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Canadian Banks Rushing To Offer Virtual Wallets

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the new-ways-to-sell-customers dept.

Canada 164

silentbrad writes with this quote from the Globe and Mail:"Canada's big banks are preparing to launch 'virtual wallets' as early as this fall that will allow consumers to digitally consolidate their credit and debit cards from any financial institution, and use them to make purchases online and through their cellphones at cash registers. It is being called the biggest change to the way consumers pay for goods in Canada in decades, and for the banks moving quickly into this space, the strategy is about keeping ownership of the vast and potentially lucrative stores of data that are involved in transactions. ... The majority of the banking sector is expected to follow suit in the next year or so, with each financial institution relying on the concept of 'aliases,' where a password lets consumers access their payment cards, but protects personal information from being passed to the merchant. ... Retailers can use the information contained in transactions, stripped of details that violate privacy laws, to tailor offerings or promotions to consumers. And the banks figure they can build a new business from that new world. Location data on phones can help neighborhood stores connect with customers in the area, while transaction data online can give insight into consumer habits and tastes."

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164 comments

if it ain't green. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639071)

yes, but what colo(u)r will these virtual wallets be?

Re:if it ain't green. (4, Informative)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#40639375)

Canadian bills aren't all green now. $5 is blue, $10 is purple, $20 is green, $50 is red, $100 is brown, $1000 is pink (I believe, been a while since I've seen one) and when we used to have a $1 it was dark green and $2 was orange
makes it much easier to tell denominations at a glance when looking through your wallet.

Re:if it ain't green. (2)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40639647)

Was pink. The $1000 bill was withdrawn back in 2000 due to money laundering concerns.

Re:if it ain't green. (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#40639815)

My understanding is that the $1000 is still in circulation, just rare. I know last time I saw one the banks wanted you to call ahead to reserve them.

Re:if it ain't green. (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40640671)

The $1000 bill is still legal tender, but is withdrawn from circulation.

Unless they keep a few on hand for sale as collector's items, I wouldn't think any banks would keep $1000 bills around. All the major ones just send them back to the Bank of Canada for destruction.

Re:if it ain't green. (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | about 2 years ago | (#40639889)

Canadian bills were never all green. I hate using american money, I keep dropping $50's instead of $1's.

Re:if it ain't green. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640301)

US currency is designed for US citizens. You need a real education system to tell the difference between a $50 and a $1. You should probably stop trying to use US currency until you get a US education.

Re:if it ain't green. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640595)

I'm confused. You said he needs a real education, then you suggested the US system. I know you're a trollish idiot, but that's not even a good troll. It's just sad.

Can't take the heat (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#40640545)

Apparently, when their fancy new plastic bills get hot, they shrivel up like (non-Canadian) bacon. Oh, AGW irony, Hr. Harper.

nice timing (-1, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40639075)

According to recent slashdot stories, they're just in time to have lots and lots of people prove how insecure this type of transaction is. Honestly, by the sound of this, it makes bitcoins sound secure by comparison.

As I pat my virtual pocket to check (4, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#40639119)

This is great news. Now I no longer have to wait to lose my physical wallet to go through the agony of canceling and replacing credit cards. It can be lost more efficiently in the cloud.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (4, Informative)

IpSo_ (21711) | about 2 years ago | (#40639165)

If anything this should be more secure than the RFID credit cards already in everyones wallet up here. The phone shouldn't be transmitting any data until the app is opened and a password is entered. Sure someone could be intercepting the transmission at the checkout of the store, but that risk already exists with existing RFID cards and also with merchants not locking down their POS terminals and subjecting themselves to having them replaced with compromised ones.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 2 years ago | (#40639343)

There are RFIDs in credit cards? Really? Have you got more information on that?

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 2 years ago | (#40639397)

Wow, I just started to Google that. I thought the OP was someone paranoid. RFID credit cards do exist. I don't think I've ever seen one but I seriously wonder who in their right might thought this was a good idea.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (2)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#40639501)

you must not be in the US then. No-swipe (RFID) credit cards are common, and rfid credit card scanners are all over the place. You just wave your card over the scanner, and it charges it.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 2 years ago | (#40639665)

I'm indeed not in the US. Probably the reason, I haven't seen any... Hopefully, I won't see any... ever....

