Carrier Billing: The Price is Right…

Andy Bovingdon VP of Product Marketing at Bango, discusses pricing strategies for app developers considering carrier billing as a payment mechanism, and shares some invaluable learnings based on data and trends from their popular payment platform, to help maximise your app sales. Carrier billing – charging a digital purchase to the phone bill – makes consumers five times more likely to complete an app store purchase than if they used a credit card. This drives a huge revenue boost to developers. Bango processes millions of carrier billed payments for Google Play, Samsung GALAXY Apps, … [Read more...]

MEF members meet the startups of tomorrow with Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars

MEF this week hosted a fintech-focused Innovation Meetup with the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars, attended by MEF members and invited guests as part of our new and dedicated Innovation Programme. The event showcased the current cohort participating in the Accelerator based at the London Escalator, an open innovation space designed to support start-ups and entrepreneurs. Nine companies (unfortunately the 10th startup was unable to attend) presented a quick-fire pitch about their business to the assembled audience, which was followed by enthusiastic networking, giving MEF … [Read more...]

Bluetooth Low Energy – at the intersection of retail, marketing and payments

The mobile payment ecosystem is characteristically fragmented with a host of different options that are vying for consumer attention as the technologies and services based on them progress toward maturity. NFC, Direct Operator Billing and Bluetooth Low Energy all have their strengths as transactional platforms whether that’s peer-to-peer, in-store or online and they all have a common goal: convenient, frictionless payments. Arguably, the focus on convenience hasn’t yet led to wholesale consumer adoption so stakeholders are keen to take a broader approach that focuses on making mobile … [Read more...]

16 stats that show how mHealth is taking shape globally

MEF’s recently published mHealth and Wearables Report 2015 which revealed the usage trends and attitudes of 15,000 mobile consumers in 15 countries, indicated that the adoption of health and fitness apps globally has grown year-on-year by more than a third, from 11 to 15 per cent.  Similarly, the use of medical apps has grown by a fifth from 8 to 10 per cent.  This is a trend that is set to push forward driven by two related factors: The growth in wearable devices and their close association with direct consumer health benefits like regular exercise and diet. The growth in the … [Read more...]

Industry Views: mobile money – is cash on its way out?

Last week UK Bank, Halifax, released an interesting report.  The headline statistic is that cash makes up just £18.33 of every £100 spent (18%), with digital transactions soaring over the last few years. Smartphone usage has powered the change, and mobile transactions are expected to grow from £9.7bn this year to £53.6bn by 2024. With the launch of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, plus giant steps forward in direct operator billing and a host of other mobile money technologies and business models, can the industry finally trumpet the beginning of the end of cash? We asked MEF members and the … [Read more...]

MEF Minute Wins A UK Blog Award

We don’t often write about ourselves but last week MEF Minute won an award so we thought we’d share the good news! Judged by an expert panel, MEF Minute was shortlisted in two categories in the second annual UK Blog Awards: Best Digital And Technology Blog, where we received Highly Commended status (narrowly losing out to eConsultancy) and Best PR, Marketing and Communications Blog which we won! The UK Blog Awards attracted more than one thousand entries for individual and company blogs, across a broad range of categories, from Automotive to Digital Technology and from Health to Travel and … [Read more...]

Global Mobile News Round-up – Week 13th April

EU and Google antitrust, China leads on iOS downloads, 6% in the US plan to buy an Apple Watch and more... Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news you may have missed, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global Mobile News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.  Global News Stories EU Accuses Google Of Antitrust Violations; Starts Android Probe Bloomberg The European Union escalated its four-year-old probe into Google Inc., accusing the Internet giant of abusing its dominance of … [Read more...]

12 stats that show how mobile money is growing globally

Mobile Money continues to gather pace.  This year’s Christmas period saw another record breaking year in mobile transaction volumes.  At the same time the halo effect of Apple Pay has seen the launch of similar services, notably Samsung’s Samsung Pay. Here we’ve collected the original reports, research and forecasts over the last three months that illustrate just how mobile money is taking hold, bringing mobile service providers in to direct and collaborative relationships with regulators, banks, and retailers and typify how the ecosystem is evolving, cross sector, cross border from … [Read more...]

73 per cent of consumers want wearables despite low product knowledge

With wearables touted as a major trend for 2015, experiential agency Fizz, has conducted consumer research looking at people’s appetite for the technology in the UK. Britons are willing to spend £111 on a wearables, with online research proving to be the most common way people learn about the products (41 per cent opting for this method), followed by recommendations from friends and family (32 per cent) and social media reviews (23 per cent), before ultimately purchasing in-store. For these and other wearable stats, check-out the inforgraphic below. … [Read more...]

Apple Watch: Does The Emperor Have No Clothes?

Many of the Apple Watch’s features were shown off during its original unveiling in September 2014, but the company had not specified a launch date or the device's pricing.  Two weeks ago those remaining details were made public at an official Apple press conference.  The world was watching. Below LinkedIn editor John C Abell, who attended the event, discusses the launch of the Apple Watch, assessing the likely outcomes for such a trumpeted product in an article which first appeared on LinkedIn Pulse (reblogged here with permission). Apple's Tim Cook did his absolute best to tout Apple … [Read more...]

