Point-Of-Sale Systems Have Become A Favourite Target Of Hackers

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POS BECOMES A FAVOURITE TARGET OF HACKERS:Last year, hackers were particularly active in attempting to hack into point-of-sale (POS) payment terminal systems as well as Web apps, according to a report from Verizon. Retailers should be mindful of the security risks when building out their apps, or when they begin supporting any of the new POS systems that are on the market, according to the report. “A lot of attackers simply look for vulnerable victims on the Internet and deploy automated attacks,” said Verizon’s Paul Pratley. As we saw with Target, data breaches can quickly lead to a decline in consumer trust in a retailer, so it’s important that companies make online security a top priority in 2014. (Verizon)

WAL-MART ROLLS-OUT ELECTRONIC RECEIPTS: Beginning next week, Wal-Mart will start sending its U.S. customers an electronic receipt via email outlining their purchases. The new method for receipt delivery allows Wal-Mart to collect and analyse large amounts of data about customer preferences, such as what they buy, where, and when. The retailer will use those insights to send personalised email offers to customers who opt-in to the program. A Wal-Mart executive describes the program as a sort of loyalty program, but “without the loyalty card.” (Internet Retailer)

Shopify hit a big milestone — it’s now used by more then 100,000 merchants to power their e-commerce sites. The company also said that stores have sold nearly $US4 billion worth of gross merchandise value using Shopify’s platform. (Shopify)

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ADOPTION OF MOBILE PAYMENTS SLOWS IN THE U.S., PAYPAL STILL ON TOP: Growth in mobile payments adoption is tapering after a multi-year surge, a new IDC survey finds. Thirty-seven per cent of U.S. consumers reported using a mobile payment method of some kind, including both mobile commerce and consumer-side payments made in stores with mobile devices. But that represented only a “relatively modest gain” in consumer adoption over the prior year. The survey found that PayPal enjoyed the highest penetration among consumers. It was used by 58% of those who reported using mobile payment methods.

Achieving adoption beyond a core of early adopters is a challenge for any new technology. As we’ve written in past reports, for mobile payments to achieve higher penetration into the consumer base, services must be at least as convenient as cash and credit cards, i.e. they must reach what’s known as “convenience parity,” but they must also provide added services, like purchase-tracking or loyalty program integration that creates added incentives for consumers to part with old payment habits. Providers need to offer products that add value beyond the payment,” says James Wester, IDC’s practice director for worldwide payment strategies. (IDC Financial Insights)

RAKUTEN TEAMS UP WITH ALIPAY: Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten is teaming up with third-party payment service Alipay. Rakuten’s international shopping service, Rakuten Global Market, will eventually roll-out Alipay for roughly 10,000 shops on its e-commerce platform. The partnership pushes Alipay, which is owned by China-based Alibaba, further into foreign markets, as it tries to become the world’s top online payments provider. Just last week, Yahoo Japan announced that it would begin supporting Alipay beginning in June. (Global Times)

GOOGLE WALLET NABS DOMINO’S: Google Wallet has scored a significant retail partner. Domino’s announced Monday that it would integrate Google’s mobile payment wallet into its Android ordering app, offering a “Pay With Google” button at checkout. The pizza giant estimates that its global digital sales reach $US3 billion annually. (Domino’s Pizza)

EARNINGS DAY: Apple earnings and Facebook earnings are out today. We’ll be looking out for any updates related to the development of Apple’s iBeacon, and many people are eager to hear about Facebook’s plan to control traffic to brand pages. You can check out a more general preview of what to look for in Apple earnings from Business Insider’s Jay Yarow.

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