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

This week.. The world’s most successful mobile money market is introducing cross-network transfer systems, Xiaomi feels at home in India, making mobile video VR a reality, why mobile data use is exploding but revenue is shrinking and much more…

The world’s most successful mobile money market is introducing cross-network transfer systems


Kenya is an undisputed global leader when it comes to mobile money services. In 2007, the telecom operator Safaricom launched its mobile money service M-Pesa as a simple way to text small payments between users. A decade later, M-Pesa has become the world’s most successful money transfer service.

The platform enables almost 30 million people to pay for crucial services, access loans, and send money all over the world. M-Pesa is also a leading revenue generator for Kenya’s government and has spread to 10 countries, including Albania, Egypt, Romania, Lesotho, and Tanzania.

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Xiaomi feels at home in India, opens first Mi Home in Bangalore

Tech in Asia

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi today announced its first offline retail store in India. Not surprisingly, it is in a mall in Bangalore.

Xiaomi’s offline stores, called Mi Homes, are designed to be experience centers for the curious to check out and buy Mi products available – much like the hugely popular Apple Stores.

Xiaomi is often teased for adopting Apple’s tactics. While the Apple Stores were Apple’s attempt at building relationships with its customers, Xiaomi had been doing that well before the company launched its smartphones in India. Through clever social media marketing as well as offline events with Xiaomi teams led by its India head Manu Jain and Hugo Barra – Xiaomi’s global vice president back then – Xiaomi built a large community of tech savvy fans in India.

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Making mobile video VR a reality

Computer Business Review

Soon every smartphone will be VR-enabled. This will open up the virtual floodgates, making video-based VR experiences affordable and accessible. Immersive VR will go mainstream not on laptops, smart TVs or games consoles but on mobiles.

Affordable headsets such as Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are gaining traction with early adopters for VR gaming and content streaming via apps such as Netflix VR. This is the tip of the iceberg. As well as media and entertainment, there is a huge opportunity for organisations in other sectors to boost engagement with video-based, mobile VR content: corporate training, company events, property sales, retail, and virtual classrooms.

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Mobile Data Use Is Exploding But Mobile Revenue Is Shrinking

Fortune Tech

From smartphones to tablets to Wi-Fi hotspots, Americans are toting around almost 400 million wireless connected devices, or more than 1.2 per person on average.

And they’re on those devices more than ever, whether posting Facebook updates, catching a movie on Netflix, or just making a plain old phone call. Mobile data usage exploded 42% last year to 13.7 trillion megabytes, according to the latest statistics from CTIA, the wireless industry trade group. That’s 35 times the amount of data used in 2010 and enough bandwidth to stream 1.6 million high-definition movies, the group adds.

The mobile boom has bolstered the revenue and profits of wireless carriers like Verizon,  T-Mobile, and AT&T for more than a decade. But the market is now posing a challenge as subscriber growth slows and usage continues to skyrocket…

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Mobile devs should target 39-year-old women that play Pokémon Go and Candy Crush – report

Gamesindustry .biz

A new study into the playing habits of mobile gamers has identified the most valuable consumers as women in their late thirties that enjoy catching monsters as much as matching gems.

Verto Analytics investigated users that spread their gaming time across multiple mobile devices and concluded that the average “super mobile gamer” is a 39-year-old female, who racks up around 127 gaming sessions per month – amounting to 14.9 hours.

Pocket Gamer reports that games are the second most frequently used apps across all demographics covered by the report, beaten by ‘communication and social’ apps. Games were used for an average of 152 sessions per month, a total of 14 hours and 42 minutes, while social media apps took up 22 hours and 35 minutes of people’s time, across 685 sessions.

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Despite privacy hoops, text messaging offers ‘unprecedented convenience’

Fierce Healthcare

Text messaging is arguably the most common and convenient form of communication today, but medical professionals have been hesitant to text with patients given the labyrinth of HIPAA regulations and the potential to violate patient privacy.

The Joint Commission has done little to alleviate that confusion. The accreditation organization initially lifting its ban on using text messaging to send patient orders last year, only to temporarily reinstate it months later, before reaching a final decision earlier this year to keep the ban in place, for now.

Text messaging has proved valuable in certain situations, like quick, simple patient reminders and interactions and as a tool to improve medication adherence. But some have warned against provider-to-provider messaging that can create an opportunity for patient harm. Meanwhile, physicians are looking for guidance to help navigate privacy regulations and professional etiquette.

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Paymentless retail could be the future, says Barclaycard VP of strategy and innovation

Computer Weekly

Consumers should be able to select their items and leave a store without having to take the time to pay for the best customer experience, according to Anita Liu Harvey, vice-president of strategy and innovation at Barclaycard.

Speaking at the 2017 Retail Business Technology Expo, Liu Harvey said with customer expectation increasing, it is becoming more common for payment to happen before or after a purchase as opposed to in-store, and this will be the ideal in the future.

“Nobody likes to pay but it’s a necessary evil – to find the item we want and just walk out of the shop with it would be the best scenario,” she said.

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Targeting people, not devices: The rise of “cross device ID matching” in marketing


Cross-device audience ID matching will be used in 58% of total UK online ad spend by 2020, compared with 28% in 2016, according to new research.

Audience IDs are the online identity profiles used to recognise and match online users across different devices and channels.

The new report, from Yahoo and Enders Analysis and titled ‘People, not devices: Audience buying in a Cross-Device World’ explores the rocketing growth of audience ID ad spend in the coming years.

Growth in audience ID ad spend is predicted to almost triple to €7.9 billion by 2020, compared with €2.7 billion in 2016.

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Google-funded ‘super sensor’ project brings IoT powers to dumb appliances

Tech Crunch

The so-called ‘smart home’ often comes across looking incredibly dumb. Either you have to shell out lots of money to replace perfectly functional appliances for their Internet-connected equivalents — which might then be vulnerable to hacking or whose functionality could be bricked at manufacturer whim.

Or you go around manually affixing sensors to each appliance and moveable fixture in your home — and end up with the equivalent of interior pebble-dashing comprised of stick-on gadgetry; a motion sensor and/or ugly-looking Dash-style button on everything.

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Opinion: Why mobile will kill the multi-brand etailer

Retail Week

When Amazon and Ebay launched they sold via the world wide web, which was created for desktop computers.

Twelve years later, when Apple launched the iPhone, revolutionising how to use mobile, they brought with them an entirely new operating software (iOS) as did Google with Android, released commercially in 2008.

Why? Because the desktop web wasn’t made for phones, and experience is everything in terms of driving adoption.

With 89% of all time on mobile spent within apps, the user journey is very different to the traditional ecommerce journey.

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