How can brands take advantage of the Apple Watch? its time to get even closer to customers

Less than six years ago mobile apps were in their infancy and many industry observers wondered whether they’d really catch on. Fast-forward to today and 87% of the time consumers spend using mobile devices is inside apps.  Its how we interact with those apps and on which non-smartphone devices that are the new battleground for device manufacturers.  This week's announcement on the commercial launch date and price points of Apple Watch finally revealed what Tim Cook has been hiding up his sleeve, adding significant firepower to the Apple armoury. Here Brett Caine, CEO, Urban Airship … [Read more...]

MEF rebrands to Mobile Ecosystem Forum and elects new EMEA Board

New company name reflects MEF’s broadening remit as the ecosystem grows - cross border, sector and company size Darren Foulds, Managing Director of Barclays Mobile and Pingit, elected as EMEA Chair and Adia Sowho Head of Digital Media, Etisalat Nigeria elected as Vice-Chair MEF has announced the results of its 2015 EMEA Board elections which took place at the company AGM at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It also announced its transition to the Mobile Ecosystem Forum officially launching at its 13th annual MEF Connects MWC in association with American Express. Rimma Perelmuter, CEO … [Read more...]

MWC15 News Round-up Day 4 – say goodbye to passwords, hello to connected cars and pizza

This year at MWC consumer trust and privacy have taken up position as a central theme.  There's also been plenty of announcements at the device level on how consumers can protect themselves with more sophisticated biometric authentication technology.  ZTE, Fujitsu and EyeVerify all announced eye scanning technology and Qualcomm putting forward its own 3D unltrasonic finger print scanning tech as a credible alternative. Elsewhere there's more evidence that the automotive sector is increasingly embracing mobile as the latest poster-boy of the ecosystem.  Visa announced that it has joined … [Read more...]

MWC15 News Round-up Day 3 – from mobile phones to connected bow-ties

Day three at Mobile World Congress saw much more buzz around the Internet of Things, data, wearables and smart devices. The words *mobile* and *phone* are deliberately omitted because so much of the exhibition and discussion has noticeably shifted out to capture the array of things that mobile now enables.  Connected cars, health bands, connected watches - even hat-pins, bow-ties and cuff-links were featured on one of the many Samsung stands. Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Executive Ken Hu took up the issue in his keynote stating, in no uncertain terms: 'be careful smartphone, your days are … [Read more...]

Tackling the barriers to mobile payments

2014 was a big year for mobile payments, Apple made its hotly anticipated move with the launch of the NFC powered Apple Pay, stimulating consumers to reach for their phones to pay for goods at the checkout.  One recent study by Boston Retail Partners estimates that 38% of large US retailers will be accepting Apple Pay by the end of 2015.   Other mobile payments platforms are beginning to catch fire too.  Direct Carrier Billing for example is poised as a highly convenient way to make payments for goods and services in the physical world. Below, Oliver Schmitz, Global Lead KAM Online Retail … [Read more...]

Where’s the value? Business models for the Internet of Things

The widespread deployment of sensors, smartphones and internet connected devices has ushered in an era of big data and The Internet of Things.  Even sheep, it seems, have a role to play in this emerging technology mega-trend.  But where is the value in all of the data that is generated? and does that value actively engage consumers as willing participants in the new data economy? Here Bob O’Donnell, founder and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research, LLC discusses the business challenges in extracting the value that is locked up in the IoT ecosystem. In the early days of building and … [Read more...]

View from the top: Bertrand Schmitt, Co-Founder and CEO at App Annie

In the Californian gold rush in the mid-nineteenth century it was the businesses that made shovels that made the most money.  There are parallels with the ecosystem of services that support the app economy, particularly those that provide business intelligence on how the market is taking shape.  Data on an app’s performance, gives a vital window for publishers, developers, investors and more and it is these services that are fast becoming the backbone of the mobile industry. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that App data intelligence platform, App Annie has recently secured $55m in series D … [Read more...]

Reports of Google Glass’s Death are greatly exaggerated

News of Google ending sales of its flagship wearable, Google Glass is doing the rounds. Whilst that headline may grab attention, Google insists that the move is part of the product evolution.  Here, David Levine, CEO of UK-based Computer Vision startup DigitalBridge.eu explains why the Google Glass naysayers should take stock and acknowledge the lessons behind the headline. I am perturbed and puzzled in equal doses at the virtual glee a number of mainstream blogs and sites seem to be illustrating regarding Google's announcement that Google Glass will be withdrawn from sale from January … [Read more...]

‘Wearables’ Need To Be ‘Invisibles’ – Divorcing Tech From Fashion

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is featuring a lot of "wearables" reports Techcrunch (which all seem to be smart watches).  Here, former Financial Times journalist and publisher of influential technology blog, Silicon Valley Watcher, Tom Foremski gives us his take on the direction of this nascent market. (This article first appeared on Silicon Valley Watcher and is published here with Tom's permission) All the fuss over Apple Watch will certainly help sell a lot of watches - regular and smart. I recently started wearing a normal watch. I like the watch, not because I can look … [Read more...]

MasterCard is making mobile money a reality in Egypt

In growth economies, where handset penetration is high, mobile is typically the first and sometimes only digital touch-point for consumers within a large under-banked or un-banked population.  Characteristically commerce in the these countries is predominantly cash based, where routine financial tasks like transferring money to friends, paying utility bills or topping up phone credit is a matter (for most at least) of paying with hard cash. However in recent years that situation has begun to change.  Banks, credit card companies, mobile carriers and regulators are increasingly working … [Read more...]