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Swipeless Visa/MC/AMEX Cards, coming soon

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Swipeless Visa/MC/AMEX Cards, coming soon

Old 02-26-05, 01:00 AM
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Swipeless Visa/MC/AMEX Cards, coming soon

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5...=zdfd.newsfeed

When paying with plastic, why swipe? Just wave
By Alorie Gilbert, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: February 24, 2005, 5:07 PM PT

Tired of having to swipe and sign every time you use a credit card?

Visa is hoping to simplify the process of paying with plastic with a new payment technology it introduced Thursday. With the company's new "contactless" system, consumers need only wave credit and debit cards within a few inches of a reader to complete a purchase. And for purchases of less than $25, no signature is required.

The technology will be more convenient for merchants and consumers alike by reducing checkout times and lines, Visa executives said. It's also designed to be an easy alternative to cash for small purchases such as a soda or pack of gum.

"Our hope is that the contactless payment feature will drive added convenience and speed to consumers," said Niki Manby, vice president of market and technology innovation at Visa USA. "You no longer need to swipe or hand over your card."

But don't go waving your credit and debit cards around just yet. Visa must first convince merchants and card issuers to use new equipment. For merchants, that means purchasing new card readers. For banks, it means introducing special cards capable of transmitting account data via radio signal rather than magnetic stripe. So far, no card issuers are offering them, Manby said.

With 5.6 million merchants in the United States, Visa will need some time to phase out its old system.

"It's not something retailers will do lightly overnight," said Pennie Gillespie, a Forrester Research analyst.

Visa is not alone in the endeavor. MasterCard and American Express also are experimenting with contactless cards. MasterCard has been doing field tests in Florida, while American Express is doing trials in Arizona and New York. The companies are using compatible technology, so merchants can use the same card readers for all three systems. Merchants just need to install an extra bit of software to make it all work together, said Patrick Gauthier, senior vice president of new product development at Visa.

Visa and its rivals have some obstacles to overcome before the technology becomes more mainstream, Gillespie said. Not only must they convince merchants to buy new readers, they must assure consumers that the new-fangled cards are every bit as secure as the old ones in an age of identity theft and high-tech hacking.

"Security is a question," Gillespie said. "How easy is it for someone to interact with a wireless communication and pick up a number?"

Visa designed its system to be highly secure, with multiple layers of encryption and fraud detection, Gauthier said. Each transmission between card and reader has a unique code that cannot be reused even if it is intercepted, a key security feature, he said. In addition, consumers have no liability for fraudulent charges with the new cards as with the old ones, Gauthier added.

"Security is at the core of our business," Gauthier said. "We are fully confident that the platform we have developed is as secure as any form of Visa cards today."
Old 02-26-05, 01:06 AM
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It would be super cool for vending machines. Otherwise, it seems silly that we just can't put up with the inconvenience of a "swipe".
Old 02-26-05, 01:10 AM
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How about swipeless toilet tissue?
Old 02-26-05, 01:24 AM
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I don't trust that particular technology. It's a "hands on" job.
Old 02-26-05, 01:37 AM
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how about one for the laundromat? Damn, do you know how mant fucking quarters I need to wash my clothes?
Old 02-26-05, 02:03 AM
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My local grocery store has something similar. You wave a key fob near a reader and it'll charge to your AMEX.
Old 02-26-05, 02:07 AM
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Accounts should just be tied into a retina scan. Then there will be no more hassles, unless someone rips your eyes out.
Old 02-26-05, 02:16 AM
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I don't like this idea.
Old 02-26-05, 04:02 AM
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They just installed these type of machines where I work. They are in the parking lots and in certain areas where there is extra security.

Badges still have to be swiped for the time clock though.
Old 02-26-05, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Trigger
I don't like this idea.
Why?

Side: The no sig thing is not new. Pay-at-the-pump gas has been using this for quite awhile (and several restaurants also).
Old 02-26-05, 05:11 AM
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The last time I checked, you can't rack-up a 4-figure bill at a gas station, and at 99.99% of restaurants in the US.

I have to agree, credit card purchases are a hands-on thing. It discourages fraud most of all, because there are many situations where a credit card has been altered or has phyisical signs of fowl play with it.
Old 02-26-05, 06:05 AM
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With the company's new "contactless" system, consumers need only wave credit and debit cards within a few inches of a reader to complete a purchase. And for purchases of less than $25, no signature is required.
Given cellular technology as well I wonder how long until someone develops a portable scanner and starts pickpocketing people w/o even touching them. Sure it's not going to be as easy as that but before you dismiss it outright remember the CheckPoint incident in which 50 or so shell companies were created to siphon off personal information. How hard would it be to create a fake company, setup an account w/ Visa to use this tech, walk through NYC for a day getting $10-$25 a pop and then disappear? There are some things for which "hands on" is preferred IMHO and money is definately one of them.

