Monday, January 31, 2011
Forrester reports that mobile banking has undergone rapid adoption, more than doubling from five percent of online users in 2007 to 12 percent in the second quarter of 2010. By 2015, this number is predicted to nearly double again, with one in five U.S. adults using mobile banking.
To reach one in five U.S. adults, as Forrester predicts mobile banking will do by 2015, U.S. banks will need to enhance today's functionality significantly to create a unique value proposition that resonates with both online and offline consumers.
Steady Mobile Banking Growth To Drive Demand For Better Functionality
The retailers pay Shopkick to be included in the app and featured in special promotions. Though it declined to be specific, the high profile start-up said that each store visit by a user of its app costs a retailer "less than $1."
The figure marks a huge increase on the $5.2 billion spent on mobile applications in 2010, technology consultancy Gartner said, predicting there will be 17.7 billion application downloads this year, more than double the 8.2 billion in 2010.
By the end of 2014, Gartner forecasted that over 185 billion applications will have been downloaded since 2008.
That explains, only in part, why there now is interest in mobile payments.
There’s a disconnect between what vendors and executives are pushing and what information workers are looking for, says Forrester analyst T J Keitt. Right now, most of the desktop video conferencing technology is not widespread.
Forty-two percent of directors use desktop video conferencing, 40 percent of vice presidents and 38 percent of owners or CEOs, according to Forrester By contrast, only seven percent of individual workers say they use the systems.
In addition, for the time being, interest among those individual workers is low. About 72 percent of workers said they didn’t want desktop video conferencing, compared with 13 percent who don’t have it but do want it. Another 13 percent use it, and while 2 percent said they have desktop video conferencing but don’t use it.
The study surveyed more than 5,400 information workers. Fifty-six percent of businesses have deployed a room-based or desktop-based video-conferencing system, Keitt said.
None of that stops some analysts from worrying. A study by market-research firm iSuppli last year estimated the total cost of materials for the 3G Kindle at $155.56, about $33 less than the $189 selling price for the device.
Many analysts assume the Kindle operates on a razor-razorblade model, which is the tactic of selling one good (like razors) at a discount, and a second good that it dependent on it (like razorblades) at a higher price. For Amazon, this would mean selling the Kindle at a discount in order to make money on e-book sales.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Social media marketing now represents about $1.7 billion in expenditures. Facebook gets 53 percent of that. Twitter gets only about three percent. But I'd watch Twitter.
That is the reason video industry executives are so worried about Netflix, for example. But something more than that is at play. Increasingly, the best products in many industries will build a digital relationship into the experience. In some ways, that is a linear extrapolation from what has been happening for at least a decade, namely that physical products have been incorporating more software as key parts of the overall product value. The typical way we say this is that "all companies are becoming 'experience' companies."
The relationships are probably easiest to see in products with some existing "content" component. That's why Sony began investing in content assets. But the iPod builds on iTunes as smartphones and tablets now build on app stores.
What is harder to see, but will become increasingly more obvious, is that most products, even those without a "content" component, will start to use content more frequently. Most companies create brochures, white papers, data sheets, press releases, websites, videos, podcasts and webcasts. Some create mobile apps and games. All of that is "content." What will change, over time, is the prominent use of other types of content as a routine part of the branding and relationship-building activities conducted by companies.
The retailers say the ventures not only help them gain a foothold in the fast-growing digital entertainment business, but also give them an edge in selling Internet-connected televisions and movie players in their stores.
Recently, mobile banking got a huge boost with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone announcing separate partnerships with State Bank of India and ICICI Bank, respectively. While Bharti Airtel and SBI have formed an exclusive joint venture, Vodafone has agreed to become a "business correspondent" for ICICI Bank.
There's money in the mobile
"The future of banking is being defined here," Realini says. "The new models for what will be mainstream throughout the world are being incubated here."
Mobile banking has been available for years in Japan and elsewhere, but only on a limited basis. M-Pesa now has 19,000 agents today. Of Safaricom's 16 million customers, 12 million have M-Pesa accounts — this in a nation of 39 million people.
Finance: Kenya's Banking Revolution
Among the "bank-led" ventures are:
First Bank of Nigeria
Among the "non-bank led" ventures are:
Monitiz (Is this the Monitise brand in Nigeria)
And that's just Nigeria.
Mobile Banking: The mobile banking revolution: Nigerian style
See presentation for a description of how it works.