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | about 2 years ago | (#40640673)

Their use is not common in all places in the US. In my area, card swipes that also support rfid scanning are fairly common, but some places do not have them. However, I have never seen anyone actually use one of those scanners anywhere. What type of location do you live in? A large city?

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40639527)

Yeah, they're actually starting to become a thing that card makers are pushing. I remember seeing guides of how to fry the RFID chip (I believe a microwave for a few seconds works, but don't blame me if it also breaks the card) because even a lot of non-techies realize the security risk.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (5, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#40639721)

I've got one on my CC. It works great, I can just wave my wallet at the reader and I'm good to go. I don't have to touch the pen or pinpad that Typhoid Mary and Ebola Gary have been licking.

It's limited to $50 transactions.

The field is very short, approx 6".

It's my CC, so there's a buffer between it and my real money.

I'm an EE. An RF EE. They're fine. The machines aren't always set up to take them though, so it doesn't work everywhere.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639853)

I can just wave my wallet at the reader and I'm good to go.

I'm in a country that doesn't generally have RFIDs on credit cards, so I have a question. How does this system know which credit card to charge? I have 3 in my wallet at the moment, for example, but I know people who carry around 4 or 5.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640093)

I have two credit cards in my wallet, but in order to make it disambiguous to the card reader, I take out the one I want to use and tap it to the reader. It partially defeats the purpose of the feature, but I would rather do it this way than finding out on my bills later that they have charged it to the wrong card. This is especially important for me since one of the cards is not directly billed to me and I only use this card for instant discount on gas and pooling reward points together with my family.

On the other hand, a few years ago, I had a security card and only one credit card in the wallet. The system either got confused or kept reading the security card instead of the credit card. It is possible that whichever one it successfully reads first will be the one it charges.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#40639883)

It's limited to $50 transactions.

Read your cardholder agreement. $50 is usually the personal liability on fraudulent charges.

The field is very short, approx 6".

With their reader. With an off-the-shelf reader with a much higher transmit power, not so much.

Mastercard sent me one of those 3 years ago... I cancelled the card, because they wouldn't send me one that didn't have it. Visa sent me one a month ago, and it was a 5 minute conversation to convince them that they should send me one that didn't have it. They're providing them for convenience, but they're well aware of what the technology is actually capable of. There's a reason it's become so much easier to get a card without an RFID in it.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640471)

Google "RFID long range" to get an idea of what can be done. Commercial products that can read the tags over 450 feet away, for example.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (3, Insightful)

MachDelta (704883) | about 2 years ago | (#40639891)

The problem with them is that there's no way to turn them off. At least on my cell i can disable NFC and password (and track) the device. With cards you either have to permanently disable them or get a shielded wallet. I opted for the shielded wallet, but most people don't know why they would need one. Even my mom, who's been in the banking industry for 25 years, was surprised that my phone could pick up her CC through her purse. If people are so ignorant of the dangers that the whole act seems like magic, they're easy to take advantage of.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640491)

I've got one on my CC. It works great, I can just wave my wallet at the reader and I'm good to go.

Many of us have more than one credit card, so I still have to open my wallet & take out the card to make sure the correct credit card is charged. That greatly reduces the convenience factor.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639457)

Visa and MasterCard are now using payWave [www.visa.ca] and PayPass [paypass.com], respectively, so that all the user needs to do is have his/her cards near (about 1cm or so) a dedicated area on the credit card machine in order to pay for the item, instead of either inserting (chip) or swiping (magnetic strip) the card. I'm not sure whether this constitutes as RFID, but the principles are the same.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#40639467)

Don't know if they're RFID or not, but credit cards which don't require being swiped to make payments are pretty widespread.

Some of them you just put up near a receiver and it will process a transaction.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 2 years ago | (#40639539)

They have been around for quite awhile. Over three years ago my bank at the time sent me a new card with a RFID chip with no explanation other than a marketing letter promoting it as "new & improved".

Bull. I checked and it turns out that my card was one of the ones compromised during the Heartland Payment Systems breach that was announced during the Obama inauguration. ( http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10146275-83.html [cnet.com] )

They didn't bother notifying me for 6 months. I cancelled the card AND the bank for trying to pull a fast one.

