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Archive for August, 2012

American Sale bringing delivery convenience to customers via mobile

Thursday, 30 August, 2012

Anybody who has had to wait for delivery from a store knows the pain of being stuck at home, prisoner to the vague delivery times given to them. Superstore American Sale is changing that through the establishment of their own SMS service that will send a text to the customer, giving them an anticipated time and date of delivery. SMS may be viewed as becoming a strong alternative to a store’s applications, which not every consumer may be interested in using or even have the hardware to operate with.

SMS is also growing in strength because it benefits both parties equally at a low cost: the rapid convenience of text messaging for consumers and the marketing bond/service satisfaction that the business creates with their clients. Their director of mobile and digital unification at American Sale, Dave Lawson had this to say:

““By opening up SMS for notifications and delivery efficiency, American Sale is taking a proactive step to activating a highly relevant channel for customers…”
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Knotice is the company behind the SMS feature which notifies customers the day previous to their intended delivery. What is the overall strength of SMS in the future? As long as it remains lean and responsive it should remain a strong option for most businesses.

 

http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/ August 2012

Google Wallet releases version 2.0

Friday, 17 August, 2012

Out with the old and in with the new. Google has released version 2.0 of their Google Wallet service which allows a prepaid credit card of your choice to be stored in a completely secure environment.  The prepaid card simply funds the purchase when a mobile payment is made. This system is an improvement over previous version 1.0 which needed card issuers to become involved in provisioning the payment cards to Google Wallet.

In terms of security Google has gone down a different path regarding their technical approach: the cards are now stored on Google’s impeccably secure servers instead of on the secure storage area provided in all smart phone devices. A virtual card number is still stored there to help facilitate the purchase. Google then charges your selected card immediately thereafter. This new version actually speeds up the integration process for banks, enabling them to add their cards to the Wallet in literally weeks. This new methodology may pave the way for a better solution to support all credit and debit cards.
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Google has also made it much easier to disable your mobile wallet in cases of theft or loss of the phone. With a simple visit to the “Devices” section in your online wallet you can find the phone that you want disabled and Google Wallet will then not authorize any transactions until you effectively change the settings.

http://www.nfcworld.com/2012/08/01/317105/google-wallet-2-0-the-easy-way-to-pay-with-nfc/

Boston’s LevelUp continues to secure major funding within the mobile payments arena

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012

LevelUp, the Boston based mobile payment service provider and sister company to SCVNGR, has announced that they have raised an additional $9 million to up their total funding to a whopping $21 million. The latest investment comes from T-Venture, who is the venture capital branch of Deutsche Telecom.

LevelUp users can pay and gain loyalty points through their mobile device at over 3,000 merchants across the United States. They boast relationships with some major players such as Quizno’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Johnny Rockets and many more to come. There are plans to provide their services in 50 major market cities in the U.S. and will also announce partnerships with even larger nationwide chains in the next few months. Currently, there are over 200k users that are generating in excess of $2 million a month in sales by utilizing LevelUp’s services.

As of now, LevelUp relies exclusively on QR codes as its payment solution but that is eventually going to change. NFC capabilities are not that far from the mix as they pledge to add additional value by getting LevelUp into the hands of the masses any way it can.
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In order to do this efficiently LevelUp has lowered their interchange rates to zero, and with their competitors still charging as high as 3%, the playing field is opening up in their favor.  They will however be charging the merchant 35 percent each time a consumer redeems loyalty rewards. This may end up costing the merchant more but by offering them a one-stop solution for customer acquisition, retention and analytics, they are hoping that will more than make up the difference. They are certainly set up to penetrate the market in a way that will warrant a closer second look by all their major competitors.

Apple moving in on mobile payments technology with AuthenTec purchase

Tuesday, 7 August, 2012

The first important bit of news is that Apple’s foray into the mobile payments world will begin this fall with the release of their Passbook software. We mentioned two weeks ago that Passbook would be delayed, however it was recently announced that it would appear in their next iOS as an application.

The second bit of news concerns AuthenTec’s technology, which facilitates software for fingerprint/identity purposes. Apple has made an offer for $356 million dollars to purchase the sensor chip licenses from AuthenTec, which will presumably be used for fingerprint validation for mobile payments in the upcoming Passbook app.
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This is an obvious shot across the bow to Samsung and Google, who could very possibly counter-offer the bid made by Apple for ownership of Authentec. Any firm with reliable technology related to mobile payments will be courting big players like Apple and such in near future.

source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/27/us-authentec-acquisition-apple-idUSBRE86Q0KD20120727