Friday, May 13, 2011

NFC (or Mobile Payments depending on your preferred spin) - My real life story

So, I was in NJ on business this week. I stopped in at a supermarket, picked up a few items and arrived at the check-out. There was a Verifone (still brings a smile to my face everytime I see one considering my tenure there during their formative years)terminal with the necessary NFC attachment so since my iPhone was already in my hand (playing Words with Friends while waiting to pay) and is equiped with my recently received NFC decal from Discover, I thought GREAT, I finally found a place to use NFC.

I started tapping my phone on the NFC reader. The clerk looked at me like I was from MARS. He had no idea what I was doing - "dah, have never seen that before". Well, it did not work, so out came my credit card and a simple swipe and I was done.

I contrast that with my experience (previously written about) at Starbucks using the iPhone 2D Bar Code app. Bravo!!!!

The point is, it isn't about the technology. It is all in the execution. And, the challenges of a successful execution at the very diverse and complex POS are staggering. Under the best of circumstances, this is a 5-10 year evolution. For God's sake, people are still writing checks at the supermarket register.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ouch, another major breach! (Not an issue for Direct Carrier Billing!!!)

One of the major benefits of DCB (Direct Carrier Billing) is that the merchant is not burdened by having to handle or store any sensitive information that could be used to create subsequent fraudulent transactions and therefore there is no PCI.

We talk often of the benefits to consumers;
- no username/passwords to remember
- everything they need to transact is in their heads and their hand
- no enrollment
- for someone to put a fraudulent charge on their bill, they would have to have their mobile phone in their hand at the exact moment of the tx and depending on the carrier, also have to know their billing Zip Code. (note - this add'l 2nd factor of auth will be available on two of the four major carriers within a month and three of the four by late summer).

But this is a major benefit to the merchant!