News

Mobile payment startup Square said to be raising funds at US$6b valuation
August 28, 2014, 2:30 pm

The San Francisco-based company is seeking about US$200 million, with some of the funding coming from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. That would push Square’s valuation up from about US$5 billion earlier this year.

Aaron Zamost, a spokesman for Square, declined to comment. A spokesman for GIC didn’t immediately provide comment. CNBC earlier reported on Square’s financing discussions.

Square is one of a crop of technology startups to target a large valuation as investors bet on companies that are at the forefront of

Top Five Mobile Banking Security Tips From Tech CU
August 28, 2014, 2:14 pm

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 27, 2014) -  A record number of consumers today are banking on their mobile devices for everything from balance inquiries to mobile deposits. According to research group AlixPartners, mobile banking is now used by 28 percent of banking Americans, with 60 percent of smartphone/tablet users saying mobile banking capabilities are "important" or "extremely important" in their decision to switch banks. With this convenience, however, comes the potential for fraud and security breaches.

This summer, the first major mobile security threats hit the U.S. -- malware called Svpeng and HijackRAT -- signaling financial institutions to step up security. Technology,

Apple iPhone 6 expected to include mobile payments, NFC
August 28, 2014, 2:11 pm

There's more evidence Apple is diving into the world of mobile payments with its next iPhone.

Wired, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Thursday that NFC, or near-field communication, is coming to the hotly anticipated iPhone 6 and will power a new mobile-payment platform on the device. NFC allows for touchless, short-distance interaction between a mobile device and other objects, often used to allow payments at a register or a quick way for one phone to recognize another.

Amid the bevy of iPhone rumors coming out in the run-up to the smartphone's expected launch on September 9, the NFC prediction was already hinted

Digital payments could help billions of people without access to banks
August 28, 2014, 2:10 pm

Expanding the use of digital payments such as mobile money and electronic transfers in developing countries could spur economic growth and ease income inequality, while advancing towards the G20’s goal to bring financial services to an estimated 2.5 billion adults who are excluded from the formal banking sector.

Building on a telecoms revolution that has connected many of the world’s poor people to mobile banking services, a report published on Thursday argues that governments in the G20 should target digital payments as a way to help people access basic banking facilities, which it says will encourage saving while reducing theft and

Western Union Launches Digital Remittance Business in Europe
August 28, 2014, 1:53 pm

The regions include Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Western Union’s customers in this region will now be able to make online and mobile Western UnionMoney Transfer® transactions using their bank accounts. With this service, senders can customize the remittance to suit the preferences of the recipients. This service has been developed by Western Union with the help of Sofort AG in Austria, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom and with iDeal for services in the Netherlands.   In May, the company launched a new website in Nigeria which will facilitate the consumer to send funds to more than 500,000

Mozilla aims to break Indian mobile market with $33 smartphone
August 26, 2014, 11:45 am

The ‘Intel Cloud FX’ will be exclusively available online from Indian retailer Snapdeal, and will run on Mozilla's latest Firefox operating system.

It has a 1.0 GHz processor and expandable memory of up to 4GB in addition to dual-SIM capabilities, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It also supports the Hindi and Tamil languages.

Instead of competing with high-end devices from Samsung and Apple, the phone will provide a cheap alternative to non-internet enabled mobiles that are rapidly being replaced in the Indian market.

Dr Li Gong, president of Mozilla, said: “It is exciting to see the Intex Cloud FX now available as the first Firefox OS device in India and Asia. The positive consumer

How Barclays is restoring banking trust with innovation
August 26, 2014, 11:43 am

Following the proverbial lambasting it has received since the financial crisis shook the world in 2008, the banking sector is left picking up the pieces to regain trust among customers.

Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins is at the forefront of this industry-wide charm offensive, and technology is his tool of choice.

It just so happens that this culture change coincides directly with a time when innovation is transforming the way people transact and organise their finances. Barclays has spotted an opportunity to lead this shift.

In May, a significant scaling down of its investment bank signified a drastic

Mobile commerce popularity crown handed to eBay
August 26, 2014, 11:39 am

Ofcom has now released a report that has identified eBay as the leading mobile commerce retailer in the United Kingdom in terms of its popularity among consumers throughout the country.

The same report also pointed out that 41 percent of consumers spend a minimum monthly £100 over smartphones and tablets.

