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North American mobile market is worlds largest, IOT security valued at $646m, Adult site mobile traffic causes 1/3rd of malware attacks…

These and many more mobile data points and reports await in this week’s MEF market stats round up.

North America’s $670 billion mobile market is the biggest in the world

Some readers mighty remember when the US (and Canada) was a mobile backwater. It was all about Japan and Finland in those days.

No more. Now, North America is where it all happens. According to the GSMA’s report, ‘The Mobile Economy – North America 2015’, the region is now home to more than 250 million unique subscribers. Its industry contributes $670 billion a year to the economy, equivalent to 3.5 per cent of the region’s GDP in 2014. The study says this figure could rise to $750 billion by 2020.

Meanwhile the industry employs more than 2.2 million people, and mobile operators in the region invest nearly $35 billion per year in network infrastructure. North America is also ahead in IoT. According to the GSMA, there were 54 million M2M connections in Q3.

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IoT security market to hit $464m by 2020

Connecting everything together won’t half make our lives easier – and sadly that goes for criminals too.

So the Internet of things comes with huge security risks attached, which is why the market for protecting it is growing fast.

How fast? 42.4 per cent a year between 2015 and 2020, says Zion Research’s new report. It says the market was valued at $55.6 million in 2014, but will scale to $464 million in 2020.

Thus, a bunch of companies will emerge to encrypt the data that links devices used by enterprise, retail, manufacturing, utilities and so on. At present the latter accounts for 37.95 per cent of IoT secrity spend.

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Adult site mobile traffic accounts for a third of all malware attacks

When mobile traffic heads to a malicious site, there’s a good chance it’s coming from a porn site.  That’s the conclusion of the 2015 State of Mobile Malware Report from Blue Coat Systems. The study describes the latest trends and vulnerabilities in mobile malware, and reveals new threats as well as very old patterns of behaviour.

Findings include:

  • Pornography jumped from 16.55 per cent in 2014 to over 36 per cent this year as the source of traffic heading to a malicious site
  • Malware-based ads dropped from almost 20 per cent to less that 5 per cent of activity this year.
  • Ransomware has grown dramatically. New kinds of cryptographic ransomware, such as SimpleLocker, hit mobile users with threats of erasing photographs, videos, and other content unreadable unless payment is made.
  • Unwanted software is on the rise. The report defines it as mobile apps that are downloaded via deceptive advertising or other social engineering attacks.

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The number of stores accepting card payments set to double in five years

For mobile payments insiders, a lot depends on how many merchants can actually process card payments.

Think about it – Apple, Android and Samsung Pay all turn plastic cards into software, but they still need a reader to accept them. Then there are the mPOS players – Square, IZettle etc. They too base their services around card acceptance (turning phones into readers).

Now, a new report from consulting firm RBR says the base of card accepting retailers will double from 46.6 million at the end of 2014 to 90.3 million by 2020.

Visa and MasterCard are still the most widely accepted payment schemes worldwide, with 37 million outlets each. However, acceptance is comparatively low in China, the Middle East and Africa. Asia-Pacific is the largest region in terms of the number of outlets.

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21 percent of Starbuck’s in-store transactions are made by mobile

Coffee chain Starbucks is still the boss when it comes to in-store mobile payments; one in five transactions are made through its app.

The company just revealed its fourth quarter earnings, and confirmed that 21 per cent of purchases were made using a mobile device.

It’s an impressive number and may make Starbucks the leader in mobile payments – ahead of Apple. Hard to say, but certainly the app is becoming a template for how to do payments that integrate with loyalties and offers.

No numbers yet on the coffee shop’s Mobile Order & Pay feature, which lets diners place orders in advance of arriving. It’s felt that the feature’s queue busting benefit could make it very popular. It’s now more than 7,400 US stores, and is also being tested in Canada and the UK.

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14 per cent of iPhone users have set up Apple Pay

US iPhone users are slowly catching on to Apple Pay. But not as fast as the hype might suggest.

A new report by Phoenix Marketing says 14 per cent of iPhone users have registered for it. In February, four months after Apple Pay launched, it was 11 per cent. Now, this includes all iPhone owners (not just those with a 6 or 6s) so that partly explains the low percentage.

Phoenix’s research also revealed 48 per cent of users were between the ages of 33 and 48, and 42 per cent were between 18- and 32. 43 per cent of all users said they expected to moderately increase their use of Apple Pay in the coming months.

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McDonald’s app serves 1.5m redemptions in two months

Late this summer McDonald’s included offers in its own branded app for the first time. Now, it says the app’s 2m customers have redeemed 1.5m of them.

These include buy one, get one breakfast sandwiches, $1 off discounts for any premium burger and free large fries with the purchase of a premium sandwich.

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