News roundup 6/17: Apple Pay aims for browsers, beware of fake CEO emails, & more
By Sarah Beldo /
17 Jun 2016
Apple Pay coming to browsers (well…to Safari, at least)
A completely Apple-centric shopping experience could soon be yours – regardless of whether you’re on your phone or desktop computer – according to news from the recent World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Imagine this: you’re on your MacBook, doing a little shopping in the Safari browser. At checkout, you choose the new “Pay with Apple Pay” button, then confirm your identity using TouchID on your iPhone or tapping your Apple Watch.
It’s all part of Apple’s desire to become the easy and convenient payment method of choice for people shopping online, whether it’s using an app, the mobile web, or an e-commerce website. But will they succeed amid so much competition? After all, Google recently announced that Android Pay will also be available in browsers. Meanwhile, there’s PayPal – with its already wide availability across multiple platforms – to contend with. And considering that Safari is (so far) the only browser that will work with Apple Pay, and each e-commerce store will need to decide to integrate the new payment option … whether this announcement is a needle-mover is yet to be seen.
China’s cross-border commerce opportunity
Cross-border commerce in China is booming, and retailers are taking note. By 2020, 1 in every 4 members of the Chinese population is expected to buy something from a site based abroad or via third parties offering foreign products, new research from eMarketer reveals.
In 2015, online shopping increased by 70%, due to a combination of factors including a higher standard of living and more opportunities to buy foreign products through the launch of marketplaces like Alibaba’s Tmall Global. And eMarketer projects that in 2016, nearly 40% of Chinese consumers will buy cross-border, spending more than $85 billion. Considering that some reports suggest e-commerce is plateauing in the U.S., opportunities to reach a Chinese market could start looking more and more appealing.
Fake CEO scams on the rise
An out-of-the-blue email from the head of your company might already make you nervous – and now there’s a new reason to worry: fake CEO phishing scams (sometimes called “whaling” – in other words, phishing for a reaaaallly big fish) are on the rise. In a public service announcement, the FBI warned that phony emails requesting that employees wire money abroad has resulted in $3.1 billion in “exposed dollar losses” (including actual and attempted loss) since October 2013.
How does it work? The FBI outlined 5 different scenarios, including this one: a fraudster gets access to an executive’s legitimate business email account, through a technique like social engineering or malware. Then, they send an email from that account to another employee – typically in accounting or finance – to wire money to a specific bank. The FBI said that these transfers typically go to Asian banks within China and Hong Kong.
Of course, there are security products on the market to help prevent these types of attacks. But as we’ve seen before, education around what to look out for and avoid could be the best prevention of all.