In other news, it is easy enough to kill the RFID by nuking your card in the microwave.

Note to TSA: I am not a terrorist even though I used the words "kill" and "nuking".

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639601)

Note to TSA: I am not a terrorist even though I used the words "kill" and "nuking".

Thanks, now if only we could get everyone to just admit when they are and aren't, that would make our jobs a LOT easier. Keep up the good work, patriot!

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 2 years ago | (#40639825)

You haven't seen any credit cards with the little smartcard chip in it? If you've had any cards replaced in the last few years (at least in north america), then it's guaranteed that you'd have a smartcard chip.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#40639855)

There are RFIDs in credit cards? Really? Have you got more information on that?

Technically, they're contactless smart cards, not RFIDs (different standards, different frequencies, different RF characteristics that create different range, etc., characteristics, different capabilities, including the ability to use cryptographic security, and different physical security characteristics), but yes. They use the same fundamental technology and protocols as Google Wallet and the other upcoming phone-based wallets. Well, more precisely, the phone-based NFC technology is based on the contactless smart card technology, but embedded in a phone and with additional capabilities, including -- just to make it all more confusing -- the ability to act as an RFID tag or reader.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (2)

Daas (620469) | about 2 years ago | (#40639243)

The main difference is : I can't remotely kill my wallet if I lose it or if it gets stolen. Plus, there is no password on my wallet.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#40639269)

The main difference is : I can't remotely kill my wallet if I lose it or if it gets stolen. Plus, there is no password on my wallet.

I thought the main difference was that I can keep my actual hand on my actual wallet and know it is safe. How many Russian mobsters are going to have access to my virtual wallet before I even know it is compromised?

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (4, Insightful)

IpSo_ (21711) | about 2 years ago | (#40639443)

Does it matter if its compromised by one person or 10,000? The one person who steals your wallet from your car or off the beach when you're not looking can just as easily provide the information to anyone else anyways.

Lets compare the process in each scenario:

Physical Wallet:
1. Thief steals wallet from car.
2. Thief opens wallet, takes credit cards and starts making purchases at physical stores and online.

Virtual Wallet in Phone:
1. Thief steals phone from car.
2. Thief must prevent any radio signal from reaching the phone to prevent a remote wipe.
3. Thief takes the phone home and starts the "hacking" process to gain access first to the phone (password lock)
4. Thief then must gain access to the presumably encrypted virtual wallet app.

If the encryption is done properly, step 4 would be prohibitively expensive and easily buy the 2-24hours it would take to realize your phone is gone and contact your credit card company.

Not only that, but once enough people are using the virtual wallet, I would imagine they would be able to easily switch to using bluetooth or similar protocol that uses some sort of SSL encryption with pre-exchanged keys to prevent any man-in-the-middle attacks at the POS terminal.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640331)

http://www.darkreading.com/vulnerability-management/167901026/security/client-security/240003490/apple-ban-gives-miller-time-to-hack-other-things.html

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#40640399)

1. Thief steals wallet from car.

I can choose not to leave my wallet in my car. I can't choose whether the bank leaves my virtual wallet in their virtual car with the virtual doors unlocked.

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639569)

The only thing that does not get lost in the cloud are the ads :)

Re:As I pat my virtual pocket to check (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | about 2 years ago | (#40640127)

Now I no longer have to wait to lose my physical wallet to go through the agony of canceling and replacing credit cards. It can be lost more efficiently in the cloud.

And be replaced just as well.

It's all about selling customer data (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639141)

FTFA:

Retailers can use the information contained in transactions, stripped of details that violate privacy laws, to tailor offerings or promotions to consumers. And the banks figure they can build a new business from that new world. Location data on phones can help neighbourhood stores connect with customers in the area, while transaction data online can give insight into consumer habits and tastes.

The title of the article should read:

"Canadian banks rushing to offer your private buying history to the highest bidder"

Re:It's all about selling customer data (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#40639273)

Not just the highest bidder. It will be sold to everyone.

Privacy aside, the idea of my phone being spammed every time I get near a store or restaurant is a big concern. This should really be an op-in feature. But that'll never happen.

