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“Tap and pay”: mobile money, peer-to-peer, all over now. SnapChat, Venmo, now Facebook Messenger. We’ll look at security and the new anthropology of digital money.
Digital money is really moving lately. In so many arenas, wallets don’t come out anymore. Smartphones do. Maybe to channel your credit card at a cash register. Maybe skipping all of that, and paying “peer-to-peer.” Friends just tapping their phones to split the tab for dinner, or split the rent, or pay the plumber. Right from my bank account to yours. Zip, zap, done. Maybe it’s Venmo, maybe it’s Snapcash, or PopMoney. Now Facebook Messenger will let you send money right along with your “what’s up?” This hour On Point: mobile money, and how it changes the way the world works.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Alex Watson, CEO at Harvest.AI, a cybersecurity firm. Former NSA field operations officer.
From Tom’s Reading List
Slate: Venmo Money, Venmo Problems — "By making the money transfers quick, uncomplicated, and even cool, Venmo is winning. But for all its promise as a smooth and efficient financial service, Venmo’s popularity seems to be outpacing its customer-support capabilities. As of November, Venmo only had around 70 full-time employees. (Its parent PayPal, which oversaw $64.3 billion in transactions in the last quarter of 2014, has more than 10,000.) Three years after the service left its beta phase, Venmo doesn’t have a dedicated phone line for customer issues. Urgent emails about stolen funds receive slow responses. It doesn’t offer two-factor verification, an increasingly common security layer that requires users to provide a secondary passcode to access an account, though it’s working to implement it."
TechCrunch: Facebook Introduces Free Friend-To-Friend Payments Through Messages — "Rather than lean on a payments company like PayPal to power the feature, Facebook built it from the ground up from its experience processing over 1 million payments a day through its ads and games platforms. Transactions and payment info are encrypted, and Facebook says 'These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control,' from an anti-fraud team."
Krebs On Security: Apple Pay: Bridging Online and Big Box Fraud -- "Lost amid the media firestorm these past few weeks about fraudsters turning to Apple Pay is this stark and rather unsettling reality: Apple Pay makes it possible for cyber thieves to buy high-priced merchandise from brick-and-mortar stores using stolen credit and debit card numbers that were heretofore only useful for online fraud.
This program aired on March 25, 2015.
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