Cards

drag2share: Millions Of Cell Phones Could Be Vulnerable To This SIM Card Hack

source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/6GHdg-f_edg/sim-cards-are-hackable-and-researchers-have-found-the-v-860779912

Millions Of Cell Phones Could Be Vulnerable To This SIM Card Hack

With the NSA leaks going full force it probably won’t sound like news at all that a German cryptographer claims to have hacked a SIM card. But that’s never been done before (as far as we know . . .) so it’s kind of a big deal, and shows that millions of phones are potentially vulnerable.


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Sunday, July 21st, 2013 news No Comments

Groupon takes on OpenTable with ‘Groupon Reserve,’ bundles reservations with coupons

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/01/groupon-reserve/

Groupon takes on OpenTable with 'Groupon Reserve,' bundles reservations with coupons

Not satisfied with simply locking down your discount mountain-climbing lessons and hot stone massages, Groupon announced Groupon Reserve this morning, which aims to bundle time-based discounts with restaurant reservations. Groupon’s tapping Savored.com’s reservation tech to handle the heavy-lifting behind the scenes — the service is already live in 10 markets, including New York City and Los Angeles, and seemingly goes after OpenTable head-on.

Of course, Groupon Reserve isn’t quite the same service as OpenTable. With Reserve, you plug in a time, party size, date and city, and you’re offered a variety of restaurant options with discounts, whereas with OpenTable you’re simply plugging in the aforementioned info and looking for a spot. Though Groupon Reserve only handles restaurant reservations thus far, the plan is for “spas, salons and hotels” in the coming months; ambiguous options from “top beauty, product, travel and entertainment brands” are also in the cards. Groupon Reserve will reach international shores and even more US cities “by the end of 2013.” Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re arranging a more affordable date at Butter. We’re pretty fancy.

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Monday, July 1st, 2013 news No Comments

MasterCard Just Took A Stake In A Hot Big Data Startup

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/mastercard-big-data-for-shopping-habits-2013-2

shopping shoppers retail returns line black friday sales upset sadMasterCard knows what everyone buys. Some 1.8 billion people use its cards at 34 million stores worldwide.

Retailers can sift through their own records to understand what their customers buy. But they can’t as easily figure out the shopping habits of people who buy from other stores.

That’s the kind of information that MasterCard hopes to sell to them as it moves into the $5 billion big data analytics market.

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Monday, February 11th, 2013 news No Comments

Doctors Don’t Follow Their Own Advice on Medical Treatment

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5976978/doctors-dont-want-treatment-even-when-theyre-dying

Doctors Don't Follow Their Own Advice on Medical TreatmentIt’s been known that doctors tend to avoid their advice for patients when it comes to treating themselves but it’s pretty amazing how big the difference really is. Radiolab dug up a decade-long survey made by Joseph Gallo of John Hopkins that showed what doctors really think.

The scenario the doctors were given was “irreversible brain injury without terminal illness”. Taking a look at the survey and it’s pretty, um, clear that doctors don’t want any type of treatment other than pain meds:

Doctors Don't Follow Their Own Advice on Medical Treatment It’s a far cry from us civilians who would try every route in order to get better. Sometimes the cards are the cards, I guess. [Radio Lab via Smithsonian Mag, Image Credit Shutterstock]

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Friday, January 18th, 2013 news No Comments

We’ve Bought $41 Billion in Unused Gift Cards Since 2005 [Factoid]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5871883/weve-bought-41-billion-in-unused-gift-cards-since-2005

We've Bought $41 Billion in Unused Gift Cards Since 2005Gift cards are the laziest, lousiest, most convenient, popular and widely given present. And this is your yearly reminder of just how much they stink. Since 2005, we’ve tossed out more value in gift cards than the entire GNP of Ghana.

$41 billion is pretty hard to defend. We’re lazy; we have things to do; we… didn’t really want the damn things in the first place. Things have gotten a little better over the past few years, since the Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act passed in 2009, but in 2011 there are already $2 billion in unused cards. That’s down from $8 billion in 2007, but still, $2 billion a massive amount of waste.

According to TowerGroup, which provided the gift card data, 85 percent of gift cards are used within 65 days. After that? Not so great. So do yourself a favor and get out there and actually spend the money your generous but highly inconsiderate family members gifted to you this holiday season. [ABC News]


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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 news No Comments

Sean Parker Invests In Music Startup StageIt

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/boonsri-dickinson-sean-parker-invests-in-a-hot-music-startup-stageit-2011-12


Sean Parker web 2.0

We’ve learned that billionaire Sean Parker of Napster and Facebook fame has invested in StageIt, an online platform for live concerts.

The investment makes sense, as Parker has been focused on shaking up the music industry.

While Parker disrupted the music industry in the late 1990’s when he created Napster, he may soon do the same with his latest involvement in Spotify. We reported earlier that Parker said Spotify will finish what Napster started — deliver instant gratification to music fans.

The Los Angeles-based startup StageIt can deliver a different type of gratification. The platform lets artists set up digital concerts and gives them a way to make money without ever having to leave their house.

