Our NRF Events: Don’t Just Comment. Come And Yell At Me In Person

Written by Evan Schuman
January 10th, 2008

For those of you attending the NRF Big Show in NYC next week (The Big Show? With that name, I half-expect Ed Sullivan to do the keynote), I am guessing many of you will be bored with the same old fact-based intelligent panel discussions. Fear not. For a panel packed with emotional outbursts and insights disguised as innuendos, please ….

No, that won’t work. As much I try, it’s hard to pretty up a retail technology/E-Commerce panel as an exciting outing. But for a tech-biz discussion, we’ve got two decent offerings.

On Wednesday morning (9:45-10:45 AM, at the Javits, Concurrent Hall A 1A21/22), StorefrontBacktalk will be moderating a look at The Road To Merged Channel. The panel will feature Google’s head of retail (and a new daddy), John McAteer, and the E-business chief at Borders, Kevin Ertell.

John has repeatedly shown a sophisticated understanding of the E-Commerce side and how retailers should be one with online rather than shunt it aside. (Google’s definitely a "be one with" kind of place). And Borders—along with BestBuy and a few others—are that rare breed of retailer that is truly trying to deliver a merged channel. We’ll discuss that dangerous path from multi-channel (tool of the devil) to cross-channel (a good try, probably the best that can be hoped for this year) to merged channel (the nirvana, but still a couple of years away for even those who truly want it).

This is more than pure strategy and involves extensive logistical integration, far beyond supply chain and database. Payment and shipment and inventory are crucial. Discussing those aspects will be Vince Talbert from Bill Me Later. Bill Me Later has been making huge strides with alternative payments and will discuss the logistical aspects of merged channel. Keeping all of us honest will be the legendary Patti Freeman Evans from JupiterResearch. In an attempt to make the panel members look even better by comparison, I will be moderating. (The panel sounded pretty good until that last sentence.)

If 9:45 AM isn’t early enough for you, I’ll be naming names in a Tuesday breakfast presentation at 7:30 AM at The Westin New York at Times Square. That presentation will look at the successes and failures with retail technology and E-Commerce during the 2007 holiday season. If you have any suggested successes or failures (failures are more fun), please send them to me at

The breakfast hosts—Hughes—are offering a Sony Blue-ray HD DVD player for one of the brave souls willing to attend. If you want to drop by, it would be great if you could register.


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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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