Re:It's all about selling customer data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639645)

I'll just use an email that bounces the promotion back to the web master. No harm no foul.

Re:It's all about selling customer data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639333)

You're aware that the same thing happens with the credit cards everyone uses today, right?

Re:It's all about selling customer data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639705)

I've had this arguement with so many people over the years.

Facebook isn't free,
Google isn't free,
All these cloud services are not free....

The price is your privacy.

Most people either don't understand how much info is included with every transactions, or they are too baffled by 'Apple's cool new way to store stuff' then go watch dancing with the stars.

Re:It's all about selling customer data (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | about 2 years ago | (#40640187)

I can't believe that more people aren't alarmed by this type of thing. People don't value their privacy any more, and I don't understand why.

Privacy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639159)

Why doesn't society care about privacy anymore?

1) I do not want every store I shop at to have my name and phone number.
2) I do not want my bank to have a full list of where and when I bought stuff, how much I spent and, possibly, what exactly I bought.
3) I don't want stores to keep tabs on what I buy.
4) I don't want my virtual wallet to be compromised should I somehow lose my phone.

Sorry, but you should be happy enough that I shop at your store. I do not owe you to let you provide me with advertisements.
I'll pass until privacy is taken seriously.

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639359)

I don't want stores to keep tabs on what I buy. [etc]

Then use cash. They're not going to MAKE you use this, any more than they're making you use credit cards today. I can pay for my groceries and replacement door hinge and shampoo in cash. If you don't want to use this, then don't. The people who want to, will, and the people who don't want to, don't have to.

Re:Privacy? (1)

bmd256 (1484893) | about 2 years ago | (#40639421)

In Canada, when paying with Interac (debit card), the bank already has the information on where and when ( not what though ) you make purchases. This is a good thing most of the time. When I view my bank statement I can see where my money is going. They also use this information to track your purchasing patterns. My bank has used these patterns to prevent fraud when an Interac terminal was compromised and stealing PINs. I don't like the idea of merchants having too much information though.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 2 years ago | (#40639449)

Cash. That's what I've been doing lately especially with many places starting to not accept credit cards.

[John]

Re:Privacy? (1)

hendridm (302246) | about 2 years ago | (#40639653)

with many places starting to not accept credit cards.

Really? That seems like a good way for the business to lose a lot of sales.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639499)

Why doesn't society care about privacy anymore?

Simple:

1. Society has developed such that the most successful people are known and sometimes famous.
2. You don't get to be famous by hiding. Note that famous criminals on the run actually DID something before they took to hiding. Same with, say, reclusive artists.
3. The internet (specifically, YouTube and similar) has reinforced the notion that if you take the time to express yourself and risk being known, you have a far greater chance of being well-regarded than someone who willingly chooses to be a nobody.

When you take all those together and add in a culture that has learned to ignore advertisements due to overexposure, not to mention the basic human desire for togetherness being seriously warped in the age of instant global communication, you get the current apathy towards heavy privacy. In fact, you get serious disdain towards the tinfoil hat crowd for popping up out of the woodwork over and over again to whine.

Now, whether or not that's an intrinsically good or bad thing depends on if you're a YouTube celebrity or a tinfoil hat*, I suppose. Me, I can actually ignore most advertisements, and I don't feel some manner of deep shame or whatnot whenever an ad DOES make me aware of a product or service that I might actually like.

*: Yes, a tinfoil hat. I'm very convinced at this point that the hat itself is a parasitic being that disguises itself as tinfoil, convinces its host that it will protect him from invisible rays, and, having gained trust, eats away at the brain from the inside and takes control.

Re:Privacy? (1)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 2 years ago | (#40639555)

Leonard Cohen predicted this decades ago:

"There's gonna be a meter on your bed which will disclose
What everybody knows."

Re:Privacy? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#40639761)

Why doesn't society care about good service and human interaction anymore? Remember when a store owner knew your name? Knew what you regularly bought and had it ready for you? Offered you discounts for loyalty and for things you purchased often? I can't understand all these people paranoid about their privacy. Really, how does being offered discounts on products you actually buy and use constitute a bad thing. Are you such a sick deviant fuck that you are ashamed by your purchases, or buying illegal things, or buying things to commit illegal actions? Seriously? Get over it.

