Can Tencent win the mobile commerce battle with Alibaba?
July 25, 2014, 2:43 pm
Much China technology press coverage of late centers on the struggle
between Alibaba and Tencent for mobile preeminence. A sober look at the
mobile assets of both, and their place in China’s Internet ecosystem,
reveals some mild overlap in the e-commerce sector, that will most
likely resolve into separate, but not necessarily conflicting verticals
of China’s metastasizing mobile space.
Some context should help put things in proper perspective. The word
best describing China’s overall Internet trend is “consolidation”. The
acronym to remember is BAT: Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. Baidu rules
search and content, Alibaba e-commerce, and Tencent social and gaming.
Big Gap Between Awareness And Usage Of Digital Wallets
July 25, 2014, 2:39 pm
Google updated its Wallet app to include the ability to add gift cards or send and receive money from friends.
Apple is also reportedly
in talks with credit card companies ahead of a potential mobile wallet
launch this fall that would allow in-store payments. Apple currently
offers this capability in Apple stores, through its Apple Store app.
Despite all this activity there’s relatively little going on in terms
of actual consumer adoption of what I refer to as “horizontal” mobile
wallets. A new Digital Wallet Usage Study from Thrive Analytics (based
on a survey of more than 2,000 US adults), found a significant gap
between consumer awareness
Apple eyes mobile payments with wallet app for iPhone 6
July 25, 2014, 2:33 pm
A new report from the Information
cites sources familiar with the company’s plans who say Apple is
preparing a Google Wallet app competitor that may launch with the iPhone
6 this fall. The company is currently discussing a possible deal with
Visa that would allow users to buy things directly with their iPhone
If Apple manages to forge direct partnerships with Visa and other
major credit card companies, retailers will be able to process payments
made with Apple Wallet much more easily, AppleInsider
noted. Apple would most likely store the user’s credit card information
in the secure cloud or directly on the device itself.
Visa invests in LoopPay, mobile payments that work with old credit-card hardware
July 25, 2014, 2:28 pm
However, it looks like Visa is putting its money behind LoopPay,
a company that makes mobile payments possible with the majority of
existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals. The terms of the deal were not
Unlike many of its competitors, LoopPay’s product does not require
merchants to get a whole new set of hardware in order to accept mobile
payments. LoopPay’s product uses a proprietary technology called
Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), which uses a secure chip to store
and transmit data to existing POS terminals through a small low-cost
inductive loop that can be embedded in a variety of devices, smartphones
LoopPay is also taking
10 things bitcoin won’t tell you
July 25, 2014, 2:26 pm
1. Bitcoin could be the tip of a dangerous iceberg
What is the future of money? Whether they involve jangling coins,
folding bills, swiping plastic or making a few simple clicks online,
most of the ways people pay each other involve banks and national
currency systems. So-called virtual or cryptocurrencies offer something
different: decentralized payment networks that let people transfer money
Of the 400 or so digital currencies in existence, bitcoin is the
best-known and most mainstream. There are 13.1 million bitcoins in
circulation (each worth about $600, though like other currencies they’re
divisible in much smaller units). The number of
Target Snaps Up Mobile Shopping Innovation with Image Recognition App
July 24, 2014, 12:24 pm
The retailer's new app, In a Snap,
aims at improving its foothold in the mobile shopping space by allowing
users to take pictures of Target products in print (magazines, catalogs
and newspapers) and then simply click to buy.
The free app, which uses advanced image recognition technology, allows consumers to have their product shipped or held for them at a local store—all part of Target's big push to ramp up e-commerce and click-and-collect
efforts as it continues to feel the pressure from Amazon, Walmart, and
fast-fashion retailers. In a Snap joins Target's other app, Cartwheel, which serves as a coupon-serving shopping companion.
“It’s a single-purpose app that
LinkedIn Hopes to Boost B2B Marketing with Latest Acquisition
July 24, 2014, 12:20 pm
To that end, LinkedIn has just acquired Bizo, a formidable player in business audience marketing.
“Bizo offers technology and products that enable measurable display
and social advertising programs specifically focused on professional
audience segments,” LinkedIn said in a written statement.
The transaction is valued at approximately $175 million.
LinkedIn says B2B marketers use Bizo to target prospects within
professional segments, and nurture them at every stage of their sales
and marketing funnel.
