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The war on cash is escalating. A big driver isn’t central banks who want to be able to inflict negative interest rates on savers, or Treasuries who see cash transactions as hiding revenues from their tax collectors, but the payment networks that want to kill cash (and checks!) as competitors to their oh so terrific (and fee-gouging) credit and debit cards.
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H/t reader squodgy:
Here it comes….”
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Americans have spent much of 2016 lamenting the addition of chips into their credit and debit cards. In exchange for the extra few moments consumers spend checking out, however, they are promised enhanced security to protect their accounts.
But a new discovery unveiled Wednesday by professional hackers at the Black Hat USA summit in Las Vegas called into question the supposed ironclad security of the new chips, which are referred to as EMV technology.
Retailers and banks began replacing regular magnetic stripe card readers with EMV last October after credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard threatened to hold them responsible for false charges made on cards during magnetic strip transactions. The mandate came amid high-profile breaches of retailers like Home Depot and Target.
For the first time ever, total credit card debt in the United States is approaching a trillion dollars. Instead of learning painful lessons from the last recession, Americans continue to make the same horrendous financial mistakes over and over again. In fact, U.S. consumers accumulated more new credit card debt during the 4th quarter of 2015 than they did during the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined. That is absolutely insanity, because other than payday loans, credit card debt is just about the worst kind of debt that consumers could possibly go into. Extremely high rates of interest, combined with severe penalties and fees, can choke the financial life out of almost any family in no time at all.
These days, most Americans use credit cards for various purposes, and they can be very convenient.
Jun 29, 2014
UPDATED – Newer bank cards DO NOT have the divot in the plastic to easily locate the RFID chip embedded into them. You must use a high powered flashlight to “see through” the card to locate the chip. Once located, use a hole punch to break through the chip, disabling the RFID function.
The software I used on my Samsung SGS3 cellphone is called “Electronic Pickpocket RFID” and can be found in the Google Play Store for free. It will not give you all the credit card information, but enough to test if the card does or does not have a RFID chip embedded. You must have a cell phone that has NFC technology for the app to work.
– MasterCard to comply with new rules and remain in Russia – CEO (RT, Oct 13, 2014):
The MasterCard international payment system will continue operating in Russia and comply with the new rules set out by the Central Bank of Russia, CEO Ajay Banga has said.
“We have intentions to remain in Russia,” TASS quotes Ajay Banga the President and Chief Executive of MasterCard.
“My approach is that we will follow the new rules. The law requires a partnership with the Central Bank of Russia. We think, this is reasonable for Russia,” he said.
– Russia launches China UnionPay credit card (RT, Aug 15, Edited Aug 18, 2014):
Forget Visa and MasterCard. After the two American credit system payment companies froze accounts without notice in March, Russia has been looking for an alternative in China UnionPay.
China UnionPay plans to have 2 million cards in Russia in the next three years.
Instead of seeing the small Visa and MasterCard logo on credits cards, ATMs, and retail outlets, Russians will start to see the three words “China. Union. Pay.”
– Visa, Mastercard block US-sanctioned Russian banks (RT, March 21, 2014):
International payment system Mastercard has stopped serving clients of seven Russian lenders, after the US issued sanctions against it regarding Russia’s position over the Ukrainian turmoil.
Rossiya Bank was blocked by both – Master Card and Visa, and with the latter also cutting ties with Sobinbank, SMP Bank and Investcapitalbank.
Seven Russian banks are involved in the suspension, according to Timur Batyrev, the head of the national payment system department at the Central Bank of Russia.
The blockade came without warning, Rossiya bank said.