Down But Not Out

When a group of university-based scientists decided to test the security of contactless credit cards, even they were unprepared for how remarkably non-secure they'd be. That was the backup for the highlight of this week's StorefrontBacktalk Week In Review show, featuring panelists Patti Freeman Evans, from Jupiter Research, Paula Rosenblum, from the Retail Systems Alert Group, Greg Buzek from IHL, former federal prosecutor/security expert Mark Rasch and Jessica Bryan from Gomez, along with special guest Kevin Fu, Computer Science Professor at the University of Massachusetts and the chief author of the contactless payment report. StorefrontBacktalk Editor Evan Schuman moderated.

In the contactless payment security discussion, Fu said some scientists had been hesitant to even get involved in the study because they believed that the encryption claimed by the cards would make the cards too secure to merit experimentation. Former federal prosecutor Rasch said that the testing showed that researchers didn't need to break the encryption to violate security, but they merely needed to pass it along intact to the POS (online or offline) to get purchases approved. Jupiter's Evans wondered whether this would set back online trust of all credit cards.

To listen to the full contactless security discussion, please click here.

Unhappy Online Buyers Will Also Shun The Site's Brick-and-Mortar Brother

The new Gomez report presents a challenge for retailers, panelists argued. On the one hand, their offline and online units are being treated the same, so they might as well act the part, by allowing online purchases to be returned offline and to advance purchase-online-pickup-offline programs.

On the other hand, retailers, panelists argued, it's also a good strategy to push the inherent advantages of online (vast inventory, powerful search, speed/convenience) versus offline (personal attention, the ability to try on and examine products, the experience) by making those experiences as different as possible.

Report author Bryan also detailed how consumers tend to blame retailers for online problems that they have nothing to do with, such as traffic that can slow a site down, overall Internet slowdowns, checkout and content that is likely outsourced and software conflicts on the consumer's computer.

To hear the full panel discussion about the new online buyer habits, please click here.