Payment Wars: How Merchants And Carriers Are Trying To Block Payment Systems They Can't Track

from the dangeorus dept

Over the weekend, it came out that two giant pharmacy chains, Rite Aid and CVS, had started blocking Apple Pay, the massively hyped new payment system from Apple that has received much praise for its ease of use. The product had worked for about a week before the two companies started blocking such near field communication (NFC) payments (which also takes out other NFC payment options like Google Wallet). While Rite Aid gave a vague and slightly ridiculous explanation -- that it is "still in the process of evaluating our mobile payment options" -- pretty much everyone knows the truth. A bunch of retailers, led by Walmart, have been creating their own mobile payment system called CurrentC, which cuts out the credit card companies. But, it also builds in all the tracking and spying features of store loyalty cards, expanded across all merchant partners. Apple Pay lets people remain anonymous.

In short: CurrentC lets merchants (1) cut out credit card transaction fees and (2) get more and more data on shoppers. No wonder they want to block out other options.

But this isn't the start of such fights. Last year, mobile carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T sought to block Google Wallet in favor of a similar consortium of mobile operators, looking to create their own NFC payment system, which was unfortunately named ISIS until world events led the consortium to change its name to Softcard.

All of these moves should be concerning. They're clearly not being done with the consumer in mind. Nearly everyone who's played with Apple Pay has agreed that the system is a huge leap ahead for mobile payments in terms of ease of use. Instead, we're seeing giant organizations looking to team up to keep competitors out of the market. At the very least, this should raise serious antitrust issues. But it also demonstrates, in a different sphere, why net neutrality is such a concern. When you have large companies that can effectively collude to block or kill certain powerful and useful apps and services, it hinders and blocks important innovations, leaving consumers significantly worse off. Not only are they left with fewer choices and lower quality apps and services, but it also pushes consumers into services -- like CurrentC -- that take away their privacy.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 11:07am

    Hmmm... Apple still can use the information so privacy is pretty much a concern just like with any other payment processor.

    That said it's GOOD to see alternatives. Companies like Visa/Master have too much power in their hands.

    Also, I hope the Govt weights in and fines Walmart & co for this.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      Exactly. Apple isn't in this for consumers. They get a cut of every payment just like the other Merchants are trying to get.

      And Apple isn't playing nice with an open standard either as far as I know...and I'll just assume Apple isn't going to start off with an open standard on *anything* they do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JBDragon (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:54pm

        Re: Re:

        Apple Pay works with any NFC terminal already. What standard do you want? Google Wallet still works. Apple Pay is much better. Apple does get a cut. It's a TINY cut of like .005% that they get of of the transaction fee that's already charged. In fact I here that transaction fee is lower then a Credit card because of the much better security!!! Just so you know how Apple Pay works to Google Wallet and a Credit Card, here you go!

        http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/10/20/how-apple-designed-apple-pay-to-avoid-the-pitfalls-of-t raditional-payment-systems

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        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Interesting info, thanks.

          My credit card website can generate graphics that detail my consumption by groups (ie: food, fuel, clothing etc). Walmart & Co would be able to further split it in very specific items which is VERY worrying. Apple would still see where I spent money but not the specific items so it's less problematic. I would use their system because it is no different from my current card (hopefully G Wallet adds such functionality and comes to my country!). Of course I'll never willingly own an Apple device...

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          • icon
            Ninja (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 2:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            O wait, I just read the link. It's way better than current methods. I do hope it is adopted by Google and the rest of the world. I still wouldn't have an Apple device though ;)

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 6:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Apple Pay works with any NFC terminal already."

          Negative. It works with some terminals. Others will require an upgrade at a cost of $500 to $1000 per terminal.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2014 @ 5:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Most credit card terminals are going to be/have been replaced to allow for the required use of Chip based cards in October 2015 by MasterCard. I mostly see really new terminals where I shop these days. Giant, Target, Home Depot and Seven Eleven all have updated recently. The stick in this equation is that merchants who do not upgrade will be liable for fraudulent charges since they do not have the most current security. After eating a fraudulent charge or two small vendors will update their hardware. http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2014/02/06/october-2015-the-end-of-the-swipe-and-sign-cr edit-card/

            Many of the manufacturers are throwing in NFC to these terminals to make them more desirable to all merchants. Better to have an extra feature in all the boxes that can be turned on than not to have it all.

