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Note To Readers: Cleaning Up Premium Confusion

Written by Evan Schuman
June 23rd, 2011

Some of you may have noticed today that we have added a new pair of graphic icons for the newsletter: one that says Premium and one that says Free. Since we launched Premium back in late April, we have heard from multiple readers who apparently thought—quite mistakenly—that all of our stories are now Premium.

In fact, the vast majority of our stories (often 80 percent or more) are deliberately not Premium. We are hoping that these colorful images will make it easier to tell which stories are Premium and which ones can be read in their entirety by non-Premium subscribers. We’re hoping that this clarification cuts back on the frustration of non-Premium readers who click on stories that they can’t read fully as well as encourages readers to click on a story, confident that it’s entirely available to them.

This is also a good time to explain how StorefrontBacktalk decides which stories are Premium. Our Premium pieces need to have a strong element of exclusivity (information you won’t find anywhere else), include substantial analysis and should be at least two pages long. To be clear, many stories qualify for Premium but we only choose two or three each week to be Premium. We consider them to be the strongest pieces of each issue and, those—plus our other Premium perks—are the reasons people upgrade to Premium. But we also work hard to make sure our non-Premium readers get lots of the same quality pieces that StorefrontBacktalk has been delivering since 2006 and that I’ve tried delivering for years before that as the Retail Editor at Ziff Davis (eWEEK, PCMagazine, CIOInsights, Baseline and others, at the time) and reporting on retail trends for RISNews.

And even those Premium pieces are not fully off-limits for non-Premium readers. The ability to purchase just a single story is critical, and we encourage readers to try our two-week free trial (only one to a customer, please) with no payment-card requested.

Site licenses are another good way to get your entire group full StorefrontBacktalk access—including Premium-only access to the thousands of stories in our archives—for a huge discount from the regular pricing.


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Most Recent Comments

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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