Mobile Payments: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

30 Sep Featured Image -- 440

Originally posted on TIME:

We use our smartphones in place of maps, health trackers and cameras, so why not use them to replace our credit cards, too? It’s not like Americans don’t already choose their smartphones when it’s time to shop and bank online.

Yet a 2013 survey from financial services company TSYS (PDF) found that just 6% of Americans want to use their smartphones in lieu of a credit or debit card.

Consumers seem comfortable with credit cards, whether they’re signing a receipt, entering a PIN or waving the card at a contactless payment terminal, and they see little perceived extra value in using smartphones to pay in stores, asserts Rajesh Kandaswamy, an analyst at information technology research and advisory firm Gartner. “Consumers need an incentive to move to mobile payments,” he says. And Softcard mobile payment app (formerly Isis) does that, offering a dollar off every purchase…

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when a wrong does not affect us…

30 Sep

Today, I am reminded of Martin Niemöller. Niemöller was a German Lutheran pastor who first spoke against the atrocities the German Nazi committed against various peoples. He was of the belief that the leaders of the Protestant churches amongst other citizenry had acquiesced and abetted to the atrocities through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people. Niemöller’s famous quote precedes him.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me”.

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The afternoon stories began

26 Sep

The smell of freshly brewed coffee, of sweat and other body odors, of different cheap and expensive perfumes and of dust are all mixed up in the hall. The air is almost rancid. The four walls are affixed with white sheets of paper with the learning contents. My eyes scurry across the blue and white markings. It is the writing on the paper that I am too lazy to read. Continue reading

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