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      • icon
        Michael Long (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 3:23pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm glad you added the "As far as I know" qualifier to your statement.

        The tokenization system used by Apple isn't a proprietary system.

        Tokenization is handled, in part, by the Visa Token Service for Visa and the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service for MC. Amex has a similar service. While different in name, the AMCV (Amex, MC, and Visa) systems are in fact standardized, and together they've proposed a common framework to the industry.​

        Apple Pay is built on this standard.

        So much for assumptions....

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 12:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Apple Pay is built on this standard."

          Standardized doesn't mean non-proprietary.

          "So much for assumptions...."

          Indeed.

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          • icon
            Michael Long (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 12:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The point is that Apple Pay is built on Visa's and Mastercard's standard, not Apple's.

            Or do "standards" not count unless they're "open".

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:37pm

      Re:

      Apple was very explicit that they do not get to see that. It's stored briefly on the phone and that's it. If you are going to claim it's a lie, please cite your proof.

      That said, alternatives are good, but this alternative looks to be terrible.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Think about how it would have to work for Apple to never see what amount of money is going where. All transactions would have to go directly threw the phone, but no one would trust that since it could easily be hacked.

        It has to work much like a current credit card works. Your account balance isn't stored on the card, just an identifying number that the retailer uses to contact a central server. If that central server is Apple, then they can see everything you do down to the specific store location.

        If there is anything marked "Account history", then that data can be monitored.

        Probably still better then the CurrentC and SoftCard thing. With those the controller can not only see how much you spent where, but what on spread across many stores.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JBDragon (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Apple knows NOTHING of what's going on when you use Apple pay. That's the whole point!!! unlike Google Wallet who's the Middle man, When you buy something with Apple Pay, Your phone sends a 1 time use Token, that goes directly to the bank that issued you your credit card and Decrypted there at that point.
          Apple is completely clueless. This link explains in better detail how a Credit Card works along with Google Wallet and Apple Pay.

          http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/10/20/how-apple-designed-apple-pay-to-avoid-the-pitfalls-of- traditional-payment-systems

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        • icon
          Michael Long (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 3:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, it does go through (not threw) the phone. A token representing your credit card number is stored on the phone in the secure enclave. iOS doesn't have access to the number, it can only tell the enclave to include it in an NFC transaction along with a seemingly random security code.

          Breaking NFC encrypting and capturing the token doesn't do you any good. The security code is one time use, and the token is also tied to a specific device so it can't be used on another phone.

          Oh, and the token comes from your bank, not from Apple.

          Apple Pay, unlike Google Wallet and CurrentC, also works without an internet connection. The only communication made is passing the authorization token to the payment terminal via NFC.

          It would be nice if people bothered to learn how something works before setting up a straw man "it has to work this way" argument they can then proceed to knock down.

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          • icon
            Eldakka (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 12:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            While the one-time security code may prevent someone 'stealing' your number, it doesn't protect privacy or prevent tracking.

            The token is not 1-time, (at least according to that article linked by that douche a dozen times http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/10/20/how-apple-designed-apple-pay-to-avoid-the-pitfalls-of- traditional-payment-systems).

            Therefor the retailer will get a pattern of spending, because customer 56*39(1 purchased a tooth-brush on Monday at the supermarket. On Tuesday they purchased some condoms at the supermarket. on Wednesday they purchased some flowers at the florist who's owned by the same company that owns the supermarket, later that same day they purchased a super vibrating extreme speed dildo at the sex shop chain also owned by the same parent company. The following Monday they went back to the sex shop seeking a refund of the defective dildo, which required them to provide their name, address and telephone number as well as 'waving' the NFC device over the sensor to authorise the refund to Apple Pay.

            Now mega-corp AllKnowingMart knows who customer 56*39(1 is and can link all of their purchases to that person.

            The token itself should also be encrypted (using a different key each time) so that the retailer can't build up a database of purchases.

