I saw a MasterCard commercial lastnight that was really disturbing to me. Maybe you’ve seen it? If not, allow me to set the scene for you – (and I’m being loose with the details because I won’t claim 100% accuracy):
- Man in zoo (caretaker) sneezes.
- Elephant hears man sneeze.
- Man goes home with a cold.
- Elephant goes galavanting around from store to store buying cold remedy stuff for man with the cold.
- Elephant swipes MasterCard in front of this new little MasterCard PayPass device and without question from sales clerks, leaves with merchandise.
- Elephant goes to man with cold’s house and with his trunk wrapped around the merchandise, gives it to man with cold sitting in a chair through the window.
Update: Watch the commercial!
insert audience supposed reaction: “awwww how sweet of the elephant!”
insert intelligent audience reaction option 1: “Is MasterCard approving elephants now, and if so, why didn’t they approve me?”
insert intelligent audience reaction option 2: “That elephant just used a stolen MasterCard, charged it up and no one even noticed!”
No matter how you look at it, this swipey thing is nothing but trouble. When the worlds largest living land mammal can use a credit card in front of a clueless albeit cheerful sales clerk, something is wrong. You don’t do anything but swipe your card in front of a little laser – no ID required. So let’s say you lose your wallet, someone just snags your MasterCard and goes on a shopping spree, and gets away with quite a lot before the card is reported stolen and the perp is found.
the concept of a “Tap N Go” way to pay is very appealing. MasterCard PayPass offers added security because the card never leaves your customer’s hand.
Security for who? Who is going to check the signature, or validate the ID of the person using the card?
- Faster than cash: handle more customers in less time.
- Faster than a card swipe: eliminates the trial and error of customers swiping their own cards or handing their card to sales clerks.
- Merchant differentiation: customers are more likely to return to merchants that accept PayPass.
- Customers like to use it: MasterCard PayPass is simple and easy to use, great alternative to cash.
- Higher tickets: MasterCard PayPass will drive more of your customers to use their cards, and their purchases are not limited to cash on hand.
So they’re promoting the thing as “who cares if it’s a stolen card, you can be hands off with your customers, and make even more money! cha-ching!”
This whole thing bugs me. Any thoughts on it? And MasterCard people, if you’re reading this, sorry for the bad review. Please don’t cancel my cards.
[ / end rant ]