Tag: cards

The South African Post Office (SAPO) is now able to accept debit and credit cards as a payment method for the renewal of motor vehicle licences at all its branches that offer the service.

The service is available at selected post offices in all provinces except Mpumalanga and the Western Cape. The list of branches where the service is available can be checked here.

The renewal of motor vehicle licences is the most popular transaction at Post Office branches – clear evidence of the success of this service.

If you did not receive a renewal notice, the renewal form (ALV) can also be downloaded here.

Motorists who have received a traffic fine issued in terms of the AARTO Act may pay the traffic fine at any Post Office countrywide.

Make ornaments from old greeting cards

Original article by Amy Johnson for Maker Mama 

It’s nearly time to start spring cleaning. Some things in life we find hard to throw away, and one of those is holiday and birthday cards received from those close to you.

One way to save them is to use old cards to make paper ball ornaments.

They’re free and easy to make with simple supplies, and would be perfect for your own decor or even as a little gift.

The main supplies you’ll need are some paper and a cutting tool, such as a circle punch.

You can use any paper you have around, but make sure it’s about card stock weight, otherwise it won’t keep it’s shape well. Likewise, if you don’t have a circle cutting tool, you can trace something circular and cut them by hand (double the paper up so it’ll go faster).

Start by cutting out 21 circles in different colours and patterns.

To create your template and start folding your circles follow these steps:

  • Lay out your extra circle piece.
  • Fold it in half.
  • Fold it in half again to make an X in your circle.
  • Fold a small section into the middle.
  • Fold an equal-sized section into the middle, overlapping the first section.
  • Fold the third section over the others, creating a triangle (try to keep the sections as equal as possible).
  • Cut away the flaps leaving your equilateral triangle as the template.
  • Place the template on top of a new circle and fold flaps along the lines.
  • Remove the template and you have the basic piece that will make up your ornament.

Now fold the rest until you have twenty folded triangle-circles (the template makes it go by pretty fast).

Next, bust out your craft glue of choice.

I went for the hot glue gun for the sake of time. I’ve used white glue on previous ones and had to paperclip the flaps together to ensure they stay together, and it took much longer to dry.

Take 10 of your pieces and line them up in a row, alternating the direction they’re pointing.

Next, glue the first and last pieces together.

You should have five flaps facing out on both the top and bottom.

Take your 10 remaining pieces and lay them out for the top and bottom of the ornament.

This time you want them all pointing toward the center, creating a circular shape.

After you glue the flaps together, you’ll have two domed pieces with five flaps on the bottom of each.

Glue the top and bottom pieces together along the flaps.

To hang it up, punch a hole in the top and string some yarn through.

By Veronica An for The Hub

Despite being known as the digital generation, tech-obsessed millennials are spending more money on handmade cards and letterpress stationery.

“Everyone says that paper is dying but our experience is that paper is not dying,” said Rosanna Kvernmo, who runs Iron Curtain Press and the adjacent stationery store, Shorthand, in Highland Park.

According to a report by Paper Culture, the average number of holiday cards purchased by customers has actually increased by 38 percent over the last five years.

“I don’t think this is just a flash in the pan,” Kvernmo said. “I think stationery is here to stay.”

Stationery makers and letter pressers agree that millennials are some of their biggest consumers.

“I interface with people a lot and, yes, I can say that people are sending cards again,” said Elisa Goodman, 62, owner of Curmudgeon Cards. Goodman has an online store and travels to various art fairs and open air markets in Los Angeles to sell her cards.

Goodman has been making her unique brand of handmade cards for 18 years and says her message is one that resonates with millennials as well as Baby Boomers. Goodman started making cards while dealing with a difficult time in her life and said that encouragement cards were among the first she created.

“I’m happy millennials are resonating with my brand so much. They really are appreciative of the quality and not price-resistant to the cost of handmade cards,” Goodman said.

Curmudgeon Cards retail for $10-$12 – about double the cost of digitally printed cards. Goodman sells many of her cards at craft fairs and farmers markets across L.A.

Cost still a factor
Still, other stationery-makers cite price as a sticking point with customers. Letter pressers say that the cost of paper and ink have gone up, not to mention the difficulty of working with machines that are out of production.

Adam Smith, 38, the owner of Life is Funny letterpress, got his start at Sugar Paper letterpress in 2006 and purchased his own press, a 1953 Heidelberg Windmill, in 2013. He said his cards retail at comparable prices to digitally printed cards which make them more affordable than most.

“One of my biggest clients is Alfred Coffee so the people who are buying these cards are who you’d expect …millennials with money,” Smith said.

According to customers, Smith’s sarcastic cards appeal to millennials. One card under the “Love” category tagged as #FirstDateWarnings says “I Use A Lot Of Emojis…I Hope You’re Okay With That.”