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    • identicon
      PRMan, 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:54pm

      Re:

      And virtually EVERYONE is blocking bitcoin, which is actually the only pro-consumer option.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re:

        BitCoin has no protection against things like identity theft. If someone steals your bitcoins and spends them they're gone, you have no recourse.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JBDragon (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Same with using a Debit Card. There's zero fraud protection on them unlike a Credit Card that is protected under law. CurrentC is linking directly to your Bank Account where you also have ZERO fraud protection. Just do a Google search for Paypal issues as they do the same thing. It gets worse. I hear the CurrentC App grabs your health info!!! Man do I hope this fails. I have no plans to use it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      No, you're completely WRONG! Apple Pay is completely different form anything having to do with iTunes or the iTunes store. Unlike Google Wallet where When you use it, you are paying Google with the Credit Card they have on file for you and then Google pays the Merchant, with Apple Pay, The transaction goes directly to the Bank that issued you your card and the Token is Decrypted at that point. Apple has ZERO Idea where you used it, How much or on what. That's the whole point.

      In fact this Link explains it better on how a Credit Card, Apple pay and Google Wallet works.

      http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/10/20/how-apple-designed-apple-pay-to-avoid-the-pitfalls-o f-traditional-payment-systems

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      anti-antidirt (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 2:10pm

      Re:

      It is important to note that Apple wouldn't be collecting the information. It is stated that it goes directly to your bank you're using. Which, arguably, has more information than Apple regarding spending.

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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:22pm

    Screw this. I'm going back to cash.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:31pm

    Always use cash...but

    I always use cash, except at the ATM or when buying online. One grocery store kept trying to push their loyalty card on me, and I kept telling the clerks that I did not want to be identified. One clerk then picked up a card off their counter and handed it to me (not related to me in any way). I don't know if the card was there for that purpose or had been left behind by someone.

    I am waiting for the day when some retailer tells me they no longer accept cash, and apparently even though it specifically states on the paper bills that "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE" they could actually do this (some court case I heard about quite a while ago).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      pixelpusher220 (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:35pm

      Re: Always use cash...but

      Most cashiers will happily use their code for your purchases. They get the 'points', you get the discount and the tracking company gets fairly confused.

      Or just enter Jenny's phone number. (xxx)-867-5309 If it isn't registered in every area code already I'd be very surprised.

      In my case, I had it tied to my phone number, then didn't use them for 3-4 years. Viola, my number has been reassigned to someone else so I just enter what used to be my phone number and give whoever has it the 'points'.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:35pm

      Re: Always use cash...but

      ahhh, here we go, not the court case but:

      http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/currency_12772.htm

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      pixelpusher220 (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:45pm

      Re: Always use cash...but

      There was a (probably multiple) time(s) when someone, trying to be vindictive, tried to pay a large debt in coins and was rejected by the merchant.

      Snopes

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:13pm

      Re: Always use cash...but

      Those affinity cards are a scam, and I avoid stores that use them to the greatest extent that I can. Using the cards doesn't actually save you any money because the stores have jacked their "non club" prices up and you have to use a card to get the same price you'd get at a store that doesn't use them. Screw those guys.

      When I do go to such stores, though, I refuse to play along on principle. I won't use any of the usual tricks (bogus phone #s, etc.) Nonetheless, about half the time the clerk will just scan a card they keep for people like me and act like they're doing me some big favor.

      I find the whole thing very irritating.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:37pm

      Re: Always use cash...but

      "I am waiting for the day when some retailer tells me they no longer accept cash, and apparently even though it specifically states on the paper bills that "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE" they could actually do this (some court case I heard about quite a while ago)."

      First thing that came to my mind was the Larry Flynt movie. Paid his 10K fine with 1 dollar bills carried by two strippers at least in the movie.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Griff, 28 Oct 2014 @ 4:37am

      Re: Always use cash...but

      Giant Eagle stores (at least in some parts of PA) won't let you use the self checkout without one of their tracking cards. They, and CVS get really upset and p1ssy when you don't have/take one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ChrisB (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 5:29am

      Re: Always use cash...but

      Cash doesn't have to be accepted by any retailers. It is only legal tender for taxes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:46pm

    oh wow
    Verizon is behind ISIS! I knew it!
    Funny coincidence

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:48pm

    Privacy?

    but it also pushes consumers into services -- like CurrentC -- that take away their privacy

    And you don't think Apple isn't tracking as much as they can? Maybe they can't see what you buy, but they can see where you buy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:40pm

      Re: Privacy?

