It seems that Netflix is no longer fine with users sharing their passwords with other people because the popular video streaming service is testing a new account ownership verification prompt.
“This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so,” said Netflix spokesperson Ebony Turner. Users who see the prompt are asked to verify account ownership by a code, sent via email or text. At the time of writing, the test seems to be rolled out more or less randomly, but that could quickly change in the future.
Netflix, which now has more than 200 million subscribers around the world, said that users who are unable to verify account ownership wouldn’t be able to continue using the service unless they purchase their own subscription.
While this measure is unlikely to stop password sharing among friends and extended family members, who can simply share the required authorization code, but it may at least slow down password sharing on various online forums and dark web sites.
The decision to crack down on password sharing is likely a reaction to the growing competition Netflix is facing, with streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Hulu offering their own original TV shows and movies.
Back in 2016, Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hasting said that password sharing was something Netflix had to learn to live with because the amount of legitimate password sharing between family members was too high. Even in 2019, chief product officer Greg Peters stated that the streaming service had no plans to change its stance on password sharing.
Right now, Netflix’s terms of service state that the service is intended “for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” It’s not really clear whether Netflix means a physical household, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the company clarify its terms of service if the new account ownership verification prompt becomes a standard feature.
Stripe Enters The Middle East With Its UAE Launch
Stripe will initially only be available to UAE businesses, allowing them to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and attract customers from around the world.
Stripe, a provider of online payment processing for internet business, has finally expanded to the Middle East with its official launch in the United Arab Emirates. The Irish-American company also opened an office in Dubai Internet City, allowing it to be closer to its new customer base.
At first, Stripe will only be available to UAE businesses, allowing them to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and attract customers from around the world.
“The UAE is a thriving hub for technology, supported by strong investor appetite, internet-savvy consumers, and an open, innovative ecosystem of business leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Matt Henderson, EMEA Business Lead at Stripe. “Our launch today also means we can now connect our global user base to the Gulf, enabling them to seamlessly expand their operations in the region.”
Stripe’s entry into the Middle East market comes just weeks after its latest round of funding, which has resulted in the company’s value jumping up to $95 billion and making it one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world.
The UAE is the perfect entry point for the online payment processing provider because the total value of digital payment transactions in the gulf country has doubled in the last two years alone, reaching $18.5 billion in 2020. If the UAE remains on the current growth trajectory, its e-commerce sector is expected to add nearly another $10 billion over the next two years.
Another factor that makes the UAE such an ideal expansion point is the fact that accepting online payments in the country has historically been incredibly challenging. Stripe provides a straightforward setup process and developer-friendly APIs, making it easy for companies of all sizes to improve their online presence.
Last year, Stripe launched in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta. The company also expanded into Africa via Nigeria technology startup Paystack. In total, Stripe currently processes hundreds of billions of dollars each year.