Apple- ‘Showtime’ March 25th; Amazon Lets 3rd Parties Sell For Less Elsewhere; PayPal-Instant US Bank Transfers; Debit Card with Fingerprint Sensor

Apple will hold an event March 25th that is widely expected to be the rollout of their rumored TV streaming and Apple News services. Theverge.com reports that Apple may also bow the updated AirPods, and freshened entry level iPad, as well as the oft-delayed AirPower wireless charging pad that can charge your phone, Watch, and AirPods at the same time. Interestingly, Apple used ‘It’s show time’ once before…in 2006 when they added movies to iTunes and unveiled Apple TV (which was dubbed iTV at the time.)

Amazon has dropped its policy of banning 3rd party merchants fro selling products for less on other sites. According to geekwire.com, the change went into effect yesterday. Amazon critics had called the ‘price parity provisions’ a violation of antitrust laws. In December, Senator Richard Blumenthal had asked the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to investigate the policy.

PayPal has launched an Instant Transfer option in the US that over money directly to your bank account, not just your debit card. It’s much like businesses have had available for some time. Engadget.com says it will work through JPMorgan Chase’s access to The Clearing House, a platform major banks use for faster payment networks. As yet, it’s not available overseas. PayPal is touting it as a nice flexibility option for gig economy and freelance workers. You will have to pay a 1% fee, however.

It’s great to use contactless payments…like with Apple Pay and Google…but what if you just want to drag out some cash? You have to whip out the debit card and poke in the PIN number…and there have been numerous reports of hacking ATM machines, with cams that can read your PIN. Now, NatWest is trialing a debit card in Britain with a fingerprint sensor built in. Bgr.com reports that the cards still use NFC tech, but because they can verify with a fingerprint, they don’t have a payment limit. The only somewhat limiting feature is that you have to go in to a bank branch to set it up. Your actual print is stored on the card, so can’t be hacked in the bank database. It would still be possible to spoof your print, though, if bad guys get hold of your card. If the trial goes well, it may be expanded to Visa and Mastercard for pilot programs.

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