Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news you may have missed, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global Mobile News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
Apple’s new payments system Apple Pay is off to a good start: Customers are using it where it’s available — by December, two out of three dollars used for contactless payments were from Apple Pay — and it’s spreading to more locations like gas pumps, vending machines, parking meters, and even airlines soon.
More importantly, nearly half of all large US retailers say they plan to adopt Apple Pay by the end of next year.
While beacons are popping up in many different industries and locations, the most significant impact this year likely will be in retail. While still a small percentage of the overall numbers, $4.1 billion worth of in-store sales for the top 100 retailers will be influenced by beacon-triggered messages this year, based on a new report. That’s less than a tenth of a percent of total store sales but will grow substantially next year, according to The Beacons Report by research firm BI Intelligence.
Eight out of 10 retailers in a recent survey said they plan to increase their mobile budgets by at least 20 percent in 2015, according to the 2015 State of Retailing Online report from Shop.org and Forrester Research.
Online retailers are seeing a boost in mobile sales, as the report also finds that mobile, as a percentage of online sales, increased 50 percent in 2014. Simultaneously, as mobile becomes a growing priority for marketers, budgets allocated to the channel are increasing.
Google is testing a payments service that will let people with Android phones pay by saying their initials to the person at the cash register, The Information reports. The experimental service, called “Plaso,” is only being used by Google employees as of now, and works at places like Panera and Papa John’s, The Information’s sources say. How the service works isn’t crystal clear, but manager at a store that accepts Plaso payments told The Information that “Google had ‘hooked up’ Plaso directly to the store’s payment system and ‘all the data feeds back to Google.'”
As people shop more on their phones, fraudsters too are moving to mobile. According to a new study, businesses on average lose $92.3 million annually in revenue to mobile fraud. That equates to as much as 25 percent of mobile sales for some businesses, says the study commissioned by RSA and Telesign. The study polled 250 businesses with an average revenue of $2.54 billion. Half of participants said mobile sales represent 50 to 75 percent of their revenue. Most businesses also said they expect their percentage of mobile revenue to double in the next five years.
Thefts involving smartphones have declined dramatically in three major cities since manufacturers began implementing “kill switches” that allow the phones to be turned off remotely if they are stolen, authorities said on Tuesday.
The number of stolen iPhones dropped by 40 percent in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York in the 12 months after Apple Inc added a kill switch to its devices in September 2013. In London, smartphone theft dropped by half, according to an announcement by officials in the three cities.
Android sales went into decline in Q4 of 2014, the first time ever the operating system has seen a dip in sales, with shipments falling from 217m in Q3 to 206m in the final three months of last year.
The news comes as Android celebrates 1bn smartphones sold in 2014, an impressive milestone that main competitor Apple is nowhere close to achieving for several years. However, with Apple dominating the high-end smartphone market and the rise of alternative operating systems, particularly in fast-growing emerging markets, Android is feeling the squeeze.
Mobile phones have ceased to be inanimate objects. Not only do we make use of them they have now become our best friends, helping us perform important functions, like essentially hitchhiking a cab for us, becoming personal assistants and remembering our appointments. The latest analysis of mobile and its habits from Citrix reveals, among other things, an even more profound blurring of the line between how mobile devices are used in the work and personal spaces and a massive increase in the dominance of health and fitness apps.
The report findings are split into two. The Consumer Market: Mobile Subscriber Data Usage and Mobility at Work: Mobile Usage Trends in the Enterprise.
The mobile telecommunications market in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is set to continue expanding over the next five years, with 182m mobile subscribers expected by the end of 2019.
The Nigerian telecoms market is predicted to generate $10.9bn (£7.1bn) in 2019, up 18 per cent from 2013’s figures. While growth is expected to slow slightly this year, as the market recovers from a large number of fixed-line disconnections, the long term growth is expected to be strong, especially in mobile, with data volumes growing 16 per cent year-on-year.
Apple Pay works great, but some have wondered why retailers would want to use the technology when it involves buying new point of sale systems, retraining employees, and still having to pay transactions fees to the credit card companies.
About eight percent of large retailers in the U.S. now support Apple Pay, according to a survey by Boston Retail Partners. The vast majority of the 6 million or so retailers in the U.S., however, are small businesses, and BRP didn’t talk to them.
BRP believes, however, that 38 percent of large retailers in North America will be supporting Apple Pay by the end of this year, and that Apple Pay will be the most widely used mobile payments platform among large retailers.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.