“It’s exciting for us to bring Bizo’s expertise and technology into
our ecosystem,” said Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s SVP of Product and User
Experience. “Our ability to integrate their B2B solutions with
Report: Apple moving toward mobile payments this fall
July 24, 2014, 12:18 pm
With rumors, patents and reports pointing to Apple releasing their
long awaited smartwatch alongside a larger iPhone 6 this fall, there is
new speculation that Apple will also venture into mobile payments. According to The Information, Apple is currently in talks with Visa and other credit card companies about a mobile payments partnership.
new service would allow users to pay for physical goods on the web, in
apps and in retail stores, turning the iPhone into a credit card. By
allowing the iPhone to act as direct line of payment for credit card
companies, the move would potentially allow for both
Mobile marketing continues to be a struggle for Google
July 24, 2014, 12:10 pm
Although Google has proudly held its position as central and key to online advertising as a whole, when it comes to mobile marketing,
specifically, it is becoming increasingly clear that the search engine
is having a hard time spanning the gap to the smaller screen.
Although consumers may be using their smartphones and tablets on an increasing basis, advertising to them is difficult.
Mobile marketing is not simply a matter of the same traditional
digital advertising, only on a smaller screen. Formats that were used
over desktops are providing an entirely different experience for
smartphone and tablet
users, and it’s not one that they
Zuckerberg Confirms: A Mobile Payments System Will Come To Facebook Messenger
July 24, 2014, 12:08 pm
Zuckerberg warned, somewhat testily,
that payments were coming in the long-run, "years," to be precise, not
the short-run. Facebook wasn't going to take "the cheap and easy
approach and just try to put ads in or do payments and make some money
in the short term. ... we're not going to do that."
importantly from a strategic point of view, he also said Messenger will
have some "overlap" with payments. The move will not be a total
surprise. Facebook has been trying for years to come up with an
e-commerce or payments system of one sort or another. Messenger
PayPal to Toronto: coffee’s on us
July 23, 2014, 1:51 pm
A multi-channel campaign that will see digital display ads, public
transit posters, geo-targeted mobile ads, and print ads in magazines
such as Toronto Life and Cineplex Magazine will reinforce PayPal’s brand
as a way to complete your e-commerce transactions without a hassle, but
it will also encourage using its mobile app to buy coffee and pastries
from 25 cafes around Toronto.
In fact, PayPal app users will be treated to a $5 credit that they can use for a free coffee at the locations listed on PayPal’s blog. Of if coffee’s not your thing, you can get a snack.
“We thought it was a
NFC technology and barcode labels are central to internet of things collaboration
July 23, 2014, 1:47 pm
Thinfilm and Evrythng have now announced that they have enter into an
agreement that will make it simpler for companies to be able to use the
sensor and barcode labels on their products so that they will be able
to achieve better data flow management from the labeled items.
This involves the use of Thinfilm’s labels in combination with the Evrythng identity management platform.
Evrythng is a startup from the United Kingdom that is backed by
Cisco, despite its awkward name. It seeks to be able to provide the
layer for identity management over the internet of things. That business
has now agreed to
Westpac Considers Replacing Physical Cards With Digital Ones
July 23, 2014, 1:39 pm
The three-month trial involves 40 staff members, and will enable users to make payments via NFC enabled Android devices.
“This places all relevant customer information in one place without
the need to carry and use a physical credit or debit card,” Westpac
said. “After downloading a digital wallet app and registering their card
details, customers will be able to use near field communication enabled
Android handsets to make payments at any contactless terminal.”
Westpac Chief Product Officer Shane Howell said that, as banking is
going through a period of “massive digital disruption,” the smartphone
technology is one of four components that Westpac is looking
Amazon Wallet app released ahead of Amazon Fire Phone
July 23, 2014, 1:34 pm
The app is now available as a free download on the US versions of the Amazon Appstore and the Google Play Store.
the name suggests, Amazon Wallet is a mobile payment app. Or at least,
it's intended to be. It's still in beta at the moment, and appears to be
a little feature-light as a result.
Right now, all US customers
can do is store and access their loyalty and gift card information on
it. There's no facility yet to store your credit or debit card details,
nor can you make actual mobile payments through it.
FirstBank Strikes Gold In Strategic Payment Partnership With Paypal
July 23, 2014, 1:25 pm
“We really like the huge potential of this market; 180 million
people, 65 million internet consumers,” Paypal’s Regional director of
Sub-Saharan Africa and Israel, Efi Dahan told VENTURES AFRICA.
Dahan added that the company had also learnt about how large and
fast-growing the e-commerce sector in Nigeria is, which made it
imperative for PayPal to ensure it offers the best services in the
market and seek the kind of partnership it now has with FirstBank.
