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Electronics & Test

New Payment Methods Are Aimed at People on the Go

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Nancy Golden
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Platinum
small business user
Nancy Golden   4/29/2013 10:01:28 AM
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I wonder how affordable these models for mobile payment capability are for the small business owner or are they aimed at larger companies with an ability to invest in an expensive infrastructure? I own a company that used to make portable trail obstacles for horses. We would often go to remote locations with our products where we would loan the use of them for a trail competition and have a table set up for selling our products afterwards. A major frustration was that while our products were very well-received, people did not come to trail competitions with enough cash or with their checkbooks to purchase one - we lost the immediate sale opportunity due to their inability to pay. If a person had a means to buy on the site of the trail ride - problem solved. However, with our small profit margins, any of these mobile payment methods would have to be very affordable...

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
Hackers' Paradise!!!!
OLD_CURMUDGEON   4/29/2013 10:25:32 AM
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WOW!, IF y'all think that modern computer file hacking is a problem today, then I'll bet you can't wait until these technologies & devices become ubiquitous througout the land!  Then, you'll see hacking at its best!!  ME?  I'll stick to paper checks AND CREDIT cards only. 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: small business user
William K.   4/29/2013 3:36:27 PM
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Nancy, non-electronic methods to handle credit card payments have been availablke since the mid 1960's. They are slower and quite a bit lewss convenient, but they work very well. I have used my card to purchase items at swap gatherings and at parking-lot sales,  and that has been only slightly more difficult than using the slide-through credit card reader at the grocery store. 

I agree that the electronic smartphone method of payment will bring about a whole new level of hacking and fraudulent billing. Within days of adoption of this technology somebody will come up with a receiver to record these near field transactions and figure out the code enough to duplicate the transaction, if nothing else. Of course those who wish to sell this new technology will say it can't be done, but what secure system has not been hacked already? And even if the link between the smartphone and the POS device is fairly secure, the link beond that is probably not going to be very secure, since it will be a cheap wireless interface.

timingold
User Rank
Iron
Re: small business user
timingold   4/29/2013 5:08:26 PM
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Thanks for the great comments.

The innovators in mobile payment haven't forgotten small businesses. Companies like Square and PayPal were founded on the idea that payments should be easy and accessible for everyone; they offer easy to use, low cost solutions that allow you to accept mobile payments using your smartphone or tablet. I would expect that to continue as the technology shifts from magnetic stripes to the tap of your NFC smartphone.

On the security front, the impetus for new mobile payment technologies isn't just its Star Trek visuals. Mobile technology enables multi-factor authentication to really make sure that you are the account holder and that your transaction is authorized. And, the incorporation of cryptographic hardware elements like the Security Element embedded in the smartphone SIM card makes your unique payment credentials difficult to duplicate. No solution will totally foolproof, but how many counterfeit bills and duplicate cards are in circulation already?

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Hackers' Paradise!!!!
notarboca   4/29/2013 9:07:10 PM
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I too am worried about hacking not in the NFC interface but somewhere else down the line.  Only as strong as the weakest link, ya know.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: small business user
OLD_CURMUDGEON   4/30/2013 7:41:50 AM
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...but how many counterfeit bills and duplicate cards are in circulation already?



There MUST be a heck of a lot since the U.S. Mint is set to roll out a new $100 bill, for about the fourth time in less than 20 years!!!!!!  It's supposed to be on store shelves sometime this summer from a report I heard recently.  This new bill is gonna have some "disappearing hologram, and some other stuff to thwart counterfeiters.  That's what they said the last two times.... guess they were wrong!

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: small business user
Nancy Golden   5/1/2013 11:20:00 AM
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Thanks for elaborating timingold. As someone else mentioned, there are nonelectronic methods available - but those can be bulky and time consuming as well as also having added cost. The electronic solutions you mentioned are becoming more common and I have seen them in use. These trail rides were three years ago and folks out in the country (our target business audience) are typically behind the curve when using new technology. Smart phones are not as common in rural areas. It will be interesting to see how that changes. I was out riding yesterday and saw another rider on her horse, having a conversation on a cell phone. Hopefully she doesn't try to "text and ride!" lol

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
Re: Hackers' Paradise!!!!
AnandY   5/8/2013 3:29:44 AM
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Surely hacking is one of the major problem in NFC mode of transfer. Other problem will be when mobile is lost. Is there any unique ID given for NFC, so that when smartphone is lost then immediately we can disable NFC apps. Else we will be in a situtaion where we are forced to disable all credit cards and request for new.

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Software Development
Greg M. Jung   5/25/2013 2:57:14 PM
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I think this article insightfully mentioned the large software challenge that must be overcome.  Developing middleware to link the gateway service to the financial service is no small task.  For this new technology to be successfull, someone will have to be willing to pay for this significant development expense for each type of system deployed.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Hackers' Paradise!!!!
NadineJ   5/29/2013 6:00:17 PM
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In some parts of the world, mobile banking and payments have been around for years.  Countries that experience regular brown-outs and have few landlines have embraced mobile technology.   In may ways, they've surpassed Europe and the US in mobile phone use and application in everyday life.

I wonder if hacking is a problem in those markets.  If so, how do they deal with it?

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