This represents an increase of 4 percent in the proportion of people who are spending over that amount in monthly mobile commerce shopping. The report was produced by Ofcom Communications in their 2014 market report. According to that report, eBay had a reach over m-commerce that had hit the 34 percent mark, which was

 Will WeChat Succeed in Mobile Commerce?

Will WeChat Succeed in Mobile Commerce?
August 26, 2014, 11:37 am

Twenty two-year-old Yin Junyu has been selling fashion accessories made of synthetic pearls and designer jewelry replicas for the last two years at a small store in Beijing’s Tongzhou district. A couple of months back, she felt the urge to try something new and decided to open an online shop on WeChat, China’s leading social messaging app.

Many small business owners in China like Yin are setting up shop-fronts online to capitalize on China’s e-commerce boom. Till recently this trend was restricted to traditional e-commerce players like Alibaba’s Taobao, but now social networking app WeChat has joined the fray.

Sequent Awarded “One Tap” Mobile Payments Patent
August 26, 2014, 11:33 am

With one tap functionality, mobile wallets can transmit multiple cards--such as payment, loyalty, coupons and offers--at the same time to a merchant’s point of sale (POS) system. This key mobile payments feature is available to any mobile app that uses Sequent’s platform and APIs.

“By leveraging our platform banks, merchants and others can add this key functionality to their apps and offer the best, most intuitive payment experience to consumers.”

“One tap functionality is arguably more important to mobile payments than ‘one click’ functionality was to e-commerce,” said Robb Duffield, Sequent CEO. “By enabling coupons, loyalty and payment cards to be

Ericsson study sees bright future for mobile banking
August 25, 2014, 2:28 pm

The report -- Mobile Commerce in Emerging Asia -- by Ericsson ConsumerLab studied Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam and explored the possibilities of widespread m-commerce adoption in emerging Asia.
The target group for the study was mobile phone users aged 15–59 years in urban and sub-rural areas. Some 6,000 consumers and 900 merchants in total were chosen from approximately six million people in Bangladesh, 24 million in Indonesia and 12 million in Vietnam.


The research reveals that 54 percent of the respondents in Indonesia have used money transfer services, followed by Vietnam at 45 percent and Bangladesh at 34

Idea Cellular launches mobile wallet, Idea Money
August 25, 2014, 2:25 pm

The service was launched in Mumbai in July and it will be expanded across the country in a phased manner, a company source said. The source, however, refused to share a timeline for the availability of the service across pan-India.

Mobile operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Tata Teleservices are already offering such mobile wallet services.

As per the company's website, Idea Money is a semi-closed prepaid payment instrument offered by Idea Mobile Commerce Services Limited (IMCSL), which has got a licence from Reserve Bank of India to offer this service.

"Simply put,

Banks are falling behind on mobile commerce
August 25, 2014, 2:23 pm

The mobile payments space is evolving at a rapid pace and banks are struggling to keep up. Innovative mobile services appear to be launching on a daily basis and many of these services are changing the way people pay for products online and in the real world. Those finding the most success in this field are those outside of the financial service industry, but banks still have a chance to establish a stronger presence in the mobile commerce market.

Rapid adoption of mobile payment services highlights the slow progress banks have made

The rapid adoption of mobile commerce among consumers is pressuring banks to

Why China Will Lead Innovation in Social and Mobile Commerce
August 25, 2014, 2:21 pm

Some think it refers to those annoying ads on Facebook. According to Wikipedia, social commerce is the use of social networks in the context of e-commerce transactions.

In China, social commerce has taken up a life of its own and become the backbone of e-commerce.

While the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has gone viral on Facebook, Chinese consumers use social media in a much more thoughtful way. Instead of posting some silly videos and pictures, they turn to social media to solve real life problems, to seek advice from friends and opinion leaders, and to decide what products to buy or

UK mobile payments set to grow this year
August 25, 2014, 2:19 pm

A new report from eMarketer predicts that mobile payments are set for more success in the United Kingdom. Many people throughout the country have become quite fond of the idea of mobile commerce, praising its convenient nature and the efforts that many retailers are making to engage mobile consumers. Mobile commerce is quite prevalent among online shoppers, but a growing number of people are using their mobile devices to make purchases in physical stores as well.

Mobile sales throughout the UK are expected to be 65% higher than they were last year

According to the report from eMarketer, the growth rate of mobile commerce in

CIMB, AIS To Develop Mobile Banking Solutions
August 22, 2014, 5:37 pm

Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday, which marks Thailand’s first business alliance between a bank and a mobile service operator.

