StorefrontBacktalk Week In Review Audiocast Recorded Thurs., July 27, 2006

Written by Evan Schuman
July 27th, 2006

Another group of retail technology analysts sat down Thursday late afternoon to look at the retail technology week that was. This week’s panel independent retail technology consultant John Fontanella—veteran analyst with the Aberdeen Group and AMR Research—along with returning guests IHL President Greg Buzek and the Retail Systems Alert Group’s Paula Rosenblum. StorefrontBacktalk‘s Editor Evan Schuman moderated. This week’s topics were Alien’s delayed IPO and the problematic ROI picture of kiosks. If some disappointing earnings and a few economic darkclouds are any indication, the retail tech sector may be in for a serious downturn. If so, what segments will fare well and which will likely get bloodied?

A few vendors have been pushing digital watermark technology—somewhat equivalent to a 21st Century microdot—as a clever way to bridge the physical store and online worlds, without the need for keyboard interactions. The cellphone becomes the remote control. Is this where much of retailing is headed? Will it work? What are the practical implications for customer service?

Are there topics or panelists you’d like us to consider for next week? Please don’t be shy.


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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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