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Will Google Wallet ID Give Thieves Access To More Cards?

August 9th, 2012

(If this sounds annoyingly familiar, it’s a lot like one of the ways we outlined in June for Apple to use its cache of 400 million customer payment-card numbers to make mobile payments “just work” on the iPhone.)

For retailers, that means no further POS hardware or software changes are required for the revamp, either for the 25 chains that have already modified their POS to handle Google Wallet deals and coupons or for any other retailers that only accept contactless cards.

Google can’t currently collect line-item detail, but that’s coming, said Robin Dua, head of product management for Google Wallet. Google will also apparently be the merchant of record for transactions. As for security and PCI, the new Google Wallet will use all the same EMV security and meet all the same PCI requirements as before.

“Many retailers have really dabbled in this whole contactless area,” Dua said. “Retailers have not had a major incentive to address those customer issues and to invest in signage and that sort of thing. The dynamics are now going to shift dynamically.”

In other words, Dua is admitting that most haven’t promoted either Google Wallet or generic contactless payments with in-store signage or customer encouragement by associates or with any meaningful employee training. “They have that incentive now.”

Well, maybe. There are far more contactless cards out there than Google-Wallet-enabled devices, and that fact hasn’t moved either retailers or customers to use them.

The other obvious benefit to Google is that it can now add customers’ payment-card numbers at will on its servers. It turns out that the plan of getting thousands of banks to go through a months-long process to become capable of installing a customer’s payment card inside an NFC Secure Element wasn’t working for Google or the banks.

The process of provisioning cards over the air to the mobile device’s secure element took “six months to one year,” Dua said, adding that, given the huge number of players involved, “This would literally take a lifetime.”

Dua also offered a small dig at ISIS, pointing out that Google is not charging issuers to get their cards in the Wallet, something that ISIS is doing, he said.

Whether the big expansion in issuing banks and card brands will actually jumpstart Google Wallet usage among customers remains to be seen. Wallet mobile payments are still supported by only a handful of phones and Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet. Dua insists that Google is still committed to phones for its primary platform. But if lots of customers start showing up waving tablets at POS devices, we can be pretty sure Google misjudged its market.


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Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

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