Re:Privacy? (2)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#40639911)

Really, how does being offered discounts on products you actually buy and use constitute a bad thing.

Just make them cheaper to start with and skip the games. Simple enough for ya?


Are you such a sick deviant fuck that you are ashamed by your purchases, or buying illegal things, or buying things to commit illegal actions?

8/10.


Seriously? Get over it.

I pay with cash. Consider me over it.

Re:Privacy? (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#40640493)

Are you such a sick deviant fuck that you want to know what everyone else is doing and buying? Seems like. Maybe you're just a shill. Seems like you're very quick to assume that someone that wants privacy, that doesn't want other people to know what they buy, means they are doing naughty things. You may have gotten a discount price on your brain, but I don't think you got a good value.

And that world you're thinking of? Just a myth shrouded thru the fog of TV and movies.

What? (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#40639189)

Did anyone else read the entire summary and still have no idea WTF it's talking about? Something to do with aliasing personal information to merchants... so they can target advertising... when the merchant has all the customer's personal data out of necessity anyway...?

Canadians already primarily use a card system called Interac to make most purchases; granted, it's been a while since I lived in Canada but even three years ago it was very rare for me to make a cash purchase.

Reading TFA it seems like it's talking about cell phone wireless payments, and banks selling your demographic information to retailers. Frankly, if my bank did that, I'd opt out of it immediately, and potentially change banks if they didn't allow the opt-out. This suggests to me that within five years there will be no bank that will allow opting-out unless it's protected by law.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639379)

I only use cash in shwarma shops or sketchy convenience stores that sell copy-cat goods that don't accept any cards... or when buying bus tickets

and all the security of a Harem Girls Pants (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#40639567)

sure in the technical sense most harem girls are wearing pants but its not like 1 they conceal anything at all 2 they wont come off if you so much as stare at them hard

in similar fashion the "security" for this will work

Re:What? (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#40639607)

Let's use an internet version of this business model: The Google add system. Google/the banks will know a lot about you. They sell merchants the options to advertise to their intended demographic, but not the info itself (that would be facebook). The merchant is not supposed to know who you are, just that you are a potential customer (based on past purchases). The merchants will also get anonymous data for marketing to consider the right demographic to address.
At least that's what I consider this to be.

Re:What? (1)

Piata (927858) | about 2 years ago | (#40639777)

I'm Canadian and I still make mostly cash purchases expressly to avoid giving merchants/banks a record of my purchasing history. And no, I don't see any value in being more directly targeted in marketing based on my previous purchases. I'm tired of being told what a product can do for me, how it will make me think or feel and how it's perfectly suited to my lifestyle. The only thing marketing makes me want to buy is the building materials for a cabin in the woods.

Re:What? (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#40639851)

>s. Frankly, if my bank did that, I'd opt out of it immediately, and potentially change banks if they didn't allow the opt-out.

Not related to this article but I already know a LOT of people who just store living expenses in their banks are are converting their income into buying silver and other metals. Money is really worth nothing and chances of precious metals sinking is slim to none, while currency is not guaranteed at all.

Canada certainly not cashless (1)

Geof (153857) | about 2 years ago | (#40640067)

Canadians already primarily use a card system called Interac to make most purchases; granted, it's been a while since I lived in Canada but even three years ago it was very rare for me to make a cash purchase.

I see no evidence that your experience is typical. Cash is widely used, as are credit cards. We are far from being a cashless society. I only use Interac a few times a year. Interac has been hit with fraud sprees by criminals using tampered skimmers. Unlike with credit cards, where banks impose such losses on merchants, banks often fail to refund the money.

Re:Canada certainly not cashless (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#40640249)

I think it depends where you are (where are you?)... I lived in southwestern Ontario.

Wither Paypal? (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#40639201)

The whole point of Paypal was you don't have to give your cc number to the vendor; it'll stay with Paypal.

But people found out Paypal's not necessarily always your pal.

Anyway, if these banks are offering this service, would there remain a reason for Paypal?

Re:Wither Paypal? (2)

RattFink (93631) | about 2 years ago | (#40639413)

The whole point of Paypal was you don't have to give your cc number to the vendor; it'll stay with Paypal.

