Coffee Briefing, Nov. 30, 2021 – Square Photo Studio app comes to Canada; Mastercard to launch open banking solutions to Canada next year; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada reporter Pragya Sehgal, with files from the rest of the editorial team!

Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

What’s new this week

Interac to use Microsoft Azure cloud to make digital transactions faster

SpicyTruffel | Getty Images

Interac has announced it has selected Microsoft Azure’s cloud capabilities to manage the continued growth of digital transactions with the aim of enabling innovation and faster payments. Azure provides Interac with a hybrid model of public and on-premises private cloud that will enable the business to move faster and maintain its high-reliability levels, says Interac. 

“An important part of our digital transformation strategy is integrating a secure and compliant cloud platform that positions us for future growth and meets the demands of the quickly evolving digital payments landscape,” said Peter Sweers, chief technology & operations officer at Interac. “We chose Microsoft Azure for its increased scale, security and always-on resiliency.”

Mastercard to bring its open banking solutions to Canada

GelatoPlus | Getty Images

In early 2022, Mastercard will bring its open banking solutions to Canada, the company told IT World Canada on Nov. 25. 

COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies and created new data-driven digital experiences, it said. With the emergence of open banking, the ways consumers and businesses connect and control their data is being redefined. Open banking is a banking practice that provides third-party financial service providers access to consumer banking, transaction, and other financial data from banks and non-bank financial institutions through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). Mastercard said it is making significant investments in open banking and these solutions will bring added security to the financial data experience in Canada, through differentiated technology, simplicity and efficiency. 

Square launches Square Photo Studio app in Canada

Source: Square

Square has announced the Square Photo Studio app in Canada with the aim to make it easy for businesses to take high-quality photos of their products from a phone and directly sync them to a Square item catalog or online store. According to data from Square, retail merchants found that 94 per cent of their first orders of items were of those that included product images, and only 11 per cent were sold for the first time with no image. 

With the help of the Square Photo Studio app, sellers can add images to their product pages directly from their phone, without the need and expense of a professional photo studio. The app provides prompts to help users take the best photos and isolates the product from the background, allowing users to choose stylish scenes that include background, shadows and colours. It isn’t limited to Square sellers; it can be used by anyone with a product to sell to take a photo and sell it through a Square Online Checkout link.

The Square Photo Studio app is now available in the Apple app store, everywhere Square Online is available. 

Ontario estate planning firm to provide online Will solution to British Columbians

Source: vaeenma | Getty Images

Ottawa-based has partnered with Canadian technology provider Syngrafii to bring British Columbia a complete online Will solution, which will include electronic wills, e-signatures, and secure storage. This will allow British Columbians to manage their estate planning completely online as of December 1st, 2021, when the province’s Bill 21 will allow remote witnessing, electronic signing and storage of wills in the province. 

Syngrafii provides patented technology that allows residents of British Columbia to set up a Video Signing Room where signatories and their witnesses can virtually sign the document. An activity log of the session is then generated that is stored with the Will in their Vault, allowing users to store their electronic estate planning documents to be retrieved easily by their designated Keyholder(s) only after they have passed away.

Two Toronto teens awarded for building innovative apps to monitor health and wellness

Source: TCS

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) hosted its inaugural goIT Monthly Challenge Majors last week, a competition showcasing the top student innovations from across the US and Canada that had been submitted throughout the year during their TCS goIT Monthly Challenge

The goIT Monthly Challenge is a competition for high school students to design tech-based solutions to some of the world’s pressing issues as defined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The top six student-led teams from TCS goIT Monthly Challenges competed for mentoring and resources to bring their innovative ideas to market. These teams were tasked with creating and presenting their solution and were judged on concept, prototype, market research, scalability, and more. 

Two finalists were selected from Toronto, ON. Joshua Han, who won the audience choice award, created Heartly, a mobile app that educates users on healthy food choices and how to stay heart healthy. Felice Hu’s solution, called HeartPlan, helps people recover from heart attacks and prevent future heart disease. 

More to explore 

VMware and Mitacs collaborate on sustainable 6G development

Cloud solutions provider VMware announced a partnership with Mitacs, a non-profit organization that connects industries with Canadian academia, to chart a path towards sustainable 6G in Canada.

Cisco Canada, STEM Fellowship launch cybersecurity training for 40,000 Canadian students

Cisco Canada together with STEM Fellowship, a not-for-profit that works towards diversity in STEM, this week announced the launch of the Cybersecurity Classroom Training Program (CCTP) for high school students, with the aim to address the growing need for cybersecurity awareness and education.

58 per cent of shoppers sticking to online shopping this holiday season: Google trends

As a busy holiday shopping season kicks off this week with Black Friday, Google Canada is revealing the top Canadian Black Friday and Cyber Monday search trends.

Enter Optiv MXDR. Rest easy. We’ve got this

Optiv’s Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR) is a technology-agnostic offering that allows clients to bring their own tech while delivering rapid and decisive action against today’s most critical cyberattacks and strengthen their security posture

When good enough is no longer good enough

Prior to the pandemic, people went to the office. They may have complained about the commute, and they may have wished they had more discretionary time, but that was the way things were done in a pre-COVID world. Things are done differently now, and there’s no going back for businesses that want to retain their employees, secure their systems, and thrive.

Securing your journey to the cloud

The move to the cloud has forced organizations to re-think how they implement and manage security. We know that securing data in the cloud is not the same as doing so on premises. As the network perimeter disappears and cloud providers take responsibility for more security controls, then traditional skills, tools and budget allocation need to change. Regardless of whether cloud use is mainly SaaS-based or a migration of workloads to cloud-native applications, security requirements are different.

The bar has been raised on videoconferencing

After having used video conferencing for remote collaboration from their homes throughout the pandemic, employees now expect not only basic functionality, but high-quality and equitable meeting experiences.

Channel Bytes November 26, 2021 – data science meets OpenShift; another award; the path to 6G; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

ITWC Podcasts

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Less than one per cent of PC users are currently running Windows 11, Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter’s CEO and Russia fines Google Three million roubles.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

Ikea under phishing attack, evasive JavaScript loader discovered and malware found hiding in Linux calendars.



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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Her characters are bold and smart, but in real life, Pragya is afraid of going upstairs when it is dark behind her. Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the Yamuna River on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing professional who also prepares beautiful, healthy and delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not.

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