FirstBank spokesperson, Folake Ani-Mumuney described the acceptance
of FirstBank Cards for PayPal payments as “a significant boost to our
continuous initiative to drive innovation in banking services
Amazon heads into retail meatspace with its first smartphone-based wallet
July 22, 2014, 4:28 pm
Available since late last week at the Amazon Appstore and the Google Play marketplace,
this first version — for the Fire and Android smartphones — only offers
the ability to store and organize virtual gift, membership, or loyalty
cards. No credit cards or debit cards, and no mobile commerce.
Like Apple’s Passbook, it’s intended right now only to reduce
physical wallet clutter by allowing a user to scan or enter a real
card’s info so it can be stored digitally. A user can also add virtual
cards through the website,
and they’ll appear in the wallet. The site-based Wallet does allow
management of credit
Technology news study shows smartphone use is making restaurant service slower
July 22, 2014, 3:09 pm
It doesn’t come as any surprise that technology news reports
are determining that smartphone users are increasingly distracted
during a growing range of different activities, which include walking
down the street, driving, and even at concerts and movies that are
supposed to be entertaining on their own.
However, a new study has found that this distraction is now taking away from restaurant service.
Restaurants and their staffs are now finding that their jobs are
becoming just that much more challenging as people use their smartphones
while they’re at the table, taking longer to progress through their
meals. Whether they are taking a call, answering
Wearable tech from Sony could bring mobile payments to the wrist
July 22, 2014, 3:03 pm
Recent technology news reports are now showing that Sony is looking
to take part in a whole new level of wearable tech, with the creation of
a chip that could allow smartwatches and other devices of this nature
to be capable of contactless mobile payments.
This could help to convert the wearables industry into products that are more appealing and multifunctional.
An option for mobile ticketing and payments could also make the
necessary difference in convincing consumers to actually purchase mobile tech.
It is believed that there is a large and growing segment of consumers
who are interested in products such as smartwatches, but
Yahoo Bets on Flurry Analytics to Grow Mobile Ad Revenue
July 22, 2014, 3:00 pm
Yahoo has purchased mobile analytics firm Flurry, in hopes of improving its mobile advertising revenue.
Flurry helps companies to better understand mobile users—its analytics software is in seven apps on a smartphone, on average—so that they can present them with the most appropriate and personalized ads possible.
With the data it collects from 150 billion app sessions per month, Flurry says it gathers the "deepest understanding of mobile customers," which it helps publishers and developers use to "accelerate revenue and growth."
Yahoo describes its mission as "re-imagining users' habits" by building and supporting beautiful and inspiring mobile
Monitise, IBM Expand Mobile Banking Partnership
July 22, 2014, 2:54 pm
Under the new collaboration, Monitise will provide a suite of mobile offerings to banks through the IBM MobileFirst initiative, including access to data and marketing analytics for targeting customers in stores.
will also have access to IBM Ready Apps, a suite of industry-specific
apps that can be configured for banks and other financial services
"At a time when money is becoming more digitized, this
strategic alliance with IBM will support financial institutions across
the world in developing effective, cloud-based strategies that make a
real difference to consumers' lives," said Alastair Lukies, chief
executive of Monitise, in a July 21 press release.
Starbucks pushing ahead with mobile commerce plans
July 21, 2014, 12:30 pm
Starbucks has found a significant degree of success in its mobile
commerce initiatives, but the company is not yet satisfied and intends
to establish a larger presence in the mobile field. Convenience is the
key to mobile success, and Starbucks has plans to introduce
a new service that will have convenience as its most attractive
feature. Starbucks will soon introduce a new feature to its popular
mobile application that will allow customers to order products directly
from their mobile device. They can use this same device to pay for these
New feature will allow customers to place orders from their mobile devices
Facebook takes a step toward mobile commerce
July 21, 2014, 12:28 pm
Facebook has been working to successfully monetize itself in recent years, and a focus solely on marketing
is not doing the trick. While Facebook has become a very prominent and
attractive platforms for advertisers, mobile commerce could soon become a
very powerful revenue stream. In order to engage its massive mobile
audience, Facebook has begun testing a new “Buy” service in order to
promote social commerce.
Social commerce continues to grow in prominence as mobile consumers become a dominant demographic
Social commerce has become a very popular aspect of mobile shopping.
Social media platforms, like Facebook, are beginning to make shopping
online a primarily social
IBM, Monitise partner to boost mobile payment solutions
July 21, 2014, 12:26 pm
IBM and Monitise have expanded a partnership designed to deliver
cloud-based mobile solutions for the financial services industry.