A little like contracting smallpox to keep you from catching cowpox.

Re:Wither Paypal? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 2 years ago | (#40639785)

That depends on how much of a pain international payments will be to make. I can't speak for other Canadians, but virtually the only times I use Paypal I'm paying for goods or services from the States.

Re:Wither Paypal? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#40639841)

Anyway, if these banks are offering this service, would there remain a reason for Paypal?

Easy, paypal is the only company offering ONE service that NO ONE ELSE does. Allow random joes to accept a credit card without a merchant account.

If you're a business, Paypal offers you nothing more than what a regular merchant account does - to a business, it IS a regular merchant account.

If you're an individual, accepting credit cards is nigh-impossible as merchant accounts are extremely difficult to obtain for individuals, especially those not doing a minimum number of transactions a month.

And doing anything online without accepting credit (or debit) cards is a pretty good way to lose customers if they have to go and write a cheque (or get a money order) and mail it off, wait for it to arrive, wait for it to clear, and THEN have the item shipped out (anyone really want to go back to the "please wait 6-8 weeks for your order"?).

Of course, as a buyer, I had to use Paypal when a vendor decided they wanted to do a CYA and do "extra verifications" that required sending in scans of my credit card via e-mail or fax. They had the honesty to admit it would delay the order, but not to give you a "free" upgrade to expedited shipping. (They also argued it "was for your protection" - which is an utter lie - doing what they want is a great way to BE unprotected). If I didn't need the item (being practically only available from them), I would've gone elsewhere. On the flip side, I learned how to get 10% off the order by using those "10% off your next order" generic codes that show up after the order, so I did cost them the discount for their stupid policy.

Do Not Track (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#40639211)

We're approaching a point where full records (and analysis) of consumer habits will be available from multiple sources. From how we find what we buy (google, etc), the stores themselves (from amazon and fresh direct to local grocery stores and pharmacies) down to how we pay (banks and credit cards). While there is some movement towards "Do Not Track", it is only for that very first step. What we need is a "Do Not Track" option that extends beyond browsing on the web, and allows us to purchase goods without giving companies a complete record of everything we do.

Re:Do Not Track (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639279)

Do you really think that ASKING corporations to not track you actually results in them not tracking you? Hahahahaha!

free market fundamentalists take note: (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40639241)

canada will lead here, because you need a government entity to dictate the terms of something like a virtual wallet

private market forces do not necessarily lead to advancement, because there is no natural market that is not dominated and suppressed by it's largest players. for example: mastercard and visa will stymie google's and apple's virtual wallet efforts out of jealousy and wanting to monopolize that action themselves

and then we will have the crackpots WHARRGARBLing about virtual currency and paranoid schizophrenic fantasies of world domination, and the crackpots will be featured on faux news, because it serves the entrenched corporate interest's agenda to keep the public enthralled, confused, and propagandized about anything better than the world they want to lock them into where their rent seeking monopolistic and oligopolistic practices go unchallenged

so: only evil "socialist" countries deserve things like commonsense healthcare financing and technological progress, and my country continues it's slow circling of the toilet, as corporate rent seeking parasites strangle my government, and various morons conclude the solution is less government regulation on the stranglers

canada: can new york state join your union? please?

Whoa (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639347)

You need to read up on Stephen Harper and his plans for world domination.

Re:free market fundamentalists take note: (1)

bmd256 (1484893) | about 2 years ago | (#40639425)

I wonder if this will eventually tie in with MintChip [http://mintchipchallenge.com/]

Re:free market fundamentalists take note: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639529)

Why wait for NY to join Canada? Just drive there if it is such a wonderful place and so enlightened.

Re:free market fundamentalists take note: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640453)

How do you know this whole thing isn't just corporations doing the same thing in Canada? They said Canadian banks, not Canada.

Also, if Canada wants to require the Mark of the Beast for payments, maybe Quebec will decide to join our Union.

Here is how it will work in practice. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639385)

You go to the store and buy some dog shampoo. The state is immediately alerted and it is determined that you do not show ownership for a dog. You will be investigated for failing to properly license your dog. This is how you keep a society safe from terrorists. Enjoy.

