Making a purchase or other payment is not like it used to be.

These days, cash and credit cards aren’t the necessities they once were because alternative-payment options are just a tap or two away on a mobile device through apps such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Square, Levelup, Kash and PayPal.

But just how secure are those mobile-payment apps and who makes sure that the companies behind them are doing all they can to keep your personal data safe?

The Clearing House, an advocacy group owned by the world’s largest commercial banks, is raising those questions and others in a new report titled “Ensuring Consistent Consumer Protection for Data Security: Major Banks vs. Alternative Payment Providers.”

The report argues that while these providers, operated by both established companies and start-up firms, are subject to some data-security requirements, they don’t face the more extensive regulatory oversight banks do when it comes to cybersecurity. That makes it easer for security flaws to go undetected until a breach actually happens.

The Clearing House report raises legitimate concerns, says Gary Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall, a company that specializes in cybersecurity.

“These alternative-payment methods certainly are providing something that consumers want, which is a convenient way to make payments,” Miliefsky says. “But I don’t think most of those consumers would be too thrilled to know that these companies might not be subject to the same demanding data-security requirements their banks deal with.”

It’s serious business when companies don’t do enough to protect their customers’ data, Miliefsky says. Waiting to act after a breach happens is too late because at that point customers are at risk of becoming victims of fraud or identity theft.

“Unfortunately, a lot of companies don’t realize just how vulnerable their apps are and what the potential is for leaking their customers’ personal information,” Miliefsky says.

In its report, the Clearing House made several recommendations and observations, including these related to legislation that would establish additional data-security requirements for alternative-payment providers:

Data Security Act of 2015. This proposed law would establish flexible and common-sense standards for firms of all sizes to follow in order to secure consumers’ sensitive financial information and prevent breaches. The law would also give the Federal Trade Commission express enforcement authority in this area, while making clear that the standards are not applicable to financial institutions already subject to similar requirements from banking regulators.


More resources. To exercise any new authority successfully, the FTC would need more resources to properly staff investigations and enforcement actions, the report said.
 Better security. Additional legislation might make it clear that alternative-payment providers are subject to the same type of scrutiny with respect to data security as banks. That could be done by directly giving the FTC or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examination authority, or by directly requiring the CFPB to enact rules defining larger participants in the alternative-payment industry.


If they aren’t already, and regardless of any proposed legislation, the alternative-payment providers should look into better ways to protect their mobile apps from hackers intent on doing harm, Miliefsky says.


There are several ways to do that. Miliefsky’s company, for example, offers the AppShield SDK, which can secure any mobile app on all major platforms.

“What the AppShield SDK basically does is make your company’s app invisible to any other app on the mobile device that otherwise might be able to eavesdrop on it,” Miliefsky says. “I liken it to the way a B2 bomber employs stealth technology to evade radar detection.”

Failing to act isn’t good for the customers – and ultimately the business, Miliefsky says.

“These alternative-payment apps are a great convenience,” he says. “But if they aren’t secure, the result could be a huge inconvenience for their users.”




Self-Service Technology Market Size Will Be Worth $39.07 Billion By 2022: Grand View Research, Inc.

The The vending industry has steadily been adding cashless readers and remote monitoring devices to machines nationwide. It’s been a slow progression that has taken a much-needed steep increase in the last few years. However, right when it appears we’ve turned the corner, one of the pillars that enables vending machine telemetry is going away potentially causing loss of sales and efficiencies if operators aren’t proactive about it.

Industry experts suggest as many as 200,000 vending machines will be affected by this decommissioning of the 2G network by two prominent cellular communication providers. AT&T has already begun shutting down its 2G network with complete abandonment scheduled for December 2016. Verizon is also shuttering its 2G and 3G networks, with a cutoff date sometime in 2021.

What is 2G?

The term 2G represents digital communication technology that allows data to be sent from a vending machine with a credit card processor and remote monitoring system, often called telemetry. You may be familiar with cellular commercials that claim ‘the best’ 4G LTE network. This is an example of a newer wireless communication technology The number refers to the generation, so 2G is second-generation technology. The latest generations are better able to transfer high speed data. It allows for better streaming and communication. LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution and also enables high speed data communication.


Because venders don’t relay a high volume of data, they rarely have a 4G LTE connection. Instead, M2M, or machine to machine communication, has commonly been using the 2G and 3G technologies. With the deadline approaching for the first major provider to completely shut down its 2G network, operators must ensure their telemetry devices can either switch to using 3G or another 2G provider.

