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Get the latest announcements from MEF Members across the mobile ecosystem globally in this weekly review of member news…

MasterCard takes its Masterpass digital wallet into physical stores

Millions of MasterCard card holders can now tap to pay in store direct from the phones.

Masterpass was previously available as a digital wallet for online purchases, but now the card network has made it useable for in-store contactless payments. That’s five million merchant locations in 77 countries.

MasterCard says more than 80 million accounts will be automatically enabled through issuing partners as the service rolls out. Dozens of banks have signed up including
The initial partners supporting the enhanced Masterpass experience include Bank of America, Capital One and Citi.

The rollout starts in the US with Europe and the Middle East/Africa live by the end of 2016 and into 2017. The app is available only to Android users, as it relies on HCE tech which is not available in iOS.

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Vodafone study: three quarters of businesses think IoT is critical

Business people are preparing to invest big in the Internet of Things, says the latest edition of Vodafone’s Barometer report.

The annual study of 1,100 decision makers found 76 per cent think IoT will be “critical” to their success, while 46 per cent say they intend to develop new IoT-based products and services over the next two years.

Other key findings include:

  • 89 per cent increased their IoT budgets over the last 12 months to accommodate it.
  • 24 per cent of the average IoT budget is dedicated to IoT technologies – on par with cloud computing or data analytics.
  • 52 per cent of consumer electronics companies are using IoT technologies as the basis for new applications for connected homes

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Turkcell launches new transit app for the visually-disabled

Turkish operator Turkcell is working with city officials to transform Gaziantep into a “smart city”. Now, it’s focusing on making life easier for the region’s visually impaired.

It’s launched “My Dream Companion” – an app that helps visually-disabled ride buses without outside help. The app uses Beacon tech to let travellers access route and bus stop information, and receive alerts when their bus reaches its destination.

The app was designed by Turkcell and the Young Guru Academy, and has won the GSMA’s Global Mobile Award twice, in 2014 and 2016.

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CLX completes purchase of Mblox

Mblox is now officially a CLX company after the sale, originally proposed in May, went through.

CLX bought 100 per cent of the shares in Mblox for $117 million in cash. The acquisition of gives CLX a deep footprint in the US, UK and Australian markets and a large number of additional direct Tier 1 carrier connections.

The merged business says it now has ‘a global portfolio of high-quality communications services for enterprises, operators and developers to communicate with people and things (IoT) via simple APIs’.

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Ransomware has ‘skyrocketed’ says Kaspersky Lab report

Malware is always a menace, but one particular type is on an alarming rise: ransomware.

Kaspersky’s latest report said that between April 2015 and March this year, 136,532 users encountered mobile ransomware. Last year’s figure was 35,413.

The company describes ransomware as a type of malware that disables a device in some way. In order to unlock it, attackers demand a ransom, usually in Bitcoins or some other e-currency.

The report says most mobile ransomware attacks restrict access to mobile apps, and that the most prolific malware is called Fusob, which was responsible for around 56 per cent of the attacks during the year.

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