The basic idea of M-PESA is that the 100,000 small retailers in Kenya who already sell mobile-phone airtime, in the form of scratch cards, can also register to be mobile-money agents, taking in and paying out cash. More than 17,600 retailers have signed up as M-PESA agents—far outnumbering Kenya’s 840 bank branches. When a customer is registered with the system, paying in cash involves exchanging physical money for the virtual sort, called “e-float”, which is credited to his mobile-money account. E-float can then be transferred to other users by mobile phone, and exchanged for cash by the recipient, who visits another agent.
read more here
The service would provide "unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming" of 5,000 movies and TV shows' with content similar to what is available through Netflix's streaming component. Amazon's service, though, would be limited to standard-definition video.
The notable observation here is that Amazon will try to create a business model that does not rely directly on incremental revenue, but rather on increasing subscribers to another existing service Amazon deems important. That's similar to Apple selling music and video to sell iPods and iPads. Netflix, Comcast and others, on the other hand, have less wiggle room, since their video businesses are about selling video.
Comcast, of course, also is trying the Amazon tactic, tying a fixed-line cable subscription to its mobile and untethered online video service. Still, it always is dangerous when a new competitor proposes to give away what another company sells.
Amazon Prime is a membership program that provides free two-day shipping as well as one-day shipping for $3.99 per item on certain purchases.
Currently Amazon offers a selection of more than 75,000 movie and TV show rentals or purchases through PCs, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and connected-TV devices, including those from TiVo, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Vizio and Roku.
Amazon.com's agreement to buy full ownership of LoveFilm, a European DVD rental and movie-streaming service, confirms the e-commerce giant intends to beef up its digital-video offering.
Operating in the U.K., Scandinavia and more recently Germany, LoveFilm's service is very similar to that of Netflix in the U.S. But it is well behind the American company, both in subscribers—1.6 million versus 17 million—and in the amount of streaming content it has licensed.
Netflix now estimates it will expand to as many as 22.8 million subscribers in the coming quarter, a possible uptick of 14 percent. Meanwhile, the subscriber base for HBO, which ended its last quarter with 28.55 million subscribers, fell to its lowest levels in four years, and dropped 1.9 percent from the last quarter.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Creators of Web content have poured considerable effort into reinventing their websites as top-down, gorgeously designed experiences for Apple’s tablet and other mobile devices, in the hope that what they give away on the Web might turn into something their audience will pay for as an app.
Customers are rational, are capable of understanding the consequences of behavior, and so will change their behavior. "Contrary to the popular view, tiered pricing, whereby subscribers pay for the bandwidth they consume, will not signal the death of the mobile Internet," argues Yankee Group analyst Declan Longergan.
Service providers and consumers will learn to live with bandwidth and devices in ways that satisfy their needs, without bankrupting carriers or slowing innovation. "In the same way that the notion of eco-friendly consumption behavior has gradually entered the public consciousness, so too will the idea of network-friendly (and unfriendly) mobile devices," says Lonergan. Service providers and the most sophisticated end-users will pay more attention to which devices make most efficient use of limited network resources and monthly data allowances, and will change. Over time, so will most other people.
read more here
Google's solution is an extension for its Chrome web browser that lets users proactively block certain advertisers from serving them behavioral ads. Mozilla's approach would bundle a "do not track" feature with its browser, but require websites and ad networks to agree to recognize such requests from Firefox users.
Microsoft has previously announced its own plans for letting users opt out of such ads as well. Those moves, plus any additional FTC rules, are going to limit the extent to which targeted ads can be delivered.
read more here
The app has a sparse interface which allows you to view search results whether or not you are logged in with your Blekko account. With the exception of Facebook integration, the app pretty much runs the gamut of features found on Blekko itself, most notably the ability to search by /slashtag or curated topic. Results are sorted by most relevant and by date.
It's true that teens are twice as likely, compared to the general public, to hold brand conversations online. Still, just 13 percent of teens' brand discussions take place online (including email, texting/IM and social networking), compared to seven percent of the general public's discussions.
The IMF warning comes as federal officials grapple with a congressional projection this week that the annual deficit will reach a historic $1.5 trillion this year. This was the latest report to raise concerns about how massive government debts in developed countries could undermine the global economic recovery.
“The U.S. has a lot of credibility. This does not imply their credibility can last forever,” IMF fiscal affairs director Carlo Cottarelli said as he released the IMF study. It concluded that the United States is falling behind on a promise it made to other top economic countries to halve its budget deficit by 2013.
Alcatel-Lucent and Tantalus have developed meter collectors and video cameras that will be connected over an LTE network.
The assumption is that Apple's mobile payment system would have to be as convenient as a credit card swipe. That same objection applies to all other systems as well. Some might argue a mobile payment alternative does not save time; Apple won't either; therefore there is no value and no reason to adopt. Apple will have also have to piggyback off of, or have retail partners deploy, the near field communication terminals required on the retailer end of the transaction That's another barrier.