“The 2G sunset is a big deal as most vending telemeters were issued with a 2G radio,” explained Chuck Reed, senior director of sales and marketing for vending at CPI.

Brendan Kehoe, vice president and general manager of Streamware, Crane Merchandising Systems also believes the decommissioning of these 2G networks could affect a substantial number of connected vending machines, as many as 200,000. “We have a total of 10,000 units which will be affected by the shutdown,” said Kehoe, who uses the example of analogue to digital TV to explain what will happen. “Each generation is a new technology. When TV stations switched to digital, analogue no longer worked. That is what will happen with devices connected to the 2G networks that are turning off.”

Kehoe encourages operators to check with their cashless provider. “For example, our device knows what kind of service it is connected to,” he said. Once it is confirmed the unit is using a 2G network that is going away, the operator can work with the cashless provider on a solution. For Crane users, that might be a simple fix like switching to the T-Mobile network by changing the SIM card or swapping out the modular radio. Kehoe says both are simple tasks that can be performed by the route driver. “Crane used a modular design for the Navigator platform specifically because of these kinds of technology changes. The ability to change or add modules and features over time gives us tremendous flexibility and extends the useful life of the device,” he said.


Years in the making

This isn’t the first the industry has heard of the sunset of 2G, however. Rinaldo (Ron) Spinella, executive vice president and general manager of unattended payments solutions of Apriva, and Mike Gron, CEO of PayLab Networks, both brought up the topic years ago.

In 2013, Spinella talked about the ongoing evolution of wireless networks to newer 3G and 4G technology, and how this transition would affect cashless vending. “The old wireless cellular technology is gone. 2G is now fading to make room for 4G,” said Spinella. Since many telemetry units use cellular technology, Spinella suggested operators start educating themselves about whether their hardware was able to use 3G and 4G.

In the next year, Gron warned the industry of the impact an ever-increasing mobile society would have on vending. He said that 2G had been the go-to choice for manufacturers of connected devices with 90 percent of all North American M2M connections operating on the 2G spectrum. Technology has continued to evolve and demand for connectivity has grown exponentially. The original 2G spectrum rolled out by carriers 20 years ago can no longer support the current and future demands placed on their networks by voice and increasing data connections. “M2M solutions, and vending in particular, will be disproportionally affected by 2G’s end-of-life transition because of the significant number of currently deployed devices operating with embedded 2G modems,” said Gron.

Gron believes 3G will be around for a long while, however. “The lifespan of the new 3G spectrum will outlast any device you invest in,” he tells operators now. However, other telemetry providers warn 3G may not be a permanent solution. “Verizon is shutting down its 3G network at the same time as their 2G network, or sooner, and AT&T will sunset their 3G network as well,” said Kehoe.


CPI’s Reed agrees. “Mobile bandwidth requirements will keep the pressure on the carriers to increase bandwidth regularly,” he said. This means that older networks will continue to be eliminated.


The 2G sunset solutions

The solutions to the shutting down of 2G are fairly straight forward. Either an operator must switch digital communication providers (AT&T to T-Mobile, for example) or technology generations (2G to 3G). For the percentage with a telemetry device that does not allow for either option, the operator will need to update to newer hardware.

Unfortunately, operators cannot implement the solutions on their own. It is the cashless or telemetry service provider that ensures the ability to utilize the network and at what technology generation. “We have about 80,000 devices in the field that utilize 2G GSM technology,” said Anant Agrawal, president of Cantaloupe Systems. “They were all on the AT&T network, but to protect our customers from technology changes like this, we had ensured every device was able to utilize different networks if AT&T wasn’t available. We have proactively switched over everything to T-Mobile in the past year, so very few of our devices will actually get impacted from AT&T shutting down 2G.” There were less than 5 percent of devices that were unable to get a T-Mobile signal and Cantaloupe is working on replacing those with customers.

Determining what generation of technology a device is using may be possible by the look of the device. 


“Operators know if our device is the 2G device by the look. Our CDMA technology devices look different,” Agrawal said. 


It is recommended that operators with credit card readers or remote machine monitoring call their provider to ascertain if their units are using one of the 2G networks that are being shut down. And if they are, what solutions are available in their area. Not all the 2G networks are being eliminated, just AT&T and in five years Verizon. With some action now, operators can guarantee uninterrupted service for years to come.



