Monday, September 22, 2014

Credit Cards Reinvented

As a consumer, have you had it up to here with hearing about how your credit or debit cards have been stolen?  How the major retailers where you shop have been hacked?  How Russia, in retaliation for the US' stance on the Ukrainian conflict, is stealing US cardholder info to use against us?

As a retailer or someone who works in retail, are you sick of hearing of it?  Do you live in fear that you may be hacked?

In the past week, my Google Alert has the following (excerpted) headlines:

What if there was something you could do about it - starting today?  Enter Apple, Inc.  That's right - the iPhone company.  The Mac company.  They have spent the past several years, working with American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and the nation's largest retailers, who are in the process of deploying a new system.  This system is called Apple Pay.

While many of us in the public may have missed it, or thought that Apple Pay was simply a trademark on a wireless way to use your existing card to pay without having to swipe it - it is a completely different animal.

What gets me upset, is a couple things.  First, it is the federal government's job to regulate industries to protect national public interests - especially in things like this.  However, they have done absolutely nothing about the massively exploding volume of identity theft.  That last item I pasted, that article does not even begin to address the root cause of the problem - that the payment system itself is inherently insecure, because you a) have to trust the merchant by giving them payment information, and b) have to have a secure means of transferring that payment information to the merchant.  Neither of which are built into the current system.

So, this year as Apple Pay ramps up, I will keep you posted as to how it works.  I have already inquired into my bank how to get the card registered on my phone.  Sound off in replies as to your concerns, or any questions or issues you want me to research.

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