Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include… Facebook Libra: the inside story of how the company’s cryptocurrency dream died, Why It’s a Great Time to Be a Mobile Threat, Google sends Apple RCS message and much more…
Facebook Libra: the inside story of how the company’s cryptocurrency dream died
On June 24 2021, Jay Powell and Janet Yellen sat down for their weekly breakfast amid the austere surroundings of the US Treasury building on 1,500 Pennsylvania Avenue. There was only one major question on the agenda: should they give the green light for a global cryptocurrency designed by Facebook?
The chair of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury secretary were both DC veterans; Powell had replaced Yellen at the top of the Fed. But neither had had to make such an unusual decision. An alliance of tech companies led by Facebook proposed to launch a product it hoped would profoundly change the world. Rather than adhering to the social media giant’s one-time mantra “move fast and break things”, executives had come to Washington to ask permission first.
Why It’s a Great Time to Be a Mobile Threat
It really is a great time to be a mobile threat. As mobile devices become ever more critical in our daily lives, hackers are seizing on a vulnerable blindspot in the enterprise attack surface.
In the past, data, endpoints and users might have been confinable within the office. However, mobile devices, BYOD schemes and remote work have made enterprise IT hard to contain. Mobile devices now hold a central place in enterprise IT. Even as far back as Zimperium’s 2019 State of Enterprise Mobile Security report, 60% of enterprise endpoints are mobile devices. Furthermore, 80% of daily work is performed on a mobile device.
Google sends Apple RCS message
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Google upgraded its Rich Communication Services (RCS)-based Messages app to improve features within conversations between Android and iPhone users, as its product manager for the service pushed rival Apple to also adopt the standard.
In a Google blog announcing the changes, group product manager for Messages Jan Jedrzejowicz explained its updates “can only do so much”.
The tightrope between fraud prevention and frictionless banking experience
While banks work to fight fraud, customers are bristling at some of their security measures. Around the world, 35% of banking customers said what irritates them most is that the authentication factors keep changing. Another 24% are most annoyed by their card being declined for legitimate purchases.
Beyond the chart: That’s not to say banking customers want a looser approach to security. More than 2 in 5 have reported actual or suspected fraud to their bank, and of the US mobile banking users we surveyed, about 1 in 5 cited fraud prevention as a main reason they switched financial institutions. To keep their customers, banks must strike a delicate balance: protect their accounts without eating into customers’ time or preventing them from spending wherever and whenever they want.
Tapjoy says 50% of mobile gamers prefer free ad-based games
Mobile ad and monetization firm Tapjoy says gamers prefer free ad-based games over pay to play titles and in-app purchases. The company’s survey of more than 9,000 mobile gamers found that players prefer ad-supported games, according to Tapjoy’s Modern Mobile Gamer 2022 Report.
Tapjoy said the survey shows how attitudes towards mobile gaming, in-app advertising, and in-app purchases have evolved over the last five years. In 2017, just 21% of mobile gamers said they favored ad-supported mobile games in Tapjoy’s survey, which asked the same questions. But today, 50% of today’s mobile gamers say they prefer the ad-supported model over pay-to-play games or those based primarily on in-app purchases.
Businesses on alert as mobile malware surges 500%
Researchers have said they observed a 500% increase in mobile malware infections across Europe since the start of February 2022.
The majority of malware was observed on Android devices, with six of the most serious strains targeting Google’s operating system compared to just one targeting iOS, according to Proofpoint researchers.
Following an uptick in mobile malware infections back in April 2021, researchers told IT Pro that detections had largely tapered off and remained low until February 2022, although they were unable to pinpoint a reason for the sudden surge.
Mobile phones for legal identity, not just digital: ID4Africa livecast
Mobile phones as a tool, a technology and an enabler of services were discussed in the first part of a new four-part ID4Africa livecast series, ‘Mobile for Identity Management and Inclusive ID4D’. In the first installment, speakers explored how the mobile phone can support digital ID credentials to enable access to services and ecommerce, and how mobile phones are already playing a role in registering births to create a legal identity. A persistent gender imbalance among phone holders, poorly aligned regulation and even tax on mobile use could frustrate efforts.
Over 70% of Brazilian companies plan to invest in 5G by 2027 – KPMG
Some 71% of Brazilian enterprises of different sizes and verticals intend to invest in 5G connectivity to support some activity of their business within the next years, according to a study by consultancy services firm KPMG.
Another 20% are already investing in 5G, while only 1% said they have no intention of doing so.
KPMG said it interviewed 110 C-Level executives for its study, 32% of whom were CFOs and 18% CEOs, about the potential of the new mobile technology ecosystem. The survey was carried out between October and December 2021.
M-Pesa: Kenya’s mobile money success story celebrates 15 years
Mobile money payments are growing fast, with emerging markets as the epicentre of activity. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is experiencing the most growth, as the region is already the largest adopter of mobile money transfer systems and comprises nearly half of the globe’s registered mobile money customers.
M-Pesa – “pesa”, which means “money” in Swahili – was launched by Vodafone’s Safaricom mobile operator in March 2007 as a platform for people to exchange airtime for goods and services and even money. A decade after its launch, M-Pesa has expanded to 10 countries, boasts 29.5 million active users and processes up to 614 million transactions per month.