      Really? Another Clueless person. You have no idea How Apple Pay works. Apple is not tracking anything because they can't. That's the whole point. Google does with Google Wallet because when you use that service, You're actually paying Google and then Google makes the payment on your behalf. Which makes sense, since that's all part of Google's Business model on how they make money.

      It really is completely Anonymous when you use Apple pay, even from Apple themselves!!! Here's a link that much better explains How a Credit Card works along with Google Wallet and Apple pay.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Privacy?

          Ok, I admit it, I was clueless on this. I am actually dumbfounded that Apple would create this in a way that they don't get any data to track.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            JMT (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 5:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Privacy?

            That's because you're blinded by an irrational hatred of a company, one obviously not based on all the facts. Maybe this could be a learning moment for you...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 6:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Privacy?

              Wow, way to make assumptions. I am in disbelief, not because they are Apple, but because a large corporation would not try to grab consumer data. Especially in this day and time of corporations and governments hoovering up all the data they can get.

              But this is a teachable moment for you. Never make assumptions about people's beliefs and motives with such little information on them.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 4:38pm

        Re: Re: Privacy?

        Really? Another Clueless person. You have no idea How Apple Pay works

        And why should I trust Apple? Before there was Apple, Jobs was screwing Woz outta cash. Outside of Apple Jobs was denying Lisa was his daughter to avoid paying for his daughter. The statements about Apple ][, The Newton, the agreement violations with Apple Records, the agreements with the Mac Clones, the 'screw Motorola' position, et al.

        Why should I trust Apple is looking out for me as a consumer in any way?? As one Apple CEO stated 'looking to maximize shareholder value' - that is done on the backs of the consumer typically.

        Apple is not tracking anything because they can't.

        Because there has been an end-to-end code audit by parties that are trustworthy?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 12:56pm

    cash and (un)known numbers

    Agree - always use cash... and when they ask for a phone number, I frequently use 202-456-1414. Or the number for the local PD. Or their own stores number (which NOT ONE EMPLOYEE has EVER recognized!!)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:01pm

    All about the trust

    I don't use smartphone NFC payment systems because I don't trust Apple or Google with that much information. But I trust a consortium of retailers even less.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:45pm

      Re: All about the trust

      Here's how Credit Cards, Google Wallet and Apple Pay work. Yes Apple Pay can be TRUSTED!!!

      http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/10/20/how-apple-designed-apple-pay-to-avoid-the-pitfal ls-of-traditional-payment-systems

      AS for CurrentC. Not only is it all about tracking your Spending habits. But to get the cheaper service, they have to link Directly to your Bank Account. While you have Fraud protection when your Credit Card, You have ZERO with your Debit only card, let alone your direct Bank account. I also hear CurrentC links up and grabs your health info also.

      Besides all the hassle of turning on your phone and unlocking it, finding and loading the App, just so you can scan a QR code or you scan a QR code. It can go either way. I don't know who in their right mind would use it.

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      • icon
        ottermaton (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 3:01pm

        Re: Re: All about the trust

        Jebus! Fanboi much?

        Criminy, we'll all go read your appleinsider article, ok?. Now will you please SHUT UP about it?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 9:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: All about the trust

          This

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 11:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: All about the trust

          Appleinsider is not exactly a reliable source if you want the truth. They are just the PR and shill site for Apple. The will just repeat exactly what Apple tell them to say

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        jim, 28 Oct 2014 @ 5:20am

        Re: Re: All about the trust

        Right, now tell me about the tooth fairy? Please, unless you controlled the code, tell me again how bad actors get into operations again. All NFC communications is hackable. You manually have to turn off all NFC, even apple realizes that. How long till they publish the first update? I'm betting less the one month. But don't expect a public report of why it was done. Just a massive push update.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 6:53am

        Re: Re: All about the trust

        "Yes Apple Pay can be TRUSTED!!!"

        Good info about Apple Pay. But it only reinforces my main point: I trust a consortium of retailers less.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    z! (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:07pm

    About using cash- it's legal tender for -debts-, but you only own money to the store if they've already given you the merchandise. No merch. changes hands, no debt exists. (If the restaurant lets you eat before paying, there's a debt; if they want payment up front, there isn't.)

