Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
When Apple announced its new payment service, Apple Pay, earlier this month, many in the tech world were blown away. The system allows iPhone users to pay at the checkout counter simply by holding their phone to a receiver for a few seconds. Dieter Bohn, writing for The Verge, called Apple Pay “this week’s most revolutionary product,” and eloquently summarized how most Americans already feel about the status quo: “mobile payments have sucked so far, and it’s high time somebody fixed it.”
At Health 2.0, Samsung Electronics President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn’s presence, may have said more about Samsung’s health agenda than anything he said during a 20-minute onstage interview with Health 2.0′s Indu Subaiya. According to Subaiya, this was Sohn’s first appearance at a healthcare-focused technology conference, and it demonstrated a serious and growing commitment to the health vertical for the electronics company.
72 per cent of shoppers research their purchases on a smartphone, according to a report from NinthDecimal. Of those, 38 per cent then go on to buy the item in a bricks-and-mortar store. In fact, in-store is the biggest channel for mobile conversions, compared to 23 per cent buying on the same smartphone, and 21 per cent on desktop.
The next generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs and business leaders is transforming the global payments market, but with a new, bottom-up approach that some traditional payments providers are struggling to replicate. According to the Global Payments 2020: Transformation and Convergence from BNY Mellon, the payments landscape is being shaped by the need and expectations of retail customers as much as by commercial and corporate clients, as the retail segment’s lead in developing new payments solutions filters up to the commercial and corporate segments.
In a sign that we are becoming increasingly worried about privacy, a new study has revealed that more than one in three people who have used an app on their smartphone or tablet have deleted it because they think their data is being overused. The survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of law firm Osborne Clarke and app developer Mubaloo, shows that 35% of respondents said they had deleted apps because they felt personal data was being used for purposes they had not agreed to. In response, Osborne Clarke is calling on businesses to ensure that they have the right measures in place to protect and correctly use personal data.
Indian cabbies who ferry passengers for taxi hailing app Uber are finding that it is not easy to air grievances and seek redressal from the company at all times, every day as the San Francisco-based startup does not offer a round-the-clock helpdesk for drivers. While this is a problem unique to Uber, it is not the only one to earn the ire of drivers as Indian taxi services firms battle the pangs of growth in a fiercely competitive market. Taxi rental firm Meru Cabs has faced strikes by the drivers while drivers on networks like Ola Cabs drivers complain of last minute cancellations impacting their earnings.
Although the word “disrupt” has taken a lot of flak recently, there are still innovations that can reorder an entire market – and one has just crossed the Pacific Ocean. On Tuesday, August 19, Sprint announced the release of App Pass, a subscription service that allows customers to access a curated selection of premium apps and games for $4.99 per month. Subscribers also get a monthly $5 credit to spend on in-app purchases. Essentially, it is Netflix for mobile apps. This announcement sparked little interest from mainstream media. However, if you look at the rise of app-bundling in East Asia, you’ll understand why this business model could disrupt mobile development and consumption throughout the U.S.
The next generation of Samsung smartwatches could have a fingerprint sensor to be used for mobile payments via PayPal. Both will have to fight back against Apple Pay so banding together may make the most sense. In the wake of Apple Pay coming to the Apple Watch early next year, Samsung is working on its own mobile payment strategy. And instead of going it alone, it has a highly motivated partner: The company is working with PayPal to bring secure mobile payments to the wrist.
Messaging apps in Asia Pac have long since ceased to be messaging apps. They are the starting point for gaming, sharing and mobile commerce. The Tencent backed WeChat is the big daddy of these products with over 300m users. It already lets users transfer funds via messaging and runs a commerce ecosystem that lets brands sell stuff from its app. In a well-publicised experiment WeChat teamed up with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and sold 150,000 devices in ten minutes.
Today Japan-based messaging app Line announced its breakdown of registered user numbers in its top countries. It reveals there are now 30 million registered Line users in Indonesia. That’s an increase of 10 million from the country-specific number for April. Indonesia is now Line’s second biggest country outside of its native Japan. The web giant behind line, NHN, has been pushing the app hard in Indonesia. It regularly holds mobile competitions like Lucky Chance and Lucky Price, which let users buy gadgets (and even a car) through mini games. And Line also airs advertisements on Indonesian TV and radio from time to time.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.