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Build-A-Coin, The iStun And The NSA’s 21st Century Surveillance Tool

Welcome to What’s Trending In Payments – a weekly look at the most popular, irreverent and important stories the payments industry had to offer over the past five days. Which companies grabbed the most headlines – for better or for worse – this week, and which topics have the industry abuzz with intrigue, laughter or disbelief? Featuring breakdowns from the PYMNTS.com staff and commentary by Karen Webster, here’s our take on what all of you payments peeps thought.

 


New iPhone Case Is A Shocker — Literally

Why It’s Hot – One of the many products showcased at this year’s CES was the Yellow Jacket, a special iPhone cases that sports a 650,000-volt stun gun. What’s even more astounding is the fact that the case comes at a cost of only $99 for the iPhone 4 and 4s models.

Karen’s Commentary – Boy, this could get pretty interesting when mashed up with mobile commerce apps. Don’t like what you just bought or how you were treated at checkout or how long you stood in line? BZZZZTT! That’s one way to improve customer service at retail!

PYMNTS Commentary – I wonder what this does to the phone’s battery life.

Top Tweet – @Slate – FINALLY, an iPhone case that turns your phone into a stun gun.

A Choose-Your-Own Coin Company  

Why It’s Hot  – Coingen.io creates custom-made coins for those who want to eschew Bitcoin, Litecoin, Worldcoin or the galaxy of other coins. In exchange for about $20 – to be paid in bitcoin, of course – customers can create their very own virtual currency. There’s not guarantee that the new “coin” will be valuable, but was there ever one for Bitcoin?

Karen’s Commentary – As long as the “build your own coin” comes with build your own magic POS acceptance silver bullet, then there should be no problem.

PYMNTS Commentary – When are we releasing PYMNTSCoin?

Top Tweet – @faisal_PFI – Coingen.io reminded me of very early “build your own website” by geocities. #bitcoin

The NSA’s 100-Year Old Hacking Tool: Radio Waves

Why It’s Hot – The National Security Agency got into some hot water this week over revelations that it has deployed a vast network of malware worldwide. Most notable is the agency’s use of radio signals to hack into offline computers up to 8 miles away from the point of attack. The strategy suggests that even the most effective cybersecurity method – literally unplugging the system from the internet – can be beaten..

Karen’s Commentary – Snapchat anyone?

PYMNTS Commentary – I just hope Target doesn’t think that unplugging the POS terminal will keep their customer data safe.

Top Tweet@reefdog – The NSA uses *radar waves* to see what someone is typing? Okay we’re gonna let that one slide for being super awesome. 

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The Which Apps Do They Want Study analyzes survey data collected from 1,045 American consumers to learn how they use merchant apps to enhance in-store shopping experiences, and their interest in downloading more in the future. Our research covered consumers’ usage of in-app features like loyalty and rewards offerings and in-store navigation, helping to assess how merchants can design apps to distinguish themselves from competitors.

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