Amazon gets smooth with online payments

amazon-online-login-and-pay-serviceLast month was smooth – we saw Facebook announce innovative plans to streamline their customer’s payment experiences, by pre-populating credit card details on a select number of chosen merchant’s payment pages. This will use card details previously captured and stored as part of the customers Facebook account.

This month is proving even smoother as Amazon announced their entry into the online billing space, introducing both an online “login and pay” service and also a new software development kit for app developers to sell digital and physical goods from within Kindle and other Android apps or stores with their mobile associates API Continue reading

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Apple’s sensor touches matters close to our heart – safety and simplicity

Apple's new iPhone 5s fingerprint sensorAmongst the news of high-res cameras and 64 bit A7 CPUs delivering twice the performance, Apple introduced a new home button on their iPhone 5s, one that interestingly contains a fingerprint sensor. This move was widely anticipated after Apple acquired AuthenTec along with their fingerprint sensor patents for $356m in July 2012.

The obvious use for this is to unlock the phone without the need to type a password, draw a shape with your finger or swipe the unlock button. But this new feature also has the potential to improve many of the ways we purchase online today.

Fingerprint sensors are not new, my laptop has had one for years, making sign-in that little bit simpler, but so far no devices have tied this to payment confirmation. Apple plans to link fingerprint authentication to the online purchases we make Continue reading

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Talking about conversion rates

We’ve been reading some fascinating numbers released by Jumio Inc and reported in Mobile Payments Today. Some of my own highlights (or perhaps lowlights) are:

  • More than two-thirds (68%) of smartphone/tablet owners have attempted to make a purchase on their device, but two-thirds (66%) have also failed to complete a transaction due to “obstacles during checkout”
  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents said they abandoned a purchase because checking out took too long
  • 41% said checking out on their mobile device proved too difficult
  • More than half (51%) of survey respondents said they abandoned a purchase over concerns about entering credit card information

In short then, we are trying to buy things on our mobile devices, but the majority of us (at least once) have found the experience so difficult that we’ve given up. Continue reading

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Google Play’s explosive revenue growth down to operator billing?

Distimo - Top Global Apps July 2013 Everyone likes a success story, so the recent stats from our friends at Distimo revealing that “Google Play revenues surged by 67% during the last 6 months” was most welcome. Especially since Bango connects operator’s billing systems into Google Play, allowing subscribers to pay for apps and content using their mobile phone bill. Apple in the same period, according to Distimo, grew by a very respectable 15% showing how consumers are increasingly prepared to pay for quality apps and content. It shows that smartphone uptake is increasing within high penetration markets such as the USA and Europe while entering new markets such as Russia.

It is interesting to see how this explosive revenue growth aligns with Google’s current global push to add operator billing as a default payment method. Continue reading

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Webinar Q&A: Beyond bandwidth – Opening new revenue through carrier billing

Thanks to all who attended our webinar, “Beyond bandwidth – Opening new revenue through carrier billing“.

Featuring Bango and Telefónica Digital, hosted by Mobile Payments Today, the webinar explored how Mobile Network Operators who embrace carrier billing are not just connecting to a world of commercial opportunity, they’re enhancing the user experience, driving up conversion rates and providing a boost to the entire app economy.

If you missed it, you can download the recorded video anytime.

We had so many great questions that we were not able to get to them all. So here we’ve answered those we didn’t have chance to during the webinar session. Continue reading

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Opportunity knocks for mobile operators

As the app economy continues its explosive growth, the world’s mobile network operators (MNOs) are fighting tenaciously to secure revenue from the mobile commerce flowing across their networks. As this battle between the MNOs and over the top services develops, operator billing is emerging as the most powerful weapon in the MNO armory.

By leveraging their trusted billing relationship with smartphone users, and offering a frictionless one-click payment experience, MNOs extending the use of operator billing are not just connecting to a world of commercial opportunity, they’re enhancing the user experience, driving up conversion rates and providing a boost to the entire app economy. Continue reading

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The View from CTIA Las Vegas

As ever, it was the conversations between the presentations, the quick exchange in the coffee stand queue, which gave us the mood of the industry. It’s clear that the Latin American (LatAm) market opportunity is a focus amongst the industry’s largest players. Though LatAm is a long way behind the USA and other developed countries in the adoption of the smartphone, there are currently about 100 million active mobile internet users, and that number looks set to triple in the next three years. Beyond that, the modern US-based Latino consumer was identified as a key target demographic, and the event organizers brought together voices as diverse as Jennifer Lopez and AC Slater from Saved By The Bell to give their take on the trend. Continue reading

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