The vending machine is not what it was ten years ago. Changing consumer retail experiences have challenged vending equipment manufacturers to create a total consumer experience at the machine that includes more flexibility, customization, digital advertising and multiple payment methods.

Operators are increasingly seeing the need for “connected” machines that enable them to manage new aspects of their business — promotions, advertising and merchandising — remotely. All with an emphasis on their return on investment. Now, more than ever, the machine is transitioning from a static black box and becoming a retail destination.


New and retrofitted machines can help grow same store sales and grab locations from competitors. In order to show that differentiation, vending manufacturers have been creating machines with total integration.


“Integrated to us is about ensuring an intuitive and simple experience from both a consumer and operator perspective,” said Tom Glomski, vice president of sales & marketing at Crane Merchandising Systems.


“In regard to our newest Media equipment, which encompasses snack, cold beverage and hot beverage machines, this means driving new consumers to vending and increasing the value of the average vend ticket through the use of new features like touchscreens, lighting, and professional graphics; integrated payment that includes cashless; shopping cart; and digital product advertising,” he said.

Micro Markets Seen as


a Positive Workplace


Perk

According to the New York Times in an article titled, "The Downsides of Generous Workplace Perks" the practice of offering on-site products and services to employees was called into question – were these things really a benefit to the employee? Micro markets were generally considered a great perk.


Upping the ante in what has been called a perks arms race is unlimited vacation time for some employees from such companies as Virgin, Netflix and the Ladders, while Facebook this year said it would reimburse its female employees up to $20,000 for freezing their eggs. Apple plans to follow suit in January. More typically, extras often include paid maternity and paternity leave, on-site child care, flexible work hours and 100 percent paid health benefits.

Most of these incentives exist in the tech world or fields where there is competition to attract certain skilled workers. Nonetheless, even in those industries, some say there is little evidence they motivate employees, and they can serve the more nefarious purpose of making sure employees rarely leave the office.“People in the rest of the country look at the Silicon Valley perks and think, ‘What wonderful companies to work for,’ ” said Gerald Ledford, a senior research scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. The first thing to remember, though, he said, is “this is by far the most competitive job market in the country. It’s an arms race to come up with the jazziest rewards.”


Re-Imagine The Machine




US Mobile Payments to Reach $142 Billion by 2019

Forrester, a leading technology research firm, reported new statistics on the growth of mobile payments in the U.S. Data from the study concludes that mobile monetary transactions are expected to reach $142 billion in 2019. When asked about the study, Denée Carrington, a Forrester analyst said, “It’s not just that we have smartphones. It’s that we’re increasingly dependent or rely on or expect them to deliver more.”


Forrester researchers and analysts spoke to top performing businesses in the payments industry for the study, including PayPal, Verifone and Visa. Based on their findings, the team expects the next five years to be very exciting. The study stated that the past five years was the maturing and development stages of the up-and-coming industry. The next stage, which started this year, is for mobile platforms to reach mainstream consumers.


While companies such as Google, Apple and AT&T are expected to benefit early from the shift in mobile commerce growth, there is also plenty of room for new and emerging payment platforms to flourish. In particular, companies that cater to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) may be able to provide customized solutions in the area of mobile payment apps. Additionally, competitive packages with low or bundled transaction fees may surface, as the market quickly gains momentum.


The comprehensive study also highlighted information on remote mobile payments. New data suggests that purchases through apps and mobile websites will account for the largest growth in the industry over the next five years, reaching $91 billion. Although not a large part of online payments, peer-to-peer transactions are expected grow to $17 billion in 2019.


Peer-to-peer payments reached $5.2 billion this year due to large companies such as Venmo, Gmail and Square Cash, pushing for personalized payment alternatives.

ollowing EVA's decision at last fall's annual meeting to extend membership to multinational coffee companies. "As a newer player in office coffee service, the EVA is sure that Starbucks can benefit from the vast experience and innovations of our existing members, as well as sharing their own expertise and ideas of the European coffee segment," EVA said. "Starbucks understands what makes a good quality cup of coffee, and what a customer desires. This knowledge will be valuable to the EVA members seeking to 'premiumize' their self-service coffee offerings." Starbucks entered Europe's vending and OCS market in 2013 when it teamed up with vending giant Selecta to install "vending cafés" in large offices throughout the continent. | READ MORE The European Vending Association represents the interests of the vending industry before European governments and regulatory bodies. Its members include national trade associations, along with European operators, manufacturers and suppliers. - See more at: http://www.vendingtimes.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=EB79A487112B48A296B38C81345C8C7F&nm=Vending+Features&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=F16AA8ACBED74C4F8F72DE576674237E#sthash.3GbjCBye.dpuf



