Tag Archives: credit card

The Plastc Card Replaces All Your Cards



Plastc CardContinuing the “bane of modern life” theme, the plastic rectangles otherwise known as credit, debit, bank, membership and loyalty cards are high up the agenda. My wallet bulges with cards that are infrequently used but I don’t want to leave behind “just in case”. Plastc looks to replace all those cards with just one. Todd finds out more about his new flexible friend from Ryan.

The Plastc card incorporates a programmable magnetic strip, EMV chip and an eInk touch-screen display. The stripe and the chip make the Plastc very flexible and future-proofed for “Chip’n’PIN” which is widespread in Europe but coming to the USA shortly. The eInk touch-screen selects and displays the card currently being cloned. The screen can also show barcodes for laser-scanned loyalty cards.

The Plastc card works with an app for iOS and Android to upload the details of the card via bluetooth and there are several security mechanisms in place to ensure that the Plastc card is useless if lost. The Plastc card is currently on pre-order for $155 with delivery expected in summer 2015. I want one.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Using NFC For The First Time



NFC.pndNFC, short for Near Field Communication, is a technological set of standards that has been around for several years. Many Android phones have come equipped with NFC chips for several years. Some retailers along with fast food outlets such as McDonald’s support NFC transactions on every credit card reader.

My first NFC-enabled phone was a Galaxy S3, but I never felt compelled to even give it a try. For some reason I made the completely erroneous assumption that if I paid with my phone via NFC it would be charged to my phone bill.

Since Apple is now supporting NFC with the introduction of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones, I decided I would give NFC a try on my Note 3 using Google Wallet.

I already had a Google Wallet account because I have bought apps via the Google Playstore. I have also used Google Wallet to purchase hotel rooms via online booking.

To use NFC, I installed the Google Wallet app on my phone. I authorized the app to tie to my existing Google Wallet account. I authorized the Google Wallet app to use my existing debit card by setting up a pin number inside the Google Wallet app. Next I went into the phone settings to turn on the integrated NFC radio chip.

I used NFC for the first time today at a McDonald’s in Shelby, Iowa. When it came time to pay, I simply turned the phone screen on and held the phone against the top of the McDonald’s credit card reader where there’s a sort of sideways WiFi-like symbol. It’s not even necessary to start up the app – that happens completely automatically. It popped up on my phone screen asking me to input my Google Wallet pin number, and the transaction was quickly completed. The McDonald’s order-taker and his manager were astonished!

It automatically debited my bank account. My existing bank debit card remained in my wallet.

As nearly as I can tell, the Apple Pay version of NFC differs from Google Wallet and other NFC payment schemes in that the Apple Pay app only works on NFC-enabled iPhones. The iPhone 6 finger print reader substitute’s for the pin number.

It is possible to pay using Google Wallet in two basic ways – either have it pay via a selected debit or credit card, or set up a Google Wallet cash card that you can transfer money into and out of. With the Google Wallet cash card it is possible to email money to anyone with an email address, which would require them to set up a Google Wallet account in case they don’t already have one set up.

Will I use NFC again? I certainly will. I’m constantly on the road and I find myself eating at McDonald’s and other fast food outlets far more than I’d like. So long as an NFC terminal is set up and I would be paying with my bank debit card, I will try utilizing NFC instead.

Perhaps now that Apple is putting its marketing, educational, and PR muscle behind NFC it will finally have a chance to catch on. If nothing else it’s worth it just to see the amazed reactions of the store clerks!


Payleven Mobile Payments at The Gadget Show



Payleven Chip and PINOne of the common problems facing start-ups and small businesses are the costs associated with taking credit card payments. The transaction costs can be high for small turnovers and point-of-sale machines are expensive with a monthly rental fee. To counter this problem, Payleven offers a low-cost mobile payment solution for European businesses using a Chip’n’PIN card reader that uses Bluetooth to communicate with both Apple, Android and Amazon smartphones and tablets. The Chip’n’PIN unit costs only GB£60 (ex-VAT) with a transaction charge of 2.75%. Payleven have partnered with GoTab to offer a complete solution for around £250 including a tablet and the card reader.

The approach is similar to US-based Square, but as Chip’n’PIN is only beginning to be required across the pond, Square’s reader unit is a simpler card-swipe device that plugs straight into the smartphone. Having a full Chip’n’PIN card reader in Europe is a necessity but the independent unit makes the transaction look much more professional anyway.

Simon from Payleven tells me about their solution and takes me through some of the features.


Dynamics ePlates: Credit Card for Today’s World



Dynamics Dynamics Inc has developed cards for Visa that have chips embedded into them. The battery inside the card will last at least four years. There is a user interface including buttons and a magnetic stripe that changes so user can make different choices at the point of sale.  The user can easily change the awards available on the cards through the website. There are currently fifty different award partners that the card can be connected to. You also receive the rewards a lot faster than you do with a normal card because of the system they have establish. These cards are more secure than normal cards due to the fact that the information is stored in an embedded processor on the card

Dynamics Inc is also developing a card that has security code embedded in it. You have to punch in the code for the card to become active. When the right code is punched in the card number appears and the magnetic stripe becomes active After a period of time the number disappears and stripe erases. F’or further information and sign up for a card go to Dynamics Inc website or the UMB Bank website.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net, and Daniel J Lewis of the The Noodle.mx Network and the Audacity to Podcast

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Dynamics Wants to Become Your Only Credit Card



Are you getting tired of those multiple cards stuffed into your wallet?  Dynamics is looking to lighten that wallet a bit, by reducing the cards you carry around to just one.  This isn’t just a credit card, but a credit card-sized computer.  The plastic card has a miniature chip built into it that allows you to switch the card’s magnetic strip between multiple different cards you own.

