Buy A Strawberry, See An Ad For Whipped Cream

Written by Eric Athas
August 21st, 2008

It’s late on a Friday night and as Jane Smith walks into her local grocery frozen food aisle, she notices a neighbor walking away carrying a frozen pizza, right near a digital advertisement for 20 percent off of a Budweiser six-pack. Jane reaches into the freezer to grab her favorite Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream but notices that the digital ad instantly changes to hawk 40 percent off fresh apple pie in the bakery section.

This concept is being trialed right now by Germany’s $81 billion Metro Group, in a project with Procter & Gamble.

The shelf trial involves the placement of RFID tags on products at a Metro Extra in Germany, said this piece in The Wall Street Journal. When customers pull the tagged products off of the shelf, an eye-level digital screen displays a message relating to that product.

It may suggest a specific brand the customer should purchase. "When a consumer picks out a shampoo for a particular type of hair, for instance, the screen recommends the most appropriate conditioner or other hair products," the Journal story said.

Metro Group is no stranger to these trials, rolling out several pilots over the years. But this isn’t the only RFID trial happening now at Metro. This fall, the retailer is slated to team with DHL for an RFID tagging trial in France, which has been dubbed the largest RFID-enabled retail logistics system in the country. It involves DHL using RFID tags to track its shipments to all 89 Metro Cash & Carry wholesale locations in France, according to this RFIDNews piece. When shipments are in the loading process, the tags are scanned and the data is transmitted to the stores. The tags are then scanned again when the shipments arrive at the stores to make sure the correct order arrived.


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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...
@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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