The official launch of the banking solutions is expected in the fourth quarter this year.

“Under the MoU, Beat Banking is targeted at the “new‟” consumers and will be developed to complement their modern lifestyle where mobile phones are an integral part of their daily lives.

“The first product to be launched under this initiative will be an electronic deposit account where customers can deposit, withdraw or transfer money easily anywhere and anytime,” CIMB Thai president and chief

Wearable tech privacy concerns are high, according to new study
August 22, 2014, 5:33 pm

A recent study from Acquity Group and Accenture Interactive found that while over 69% of American adults intend to own an in-home IoT (Internet of Things) device by the year 2019, only 13 percent are likely to own one by the end of next year, and the primary reason that adoption rate is so low is Americans are worried about their privacy when it comes to using wearable tech devices.

The study also found that only 9% of consumers would share free data with brands.

The percentage of consumers who would share data for free increased when they were offered a discount or

St George introduces fingerprint access for mobile banking
August 22, 2014, 5:29 pm

Known as Touch ID, the biometric log-in will be the first of its kind for mobile banking in Australia, and will be rolled out for use on the iPhone 5S from September. Westpac customers will be able to use the feature shortly after this, with Android compatibility for the Samsung Galaxy S5 set to follow "in the coming months".

After the bank completes the final stages of testing this month, St George customers will be able to choose an option on the home screen of the St George mobile banking app to securely log in to internet banking using Touch ID. Alternatively,

Can smart cards bypass mobile?
August 22, 2014, 5:27 pm

Are you shocked by the question? Whether you are or not, you'll likely be shocked by the answer. Secure chips, whether on plastic or in phones will always get smarter — no shock there. Smartphones are here to stay and will be used increasingly for payment — no shock there. Now sit down, because here comes the shock.

Chip cards can now do what smartphones can do — allow financial institutions to issue new applications to their existing card clients, without having to reissue the card or require the cardholder to come into a branch. It happens using over-the-air provisioning.

This is the

MobiKwik introduces India’s first Mobile Money transfer service
August 22, 2014, 5:25 pm

Launched on June 20, the new W2W service allows MobiKwik’s eight million registered users to make digital and mobile money transfers direct to consumers in one simple click.

MobiKwik Cofounder, Upasana Taku said “As acceptance of online payments and mobile wallet usage grows, Indian consumers are looking for simpler ways to make electronic transfers. This new feature gives consumers the convenient option of paying anyone at any time, from anywhere in a highly secure manner.”

The new W2W service also includes a unique 'Request Money' feature which provides users a simple method of alerting others of any pending

Wearable technology featured at the first Toronto Men’s Fashion Week
August 21, 2014, 3:16 pm

As the first ever Men’s Fashion Week was hosted in Toronto, all eyes were focused not only on the very latest and hottest in menswear, but were also on high tech wearable technology in a range of different forms.

Everything from LED helmets to brain-sensing headbands – and everything in between – was present.

Even a wearable technology tie made its way down the runway in the Canadian city’s fashion shows for men that took place at the Fairmont Royal York hotel. The wearables were spotted in a number of shapes and designs and were used for several different purposes. The primary

ABA Survey: More Consumers Embracing Mobile Banking
August 21, 2014, 3:13 pm

WASHINGTON - While the Internet remains America's most popular banking method, mobile banking has steadily gained momentum and is now preferred by 10 percent of consumers-up from 8 percent in 2013-according to a recent survey by the American Bankers Association. 

The annual survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted for ABA by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, Aug. 7-12, 2014.  This is the sixth year in a row that customers have named the Internet as their favorite way of conducting their banking business, albeit by a slimmer margin than last year. Thirty-one percent of respondents said it is the

Consumer Mobile Payment Adoption is Pressuring Banks
August 21, 2014, 3:11 pm

While the innovation headlines are being made by the digital innovators and new industry entrants, banks still have a window of opportunity to take strategic advantage and preserve their traditional payments franchise.

The rapid adoption of mobile payments by young consumers, the inroads being made by the digital brands, and the enduring trust reputation of banks defines the competitive landscape. Our most recent consumer research study spotlights the strategic challenges faced by banks.

Mobile money-related transactions have become a common occurrence for younger consumers in recent years. From making P2P transfers and ordering takeout, to purchasing everyday items and paying for

WorldRemit launches mobile recharge service in Taiwan
August 21, 2014, 3:09 pm

WorldRemit, the online money transfer provider, announces that customers in Taiwan can now send mobile recharge to friends and family overseas.