    BTW, long time back, I'd give the RadioShack clerks the address "1600 South Beach St, Fort Worth, TX", which was Tandy's corporate headquarters. Only 1 in 10 clerks recognized it, an they just chuckled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:16pm

      Re:

      "No merch. changes hands, no debt exists."

      I think you're overanalyzing this. For the purposes of currency, "debts" includes buying stuff in the way you describe.

      But something that people often misunderstand is that there is no law that requires anyone to accept cash, whether for money owed or for on-the-spot purchases. There are a number of stores that simply don't accept cash at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        pixelpusher220 (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re:

        As long as they say that up front then it's fine. By default though if they price their services in US Dollars then they are obligated to take the US Dollars. (See the Snopes link above).

        If they clearly state what they accept as payment upfront, it's on you for doing business with them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 6:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          A business can absolutely price things in US dollars if they accept US dollars. But those dollars don't have to be in the form of cash. The business I saw that didn't accept cash took payment in US dollars in the form of electronic transfer (credit or debit cards).

          The federal reserve has a web page about this. There is no legal obligation for any private entity to accept cash, period. They don't have to tell you up front, even.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Manabi (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:15pm

    What gets me about CurrentC is how stupid it is

    And not only the privacy implications, have you looked at how CurrentC works? The terminal will display a QR code, then you have to run the CurrentC app on your smartphone, and let it use the camera to scan the QR code to pay. WTF? This is going to be so inconvenient I doubt it'll get very much usage at all. I know I wouldn't even consider trying it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:50pm

      Re: What gets me about CurrentC is how stupid it is

      Not only that, but it links Directly to your Bank Account!!!! This is how they get around to having lower fee's. Of course unlike a Credit Card, where you're protected by law against fraud. There's none of that if you use a Debit Card only, or Direct access to your bank account. Target or Home Depot or the others can get hacked again, and money stolen out of your account. and good luck getting it back if you're lucky, in any case waiting weeks. Paypal already does thing, Do some Google Searches and see how that's working out!!!

      I also hear that it's Grabbing your health info also!!! Talking about really taking things to far.

      Apple Pay is a Snap. This whole CurrectC is a hassle. Better off to just use a Credit Card at that point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AC, 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:17pm

    I wish there was an untrackable alternative

    Maybe little pieces of printed paper, or something, that were accepted as a means of exchange, in lieu of using a credit card, or other electronic payment systems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:51pm

      Re: I wish there was an untrackable alternative

      I don't keep much cash on me these days. It's a hassle. I look forward to when I don't need a Wallet or even Keys.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 6:59am

        Re: Re: I wish there was an untrackable alternative

        I usually keep a hundred or so on me at a time. That makes cash convenient, and helps me to avoid having to use my cards.

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  • identicon
    024601, 27 Oct 2014 @ 1:50pm

    Cheers to the first time I've seen The Joe Rogan Experience mentioned on this site!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matthew A. Sawtell, 27 Oct 2014 @ 3:29pm

    American Greenbacks, Do Not Go Shopping Without Them...

    ... if you do not want to be tracked, analyzed, and/or {fill in the blank}.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 3:41pm

    It's hilarious to see several links about how Apple Pay is great all from the same single source and one that has a vested interest in taking Apple's word at face value. Now I know nothing about how Apple Pay works on a technical level nor do I even have a device capable of using that feature, but here is a second opinion:

    http://agbeat.com/tech-news/just-secure-apple-pay/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Michael Long (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 6:54pm

      Re:

      That has to be the stupidest article I've ever seen. If a woman leaves her purse behind with a bunch of credit cards in it... SHE'S ALREADY LOST THE CARDS!

      Further, you just need to jot down the numbers to steal them. The phone's not needed at all.

      But since you seem to think that they're equally insecure, let's try this. We both go to a seedy bar. You leave your wallet with credit cards behind, and I'll leave my Apple Pay-enabled Touch ID protected iPhone behind.

      We then wait to see whose card numbers get stolen first, and whose appear second (if at all).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Alien Rebel (profile), 27 Oct 2014 @ 3:58pm

    CASH IS KING

    Since everything online is so vulnerable, I favor carrying lots of cash. Even if I'm robbed, I'm comforted by the thought that my money is going into my local economy, not Uzbekistan's.

    If you're going to be a victim, you might as well be a loca-victim.

