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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  UK banks closing as customers go mobile, data security tops mobile concerns for enterprises, Brazilian Government advances IoT plans and Twitter’s aborted messaging app for emerging markets..

UK banks shut 1,000 branches as customers turn to mobile banking

Financial Times

More than 1,000 bank branches have closed in the UK during the past two years as pressure mounts on lenders to cut costs and as more customers turn to mobile banking.

HSBC has shut the most outlets of any bank since the start of 2015, reducing nearly 30 per cent of its network across the country by closing 321 branches, according to Which?, the consumer group.

The state-backed lenders Royal Bank of Scotlandand Lloyds Banking Groupshut 191 and 180 branches respectively. The regions with the most bank branch closures per 100,000 people were Wales, south-west England and Scotland.

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Survey: Security, Data Privacy Top Concerns in Managing Staff Mobile Devices

Healthcare Informatics

The adoption of mobile devices in healthcare organizations is growing, however there are challenges with managing mobile devices and a majority of healthcare IT leaders cited security as being their top concern, according to a recent survey from Jamf, a mobile device management software company.

The adoption of mobile devices in healthcare organizations is growing, and 83 percent of healthcare IT respondents said their organization provides either a smartphone or tablets to caregivers, and 45 percent of respondents reported that non-medical staff also receive mobile devices. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents say they hope to expand mobile device use to patients receiving outpatient care over the next two years.

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All I want for Christmas is…. a mobile-first ad campaign


Mobile search is overtaking desktop search globally. The reality is that many individuals will forgo the stresses of the entire Christmas shopping experience in favour of shopping almost entirely digitally.

Bearing this in mind, will there be a “best before” date in sight for brands investing the bulk of their ad budgets in TV advertising?

We need to reconsider where mobile sits within the hierarchy of the Christmas ad experience.

Christmas campaigns are high impact, brand-led, event-based happenings, which rival blockbuster movie releases and major news items in their cultural impact.

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New report shows marketers missing vast majority of mobile engagement opportunities


We’ve reached Peak Mobile: U.S. consumers are now spending more time with their mobile apps than catching up on The Walking Dead. They’re turning to their phones all day every day, racking up an average of 150–200 “mobile-moments.” That’s 200 opportunities to catch them in the wild and deliver something valuable, interesting, surprising, and delightful. That’s 200 opportunities most marketers are missing.

In a recent report, Forrester found that marketers are still leaning heavily on legacy solutions originally designed for email when mobile was just a twinkle in a marketer’s eye. So you’re stuck in an endless cycle of pre-built, pre-planned messages fashioned from demographic data that’s already historical by the time your customer gets it.

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Chasing mobile search results


In 2016, we talked a lot about the rise of off-platform publishing, and what that would mean for the future of news. Facebook Instant Articles, announced in 2015, rolled out to more major sites this year, including platforms like Medium. And Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, announced in February of this year, quickly came to account for a huge percentage of publishers’ pageviews. In 2017, the share of journalism that is consumed in Google AMP (instead of on publishers’ websites) could pass 30 percent — even as smaller publishers get on board and the easy search wins start to dry up.

Google AMP has some obvious advantages over traditional websites. For users, they load much faster than outdated mobile sites and eliminate the infuriating popup ads those sites often contain. Publishers benefit from the faster load times as well, since site speed impacts their SEO ranking. And publishing in the format puts the article in the AMP carousel at the top of mobile search results, giving it a powerful traffic boost.

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Brazilian government advances IoT plan


The Brazilian government has signed a deal with the national development bank to carry out a study on opportunities around Internet of Things (IoT).

A consortium composed of consulting firm McKinsey & Company, law firm Pereira Neto/Macedo and research institute CPqD will be responsible for the execution and delivery of the study within a nine-month timeframe.

The material from the study will be then used as the foundation of a national IoT plan, which has a planned launch for the second half of 2017.


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FinTech Chatbots – The Millennial Command Line


I have a confession to make – I’m not really a millennial! Despite my liberal use of emojis in my tweets and the word ‘awesome’, the fact of the matter is I missed out on the crucial millennial cutoff point by a few months.

I’m Generation X. The good part about being a generational inbetweener is that I remember a time before smartphones, a time before social networks and a time before the internet. I’ve had the pleasure of a front row seat witnessing the greatest period of technological change in human history and I’ve loved every bit of it!

When I started out with computers, the interfaces were mostly command prompts with very basic graphical user interfaces (GUIs) coming later. Command lines were a pain to begin with but very efficient once one becomes accustomed to them.

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India’s Botched War On Cash

Huffington Post

India is in the throes of an unprecedented social experiment in enforced digital disruption, and the world has much to learn from it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a surprise in early November, demonetizing 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes. Modi’s war on cash is not without international precedent: Singapore, for example, withdrew its largest currency recently; the European Central Bank eliminated the 500-euro bank note; South Korea plans to eliminate at least all coins by 2020.

And yet India’s initiative had the potential for chaos. Here’s why: the government effectively took 86% of cash out of circulation in an economy that is close to 90% cash-reliant.

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Twitter reportedly developed, then killed off, a messaging app for emerging markets


After years of speculation, it appears that Twitter did actually develop a messaging app of its own. But, two caveats, it was intended for emerging markets and it was killed off before ever being released to the masses.

That’s according to a report from BuzzFeed, which claims the app was developed by Twitter’s emerging markets team in India, shortly before Twitter laid off most of its engineers in the country in September.

The report says that Twitter acknowledged that it has a growth issue in emerging markets like India, where the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger continue to grow at speed, so it hatched a plan to develop a chat app based around topics and content gleaned from the main Twitter service.

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Why in-app stickers are the marketing arsenal brands can’t avoid

Tech In Asia

Move over, SMS and text-based emoticons. It’s the era of mobile messenger apps and stickers.

Mobile messaging apps are here to stay. According to Statista, 75 percent of global internet users downloaded messaging services on mobile devices in 2015. If you own a smart mobile device, it’s very likely that you have at least one messenger app installed.

The appeal of mobile messenger apps has grown beyond cheap instant messaging to features like video calls, social media, encryption, and group chats. One such feature is stickers, which has been rising in popularity.

Popular messaging apps have developed their own sticker market to appeal to users. Brands are quick to catch onto this trend and are working with messenger apps to employ stickers as a marketing channel.

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