UK financial services company Barclay launched a person-to-person payment application called Pingit, and has already seen tremendous success in the early stages, reaching over 400,000 downloads since launching in February. The technology behind their application is simple; it that allows users to transfer money using only a mobile number, removing the need to transfer important and personal banking information.
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With the rising importance of mobile device usage, financial institutions are quickly adopting new ways to interact with customers beyond providing services to check account balances and other basic banking needs. Pingit’s early success points to the growing demand for simple and intuitive payment platforms that co-exist with current methods consumers are using with mobile technology. As Gary Schwartz, CEO of Impact Mobile notes: “Pingit is simply tying your banking to your phone number to allow you to use this number to transfer cash is the same way you communicate to friends or vendors.”
In a short period of time, Pingit became the fastest downloaded financial app in the UK Apple Store for the entire month of February. Moreover, eBay users and smaller UK merchants are moving towards this app as a way to accept payments. Barclays aims to continue to develop add-on features to the app, making it a more all-encompassing payment tool.
Last-minute travel is a regular part of business for most airlines, and Southwest Airlines aims to capitalize on this sales market through the use of mobile technology.
Southwest has begun utilizing mobile as a platform for launching this new business initiative via an integrated platform that uses mobile ads connected to mobile sites. With ads running inside the IMDb iPhone app, users are encouraged to click through to the mobile site in order to inquire on flight status, trip booking, and inform themselves on the airline itself.
Says Chris Mainz, spokesman for Southwest Airlines, Dallas, TX:
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“As an airline, we know our customers are constantly on the go, and the feedback we have received in focus groups lets us know how best to communicate with our customers – it is important for us to give access to our customers to book tickets on Southwest in a manner that suits them, and mobile is an important part of that strategy.”
Operating over 3000 flights daily to 73 cities and 38 states across the U.S., Southwest is an airline in high regular use largely due to its value-oriented proposition of low-cost airfare. It is therefore not surprising to see the company move to the mobile space to increase last-minute trip purchases.
Their mobile system is quite simple in construct: an ad indicates, “Low fares at Southwest.com” with a clickable button connecting users to the mobile site. Once there, users can toggle through four main areas: 1) Booking 2) Check-in 3) Change Flight and 4) Cancel Flight, all of which are protected through an account system that users access with a login and password.