In addition to letter presses that have opened recently, older L.A.-based companies are also seeing an increase in business. Aardvark Letterpress, a family-owned letterpress in MacArthur Park, celebrated its 50th year in 2018 and owners say that not much has changed in terms of production.

“People are rediscovering [letterpress] and coming back to us…but the economic factors are still an issue,” said Cary Ocon, co-owner of Aardvark Letterpress.

Ocon said the company saw a drop in sales during and after the 2008 recession but that they are currently doing well. Although sales have not quite surpassed pre-recession numbers, Ocon said Aardvark still does solid business with many celebrities, entertainment companies, and governmental organizations, including the mayor’s office.

“I think there’s this reaction to the temporary nature of stuff – most things aren’t even printed anymore, they’re just read and shared digitally,” Ocon said. “I think people realize that this is a whole different product…so much more work goes into it than digital printing.”

Unique feel
Customers at Aardvark agree, saying that they are willing to pay extra for the uniqueness of letterpress.

“The presentation is everything,” said Darius Washington, founder of the D Hollywood Agency.

Washington was shopping for letterpress and foil printed business cards for his clients and said he had heard about Aardvark Letterpress through Instagram.

“Letterpress has that special feel to it. It’s like old cars, there’s something special about the handcrafted effort,” Washington said.

The handcrafted nature makes letterpress and handmade cards ideal for customization.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine and a report by Forbes, customization is a major selling point for millennials.

Specialization works for Goodman, who said she accepts many commissions for Curmudgeon Cards and Aardvark Letterpress has an in-house designer who can make custom designers for clients.

“People want to connect,” Kvernmo said. “There’s something about connecting with paper that’s more special than connecting through text.”

By Sam Rutherford for Gizmodo; and Angela Monaghan for The Guardian

Despite the prevalence of credit cards and payment services like Venmo and Apple Pay, when things go wrong, cash is still king.

Europe and the UK got a really good reminder of that after a network crash on 1 June prevented millions of Visa credit and debit card holders from making any transactions.

Things got even worse when some MasterCard and American Express cards started getting declined after transactions were rerouted through Visa’s IT network.

All told, this issue created a pretty big headache for a lot of Europeans who found that when trying to buy tickets for a train or bus ride home after work, the cards in the wallets had suddenly reverted to being useless pieces of plastic.

In addition to many gas and railway stations, other major outlets including Mark’s and Spencer’s and Sainsbury’s were unable to accept payments from Visa cards, with The Guardian reporting that after learning about the issue, “some customers were simply dumping their shopping at the tills”.

Apparently people with Visa debit cards were still able to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Visa UK first tweeted out a statement regarding “service disruptions” shortly before 6pm London time, after problems first started around 2:30pm. This was later followed up by an announcement from UK Finance, the trade association that represents payment firms in Britain:

Visa is currently experiencing a service disruption which is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed. It is investigating the cause and acting as quickly as possible to resolve the situation. Visa is working with banks, building societies, merchant acquirers and card providers to return to a normal service and will provide regular updates.

Meanwhile, MPs are demanding answers from Visa, who were down for half a day after a “hardware failure”.

“A third of all spending in the UK is processed by Visa. It’s deeply worrying, therefore, that such a vital part of the country’s payment infrastructure can fail so catastrophically,” Nicky Morgan, the chairwoman of the Treasury select committee, said.

“The consequences were sudden and severe. Many consumers and businesses were left stranded on Friday, unable to make or accept payments, with chaos reported in shops.”

A committee has been formed, and is seeking answers on a number of issues, including whether or not cardholders or shopkeepers will be entitled to compensation, and what steps Visa will take to prevent a similar system failure in the future.

Top tricks used by card fraudsters in SA

By Timothy Rangongo for Business Insider SA 
Source: South African Banking Risk Information Centre

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has released its card fraud statistics for 2017.

South Africa’s banking industry was hit with a 1% increase in credit card fraud in 2017, which rose to R436.7 million, according to the latest report on card fraud.

Debit cards were the least hit by fraud, which declined by 8.5% to R342.2 million in the same period.

CEO of SABRIC, Kalyani Pillay, attributes the decrease in debit card fraud to a reduction in lost and/or stolen and counterfeit card fraud.
“Criminals are always adjusting their tactics to take advantage of innovations in the banking landscape.”

Sabric lists these as the trending types of fraud in South Africa:

Lost and/or stolen card fraud
In many cases lost and/or stolen cards are obtained by interfering with customers while transacting at an ATM; criminals distract victims by offering them assistance during which the card and PIN are obtained.
The card is then used repeatedly at ATMs until the daily cash withdrawal limit on the card is reached, after which high value transactions are made at merchants.

Not-received issued-card fraud
Here, criminals intercept a genuinely-issued card before it reaches the customer.

False-application card fraud
Accounts are opened by falsifying a credit applications.

