Revamped Gmail Display Reveals Promotions

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Google’s revamp of its popular Gmail service might be a play to better push the search engine giant’s Offers.

Today, the Menlo Park, Calif. company changed the way Gmail is displayed — separating out social and promotional messages from notes from friends with tabs.

There is certainly a financial incentive for Google to push offers.

Advertisers pay Google 80 cents to 85 cents per click… If Google could show that a click resulted in a direct sale, then the payment would jump to $8. The problem for Google is that 70 percent of its clicks result in an offline sale, which can’t be tracked.

Already, Google Wallet is a method that attempts to close this marketing loop — something that perhaps Google’s foray into wearable computing, Glass, might be trying to achieve, as well.

Still, does anyone have any thoughts on whether this change to Gmail might be a trojan horse to Offers?

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Do People Trump Tech in Fraud Fight?

From, @AmerBanker:

While banks continue to take steps to strengthen security, hackers continue to up their capabilities and can outmatch banks’ best efforts to deter them, experts say.

Hackers “are certainly more sophisticated, it’s certainly not the 14-year-old sitting on his dad’s PC writing a virus,” says Mike Whitt, BBVA Compass’ chief information security officer. “This is a business for these guys, and it’s really a business that runs in kind of parallel to the legitimate market, so the actors can be anyone from organized crime, or even terrorist organizations, even state-sponsored attacks.”

According to Whitt, banks have an especially tough job because they are not security companies and have limited resources to devote to thwarting attacks, while attackers have “somewhat unlimited” resources “because most of the money that they are using is through ill-gotten gain.”

Doug Bergeron’s Parting Email

A source forwarded me this link in the wake of Doug Bergeron’s recent departure from VeriFone. I’m assured that it’s legitimate.

Doug Bergeron’s departure as CEO of VeriFone comes at a time when the point of sale terminal manufacturer disclosed that it has engaged in business dealings with Iran that may have been prohibited by recently enacted sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, as well as a recently filed shareholder lawsuit alleging securities fraud.
VeriFone made the disclosures in a 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for its fiscal first quarter 2013, less than two hours after the company announced Monday that Bergeron will step down on March 12. Its fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31.

I thought I would re-post this note here in order to incite some conversation.

From Jottit.com, (An anonymous website  builder):

{Doug Bergeron’s parting message to employees}

From: Doug Bergeron. Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 04:20 PM Subject: To All of You

Dear friends,

I write to you today with thoughts that are full of emotion and filled with love for you and our company.

Late last week, the VeriFone board met, and together with my agreement decided that the time is right for new leadership of the Company. We have had our victories together as well as our stumbles. Recently, we disappointed our investors with some terrible results that I have largely blamed on our own issues. This was my responsibility and I accept the consequences.

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The Follow-Up: The One Thing Banks Should Never Do on Facebook and Twitter

From @AmerBanker:

On the surface, Facebook and Twitter are a bank marketer’s dream.

Access to millions of people through a single social login process (whereby users don’t need separate passwords and usernames for their Internet bank accounts). All of your customers right on the platform. And aid in registering and creating new online accounts.

But after both social networks admitted this month that they have been the targets of malicious attempts to hack their systems, bankers could soon adopt a new mantra: Don’t use Facebook’s or Twitter’s sign-on services, no matter how appealing either seems.

Should Facebook’s Latest Close Call Stop Bank Partnerships?

Facebook’s latest admission that it was nearly the victim of a malicious cyber attack should send a clear message to banks and financial services companies: Don’t work too closely with the social network.

The Menlo Park, Calif. company has been eager to work with payment networks and others in order to expand its reach into people’s wallets.

Here are the details, via TechCrunch:

A “sophisticated attack” uploaded malware onto the computers of several Facebook engineers when they visited a hacked mobile developer site. Facebook quickly quarantined and scrubbed the devices, called the police, and kicked off an investigation. So far, there’s been no evidence that any user data had been compromised. Perhaps the attackers were after Facebook’s trade secrets or information about partners. Regardless, it was a very close call.

To date, Facebook has managed to keep what is possibly the world’s largest repository of private information from falling into the wrong hands. Its fellow social networks haven’t been as successful. Twitter most recently saw 250,000 accounts accessed by hackers, and last year the passwords for 6.5 million LinkedIn accounts were stolen and published online.

But there’s a huge difference between those social networks getting hacked, and someone getting into your Facebook account. Most data on Twitter and LinkedIn is public by default. Sure there are direct messages, or the few misguided souls who keep their profiles locked down. On Facebook, though, privacy is the default. That means Facebook has a lot more to lose from getting hacked.

Banks and regulators would be smart to notice that the sheer size of the Facebook’s nervous system makes it vulnerable to such attacks. And that should stop executives from ever trusting any customer data with the company.

Do you agree?