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Posts tagged with “technology”

Starbucks rocking the mobile world with over 70 million mobile transactions

Thursday, 31 January, 2013

The Starbucks Coffee Company has become an architect of great commercial success with their entry to mobile applications world eighteen months ago. As of late last year they can now boast in having over 70 million payments through their mobile application, which is an amazing feat for any company mobile presence.
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Unlike many other merchants who use a third party payment processing application the Starbucks application was launched with a built-in payment service. That is set to change, as Square and Apple’s Passbook are now going to be well unified to the Starbucks brand, the former through a directory link to Starbucks and the latter will be integrated to iPod Touch or iPhone via Passbook software. These are very exciting developments; the future holds much innovation and further mobile presence for Starbucks.new balance m1500

Mobile app assisting those with visual disabilities

Friday, 28 September, 2012

A mobile application published by the nonprofit group Horizons for the Blind is offering solutions to the visually-impaired by increasing their autonomy when shopping at stores. Horizons for the Blind have been working on the app, called DirectionsForMe, with consumer package goods group Gladson with the intention of aiding those who have trouble with vision and the challenges they face as consumers. Camille Cafferlli is the founder of Horizons for the Blind and briefly took time to explain the initiative:

“DirectionsForMe provides a platform of independence … it allows you to put in a product name, and then you get all the directions, the warnings, the ingredients and anything else that would be on the package…”

The app will also be a benefit to seniors who may have trouble making out important information among the complicated packaging we see nowadays, as well as the small print in the case of ingredient listing. A user of DirectionsForMe will experience three functionalities once the product is scanned whereby information is presented through 1) A voice reading out the information 2) a portable braille reader and 3) augmented text size on a smartphone.
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It’s good to see mobile technology being used as a tool to empower the disadvantaged instead of only as a marketing channel. Hopefully DirectionsForMe meets a lot of success and inspires other like-minded applications.

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Cybercrime: are you one of its increasing numbers of victims?

Friday, 14 September, 2012

A new Norton Cybercrime Report cites that 1.5 million people worldwide are victims of online crime on a daily basis. They also claim that 2 out of every 3 internet users have been affected by cybercrime at least once in their lifetime and the costs on consumers are over a billion dollars (USD) per year. These numbers are truly staggering.  On average, victims are averaging $197 in financial losses as a result of this epidemic.

As more people turn to smartphones to access the internet, they increase the probability to succumbing to cybercriminals activities. Threats were initially low with the use of mobile phones but now since nearly 2 out of 3 people are online via their smartphones the threat has increased to over 200%.
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Social networks are also major targets. The report states that 4 out of every 10 users have suffered from cyber criminals hacking into their platform. In addition to that two-thirds of people have not set up security settings on their mobile phones or otherwise. Surprisingly, there are an estimated 44% of users that don’t even realize they have security settings to help offset any cyber crimes. Sounds like it’s time for all of us to wise up and get educated on how we can stop cybercriminals in their tracks.

http://www.thepaypers.com/news/

Everything Everywhere and MasterCard team up

Friday, 7 September, 2012

MasterCard’s deal with T-Mobile and Orange has come to an end. A new 5 year deal between MasterCard and Everything Everywhere has been forged. Their plan is to develop a person to person payment system close in comparison to Pingit.  This is not good news to rival networks O2 and Vodafone, who are also working together to build out a unified mobile payment service called Project Oscar, which would have standardized the system across the nation. Vodafone is currently partnered with Visa and O2 is attempting to establish their own system. It will be interesting to see just how this all pans out in the grand scheme of things. Stay tuned.
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The race to prepaid is on

Thursday, 14 June, 2012

At the very foundation of the need to continuously drive innovation lies a common human need to connect people, information, and services. The payments industry has seen a consistent and quick adoption of innovation as new technology keeps surfaces by the day. Despite all the hot-topic talk of NFC, digital wallets, m-commerce and mobile technology, one common thread is the rise in interest and desire for prepaid.

Today, a large amount of companies not currently in the prepaid sphere are quite literally running to the opportunity and latching onto any type of idea, service or technology and soon merchant service companies will likely follow suit.
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Back in 2009, Western Union took the bold decision to move into prepaid and become a dominant player. Based on strong consumer demand and a few previously failed attempts earlier in the 2000’s, Western Union has finally cemented their position of strength within this market.

An interesting note here is that, even with a simple business model built around money transfers, Western Union has had a long history of adopting new technology. From operating the first telegraph network to launching the first commercial satellite into Earth’s orbit, Western Union continues to look at how communication and financial services go hand-in-hand.

Keeping an eye on the younger demographic, prepaid fills two distinct trends and needs in the next-generation markets: self-service culture, and instant gratification. Prepaid wins on both fronts and may become the dominant payment method in the coming years.

Retail Spotlight: window merchandising with a technology twist

Tuesday, 29 May, 2012

“How much is that doggy in the window?”

An age-old adage to the somewhat lost art of window merchandising.

Retailers have come full-circle recently from the increasing pressure within the retail space, emergence of e-commerce, and mobile. What was once a staunch tradition has evolved into an engaging entry point to brick-and-mortar stores.
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Iconic UK-based clothiers Ben Sherman launched an innovative window display that allows for interaction with consumers from the outside in. A simple control button is housed in a casing just outside the window where customers can activate a pressurized system that sends clothing through a carousel and can be viewed one by one. The idea is to create the desire for customers to interact with the display due to the novelty, but actually stumble on a piece of clothing they may like and therefore enter the store.

Using a similar tactic, Starbucks launched an integrated window display that uses a touch screen to allow consumers to select a series of gold stars that then transform into information about their My Starbucks Rewards program. It was originally launched in select stores in Toronto and Vancouver to support the Tazo brand push.

The strategic use of technology, as demonstrated, can turn a once two-dimensional process into a complete immersive and interactive experience.

In-store mobile game launched by Aldo to increase end-consumer engagement

Tuesday, 15 May, 2012

In an effort to further connect with consumers while they are shopping in-store, Aldo has launched an interactive gaming platform. The basic crux of the game is to allow shoppers to engage with the Aldo brand, remain in the store for a longer period of time, and offer a chance to win $500. It also supports Aldo’s current foray into mobile with the recent launch of a mobile commerce platform.

Dubbed ‘Shoe Paradise,” the game and mobile site was developed by Dynamo, a Quebec-based company specializing in digital media. Alex Nemeroff, Interactive Director at Dynamo, added “This in-store game was created to fulfill two goals, to extend the Shoe Paradise microsite concept to mobile customers and introduce an experience tailored to Aldo’s recently-launched mobile commerce site.”
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The game is being promoted through in-store signage, which includes a call-to-action for customers to visit www.aldosp.com on their mobile browser. Details on the game then follow, with a featured shoe from which users can earn rewards as directed by the app. In order to enter to win customers must play three different levels of the game, each one at a different Aldo location, with prizes including free gear.

This initiative further cements Aldo’s mobile presence and is an example of how technology and smart devices can play an important role in uplifting brick-and-mortar shopping experiences.