Counterfeit card fraud
Counterfeit cards are made using information stolen from the magnetic strip of a genuine card, usually through card skimming.

Card-skimming via Point of Sale (POS) devices
The first POS skimming devices were retrieved in South Africa in 2014, according to Sabric. Criminals steal legitimate POS devices from merchants and then convert them into skimming devices. In some instances, devices are swapped between different merchants to make it seem as if all devices are accounted for.

Account-takeover card fraud
The common denominator for both account-takeover fraud and false-application fraud is access to the personal information of victims. Takeovers are done by obtaining personal or client-specific information, pretending to be the client and then applying for a replacement card.

Card not present card fraud (CNP)
These transactions are done via telephone or internet. Criminals source card data in various ways such as phishing, vishing, malware, and data breaches.

How you can protect yourself against card fraud:

  • Don’t disclose personal information such as passwords and PINs when asked to do so by anyone via telephone, fax, or even email
  • Don’t write down PINs and passwords, and avoid obvious choices like birth dates and first names
  • Don’t use any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) as a password, user ID, or personal identification number (PIN)
  • Don’t use internet cafes or unsecured terminals (hotels, conference centres etc.) to do your banking
  • Review your account statements on a timely basis and query disputed transactions with your bank immediately
  • When shopping online, only place orders with your card on secure websites
  • Do not send e-mails that quote your card number and expiry date
  • Ensure that you get your own card back after every purchase
  • Report lost and stolen cards immediately
  • If you have a debit, cheque and credit card, don’t choose the same PIN for all of them. If you lose one, the others will still be safe
  • While transacting always keep an eye on the ATM card slot to ensure that your card is not taken out, skimmed, and replaced without your knowledge
  • Should your card be retained by an ATM, contact your bank and block your card before you leave the ATM
  • Subscribe to your bank’s SMS notification services to inform you of any transactional activity on your account

 

Card skimming is a problem in South Africa, with debit and credit card users scammed out of money thanks to advanced software and hardware used by criminals.

Waiters and bar staff at restaurants are often perpetrators of card fraud, and in some cases are recruited by syndicates and supplied with the means to steal customers’ money.

“The card fraud perpetrators provide business staff with handheld skimming devices and reward them for skimming customers’ cards,” states The Banking Association of South Africa.

If you visit a restaurant or bar and are concerned about card skimming fraud, this is what you need to watch out for.

Shoulder surfing and thermal technology

When entering your PIN into a point-of-sale device, make sure the keypad is covered and not visible to others.

Waiters or bar staff may “shoulder surf” their victims, watching them enter their PIN.

Armed with a smartphone and a thermal imaging attachment, criminals can also steal your PIN using thermal technology.

Because you leave behind a thermal signature when you press buttons on a keypad, criminals can use a smartphone with a FLIR ONE thermal imaging attachment to figure out your PIN.

As there is a time lapse between the time you press the first and last buttons, it is easy to figure out what your PIN is.

To combat this, touch all the buttons on the keypad after entering your PIN.

The victim’s card is often stolen or cloned during the transaction or at a later time in combination with the above.

Dropping or cleaning the card

Watch out for a waiter who drops you card, leaves the table with your card, or states that your card needs cleaning.

Card skimming devices can be hidden under an apron or on a waiter’s ankle, and only require one swipe to store card details.

A waiter may “drop” your card at the table, and swipe it on a device attached to their ankle, or “clean” the card’s strip by wiping it on the inside of their apron – skimming it at the same time.

Also ensure that the waiter does not leave the table with your card to “fetch a new card machine”, as they will have ample time to skim it.

These tricks are used in combination with shoulder surfing.

The broken card machine

“This card machine is not working so I am just going to get another one quickly.” This is a line patrons must listen out for.

Waiters may have a point-of-sale device which has card cloning software loaded onto it.

You swipe your card and enter you PIN like you would on a normal card machine, but this device records and stores all your information.

When you are done, the waiter claims the machine is broken, and fetches the restaurant’s legitimate POS device to settle your bill.

Using fake point-of-sale devices

Handheld skimming devices often resemble real POS devices, with only small differences noticeable.

First Calgary Financial has advice for spotting the difference: if you cannot insert your chip card with your thumb pointed at the device and have your thumb remain fully on your card, do not enter your PIN.

 

Tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • If you suspect a card machine is fake or being used suspiciously, demand to inspect it and call a manager to verify it is legitimate.
  • Never let your credit or debit card out of your sight.
  • Cover the keypad when entering a PIN.
  • Inspect all slips from POS devices, even after failed transactions.
  • Sign up for SMS notifications from your bank, and regularly check your bank statement.
  • Check your card after every transaction – ensure it is the correct card.
  • Touch, but do not press, other keys on a keypad when entering a PIN, as criminals may have access to thermal technology.
  • Use cash if you feel uncertain about the POS device or establishment.

Source: www.mybroadband.co.za

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