As the adoption of mobile technology continues to expand, consumers
are demanding mobile solutions for core services, and the financial
industry needs to keep up. Announced on Monday, IBM and Monitise said
the expanded global alliance will help banks and financial institutions
fully embrace mobile channels to better engage with customers and
improve their services.
IBM says that mobile technology has "forever changed the way
customers engage with banks and retailers," and devices such as
smartphones and tablets offer "multiple opportunities for banks to
How Mobile Payments Are Changing The Game For Service Businesses
July 21, 2014, 12:23 pm
You asked for cash. Or you presented a bill and waited for a check. And waited. And waited.
Now, new mobile card processing systems are making it easy for owners
of service businesses to convert sales to cash instantly. These systems
are simple, consisting of nothing more than a card reader that plugs
into a smartphone or tablet.
“Mobile payments are particularly impactful in the service industry,”
said Don Weary, vice president of product management for Sage Payment
Solutions. “Imagine a plumber who’s onsite doing his work and, at the
point of delivery, he can take payment. It’s a much better user
Why is Launch of KakaoTalk's Mobile Wallet Delayed?
July 21, 2014, 12:18 pm
At first, Kakao expected to introduce the Bank Wallet during the first half of this year, but it is likely to not be launched until September at the earliest. The delay is attributable to the fact that deliberations on the security of the system started later than expected.
According to sources in the financial sector on July 20, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is deliberating on the security of Kakao's Bank Wallet. An official at the financial regulatory authorities said, “It took a long time to decide on who will be in charge of the case, since it is
Are Mobile Payments Actually Making Our Lives Easier?
July 18, 2014, 1:56 pm
It is even starting to transform how consumers pony up cash for their everyday purchases.
According to Nielsen’s Q2 2014 Mobile Wallet Report, 40 percent of
mobile wallet users say they use mobile methods as their primary mode of
So who are mobile payment users? Men and women are almost just as
likely to use these digital services: 47 percent and 53 percent,
respectively. Mobile payment users also span all income levels, with the
highest usage among those making less than $50,000 (32%) and more than
HSBC Bank Malta launches free mobile banking
July 18, 2014, 1:47 pm
The Bank’s customers, who to date have enjoyed Free Personal Internet
Banking , can now enjoy mobile banking, simply by downloading the free
Mobile Banking App from Apple Store or Google Play straight to their
iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone.
The app allows users – once logged in – to view their
account balances, details and history. They can also transfer between
their own accounts, including their credit card, as well as pay bills,
send and receive secure messages, and view currency and deposit rates,
among other features.
Users can also transfer funds to any other third-party HSBC
iOS users dominate mobile commerce
July 18, 2014, 12:17 pm
Two thirds (66%) of iPhone users - 11.6m people - buy items via
mobile sites at least once a month, compared with less than half (47%)
of Android smartphone owners.
of 1,000 smartphone- and tablet-owing UK adults conducted by OnePoll
found that iPhone owners were also the most frequent shoppers; one in 10
makes a purchase via their mobile every day. Despite Android’s larger
smartphone user base in the UK, 44% compared with 38% for the iPhone,
iOS is still the dominant platform for shopping. Apple owners account
for 46% of the 25.5 million UK consumers making mobile site purchases on
Twitter buys mobile payment infrastructure CardSpring
July 18, 2014, 12:14 pm
Twitter’s advertising team says CardSpring will fit nicely into the
company’s framework for recommending products and services — and
for making purchases through tweets.
CardSpring is known for it application programming interface (API)
that lets developers make online applications for credit, credit, and
other types of financial transactions: think loyalty cards. In 2012 the
company landed $10 million in funding, which Accel Partners and Greylock Partners led.
“At Twitter, we will continue to grow the adoption of our platform
and work with our publisher, financial, and retail partners to create
new, innovative commerce experiences for consumers,” says the company in
a blog post.
Adding a mobile-payment
Why U.S. Bank Is Banking on Mobile Payments To Drive Revenues
July 18, 2014, 12:13 pm
During a conference call with analysts July 16 to discuss
second-quarter earnings, Davis cited the emphasis the bank has placed on
research-and-development activities relative to mobile payments, “a
space we should be leading in.”
“There are so many derivatives of what could possibly happen next as
people want to pay for things and track things and move things,” he
said. “And we’re in just about every single prototype we can think of,
testing all kinds of different programs. And I’ll look forward to the
chance to showcase some of those outcomes.”
Davis, of course, didn’t reveal specifics, saying “it’s our style not