica.org/inflation-a-growing-threat-to-the-poor-and-vulnerable-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean/

As Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) returned to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity, a disturbing new threat emerged: rising inflation.

The region has gone through a dramatic period of setbacks since March 2020, when it began to feel the effects of the pandemic. It has hit LAC harder than any other region in the world, both in terms of per capita deaths and economic contraction. Poverty has also increased due to the health crisis.

The region has managed to recover significantly through 2021, thanks to aggressive vaccine deployments and the expansion of programs to mitigate the impacts on the most affected populations. However, rapidly rising food and fuel prices could inflict another significant setback on the region’s citizens.

While the Russian invasion of Ukraine has fanned the fire of inflation, most countries have been experiencing symptoms of rising prices since last year. Fuel, as measured by world oil prices, and international food prices have increased throughout 2021, as shown in Figure 1.

In fact, by the end of 2021, median consumer price inflation in the region had almost doubled to 7% from an average of 4% between 2015 and 2019. Inflation has of course affected countries differently. , but all are seeing increases, with the highest rates in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In LAC, food and energy were the main contributors to inflation in 2021 . They accounted for more than 90% of inflation in Costa Rica, 75% in Paraguay, 66% in Brazil and nearly 60% in Colombia. Empirical analysis confirms that inflation in the region was strongly correlated with demand side pressures resulting from expansionary policies, as well as supply chain pressures, energy prices and depreciation of the currency.

Inflation is expected to rise further in 2022, mainly due to higher commodity prices and global supply disruptions. Suriname and Haiti, for example, are expected to experience double-digit inflation. Food-importing countries will be more quickly affected by further increases in international food prices.

Why worry about the impact of inflation in the region?

One of the main reasons is that inflation puts a lot of pressure on household disposable income. In LAC, the budget share of food and energy prices in the consumption basket is around 40%, with the highest levels in Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Paraguay, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Food and energy budget shares in selected LAC countries, by CPI

Of particular concern are the negative impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable households in urban areas, who spend a large proportion of their total income on food and other staples. They suffer the hardest effects of rising prices. (For a comprehensive view of the impact of inflation and rising commodity prices on poverty, as well as a view of the broader economic picture, see the recent speech by World Bank President David Malpass, at the Warsaw School of Economics).

Inflation in other goods and services, such as those tied to gasoline prices, has also hit consumers everywhere. These price increases also contribute to large welfare losses due to rising transport costs. Worse still, people in Latin America and the Caribbean are seeing soaring food and fuel prices while wages remain on average below pre-pandemic levels.

Rising poverty, food insecurity

In a region where poverty reduction has been abruptly reversed during the pandemic, a major concern is that the recovery that began in 2021 is not helping families rise above the poverty line.
Poverty, defined as living on less than $5.5 a day, fell from 24% to 26.5% between 2019 and 2021, but began to slowly decline in 2022. Now preliminary analysis indicates that poverty levels poverty are expected to remain at 26% in 2022 rather than return to pre-pandemic levels. According to this calculation, nearly 13 million LAC citizens will lose the opportunity to see a significant improvement in their well-being.

Furthermore, there could be many more families at risk of food insecurity and falling into poverty in 2022 due to rising inflation and rising food prices.

Food insecurity during the pandemic was most salient in Caribbean island nations such as Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Haiti and Dominica. Unfortunately, this is likely to be the case again now, as Caribbean countries are highly dependent on food and non-food imports. It could also disproportionately affect the region’s urban poor, as well as many recent migrant populations – including those from Venezuela – who are still struggling to make ends meet in their new homes. Growing food insecurity is likely to deepen the poverty and economic vulnerability of many people in LAC.

A final but important concern is inequality. Inflation tends to hit the poor hardest, while wealthier families have more instruments at their disposal to avoid the worst impacts. This is why inflation is likely to aggravate inequalities. By some measures, LAC is already the most unequal region in the world. Unfortunately, the rise in prices we are seeing today could accentuate this situation, fueling persistent social tensions.
Many countries are responding to rising inflation by trying to influence prices directly – by limiting food exports or keeping fuel prices below those on world markets. This approach can help ease tensions at the national level, but it has a negative impact on global well-being.

Historical experience shows that trade restrictions tend to exacerbate global food crises. They could keep prices lower in one country in the short term, while pushing prices higher in world markets, making the situation worse for others. Keeping gasoline or diesel prices low can help curb social demands, but it’s a costly approach that often mainly benefits groups that need it less. Additionally, keeping fossil fuels cheaper negatively impacts the climate and undermines ALC’s long-term goal of a green growth transformation.

What to do?

To cushion the effects of inflation on the poor, governments should step up their support through well-targeted social protection programs . These programs have been an essential part of the response to COVID-19 and have protected millions of Latin Americans from the worst impacts of the crisis.

Using these types of programs to alleviate the suffering caused by rising food and fuel prices is more effective than the alternatives. However, efforts to prioritize protection of the poor and most vulnerable must be compatible with sound fiscal management, given the higher public debt levels in the region post-pandemic.

Frankly, we don’t know when the current inflation spurt will end. We don’t know how long the war in Ukraine will last or how quickly we can expect other sources of grain, fuel and fertilizer to come into place.
What we do know is that central banks in the region have raised interest rates to dampen demand, which will have a negative impact on the already weak growth rates (the LAC is now expected to grow by only 2, 2% this year, one of the lowest rates in the world). ).

Given the uncertainties, it is important to follow a flexible approach that protects the poor while reducing the overall pressure on budgetary resources. And now may be the time to introduce growth-enhancing reforms to boost investment and create jobs urgently needed to make our region a more equal and prosperous place for all.

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