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Comment Re:Chip and PIN (Score 1) 455

Merchants will still be liable, as per their agreements with their credit card processors. Merchants are 100% liable for all fraud now, and this won't change. The visa cartel of issuing banks won't penalize its members, because this will be a real cost for them to issue chip and pin cards. Up till now Visa has incurred no cost in security. PCI is 100% cost to the merchant. Visa can say this, and it sounds good, but if a customer disputes a charge in a card present environment and the merchant can't produce a vaild signature under existing contracts the merchant will lose.

Comment Re:Cost of transaction processing (Score 1) 455

Visa doesn't incur cost in the processing. the processors do. Visa sets interchange rates and the processors live off whatever they can upcharge. This upcharge can be anywhere from a few cents flat per transaction, to a set percent upcharge, to a flat percent few for all cards regardless of interchange bucket. Visa is a cartel of card issuing banks, the costs are incurred by the networks such as Buypass or the processors such as First Data.

Comment Re:It's about time (Score 1) 455

Regarding the interchange, you can google visa interchange rates and see what they actually are. Merchants will contract with a processor, such as First Data, to handle their credit card transactions. They pay the processor anywhere from a flat fee of a few cents per transaction over interchange to a flat percent fee for all card types. Walmart pays a lower interchange rate than most merchants, but I have no knowledge what they pay their processor. Different classes of merchants pay different interchanges rates, which only proves that larger merchants who could have hindered visa's expansion got sweet rates subsidized by smaller merchants. Interchange is allegedly based on transaction cost, but the majority of the transaction cost is borne by the processor. If you look at the rates, they are higher for so called "rewards" cards. Visa gives you back 1% in "rewards" by charging the merchant 3%. Visa doesn't move the information, the issuing banks have a cost in issuing cards, and billings and collections, but not in the movement of information.

Comment Re:Why so many trucks? Why not railroads (Score 1) 242

Side note on Buffett, I thought it was interesting that he wholeheartedly supported Obama, and then Obama wholeheartedly tried to squash the Keystone Pipeline. Until the dots were connected and I realized that with no pipeline every gallon of oil and therm of gas had to be transported by Buffett's rail cars.

Comment Re:Why so many trucks? Why not railroads (Score 1) 242

They haven't replaced the long haul, in fact the rail roads are handling record amounts of freight, but the drawbacks to rail are time issues and the fact that eventually all freight must be put on a truck. Trucks are best for a few hundred air mile routes and for anything that is at all time sensitive. Also, you can always get a cheaper trucker to deliver freight, they are entirely decentralized. With the rails there is little room for negotiation.

Comment Re:Good thing Visa takes the risk... (Score 1) 151

Scam for merchants or for consumers? If you're a merchant you are forced to take whatever payment methods customers want. A gas station, for example, that didn't take credit cards would have a lot of customers filling up and then complaining that they don't have any cash. If you're a consumer, credit cards are great.

Comment Re:Good thing Visa takes the risk... (Score 1) 151

At a gas station, I've seen numerous charge backs that are entirely customer's fault. For example, woman disputes credit card charges at pump because she sees two charges on one day. Come to find out after pulling pictures of vehicle and plate number, her it was her husband in his car. Or customer swipes his card at one pump, thinks card didn't process, drives to another pump swipes card again, then wonders why he has two charges.

Comment Re:Good thing Visa takes the risk... (Score 1) 151

Which is why the interchange rates for "big box" retailers are much lower than for other merchants. Interchange rates should be based on the actual transaction costs now rather than the transaction costs when credit cards were manually processed with knuckle busters.

Smaller merchants subsidize purchases at the "big box" stores.

Comment Re:PTT over CDMA? (Score 1) 53

I am using a Motorola XT603 Android phone with Sprint and as I understand it the Nextel Push To Talk is going out like data. They did have "hybird" phones before that had a iden radio for push to talk and used the standard Sprint network for voice. The push to talk service is NOT as solid as on a standard iden phone, but it is decent.

This will be a tough switch because most business users are using the nextel PTT just like a two way radio that you don't need to buy repeater space for. The old motorola phones were very heavy duty. I have drivers and technicians with phones that are ten years old that have been abused and still work well.

One side note "push-to-talk" communication is the only cellular service that the Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration allows haz-mat drivers to use, provided that they are able to initiate and receive a call by pressing only one button. Hopefully Sprint doesn't screw this up. If the driver has to press anything more than one button, there is absolutely no reason for him to have a Sprint phone.

Comment Re:Thankfully! (Score 1) 164

The problem is the banks don't expose themselves to anything they lay security almost 100% at the feet of the merchant. The only institutions who could create a secure system, the issuing banks and the Visa/Mastercard cartel, won't because they can blame the merchants. If they can't blame the merchants they can blame the ISO's or third party processors. Every card transaction that is swiped hits the merchants POS, then goes out on a network like Buypas and is handled by the third party processing company, then hits Visa/Mastercard and issuing bank. The merchants can't secure the system because they only have the data initially. The ISOs are on the hook if the merchant can't pay for the breach, Visa/Mastercard are not liable for anything.

Comment Re:No Source? (Score 2) 164

And that is the reason PCI compliance is security theater. merchants can be as secure as possible, yet they are on the hook for the information once it passes out of their hands. The entities that could secure the process, Visa/Mastercard and the issuing banks, won't because they have nothing to lose because the merchants are responsible. Other than the TJ Max breach the large breaches have been third party ISOs who handle the credit card processing.

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