09 August 2013
In March 2006, a parody video asked, “What if Microsoft made the iPod?” The clip began with an image of the real packaging for an iPod, that familiar white box with a single picture of the music player. Then, bit by bit, it added what would happen if Microsoft got involved. By the end of three minutes, the dainty music player had been renamed the iPod Pro 2005 XP Human Ear Professional Edition With Subscription, and the stark box was sullied with stickers and jargon promoting almost every...
05 August 2013
The PC has been around for three and a half decades, but the way we interact with them hasn't evolved much: We type, we point and click, and, increasingly, we touch. A company called Leap Motion wants to make computing decidedly more 21st-century. By adding hand motions and gestures to the mix, Leap Motion believes it can help transform computing from a two-dimensional world to a 3-D one. The $80 Leap Motion Controller is a small plastic and aluminum rectangle that houses a pair of 3-D camera...
02 August 2013
Bank robbers don't rob banks anymore. They don't need guns, and they don't wear masks. Instead, they hide behind their computer screens and cover their digital tracks. In today's world, there are multiple ways for cybercriminals to make money long before cash is actually transferred out of a bank account. Robbing a bank has become one of the last cogs in a much broader operation. Online theft is almost always part of a much grander scheme. Though sometimes a high-skilled individual or...
26 July 2013
Visa, MasterCard and Europay formed EMVCo in the 1993 to combat and reduce fraud internationally, but in the United States, the slow transition to this new standard is causing problems of its own. To date, more than 1.62 billion payment cards have been upgraded to comply with the standards set by EMVCo. This accounts for nearly 45 percent of all cards globally - most of which are in use outside the United States. As this figure continues to climb, domestic financial institutions (FIs),...
22 July 2013
In a 1939 radio broadcast, then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill described Russia as "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." Were he alive today, Churchill might use the same words to describe Bitcoin — not only for its vaunted user anonymity, but also for the "rabbit out of a hat" way that bitcoins are created, valued, traded and secured. 'Bitcoin for Dummies' The first thing to know about Bitcoin is that it has no direct correlation to "value for work" —...
19 July 2013
Dan Rowinski has a fantastic piece on Clinkle, the latest hot payments startup. (Its $25 million seed round came from Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Jim Breyer, Marc Benioff, Owen Van Natta, Peter Thiel, and many other members of the Silicon Valley elite.) Rowinski’s message: payments technology is the easy bit. The hard bit is changing behavior. It’s basically no easier or faster to activate the NFC or QR code in your phone or open an app than it is to dig out some...
15 July 2013
Sweden is seen as the Promised Land in the payments industry, and not only in Europe but across the globe. While the rest of us are still grappling for loose change and crumpled banknotes, the Swedish, who have the highest card penetration rate in the world, are reaching for plastic. Smartphone and mobile Internet penetration in Sweden is on the rise, and many are looking to the Swedish market to help ignite mobile payments. Sweden has great potential, and stood as the only European country that...
12 July 2013
Countries around the world have become accustomed to flashing plastic to make payments. Yet Germany still remains a country that predominantly uses cash. According to a new study reported by MasterCard , the cost of using cash isn’t cheap, especially for Germans. The study revealed that every German resident pays about €150 every year to sustain the country's cash system. In total, the production process to circulate cash in Germany costs €12.5 billion per year. If this...
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