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
You are travelling by plane to see your newborn grandchild. As you board the aircraft, the cabin crew address you by name and congratulate you on the arrival of a bouncing baby boy. On your seat, you find a gift-wrapped blue rattle with a note from the airline.
In Twitter data strategy chief Chris Moody’s vision of the future, companies surprising their customers like this could become an everyday occurrence – made possible because Twitter is listening.
The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has released the findings from its first Smart Mobile Cross Marketing Effectiveness (SMoX) study. Conducted in combination with Marketing Evolution and InsightExpress, the study assessed the economic value of mobile compared to traditional marketing channels by examining in-market campaigns from Coca-Cola, Walmart, MasterCard and AT&T.
According to the study, the optimal spend for mobile is a double-digit per centage of the total campaign spend, far more than most marketers are currently allocating. The findings suggest that marketers would significantly increase their overall campaign ROI, without increasing budget, by simply adjusting mobile spend upwards.
Nintendo has long resisted the call of mobile gaming, but today it entered the space in a big way. The company has announced that it will team up with DeNA, a major Japanese mobile gaming company, to make smartphone games featuring Nintendo characters. The two companies “intend to jointly operate new gaming applications featuring Nintendo IP, which they will develop specifically for smart devices,” according to a Nintendo statement.
Ever since it hired David Marcus from PayPal to run its Messenger service, observers have expected Facebook to add money transfer to the app. Mark Zuckerberg denied it. He recently said 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.”
Now it has.
Apple’s ResearchKit platform promises to change the way clinical trials are conducted, giving medical researchers access to patient-generated data on a global scale.
Whether that will actually work remains to be seen.
After it was tucked into Apple’s recent press conference to unveil the Apple Watch, ResearchKit was hailed as an open-source platform upon which apps could be developed that allow consumers to enter their data and researchers to collect biometrics in real-world settings, outside the constraints of a lab or clinic or some such controlled environment. This would, in essence, open up medical research to everyone with an iPhone.
Alibaba has presented a new facial recognition-based payment system for smartphones in a move which could shake up a digital payments industry already being disrupted by a host of new technologies trying to cement themselves as the go-to solution for digital purchases.
The Chinese e-commerce giant’s system, which differs from NFC-based Apple Pay, Halifax Bank’s heart-beat sensor and RBS and NatWest’s fingerprint recognition technology, will instead use consumers’ faces as a unique security pass to authenticate purchases on smartphones.
About 40% of adult Apple iPhone owners in the United States are interested in buying the company’s new Apple Watch, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The high-tech smartwatch, which will range in price from $350 to $17,000 for an 18-karat gold model, is Apple Inc’s first major new product in five years and consumer demand for the device is being closely watched by competitors and investors.
A new report titled ‘Bridging the gender gap: mobile access and usage in low and middle-income countries’ by GSMA reveals that there’s still massive inequality between genders when it comes to mobile access.
According to the report, a woman is still 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man. This figure increases to 23% if she lives in Africa, 24% if she lives in the Middle East, and 37% if she lives in South Asia.
“Closing this gender gap would bring the benefits of mobile phones to an additional 300 million women,” the GSMA says. “By extending the benefits of mobile phone ownership to more women, a host of social and economic goals can be advanced”.
ECG signals could replace online banking passwords following a successful trial by Halifax. A proof of concept experiment used an ECG band to record a person’s cardiac rhythm, which could then be used to login to an onlinebanking service. An electrocardiogram or ECG is the unique rhythm of a heartbeat and, unlike a text password or fingerprint, it is incredibly difficult to fake. The technology, known as a Nymi Band, uses Bluetooth to pair with a companion app for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. In order to work it first has to record a person’s ECG to the band and link itself to the app. ECG data is captured when the customer wears the band on one wrist and touches a sensor on the top of the band with their opposite finger.
As tech companies begin to compete in the financial services space and put particular focus on creating new types of account management and credit and lending products, legacy banks are starting to see their retail banking segments under threat.
While 35% of banking executives say retail banking is a primary source of their revenue right now, by 2020, only 16% see that still being the case, according to a new survey of global executives conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and compiled by BI Intelligence in the chart above.
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Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.