Customers can send airtime to 80 countries, with money being added instantly to recipients’ pre-paid phones.

WorldRemit’s founder and CEO, Ismail Ahmed said, “Mobile airtime is a key part of our modern, connected world. For billions of people it is a means of accessing employment, healthcare and financial services, as well as their gateway to the internet.

“However, until recently it was extremely difficult to send an airtime recharge to someone in another country. Now, with WorldRemit the process is not only simple, but also

Zimbabwe: Econet Offers Telecash Employees Double Salary
August 21, 2014, 3:00 pm

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has been blamed for fishing directly in Telecel's skills pond, a move which has been described by analysts as dirty tactics to beat competition.

Econet Wireless has allegedly dangled a 100 percent salary increase offer to Telecel software developers, which saw some programmers threatening to quit if Telecel did not match the offer, while a senior programmer has already left for the greener pastures.

Impeccable sources at Telecel Zimbabwe said the development could threaten the viability of mobile phone operator at the height of the process of developing its mobile money system, as some developers have allegedly submitted letters

Airtel Partners VeriFone to Bring Mobile Money Solution to 17 Countries in Africa
August 21, 2014, 2:50 pm

The partnership will enable Airtel to work with banks, insurance and transport companies to expand access to mobile financial tools and services to its Airtel Money customers.

According to VeriFone, the retail enablement application is integrated to VeriFone's range of payment devices across the group, enabling the deployment of Mobile POS (mPOS), POS and Biometrics for International Remittance to Airtel Money customers. VeriFone's payment devices support a wide variety of card payment options including NFC, mobile wallets, EMV, and contactless payments.

VeriFone Mobile Money, a joint venture between VeriFone Systems and Mobilis Networks Limited, offers mobile money transfer

10 years later: Google's pivotal IPO launched a decade of big bets
August 19, 2014, 12:15 pm

And CEO Larry Page is determined to push even further.

Page's vision is that Google's products and services will become the control centre of people's lives: The company's driverless cars will chauffeur people around safer roads and deliver goods within hours of an online order. People won't even have to bother leaving their homes, which will be made more comfortable and enjoyable through the use of smart appliances. Robots will handle tedious chores and other jobs, freeing up time for people to enjoy lives prolonged by health-management tools and disease-fighting breakthroughs engineered by Google. Internet-connected eyewear and watches will supplement the smartphones that

Banking Brand Myths: Larger Banks Don’t Care, Smaller Banks Offer Better Service
August 19, 2014, 12:13 pm

Here’s another: Smaller banks offer their customers a high level of personal service built around an amazing customer experience, but often lack technology. However, according to Gallup research on retail banking brand attributes, while some of these long-held beliefs are true, others need to be revisited.

Myth: Large Banks Don’t Care as Much as Small Banks
While it is true that national banks score better or as well as their smaller counterparts on attributes like, “Lets me bank anywhere, anytime, anyway I want,” and “Rewards me for the relationship I have with them,” they also do just as well or

Is India the Next Big E-commerce Market?
August 19, 2014, 12:10 pm

As online retailers in India invest heavily into ramping up their infrastructure including supply chains and better mobile solutions, Accel Partners predicts that by 2016, the Indian e-commerce market will reach $8.5 billion, an increase from 2014’s $2 billion.

While it’s still a small portion of the $638 billion in global mobile commerce volume as predicted by Goldman Sachs, the Indian e-commerce market is still attracting plenty of attention.

Indian online retailer, Flipkart, recently raised $1 billion from investors around the globe.

According to a report completed by ASSOCHAM and comScore, Flipkart is also the king of Internet traffic in India, ranking first among online

Mobile Commerce Myths: Fact vs. Fiction
August 19, 2014, 12:08 pm

In fact, the U.S. mobile commerce market is poised to hit $114 billion in 2014, and projected to influence more than $600 billion in total retail sales by 2016, according to Forrester Research. eBusiness professionals are aware of the dire need to create an engaging mobile experience for shoppers and integrate this experience with an overarching omnichannel strategy. However, mobile commerce itself is still mired in haze of myths and misconceptions, surrounding strategy and technology within a dynamic and disrupted marketplace.

We’ve just released a new white paper that aims to dispel some of these myths and help guide online retailers towards a


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