One possible advantage Apple gains with this new payment scheme is Apple mobile payments bypass the credit card processing fees Apple currently pays for each iTunes transaction. Some might question value for retailer partners and end users. If Apple decides to share those savings with retailers, and rewards users with some loyalty program at the same time, there's the answer to "how do retailers and users benefit."
There are big barriers to mobile payments adoption, ranging from handset capabilities and user habits to entrenched and efficient existing payment systems. But big changes in user behavior have occurred before, when the value was understood. That doesn't mean mobile payments will succeed wildly in the next 12 months or even 24 months. But it could, and Apple starts with a different perspective: it doesn't want to disrupt the traditional payments business. It only wants to enhance the value and stickiness of iTunes.
Apple doesn't have to look first and foremost at its potential direct revenue or profit margin. It doesn't worry so much about those things when it sells music or video or movies. It just wants to make iTunes and its "i" devices so useful and popular that people keep buying them. That makes for a dangerous competitor. Essentially, Apple wants to "give away" what other people need to "get paid for." That is the underlying power of disruption in the Internet space, always.
It's too early to know who wins, or whether Apple will be among them, or why it might win. But Apple, and others, will be dangerous to the extent they clearly understand they have existing revenue models that are enhanced if they extend themselves into mobile payments in some way. The best-placed players might just be those with an existing and powerful revenue model that gets more powerful with mobile payments, without the need to make additional revenue from the payments process itself.
read more here
Friday, January 28, 2011
That base gives Apple the ability to operate largely as a "closed payment system" with minimal need to interface with credit card companies and banks, she said. "They can largely shut out credit card companies if they choose to,"and operate in much the same way that PayPal has done in the virtual world, she said.
Some will argue that this approach actually is rather credit card issuer "friendly." Users of iTunes will probably need to continue using their credit cards and bank accounts to replenish the funds in their iTunes accounts, which would make any Apple mobile payments system a distributor for card companies in much the same way that PayPal is. The main issue is the loss of analytics for the card issuers.
As it turns out, TV watching still is a "lean back" activity, and the new Internet delivery systems changed that into an undesirable "lean forward" experience, to some extent. That isn't to say that some company, sometime, will "Apple-ize" the experience and make it elegant. But we aren't there yet.
In part because of new regulatory changes and pressures card issuers may find card economics getting worse. “It is inevitable that the revenue side of the business will change downward, so profitability will be affected massively,” he says.
How massive? He expects “more than half the profit for debit and credit businesses” will be affected. Right now, a card issuer can typically expect revenue of perhaps $85 and about $40 of expense, per customer, per month. But the industry expects the economics might fall to something like average revenue of $38 and $40 in expense, so the typical card issuer is “under water,” says Philliou.
Others argue that will be very difficult (it will) and that the more-logical route is some sort of grand partnership, that focuses less on shifting market share in the “payments” business and focuses more on creating new forms of value that have more to do with eliminating overhead, improving customer service and creating more convenient ways to advertise, deliver coupons and promotions, or create loyalty.David Schropfer, a partner at the Luciano Group, says it is not clear what will happen. But there is some logic to the notion that the current “four-party system involving a merchant, a consumer, and the banks that the user and retailer use, was created long ago, and could be redesigned for an Internet-connected, mobile world, operating more efficiently at the same time it creates more value-added platforms.
The natural instinct for some is to put Apple in the same camp that many have put PayPal Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., that of the enemy. But banks that look for ways to work with Apple might find themselves getting a new distribution channel.
"If we as a banking industry don't get our head around payments, we risk the chance of an Apple or Google or anybody else being a disrupter in the space and taking some of the volume, very similar to the way PayPal has become a disrupter in the industry," said Jeff Dennes, the director of online and mobile services at Huntington Bancshares Inc.
The bet seems to be that large incumbents like AT&T may have to go shopping to beef up their enterprise units.
In a research note, Oppenheimer analyst Tim Horan argued that "the transaction highlights the attractive fundamentals of the Internet infrastructure space driven by the ongoing migration to cloud computing."
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Historically, wireless carriers have charged roughly 30 percent to 40 percent to process transactions made on the carrier billing systems.
The new service will allow consumers to use their mobiles to make purchases at over 40,000 stores.
The platform uses SIM cards and bill build on Everything Everywhere and Barclaycard’s ongoing partnership, which has already produced a co-branded contactless credit card and the forthcoming Orange Cash pre-paid contactless card.
Users will initially be able to purchase items up to the value of £15 by simply swiping their mobile phones across an electronic reader.
The phone uses “Near-Field Communication” technology in addition to the SIM modules.
