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July 27, 2021

New service lets you 'swipe' credit card via webcam

People will buy anything online – books; movies; Leonardo DiCaprio.

537904_stocking_for_business And how do you do it? You add an item to your cart, head to checkout and type in your credit card info, right? Easy peasy.

But as fraudsters leach onto any and every method of consumer payment, staying ahead of the game is, well, the name of the game for online retailers.

Suddenly, simply entering your credit card and three-digit security code may no longer be the safest way. Now, we’ll soon be able to “swipe” our cards via your computer’s webcam.

A new feature called Netswipe is making the headline rounds these days, a service that aims to one-up pirates that nab credit card digits and make bogus charges without actually holding the card.

From online-payment startup Jumio, Netswipe will be a program adopted by web retailers. Once you hit the checkout page, you’ll be prompted to, instead of manually entering your info, hold up your credit card to your webcam, which will “extract the card number and information and process the payment,” according to Gigaom.com.

Netswipe insists it’s secure (the video feed that captures the card info is encrypted and streamed to Jumio’s servers) though we can imagine a few fears might arise.

And, even if we set aside the security concerns, there’s a big hurdle staring right at us: webcams.

Most laptops and computer monitors ship with pre-installed webcams already, but on most of them, you’ve got to set them up the first time you boot the PC.

It sounds small, but come on: you know at least five people that can’t forward a YouTube link, let alone set up a webcam. Who knows how many retailers, and therefore users, will adopt Netswipe when a technical barrier stands in the way?

Check out the video for Netswipe here (only 57 seconds long; scroll down) and tell us: would you feel comfortable “swiping” your credit card via webcam?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...