What’s happening among the MEF membership? Here’s your weekly round up of all the latest announcements from the members…
Customers of every operator in Japan can now pay for Spotify Premium subscriptions using their mobile number.
Carrier billing specialist Boku has confirmed the integration, which means 158 million KDDI, Softbank, and NTT Docomo subscribers can pay for music streaming from the phone bill.
The launch marks the Japanese debut of Boku’s Phone-on-File technology, which lets merchants manage renewal charges on a user’s mobile account as they do with cards. Once a free Spotify Premium trial has expired, the subscription fee will automatically appear on the user’s mobile phone bill.
Boku is a long term parter of Spotify and already powers mobile billing for the firm in the UK, Germany, Italy the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia. Spotify currently has 100 million active users, and 40 million paid subscribers across more than 50 countries.
Ratnakar Bank has become the first bank in India to offer in-store QR code payments from Mastercard’s MasterPass wallet.
The service lets mobile banking customers scan and pay using a QR code on their phone in shops or taxis. Users need to add a virtual prepaid Mastercard card to the Ratnakar’s OnGo wallet and top it up to make cashless transactions.
Mastercard says Masterpass QR is a low cost and easy-to-deploy technology is designed to ensure that even the smallest merchants can participate.
Mobile payments will become the ‘de-facto payment mode’ in India after the recent currency shake-up, says Mahindra Comviva’s Srinivas Nidugondi.
He told NFC World that the recent decision by government to withdraw high denomination notes would “push new users to adopt digital payments and acceptance which will result in a surge in digital transactions, making it the de-facto payment mode”.
Days ago, the government withdrew Rs 500 (US$7) and Rs 1,000 ($14) notes to combat crime. Nidugondi says Mahindra Comviva has already detected an effect. “We have seen an increase in adoption of mobile POS, where our customers have reported a 500 per cent increase in order for POS devices..”
Orange’s 10 million Romanian customers can now use the Orange Money app to transfer money, pay bills, and recharge a PrePay card.
To pay bills, users scan the barcode on the bill or enter the client code in the app. The account can be activated in any Orange shop, and the wallet can be topped up in partner stores, or by card in the app/website.
Orange is the second operator to target the Romanian market with a wallet more typically seen in developing market. Vodafone Romania launched M-Pesa there in 2014. The app is currently available on Google Play, and a version for iOS is in development.
Asia-based digital media company migme has signed two new co-publishing and distribution agreements – with media entertainment company Clipeo and social casino company Playsino.
Korea’s Clipeo offers a virtual music studio, Eighteen, where people can make music and have it discovered by a wider audience. US-based Playsino offers eight gaming titles including Bingo World.
migme will add the new content to its social entertainment platform across Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and India. Each company and migme will share revenue for all applicable in-app purchases that migme users make.
Real time ad platform Smaato Video is adding support for two new video ad formats: Outstream and Rewarded video.
The company says the move will enhance its status as a “one-stop shop” for all programmatic video advertising solutions. Specifically Outstream is a video format that plays in non-video content (for example, between text on a web page), while Rewarded offers rewards to users in exchange for watching.
The new features sit alongside an existing offering that comprises Instream (video ad that plays within video content), MRAID Video (in-app rich media display ads) and more.
“We are moving quickly toward a world where content is ‘watched’ more often than it is ‘read.’ Outstream and Rewarded video are two important ways we continue to invest in areas with the biggest revenue potential for both the supply and demand side of our global advertising marketplace,” said Ragnar Kruse, CEO and co-founder of Smaato.
Smaato currently has 90,000+ mobile publishers and app developers and 450+ demand partners.
US-based mobile data specialist Syntonic is planning a share placement to raise funds for global expansion and new business opportunities.
The company will issue 160,000,000 shares to raise around $5.4 million. It says the money will finance the development of new services with existing customers Verizon, AT&T and Tata, and expansion into South East Asia.
Syntonic has two key products. Freeway lets content publishers to reach consumers outside of traditional data plans through the use of sponsored data. DataFlex gives businesses a split billing solution to separate personal from business use on employee smartphones.
Nestlé is planning to make its ‘coffee solutions’ smarter, and it’s using Telefónica’s Smart m2m Solution to do it.
Telefónica Business Solutions already has more than 2,500 customers across all industries. New Nestlé will use the platform to connect its machine and manage the user experience – for example adjusting the coffee taste. It will also be able to configure and maintain the machines remotely.
José Luis Gamo, Telefónica Business Solutions’ European Corporates & Multinationals Director, said: “We aim to empower all-sized companies with prominent communications to help them lead the digital revolution ahead and consequently better serve their own customers”.