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Centz Gift Card Service to Host ICO on OpenLedger

Source: bitcoin

centz

Centz, a digital currency service letting users convert gift card balances to cash, will hold an ICO in November, hosted by OpenLedger.

Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by Bitcoin PR Buzz.

Centz: Turn Gift Cards Into Digital Cash

 

Announcing its service at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas, Centz uses a specialized digital currency called “Centz Gold Bucks” (CGB) to convert gift card balances to digital cash, letting users spend their balances on anything.

To use the service, customers create an account and load gift card balances into their digital wallets. Centz then converts the card balances into CGB and gives it to users in a single, spendable lump sum.

According to Centz, users can spend their CGB anywhere that accepts gift cards. If successful, this service could stand to make gift cards a more flexible and fungible method of gift-giving.

In a press release, Centz president Swen Swenson detailed his company’s goal in entering the gift card industry:

“Perhaps the biggest change in gift-giving is the rise of the virtual gift, in the form of e-gift cards. These transactions will be conducted online and new forms of delivery and security will need to be implemented as users find new ways to use gift cards.”

Expanding on this notion, the company wrote in a press release that it believes the $160 billion USD gift card in America (processing $435 million per day) needs innovation. They argue that up to 20 percent of the more than two billion gift cards sold in 2015 will never be used, making for $34 billion wasted.  

Centz will have stiff competition in the bitcoin space, however, with Gyft providing a similar service that has seen wide success.

Doing the same process in reverse, Gyft lets users purchase gift cards with bitcoin, storing a digital copy of the cards in an online wallet. Gyft has been a popular service for bitcoin users wanting to spend their coins at places that don’t accept the currency directly — such as Amazon.

What do you think of this new service? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Centz.

 

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Centz Gift Card Service to Host ICO on OpenLedger

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Mounting Credit Card Fraud Forces Giant Food Policy Change

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Giant Food

Credit card fraud remains one of the biggest financial threats to consumers all over the world. Giant Food, a grocer in the Washington area, has stopped accepting credit card payments when buying gift cards or prepaid debit cards.

Also read: FBI Used Invalid Warrant To Infect Tor Website With Malware

Giant Food Prefers Less Credit Card Payments

It does not happen often retailers stop accepting one of the more popular payment methods in the world today, but Giant Food saw no other options. The grocer has been dealing with massive amounts of fraudulent credit card transactions by customers buying prepaid debit cards or gift cards to use at the store.

In fact, the store has put a clear sign at the checkout warning customers credit card payments are no longer accepted for gift and prepaid debit cards. To buy these items, consumers must pay in cash or use bank pin-based debit. This policy change went into effect in March of 2016 but has gone by unnoticed by the media for some unknown reason.

Criminals obtaining stolen credit cards tend to target groceries and other smaller retailers more often than not, so it makes sense Giant Food is preventing these types of purchases all of a sudden. Moreover, with the number of credit card phishing attempts on the rise, a lot of criminals resort to embossing their own cards, which are then cashed out through grocery stores such as Giant Food.

Laundering money with stolen credit cards has become a lot easier throughout the years. Converting a card into a gift card effectively launders money, as the gift card can be resold for cash or any other payment method. This type of criminal activity is often conducted by street gangs, as it is one of the easiest ways to get quick and clean cash.

Some people might argue the EMV chip should prevent these types of fraudulent activity, and there is a certain merit to that statement. However, as Krebs on Security mentions, most of the Giant Food cashiers will swipe a chip-based card, negating the additional security. Unfortunately, far too few retailers allow for chip transactions, regardless of whether or not they have the necessary terminal installed.

Bitcoin transactions would make a lot more sense as they negate credit card fraud entirely. But at the same time, it would require a fair bit of staff training to get cashiers up to speed on how Bitcoin transactions work. Moreover, consumers would have to embrace the payment solution as well, which will be the biggest hurdle to overcome.

What are your thoughts on grocery stores falling victim to large-scale credit card fraud? Let us know in the comments below!

Source; Krebsonsecurity

Images courtesy of Giant Food, Shutterstock

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Mounting Credit Card Fraud Forces Giant Food Policy Change

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