Two years ago, StageIt founder Evan Lowenstein founded the company based on the idea people that would pay for a unique experience.

Not long ago, Lowenstein came into play for me to demo the service: As a singer himself, he played “Crazy for This Girl” to show how fans purchase tickets to watch him live and use a chat feature to talk to him during the performance.

“You can’t pirate intimacy and you can’t pirate an experience,” Lowenstein said.

 

 

 

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

Why Loyalty Credit Cards May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-suisse-retailers-loyalty-programs-2011-12


loyalty credit card

Credit cards have been a staple for retail rewards programs for decades (you know, like that Visa card they try to make you sign up for every time you go to Gap). They’ve been an effective way to reward customers, and for retailers to get additional funding.

But a new report by analysts Michael Exstein, Chrisopher Su and Trey Schorgi at Credit Suisse says that it’s time for retailers to abandon the credit card. Why are credit-based rewards programs not the right way to go anymore?

1. The cost of rewards programs keeps rising for banks. As rewards competition ramps up, issuer margins are pressured.

2. As the programs get more expensive, banks will offset costs in other areas. This will result in either less beneficial terms for retailers, or higher fees for consumers. Retailers may have to increase their own rewards programs to remain competitive

3. Retailers’ relationships with their customers could be hurt, because banks (who are now in control of many retailers’ credit businesses) could squeeze consumers. Since the programs are branded for retailers, not the banks, consumers would deem them responsible.

Credit Suisse instead suggests that the answer to these woes is simple. Switch over to programs based around membership fees or other upfront investments. “Going forward, we think the emerging trend will be the need for consumers to “invest” in loyalty programs, thereby creating a “vested interest,” says the report.

So what brands are doing it right so far?

Amazon — The Amazon Prime membership program has been vastly successful. Consumers pay an annual membership fee of $79, and get shipping benefits, free use of Amazon Instant Video and perks for their Kindle.

Costco — The largest membership warehouse club in the world has three levels of membership. There’s a $55 annual fee for businesses, a $55 ‘Gold’ card for individuals and a $55 executive member upgrade, which gives folks a 2% discount on most purchases.

Sam’s Club — Walmart’s warehouse subsidiary has a similar system, with a $40 per year Advantage card for individuals ($100 for Advantage Plus which offers extra savings) and a $35 per year Business membership ($100 for Business Plus).

Macy’s — “Thanks for Sharing” is a program that’s working for Macy’s to generate loyalty. It requires a $25 upfront investment (which is actually a donation to charity), in exchange for rewards.

Target — The REDcard is a ‘hybrid’ method which has been working well since the retailer started it up in 2010. It offers 5% savings on everything and includes shipping benefits.

These programs all capitalize on the concept of creating that “vested interest.” Customers, having already paid a set of promised benefits, will be more likely to keep spending to use those benefits that they’ve already paid for. They’ll keep coming back.

NOW SEE: The 20 Brands With The Most Loyal Customers >

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 news No Comments

Are Daily Deal Credit Cards On The Way?

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/are-daily-deal-credit-cards-on-the-way-2011-10


Groupon

With the daily deal market exploding, what’s next for sites like Groupon and LivingSocial?

Groupon Goods might be the answer on some expert’s lips, but according to CardHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou, branded credit cards look more likely. 

That’s because credit cards are easier for shoppers to use. Unlike a coupon, they work automatically and you can always store the cards in your wallet.

Credit cards would also simplify the redemption process in that consumers could easily swipe and credit 2, 3, or even 5% cash back to their account, for example. Plus the cards present a lucrative stream of revenue that only stands to be threatened by sophisticated card companies like American Express and Visa.

The demand is there, as a survey of 1,500 consumers conducted by Lightspeed Research revealed last month. More than a quarter (27%) of LivingSocial customers said they would be interested in a branded card, while more than a third (34%) of Groupon’s customers want one too.

But would daily deal credit cards be a boon to cash-strapped consumers or just passed off as a trend among the sites’ spendthrift regulars?

“Most likely it’s going to be something high end consumers who are spenders will want,” says Papadimitriou. “They won’t be making them their primary cards across the board, but people don’t usually make store-brand cards their primary cards anyway.”

This makes sense: Lightspeed found that relative to the overall U.S. credit cardholder population, Groupon and LivingSocial regulars tend to have better credit scores, are twice as likely to pay off their monthly card balances in full, and are three times as likely to make purchases with them. What’s more, about half are earning $75,000, so they can afford it. 

So while the cards wouldn’t do much to spark the economy on the whole—or soothe the millions of Americans desperate for a deal—they might do plenty to stoke spending among the credit elite. Which is exactly what Groupon or LivingSocial want, since most affinity cards are hard up to take on risky credit holders.

If you’re in the high end, however, think twice before signing up if a card is released, says Papadimitriou. 

“As with all co-branded cards, if you’re already a loyal customer and are spending a lot of money—say more than $2,000 to $3,000 a year, then get that branded card because it will likely be useful. But if you’re not a loyal customer or a frequent spender with that company, then don’t worry about it.”

 

 

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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