Melting currency (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | about 2 years ago | (#40639387)

And by introducing self-destructing plastic currency we won't have a choice...
    http://business.financialpost.com/2012/07/12/new-plastic-bills-reportedly-melting-in-summer-heat/ [financialpost.com]

Re:Melting currency (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40640037)

Yeah ... why do I get the feeling that this is from some crackpot taking a lighter to the bill because they don't like the plastic money? A few weeks ago when we had that heat wave here in Southern Ontario, I was on an offsite job, and the storage locker on my truck hit 144C, the bills in it were fine. Including the 100's and 50's which were both the new plastic notes.

I can hear the FAIL from here.... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40639405)

They already tried this in the USA with the stupid nearfield credit cards. it was an epic failure. Paypal has tried it several times and failed and is on their next failure with this technology.

People DO NOT WANT to have loosey Goosey access to their money. It is why you dont see RFID on all your groceries and a push and pay register at Walmart... if they could lay off almost all the cashiers forever they would.

Good luck canada, but Mastercard could not get enough banks and people to use their atempt, I think you will have about the same chance.

Re:I can hear the FAIL from here.... (2)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#40640211)

You're wrong, this is going to happen.

Visa and MasterCard have announced that they'll implement the chip card liability shift next year in North America. What that means is that starting in 2013 all liability for fraudulent transactions will accrue to whichever links in the chain (issuing bank, merchant, merchant acquiring bank, clearinghouse) do not have the chip-based technology implemented. Since merchants pay for nearly all of the credit card fraud, you'll see a very fast response from them to add the necessary technology at the point of sale.

While the liability shift doesn't address the question of contact vs contactless (RF) payment chip technology, at this point everyone will be deploying contactless. From a security perspective it doesn't matter whether it's contact or contactless, because any contact design has to assume that attackers will be able to eavesdrop or even MITM the contact connections, and the contactless technology has a lot of advantages. More to the point, the north american banks tried contact cards a decade ago and it failed -- not due to any problem with the technology, but still the failure left a bad taste in their mouth. So bank execs see "contact failed, so maybe contactless will work better". And it will, but not due to any advantage of the technology. It does have advantages, but they aren't the reason it's going to succeed.

So, what we have now is a confluence of events that will drive adoption. The merchants will deploy the infrastructure because it will save them huge amounts of money. Banks will deploy chip cards because they don't want to absorb that fraud. Because of Google Wallet, ISIS, Apple's initiative (whatever it will be), etc. more and more smartphones will have NFC, to the point that over the next 2-3 years you can expect basically ALL new smartphones to have NFC. And while you may not like it, people really DO like being able to pay with their phone, and to use a virtual wallet.

I notice this especially among the younger population. When I use Google Wallet at stores, the cashier's reaction is very strongly correlated with age... the younger the cashier, the more they like it. This shouldn't surprise anyone given how central mobile phones have become to young peoples' lives.

The obvious next step, once you're using your phone for payment, is to integrate loyalty and coupons. It sounds like these banks are taking a slightly different approach than Google or ISIS, but the fundamental idea is the same. For manufacturers and retailers, it provides a smoother path to deliver incentives to consumers and -- even more important -- a path that allows them to close the loop. When General Mills puts cereal coupons in the newspaper, they know roughly how many coupons are printed and roughly how many are redeemed, but they don't have any real way to figure out how effective those coupons were at motivating people to buy who wouldn't otherwise have bought. Electronic coupons can fix that.

From a consumer perspective, there's fantastic convenience in having all of this stuff integrated. My wife often goes to the grocery store with an inch-thick stack of coupons, and it takes a lot of time for the cashier to process all of them. Many of us have a crazy number of loyalty cards we carry around, so there's big value in moving all of that into electronic form as well. And then when you get to where you can apply all loyalty discounts and relevant coupons and perform the payment in one 250ms tap, that's really nice.

Of course, there are some significant privacy questions around all of that. The whole point of loyalty cards is to enable retailers to get more detailed information about their customers at an individual, privacy-busting level. But, by and large, people are fine with that. So far, it appears that the vast majority of people will also be fine with electronic coupons giving an anonymized handle to them to manufacturers as well -- and this same anonymized handle may well be a way for individuals to increase their privacy by giving retailers the information they want without tying it to a personal identity. Retailers and manufacturers don't really care who you are, after all, they just want to know what you buy so they can try to influence it.

