Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. a smartphone banking revolution, IoT growing faster than smartphones, Wechat to take over African market, Pokemon Go crosses $200m in a month and much more.
Britain’s biggest banks are will be forced to offer customers a revolution in mobile banking with the same services available on smartphones as can be found in high street branches, competition watchdogs have said today.
Following a two-year probe into rip-off bank accounts the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced new rules to let customers access details of their entire finances through a single mobile phone app by 2018.
Banks have been told that customers must have the capability to apply for loans, overdrafts and mortgages on their mobile phone as well as be able to transfer money between accounts.
If there were any doubt that IoT is for real, one fact ought to dispel it: For the first time, U.S. mobile operators are adding IoT connections to their networks faster than they’re adding phones.
In fact, cars alone are getting connected to cellular networks faster than anything else, according to statistics compiled by Chetan Sharma Consulting for the second quarter of this year. Counting all U.S. carriers, about 1.4 million cars got connected to cellular networks in the quarter, compared with 1.2 million phones and less than 900,000 tablets.
The second quarter, between April and June, isn’t a high point for new phone sales like the fourth quarter, when holiday shopping hits and new iPhone models roll out. But IoT growth has been a long-term trend.
The CEO of WeChat Africa Brett Loubser gave the inside scoop earlier this week on WeChat’s intentions to take over the African Market. WeChat already dominates the Chinese market being used for almost everything from internet messaging to investing in stock markets and now WeChat Africa is planning to do the same.
WeChat Africa, a joint venture between Chinese internet company Tencent and South African media conglomerate Naspers have so far been successful in implementing their services in Africa however they are hoping to expand and take over South Africa’s favorites – WhatsApp.
Reports by Johannesburg data research consultancy, World Wide Worx, 2014 show that WeChat had around half of WhatsApp’s user numbers (estimated 10.6) million. Loubser states that their popularity may be due to the simplicity of WhatsApp’s platform, which primarily focuses on social communications where-as the CEO claims that WeChat’s services go way beyond this.
There are 16.4 million mobile money accounts in Ghana. This was made known at a meeting of mobile money stakeholders.
The MTN Ghana Mobile Money month stakeholders conference was held Wednesday August 10, 2016 as part of activities for the month-long celebration on the need to create an enabling regulatory environment.
The conference, which formed part of celebrating 20 years of MTN’s operations in Ghana, was on the theme: “Let’s go cashless with mobile money, supported by an enabling regulatory environment.”
While bugs and feature complaints are still causing a decent amount of negativity among users, Pokémon Go continues its upward trajectory in terms of overall revenue. Appanalytics platform Sensor Tower reveals that the game now have over $200 million in net revenue from players based on their estimates.
The spending frenzy in Go compares favorably to in-game revenue generated by other huge in-app purchase-driven games, according to data also tracked by the firm. Pokémon’s star power has helped it nearly double the first month revenue of Clash Royale, the other big in-app star this year. And it’s made almost four times as much as Candy Crush Soda Saga managed during its first 30 days of availability.
With its plans to make smartphones Aadhaar-enabled, the government hopes to provide users a means to do self-authentication and let businesses and banks verify the identity of their clients through their smartphones, a move that could potentially lead the way to a cashless society.
“Iris and fingerprint sensors are now becoming a standard feature in smartphones anyway, and this requirement will only take a minor tweak to the operating system. Once enabled, people will be able to use phones to do self-authentication and KYC (know your customer),” Nandan Nikelani, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, told ET, welcoming the government’s plan to make smartphones Aadhaar-enabled.
Almost 40 per cent of consumers were using ad blocking tools on their primary computer in Q4 2015, up 10 per cent from the amount using them in Q3, a gigantic bump which was primarily driven by the introduction of ad blocking availability on iOS’ Safari mobile browser.
Between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, ad blocker use remained fairly consistent, hovering around the 27 per cent mark, according to data from GlobalWebIndex. However, Q4 saw a dramatic increase on this figure, up to 38 per cent.
Focusing just on mobile users, 36 per cent of consumers had used ad blocking tools on their smartphone within the previous month, with 41 per cent saying they had not done this, but were interested in doing so in the future.
CVS Health is debuting a mobile payment app across several Mid-Atlantic states, a move to streamline the checkout process at the pharmacy counter as well as the front of the retail store.
The pharmacy giant on Thursday said that the new app, called CVS Pay, will integrate payment, prescription pickup and ExtraCare loyalty card functions all in one scan at the checkout. The app is currently available in select stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. CVS says that the app, which is available on iOS and Android devices, will work with all major credit cards. A broader national rollout is planned for later this year.
China’s top two ecommerce companies show that online shopping is now mostly a mobile affair.
Whereas only about 30 percent of shopping on the web happens on mobile devices in the US, the figure is well past three-quarters in China.
Alibaba, China’s ecommerce leader, now sees 75 percent of spending on mobile on its two marketplaces, Tmall and Taobao. That’s the newest figure revealed today in the firm’s latest earnings report.
Apple is urging the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to reject a request from a group of the country’s banks to “collectively negotiate” with third party mobile wallet providers over the introduction of mobile payment services.
In a three-page letter to the ACCC, Apple states that the banks’ application was made up of “factual and legal misstatements” and would “harm consumers, lead to less competition and less innovation, and create a troubling precedent” if granted.