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This week, we sat down with Robert H. Caldwell, Founding Partner of G2 Web Services, to interview him on cyberlockers and marketplace merchants, and the risk they present to the payment system. Read on for Bob’s insights into where cyberlockers and marketplace merchants fit in the payment system, the risks associated with them, and best practices for payment providers to mitigate risk associated with these entities.

Cyberlockers are third party file-sharing – also known as “file hosting” – services. Examples of popular cyberlockers are DropBox, Hotfile, MegaVideo, and RapidShare. While there are practical applications for this type of service – such as transferring documents and photos between friends, or collaborating with remote colleagues – these file sharing merchants can also pose immense risk to acquirers. Cyberlockers have been repeatedly found to be associated with brand damaging, risky, or even illegal content, including violent video and intellectual property rights infringement. This business model is currently largely unregulated and very difficult to monitor, so acquirers should proceed with caution.

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