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Phone locator to fight credit fraud

Banks and card networks like Visa and MasterCard are working with wireless carriers to cut down on fraudulent transactions by tying purchases to the location of a shopper’s smartphone.

In the next few months, AT&T Inc. will test a service that verifies transactions by using a phone’s whereabouts – as long as it has a customer’s permission. The telecommunications provider is one of several companies, including smaller firms such as Syniverse Technologies and Ondot Systems, developing fraud-detection services based on a simple premise: People who are out shopping normally carry their phones with them.

“The market is huge,” said Laura Merling, a vice president at AT&T. “We are using data and information out of the network to create value.”

Global card fraud cost $12.4 billion last year, according to David Robertson, publisher of the Nilson Report, a payments-industry newsletter.

Philips, Salesforce join on medical software

Royal Philips NV and say they are jointly developing a software platform for medical services.

In a statement Thursday the companies said the system would be used for “patient relationship management;” for instance, allowing doctors and nurses to collaborate on patient treatment.

Philips is a major maker of medical devices and medical information systems, while San Francisco-based Inc. operates an Internet system that helps companies keep track of their customers.

The companies didn’t reveal any financial terms of the deal, or any targets.

They said a major advantage would be in making it easier to compile information coming from various sources in one system so it can be analyzed by medical professionals; another will be easing the monitoring and treatment of chronically ill patients who live at home.

Cheap coal boosts profit for India steelmakers

India’s steelmakers are set for a rebound. Falling fuel costs just as a new government promises to revive demand from the slowest pace in five years are burnishing their earnings outlook.

Contract prices of coking coal, used to fire furnaces, may drop 7 percent to about $112 a metric ton next quarter from the three months through June, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg from eight industry executives and analysts.