There are several different versions of this new card, depending on a user’s preferences.  These new cards are also completely water-proof, which I assume means washer-proof, which will save some time and stress in our home.  The cards are also much more secure than current credit cards because all data can be erased so that if it’s lost or stolen it will be useless to the person who gets it.

In addition to their innovative credit cards, Dynamics also offers a card that can hold a person’s complete medical records in case of an emergency.  You can find more about all of these by visiting the Dynamics site.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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PaySaber Point-of-Sale Terminal for iPhone



POS PaySaberAndy chats to Matt from PaySaber at CES‘s Showstoppers about their iPhone-based point-of-sale (POS) solutions.

The PaySaber is a portable handheld POS terminal sled that incorporates a barcode reader, card swipe and thermal printer into the unit. An iPhone or iPod Touch slots into the PaySaber to provide the screen and the wireless communication for the transaction.

The flexibility provided by the iPhone allows credit processing in the normal way, but gives additional benefits such as emailed receipts. From the moment the card is swiped, the whole transaction is encrypted and secure, so the credit card information is never transmitted in cleartext. As you’d expect from any POS system, PaySaber can be configured to interface with inventory systems to automatically deduct items from stock as a sale is completed.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.

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Before You Cyber-Shop, Become Cyber-Safe: Tips to Shop Safer Online.



cyber-safe
Be cyber-safe

It’s that time to go and get your gifts for the kids, parents, siblings and the hubby. Some of us braved the cold and dark of night to stand in line for some super doorbuster deal. However, others stayed at home with cocoa and a restful nights sleep, for their trip to shop means turning on the computer and getting it all online.

As you get ready to brave the online crowds on the website, let’s run through a little checklist so you can be safe in purchasing items. With these ideas, you are better protected from malware and scams.

Update Your Computer, Browser and Anti-Virus

This is probably the most important thing to do. There are several security updates that patch holes to your computer. If you are planning on entering a credit card, you want to make sure nobody can watch your transaction. Run some scans on your computer, run the updates to the computer (Mac or PC), then open up your web browser and check for updates.

Chrome : Choose the wrench icon on the right and “About Google Chrome”. It will update software automatically.

Firefox: Choose the “Firefox” tab on the top-left. Choose “Options -> Options”. Select “Advanced” and the “Update” tab.

IE: Go through Windows Update to get the latest version

Safari: Through the software update option

Windows 7: Windows Start button – Type in “Windows Update” in the Run box.

Windows XP: Open IE browser and type in Update.microsoft.com

Mac: Choose the Apple and Software Update

Anti-Virus may be trickier since there are different versions out there. Most important, if you don’t have anti-virus on your computer, put it on now. Avast and AVG are two great programs that have free versions.

What Websites are You Shopping At?

If you are going off the beaten internet path, it’s important to make sure the website is a verified seller. Most of the time, you can find badges on the site saying if they are trusted. When in doubt, do some simple searches. Also check the retailer’s reviews at a site like Resale Ratings.

Finally – When you are checking out, make sure you are on a secure page. Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE all indicate if your credit card will be encrypted or not. If the lock icon is closed, you are on a secure page.

Email: Trusting links, Query Confirmation Email or Bank Email

You might be getting tons of “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” deals through email. Be careful what you select – there are misrepresented Spam mails out there. I just got one the other day from the New York Times to get a 1 year subscription. The email looked like it was from the NYTimes, but the links went to some other site like newyorktimes.some_domain_name dot com.

When in doubt, do a Google search on the email deal. If Walmart is having an online sale, then go to Walmart.com and find the deal through their website.

You might also see confirmation emails that could be phishing schemes. You get an email saying “Congratulations: You just purchased…”, but you didn’t purchase anything. There is a link saying “I didn’t purchase this” or something related. When you click on the link, it tells you what to do on a refund.

DON’T CLICK! (don’t even trust the links in the email)

What you should do is go to the website directly and find a phone number to call. Verify with an agent there is a purchase for you. Also, check your card statements. some purchases update within minutes.

Buy with Credit Card

Speaking of Credit Cards, most major cards and Paypal come with fraud protection. If you feel unsafe about any purchase, make a call to your credit card company. Never purchase online by sending a check or  wiring cash to someone’s account. If they cannot get a verified payment service like Paypal, Amazon, Visa, Mastercard, American Express or more, then this purchase isn’t worth it.

Ask For Help

Ok, so you are not Internet savvy. You read through this article and your head began to spin. If that is the case, then ask people for help. Talk to your friends. Seek out someone you know that does this stuff on a regular basis. What is worse is if you do not update your computer. Never think “Oh, I’ll just do it later…”

Cyber crime rises during the holidays. We are purchasing more online. So it’s important to stay safe. That, and get the best deal on a tablet…