Tech & Tonic: Signature stripping, Mastercard bares all

Card to beat. Photo by  Code Mnml  on  Unsplash

Card to beat. Photo by Code Mnml on Unsplash

News story of the week: A sign of the times for Mastercard

Delighting everyone in the world who has a rubbish signature, Mastercard has introduced a voluntary programme for banks to eliminate the signature panel on plastic. 

Given that no retailer in the last 32 years has ever thought to check the card signature even matches my receipt (it never does) this is a welcome step, and one that is also welcomed by giant US supermarket chain, Walmart.

…removing the signature panel from the cards will reinforce the need for all stakeholders to leverage truly effective authentication technologies to address fraud
— Mike Cook, Walmart senior vice president and assistant treasurer

Comment piece of the week: Clegg and Zuckerberg sitting in a tree…

Following the former Lib Dem leader’s recent appointment as Facebook’s head of global affairs and communications, City AM takes a look at whether the role marks a new revolving door between politics and Silicon Valley.

Entrepreneur and investor Leon Emirali argues YES. He posits that ‘stifling regulation, immense political upheaval, and very deep pockets have created the perfect environment for a politics/tech merry-go-round’, also stating what a boon the weather will be for Clegg in California. 

Interestingly, Emirali fails to spot the irony in Facebook paying Clegg with the very money that the social network could have paid UK government in tax during Clegg’s reign. Power to the people.

On the other side of the debate is Olivia Utley, deputy editor at TheArticle, who argues NO. Utley believes that the once positive mood in Westminster and Silicon Valley has now changed dramatically, owing to Brexit shaking Westminster into understanding that their ‘liberal global worldview’ is not shared by the worldwide (digital) community. 

Number of the week: Financial eduction works!

While we all know that the benefits of a financial education should never knowingly be undersold (cheers, Mr John Lewis), a study from research firm ERS finds that it can have a five-fold return on investment.

The company delivered money management ‘survival’ workshops to more than a thousand 16-25 year olds who were not in work and found that every £1 spent on the programme created over £5 in social value, growing to over £8 outside of London. Essentially, those who attended the workshops spent wiser and saved successfully. We argue that none of these people have ever stepped foot in John Lewis’ tech department.

Quote of the week

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