This new offering, Google Apps for Verizon, is specifically designed to help smaller companies advertise by providing them with a domain name and domain name e-mail, and to boost their productivity by making cloud-based capabilities available to employees, whether in an office or on the go.
Google Apps for Verizon, which provides three free user accounts, is immediately available to businesses that subscribe to a bundle consisting of Verizon Internet service and either Verizon voice or TV service, or both.
read more hereHowever, perceptions of the risks decline while perceptions of value increase after consumers begin using location-based services. Consumers feel more comfortable if they are given control over who has their location information and how that information is used.
- · 49% would be more comfortable with location-based services if they can easily and clearly manage who sees their location information (US 55%, UK 50%, Germany 51%, Canada 36%, Japan 51%).
- · 62% say they are aware of and 38% are familiar with location-based services. 51% report having ever used a location-based service (US 50%, UK 43%, Germany 47%, Canada 59%, Japan 57%). Only 18% report using a location-based service for location sharing with other people.
Gartner said organizations that really understand business processes will explicitly or implicitly tier those processes in a hierarchy of value. Through the use of context-aware computing principles such as presence, historical pattern analysis and emotion detection, up to a quarter of these commodity processes can be rejuvenated, made more customer-centric and contribute even more to the organization bottom line.
Organizations that re-examine and revise commodity processes will find opportunities where none existed before. For example, call center emotion detection can transform stoic automated call routing into a more sophisticated customer experience while context-enriched, rote transactions (such as address changes, billing inquiries, simple information requests and check-out) can be transformed into cross-selling opportunities as new insight is gained into the “state” of the customer (for example, just married, recently divorced, moving, or joined military).
Netflix also says it expects the percentage of "streaming only" customers to grow over time. About 66 percent of new customers elect to buy the $9.99 1-DVD combination plan, which allows users to rent one DVD at a time, and also allows unlimited viewing using streaming. "Very few of our existing subscribers are downgrading to the pure streaming plan," Netflix also notes.
read more here
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
“We’re excited to confirm that we recently completed a talent acquisition of Rel8tion, a stealth-mode startup in Seattle," Facebook says. "The engineering team will join our growing Seattle office, and we’re looking forward to having them on board.”
Taylor said that mobile usage is the fastest growing part of the Facebook experience, with more than 200 million people accessing the site from mobile phones. Those users are also more than twice as active as users who only log on via the desktop Web site.
Amazon's Simple Email Service, called "Amazon SES," allows users to send up to 2,000 emails a day for free, if they come from another Amazon cloud service. The book and services giant says that messages can be sent for as little as 10 cents per thousand.
Amazon claims its system includes scanning of outgoing messages to make sure they meet ISP standards. Any messages that fail this test are sent back to be fixed."
Monday, January 24, 2011
But llooking ahead, Larry Page, who will return to the CEO post he once held, faces numerous challenges, from reinstilling some kind of entrepreneurial culture at a bureaucracy of 24,000 employees, to coping with a threatening group of newcomers such as Facebook, Twitter and Groupon, to tapping the bigger reservoir of brand dollars still spent largely on TV.
Twitter has so far managed to attract big advertisers such as American Express, Coca Cola, Nissan, HP and Starbucks, and companies such as Dell have proved they can promote their products well using Twitter even before it launched its promoted tweets program.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
In addition to mobile, the fastest-growing online advertising categories in 2011 will be social media and online video, all of which are believed to be gaining share of wallet within online marketing budgets.
Classic display appears to be the most vulnerable to this shift. In fact, half of the respondents think display is losing share, and only 20 percent consider it is gaining share.
“It finally feels like the tipping point for mobile is here,” Deutsche Bank says in its report. “According to our media buyers, mobile will represent roughly five percent to seven percent of online budgets in 2011. That would imply spending of about $1 billion to $1.5 billion in the U.S. market, assuming total online spending of $28 billion.
The "personal" nature of text messaging and the high need for user opt in are key reasons why the channels mostly appeal to different types of retailer relationships. Text messages require some sort of pre-existing relationship. Perhaps email messages are supposed to require opt in as well, but frequently permission is more tacit than formally acknowledged.
A user that has opted in to receive SMS messages presumably already has significant interest in a particular product or retailer. Email messages can cover a wider range of consumers.
read more here
|Overall Usage Number of Users 13+ (in 000s) – Monthly Reach|
|Q2 2010||Q1 2010||Q2 2009||% Diff Yr to Yr|
|Using a Mobile Phone ^||229,375||229,495||220,527||+3.99%|
|Mobile Subscribers Watching Video on a Mobile Phone ^||21,957||20,284||15,267||+43.82%|
|Source: The Nielsen Company|
As of Q2 2010, 22 million people watched video on a mobile device
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