Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

Best Buy, 7-Eleven disable NFC

NFC took another hit this week as Best Buy and 7-Eleven began removing the capability to accept payments at POS terminals throughout their store network.

32% of merchants say mobile poses greater risk of fraud

The mobile channel now accounts for 20 percent of retailers' business, double that of last year. But it also poses greater risk of fraud and the need for new tools to combat that fraud.

Target launches Accelerator program in India

Target launched its Accelerator program in India Tuesday, as the retailer steps up efforts to build new technology solutions.

Visa and Mastercard's HCE announcement creates new mobile payments players

Visa and Mastercard are backing host card emulation (HCE), making it possible for credit card companies to bypass barriers to providing cloud-based mobile payments.

Amazon expands virtual 'Coins' across more platforms

Amazon announced that shoppers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany can now buy, spend and earn Amazon Coins on their Android phones and tablets. Previously, Coins were available for use exclusively on Kindle Fire tablets.

New opt-out option lets consumers dodge geofences

A new database now lets consumers opt-out of location analytics, essentially hiding them from companies seeking to access mobile devices for analytic purposes. The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank seeking to advance responsible data use and consumer privacy, and The Wireless Registry, the first global registry of wireless names and identifiers, launched the new platform that will allow consumers to easily and quickly opt-out of mobile location analytics at thousands of locations in the U.S.

The Wireless Registry wants to be the address book for the Internet of Things

The Wireless Registry wants to create a global registry for wireless names and devices, making it easier to associate content to these names and provide meaning when they are detected.

Walmart's Inventory Leak: Always The Low Tech. Always.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) ran into trouble with Wall Street this week after an ordering manager sent an e-mail to a supplier saying that the world's largest retailer was "looking at reducing inventory for...

How Real A Threat Is Google's AdID?

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) wants to replace cookies with something new—that, of course, Google will control. That's the gist of a story in USA Today on Tuesday (Sept. 17). Citing an inside source it doesn't name, the newspaper reports that Google is working on an "anonymous identifier for advertising" called AdID that "would be transmitted to advertisers and ad networks that have agreed to basic guidelines, giving consumers more privacy and control over how they browse the Web." Um, right. That's all very high-sounding, and may be fine if you're an advertiser using cookies to track people looking at ads. That's because increasing numbers of people surfing the web are blocking, erasing or otherwise defeating the purpose of third-party tracking cookies that were never actually intended to be used for tracking web audiences in the first place. But a Google campaign to replace cookies is a potential problem for retailers who just use cookies to keep track of where shoppers are on their sites. After all, if you're Google, what you care about is ads. If Google starts lobbying to kill cookies, retailers will either have to reinvent them or start doing some complicated things to replace what they do.

Apple's iBeacons Aren't A Magic Bullet, But They Have Cheap Possibilities

Is iBeacons really the killer new iOS feature that some Apple watchers think it is? According to various claims, iBeacons is Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) solution for payments, for "indoor GPS," for replacing RFID tags, for tracking customers everywhere and for in-store mobile marketing. Most of that is the usual technology-lust silliness. But iBeacons really do have some interesting in-store possibilities for retailers. And the technology is cheap enough—and low-risk enough—that, for once, chains really can have some fun experimenting with technology. Here's the basic concept: You can put small, free-standing, battery-powered Bluetooth transmitters called beacons at key spots in your stores. When a customer running the right smartphone app comes close enough, the beacon sends out a message—longer than a Tweet but smaller than a web page—for the app to display. The beacons are cheap (starting at about $35 each), easy to move and reuse, and short-range (so they really can send messages to just people in, say, the produce department). Think digital signage without that expensive, bulky sign and you've started to scratch the surface.