BTW I don't think this really compares to the speedpass thing either as that is a specific token created for a specific device. This will be generic and theoretically everywhere. If they want to get away from the magnetic strip go w/ a barcode. Alternatively, although certainly more costly ad potentially not practical w/ todays technology, if they built in a thumbprint scanner into the card and it was only active when a valid print was there that would be a different story (although that certainly has it's flaws too given the problems w/ thumbprint scanners ).
Old 02-26-05, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nemein
Given cellular technology as well I wonder how long until someone develops a portable scanner and starts pickpocketing people w/o even touching them. Sure it's not going to be as easy as that but before you dismiss it outright remember the CheckPoint incident in which 50 or so shell companies were created to siphon off personal information. How hard would it be to create a fake company, setup an account w/ Visa to use this tech, walk through NYC for a day getting $10-$25 a pop and then disappear? There are some things for which "hands on" is preferred IMHO and money is definately one of them.
That's the first thing I thought of. And you know this kind of thing is probably going to be developed quickly.
Old 02-26-05, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by WildcatLH
That's the first thing I thought of. And you know this kind of thing is probably going to be developed quickly.
That depends on the crypto they use. If they make the same mistake that many companies use by relying on proprietary crypto, it may not take long at all. Companies foolishing think there is value in keeping the algorithm secret and there rarely is. It is much better to use an open, and well-tested algorithm. If the CC system uses AES, for example, cracking it might take more effort than it is worth.

As it relates to this very type of technology, here is a whitepaper on how researchers at Johns Hopkins successfully attacked ExxonMobil "SpeedPass" systems:

http://rfid-analysis.org/DSTbreak.pdf

Last edited by jfoobar; 02-26-05 at 08:55 AM.
Old 02-26-05, 09:08 AM
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Visa is not alone in the endeavor. MasterCard and American Express also are experimenting with contactless cards. MasterCard has been doing field tests in Florida, while American Express is doing trials in Arizona and New York.
Originally Posted by Deftones
My local grocery store has something similar. You wave a key fob near a reader and it'll charge to your AMEX.
yep, seen 'em all around the north side as well...
Old 02-26-05, 09:16 AM
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It'd be funny if they put these on vending machines.

You walk by a wall of 'em too closely and sodas and chips come flying out at ya.
Old 02-26-05, 12:20 PM
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This sounds a lot like key cards that open doors at offices. I just wave my wallet on a reader and the door opens for you. I've got a similar device for CTA -- just wave a card in front of a reader and it deducts an amount for you before you board a bus or train.

Visa could set up the system where they automatically check for ID above a certain amount. Each person could set an amount -- so if you're usually charging $75, and something comes in above $75, then they'll ask for ID.
Old 02-26-05, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownAbs, Inc
Visa could set up the system where they automatically check for ID above a certain amount. Each person could set an amount -- so if you're usually charging $75, and something comes in above $75, then they'll ask for ID.
That's a really great idea.
Old 02-26-05, 12:50 PM
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i cant believe they havent done this allready, or set up some kind of system that is a lot more safe, and efficient for the user. it would be ideal if all you had to do was just touch your thumb to a pad, and then it automatically debits your account.

im getting sick and tired of signing my name everytime i buy something. its a useless saftey feature anyways as anyone can forge your name if they see your signature. stupid if you ask me.
Old 02-26-05, 01:12 PM
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I never carry cash, always use my debit card, and I hate signing for everything. Being a lazy idiot I just scribble out a couple lines and hand it to them, my bank or the teller has never questioned it. I think you could sign any name and never get questioned.

Another one that always confused the hell out of me was on my old bank card my picture was on the front but I had a couple clerks refuse to take my card because the signature wasn't on the back of the card. Come on whats more convincing a picture or a random signature??
Old 02-26-05, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin_P
Another one that always confused the hell out of me was on my old bank card my picture was on the front but I had a couple clerks refuse to take my card because the signature wasn't on the back of the card. Come on whats more convincing a picture or a random signature??
That's not the store's rules, it's a Visa/MC/Amex (et al) rule.
Old 02-26-05, 02:12 PM
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kinda makes sense but I wonder what the signature prove? I mean if they actually compared it to your signature when you sign for your purchase then I could understand but they never look.
Old 02-26-05, 04:19 PM
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That's not the store's rules, it's a Visa/MC/Amex (et al) rule.
Sure about that? I've heard mixed things on that front. I've had the CS people tell me they put "see ID" instead of signing it themselves but on the flip side I've actually had a store refuse to take my card because it wasn't actually signed (citing what you stated above about "rules").
Old 02-26-05, 05:24 PM
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<b><i>"With the company's new "contactless" system, consumers need only wave credit and debit cards within a few inches of a reader to complete a purchase. And for purchases of less than $25, no signature is required.</i></b>"

Wonder how long it would be before some sly guy gets his hands on a reader and works his way through the crowd at a sporting event, or rubs against commuters on the subway. At $25 a shot.... hell, yeah you could make some money!
Old 02-26-05, 05:37 PM
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That depends on the crypto they use.
How so? The whole point of the system is to allow businesses to read the card. Anyone can setup a shell company, get the proper equipment, modify it for portable use (actually there'll have to be portable version already given they want to use it for vending machines and I assume stand vendors at outdoor events will want access to it as well) and have at it. Of course I don't know what the final solution will look like so maybe they have taken this into consideration somehow. The only thing crypto may give you is to prevent someone else "sniffing" the transaction, I don't see how it'll stop the type of weakness I was talking about.

Or were you talking about someone cooking up a "homebrewed" solution to scan the cards directly? I don't see how that'll help since the cards themselves don't store any "money". At some point the transaction has to go back to Visa/MC in order for the "sale" to go through and funds to transfer accounts. Granted if they don't use good crypto someone may be able to get the CC# and take that and use it somewhere else. That's not what I had in mind though

Last edited by nemein; 02-26-05 at 05:40 PM.

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