Anyway, my bottom line here is that this is going to happen. All the pieces are coming together. They've been coming for years, and Google Wallet has pushed it dramatically forward by proving that it does actually all work in the real world. And, unfortunately or not, depending on your perspective, the vast majority of users will happily accept a reduction in their privacy in exchange for discounts on stuff they want to buy.

Re:I can hear the FAIL from here.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640437)

My old PC Mastercard from Loblaws in Canada has RFID ages ago and that was well before they even "upgrade" to the contact smart chips in the last couple of years..

A wallet with many holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40639411)

Do the carrier, the phone manufacturer and the many app developers all have access to our phones? Is this access in many cases an effective back door? Is so, this seems like bad place store money or access to money.

Certainly will be convenient, (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#40639479)

All my cards and such in one place.

Much easier for me to just wave my phone or whatever and it gets deducted. Just hope I choose the right 'card'.

And much, MUCH easier for the crooks to steal one thing, instead of going after each of my accounts one at time. One-stop shopping for them.

No, I'm not cynical, much.

Progress.

Not News (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 2 years ago | (#40639565)

Banks rushing headlong into some whiz-bang, poorly understood, but technology-based solution (product) for a problem that doesn't exist, but surely will make them a lot of money, without first fully considering or mitigating the obvious potential risks. Film at 11.

Is this not the history of the banking sector for at least a generation?

who likes risk? (1)

Krau Ming (1620473) | about 2 years ago | (#40639657)

i am so not doing this. at least not until i can have my phone permanently attached at the wrist a la pipboy. too risky. your phone gets stolen, which costs $$$, plus access to banking and credit cards??? not to mention the inevitable "whoops your personal banking info was exposed on the internet, sorry!" that will happen to thousands of people when the banks get hacked, or they goof, or your phone gets some kind of malware that lifts that info... NO THANKS BANKS.

What's the worst that could happen? (2)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#40639713)

What's the worst that could happen? There is no way that idea could wreak havoc to you finances if something goes wrong. Actually forget the "if" and replace it "once". One basket was not a good idea a few hundred years ago when carrying eggs and still isn't.

Anonymity (1)

PoiBoy (525770) | about 2 years ago | (#40640251)

From the article:

"If a consumer walks into Home Depot today and pays with cash. Home Depot has no idea who that customer is, how many times they've been in the store and what they've actually purchased," said Darrell MacMullin, managing director at PayPal Canada.

That's precisely why I use cash much of the time. I'd rather not have every retailer in the country tracking my every purchase.

TOO BIG TO MESS UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640273)

I am against concepts that require transactions to be interdependent as vulnerabilities carry more severe penalties. For example a debit card can be locked to protect customers and takes a few days to unlock. Imagine if all your debit cards, your credit cards and even access to credit were suddenly shut off for ten days or worse. Or imagine a hacker being able to completely drain all your financial resources. Keeping it safe and keeping it simple do have a relationship.

Compromising one card at a time not good enough? (1)

MetaDragon (2098352) | about 2 years ago | (#40640283)

Given the frequency that anything online gets hacked these days, you would have to be really really naive to trust every one of your credit cards to a service that sounds like a potential one-stop shop for identity thieves. I mean, come on, has the world grown so lazy that manual entry of payment info when making purchases online is considered difficult?

And we Canadians are going to rush to it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40640329)

..not for convenience, but because our new "paper" currency is made of plastic, http://www.google.ca/search?q=canadian+plastic+money , AND WE ALL HATE IT!
It melts together in only moderately high heat, they are so thin and staticy that they easily stick together (making it too easy to hand over 2 or 3 bills instead of just one) and it just plain DOES NOT FEEL NICE. I call conspiracy on this one.

Paperless (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#40640511)

Just another way of saying powerless. He who controls the bits controls how much money you 'actually' have... and how you 'actually' voted.

A paper trail really is right up there as a facet of a truly free and open society; we casually abandon it at our peril.
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