    --

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 5:50pm

      Re: CASH IS KING

      Thanks, Alien Rebel, for making me feel less alone. I thought I was the only one who reasoned that way! If I'm going to be ripped off, I'd much rather have my stolen money spent in my local community than somewhere else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Alien Rebel (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 7:08pm

        Re: Re: CASH IS KING

        You're welcome. I'm actually just recovering from a shock yesterday, of browsing a list of ways hackers can gain access to just about anything. Some marvelous advice went along with that list- "don't keep any money, anywhere, in any form, that you aren't willing to risk losing." I suppose they meant to say "online" or "electronically" but then what other choices are there?

        I'm leaving now to go look up how to raise chickens.

        --

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jake, 27 Oct 2014 @ 4:13pm

    I'd just like to point out that /r/apple and /r/android have declared a ceasefire in order to present a united front in opposing the blocks.

    If that is not a sign that this is a seriously bad idea, I do not know what is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Indy, 27 Oct 2014 @ 4:30pm

    AntiTrust?

    How is this antitrust at all?

    Just use other vendors if you don't like them. People do this millions of times a day.

    Joey uses AMEX because of the benefits inherent within. Hotel Z doesn't take AMEX, so Joey goes elsewhere.

    Billy doesn't like paying cash at the food carts, as they charge extra money to do so. He takes his business elsewhere.

    Sammy is a penny pincher, and values his spending privacy, so he takes out $300/week to buy food and groceries. He can shop pretty much anywhere, but has to deal with change, having the cash on hand, etc.

    All provide some advantages, and some disadvantages. Nothing about CurrenC says antitrust. Nothing about Apple Pay says it's any better than cash for people that don't want an iPhone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 4:39pm

    Merchants

    I wonder what hell individual (think small business) merchants are going through with all these different systems? Getting paid by the credit card companies was hard enough. I have been out of that game long enough to not know what is going on now, from the merchant standpoint.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 5:50pm

      Re: Merchants

      I wonder what hell individual (think small business) merchants are going through

      That is why some businesses say Cash only or one place I know says cash/debit - no credit cards.

      Most of this is gonna get wrapped up in a black-box terminal that the small guy pays a cut to a "payment processor" to deal with.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2014 @ 6:29pm

        Re: Re: Merchants

        Part of the issue used to be the cost to the merchant. Visa/Mastercard was one price, around 2.5% (if I remember correctly), and Amex was 6% (again, if I remember correctly). This is why many merchants do/did not accept Amex.

        I am curious about what the deal for these types of payments are, and what the differences between providers might be, along with, how long till the merchant gets the money. Credit card reimbursement used to take a month or more. That is an additional cost to the merchant, as money costs money.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 5:52pm

      Re: Merchants

      I actually make it a point to always pay small retailers in cash. I consider it a matter of courtesy and respect -- a bit like giving them a 2.5% tip.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 27 Oct 2014 @ 4:55pm

    Former Walmart CEO Lee Scott reportedly once said “I don’t know that MCX will succeed, and I don’t care. As long as Visa suffers.”
    http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/25/currentc/
    QR codes are not secure. Visa, gimme chip-n-pin real-soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2014 @ 6:43am

    change its name to Softcard
    You guys seriously did not just use WorldNetDaily as a source, did you? I mean, you do realize what WND is, right? That website often makes Rush Limbaugh look pleasant with the utterly vile and vitriolic hatred it spews. This is the very website that most strongly pushed the birther movement and still pushes the idea that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Communist, among other hateful racist and bigoted crap.

    Please, ffs Mike, do not cite WND. Wtf, dude?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    got_runs? (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 4:33pm

    Never Trust Apple

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 28 Oct 2014 @ 5:55pm

      Re: Never Trust Apple

      There are a lot of things that Apple can be legitimately criticized for, but this is not one of them. Those photo leaks were not the result of someone hacking Apple servers, they were the result of a successful phishing campaign against the celebrities themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2014 @ 6:58am

    Prediction CurrentC will collapse

    The problem is that the members of CurrentC are locked in to not accepting anything else for three years starting roughly in 2012. When that time is up the flood gates open to NFC solutions and CurrentC will be quietly put out of it's misery in 2017.

    A big Holiday Data breach in any of the larger members may hasten the end.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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