With The Mobile World Ablaze, Is ISIS Melting?

Written by Evan Schuman
March 30th, 2011

With all of the recent mobile payment activity as a backdrop, the recent freeze on any mobile security decisions from the PCI Council becomes even more frustrating for retailers. But the frustrations from the PCI delay are matched by a baffling lack of any public activity at all from ISIS, the joint mobile payment effort from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile that was announced back in November. Note to ISIS: When BlackBerry passes you by in momentum, it’s a really bad sign.

It’s hard to find a less aggressive pace set by any mobile player than the one owned by Research In Slow Motion, but ISIS is managing it. It’s like a new Aesop’s Fable: The Turtle and The Tortoise. Meanwhile, New York drug store chain Duane Reade has been toying with Device Fidelity systems to turn phones into contactless payment devices—but the phone is just decorative. All of the processing is performed by the chip, which slides into a phone slot. It’s in a phone, but it could just as easily be on a transistor radio or, for that matter, a pair of ski gloves. It’s essentially the old sticker contactless payment shtick, just done with some mobile props.


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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...
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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...
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