Moderate Coffee


CONSUMPTION Good For You

The number of people in Europe aged over 65 is predicted to rise from 15.4% of the population to 22.4% by 20251 and, with an aging population, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease are of increasing concern. 

Alzheimer’s Disease affects one person in twenty over the age of 65, amounting to 26 million people world-wide. Recent scientific evidence has consistently linked regular, moderate coffee consumption with a possible reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. An overview of this research and key findings were presented during a satellite symposium at the 2014 Alzhemier Europe Annual Congress.
The session report from this symposium highlights the role nutritioncan play in preserving cognitive function, especially during the preclinical phase of Alzhemier’s, before symptoms of dementia occur. The report notes that a Mediterranean diet, consisting of fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil and red wine, has been associated with a reduced risk for development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Research suggests that compounds called polyphenols are responsible for this protective effect, these compounds are also found in high quantities in coffee. Epidemiological studies have found that regular, life-long moderate coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease with the body of evidence suggesting that coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of developing the disease by up to 20%.
The report explores the compounds within coffee, which may be responsible for this protective effect, identifying caffeine and polyphenols as key candidates. Caffeine helps prevent the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrulary tangles in the brain, two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease.  In addition to this, both caffeine and polyphenols reduce inflammation and decrease the deterioration of brain cells – especially in the hippocampus and cortex, areas of the brain involved in memory


How The Sunset Of 2G


Could Affect You



Self Service



US Mobile Payments to Reach $142 Billion by 2019

Forrester, a leading technology research firm, reported new statistics on the growth of mobile payments in the U.S. Data from the study concludes that mobile monetary transactions are expected to reach $142 billion in 2019. When asked about the study, Denée Carrington, a Forrester analyst said, “It’s not just that we have smartphones. It’s that we’re increasingly dependent or rely on or expect them to deliver more.”


Forrester researchers and analysts spoke to top performing businesses in the payments industry for the study, including PayPal, Verifone and Visa. Based on their findings, the team expects the next five years to be very exciting. The study stated that the past five years was the maturing and development stages of the up-and-coming industry. The next stage, which started this year, is for mobile platforms to reach mainstream consumers.


While companies such as Google, Apple and AT&T are expected to benefit early from the shift in mobile commerce growth, there is also plenty of room for new and emerging payment platforms to flourish. In particular, companies that cater to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) may be able to provide customized solutions in the area of mobile payment apps. Additionally, competitive packages with low or bundled transaction fees may surface, as the market quickly gains momentum.


The comprehensive study also highlighted information on remote mobile payments. New data suggests that purchases through apps and mobile websites will account for the largest growth in the industry over the next five years, reaching $91 billion. Although not a large part of online payments, peer-to-peer transactions are expected grow to $17 billion in 2019.


Peer-to-peer payments reached $5.2 billion this year due to large companies such as Venmo, Gmail and Square Cash, pushing for personalized payment alternatives.

ollowing EVA's decision at last fall's annual meeting to extend membership to multinational coffee companies. "As a newer player in office coffee service, the EVA is sure that Starbucks can benefit from the vast experience and innovations of our existing members, as well as sharing their own expertise and ideas of the European coffee segment," EVA said. "Starbucks understands what makes a good quality cup of coffee, and what a customer desires. This knowledge will be valuable to the EVA members seeking to 'premiumize' their self-service coffee offerings." Starbucks entered Europe's vending and OCS market in 2013 when it teamed up with vending giant Selecta to install "vending cafés" in large offices throughout the continent. | READ MORE The European Vending Association represents the interests of the vending industry before European governments and regulatory bodies. Its members include national trade associations, along with European operators, manufacturers and suppliers. - See more at: http://www.vendingtimes.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=EB79A487112B48A296B38C81345C8C7F&nm=Vending+Features&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=F16AA8ACBED74C4F8F72DE576674237E#sthash.3GbjCBye.dpuf