This Week In Tech And Telco: Mainstream Bank Launches Challenger Bank

Welcome back to your weekly tech and telco roundup, and happy Thanksgiving to our friends across the pond!

News this week largely centers around Black Friday deals, so sorry if it’s a little short. Here you go.

NatWest launches digital bank Bó

NetWest has launched its very own challenger bank, Bó, which offers “technology as a digital, cloud-based bank with its own Faster Payments connection”.

The bank will allow users to budget, set goals and track progress.

Use Bó to:

  • Separate spending money from bills: Transfer spending money to Bó so you can manage it better
  • Keep tabs on spending: Get instant alerts whenever you use your card so you know what you’ve spent and where
  • Get to know spending habits: See everything you buy listed by retailer, category and location
  • Feel on top of money: Create a Spending Budget to help you save towards your goals
  • Save little by little: Set a Bó goal and start putting money in your Piggy Bank
  • Spend like a local: Experience more abroad with great Visa exchange rates.
Does an internet bank launched by a mainstream bank count as a challenger?

O2 and Sophos to offer business customers cybersecurity tools

Telefonica UK, as in O2, and cybersecurity software company Sophos have announced a partnership to offer Sophos products and services to the telco’s business customers in the UK.

O2 will now offer Sophos security solutions for mobile devices, computers, servers, and email, as well as its encryption software tools.

Tech partnership sees better security for clients
O2 customers are getting a security upgrade.

AT&T and Microsoft launch Network Edge Compute tech

AT&T and Microsoft are launching for select preview availability its Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology, which combines Microsoft Azure into AT&T network edge locations.

Through this new offering, AT&T’s software-defined and virtualized 5G core, called Network Cloud, is now able to deliver Azure services.

The NEC, which is particularly beneficial in mobile gaming, is available to a limited set of customers in Dallas and next year will be rolled out to similarly select customers in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Microsoft is also supporting AT&T in becoming a public-cloud first company by migrating most of its non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024.

US to vet imports of “sensitive” technology

In new plans by the US government, its commerce secretary may be able to block technology imports deemed a “potential national security threat”.

The commerce secretary the ability to stop transactions involving “sensitive” hardware, software or data services between an American company and anyone linked to a “foreign adversary”.

The proposal follows concerns that tech sold by Chinese companies could be used for spying. Earlier this year, Trump restricted American companies from selling products or services to Huawei for this reason. The US also put pressure on its allies to ban the Chinese telco from 5G infrastructure.

Here’s a really great timeline of Huawei developments

Other tech stories we’re reading:

  • Influencer marketing has infiltrated cybersecurity, with specialist VizSense reaching out to well-known researchers, a former intelligence operative, executives, a financial tech expert, an AI guru and others on behalf of Lenovo. While influencer marketing is rife in consumer-focused industries, this could be a first for cybersecurity. (Axios)
  • According to Reuters, a disagreement between the French Finance Ministry and the Telecoms Authority (Arcep), will likely delay its planned 5G spectrum auction by a few months. (Foundations Newsletter)
  • Just 7 of 21 US presidential candidates use and enforce DMARC, an email security protocol that verifies the authenticity of a sender’s email and rejects spoofed emails. It’s a basic email security feature. (Tech Crunch)
  • Are Deutsche Telekom and Orange merging? (Telecom Paper)
  • Orange Bank has launched in Spain, with a 1% interest rate for deposits of up to 20,000 euros, one of the highest savings interest rates offered available in Spain. (Orange)
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