Industry Views: the NFC payments opportunity

Last week MEF launched its annual Global Mobile Money report, which studied 15,000 mobile users across 15 countries.  The headline statistic is that mobile banking and mobile commerce continues to engage consumers - especially in mobile first markets. 69% of mobile media users globally carried out a banking activity via mobile whilst 66% have carried out a transaction. In tandem this year has seen the launch of Samsung Pay and more recently Android Pay, with Apple announcing its expansion plans for Apple Pay earlier this month.  Yet MEF's own report shows that in-store (where NFC payments … [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...]

Industry Views: Mobile predictions 2015

Last week, MEF looked at the year ahead in its traditional annual predictions featuring ten key mobile trends that will shape the global mobile landscape in 2015. Here contributors to that list, drawn from MEF’s Global and Regional Boards of Directors and other members, share their thoughts on the top ten, as well as adding some of their predictions on what 2015 has in store for the global mobile  ecosystem. Scott Weeman MD, MENA Mondia Media    Scott Weeman, Managing Director MENA,  Mondia Media Particularly with the long-awaited launch of 3g in Iraq and the continued … [Read more...]

Industry Views: Is Privacy And Consumer Trust Still Hampering The Mobile Industry?

The last few weeks have seen some interesting moves around mobile privacy and consumer trust. Business Insider reports that taxi / ride-share app, Uber, may be collecting seemingly unrelated user data including SMSLog call history, Wi-Fi connections used, GPS locations and every type of device ID possible. Elsewhere Twitter has been under the spotlight for announcing that it will start tracking which (other) apps its users have downloaded. There's still a big question mark over how much consumers understand the value-exchange (user data for a free service). The legal backstop for … [Read more...]

Industry Views: Is even digital music ownership a thing of the past?

A recent report that surfaced in the Wall Street Journal indicates that Apple’s iTunes (the world’s largest record shop) is encountering a downturn in music & entertainment sales with a 13 – 14% decline from the start of this year. The irony is that this is probably because of a problem that Apple is in part responsible for creating: the ubiquity of smartphones and apps that let us stream music anywhere we are, from an almost limitless music library. In short we are moving away from digital forms of music and entertainment ownership, and replacing it with the subscription model. We … [Read more...]

Industry Views: Can Apple Pay finally make mobile payments mainstream?

The announcement that the new iPhones and Apple Watch feature the NFC powered Apple Pay under the hood has been in the making for some time. With some heavy-hitting partnerships revealed, this of course gets Apple in to the mobile payments space in a big way, both in store and online. Apple Pay sits neatly alongside the Passbook which groups loyalty cards with coupons and other retail items in a digital wallet. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is how Apple is working hard to differentiate itself from other payment services around consumer privacy. Unlike Google Wallet for example, … [Read more...]

Industry Views: One Third Of Users Don’t Download Apps – Have We Lost Our App-etite?

According to a recent report from Deloitte, smartphone owners' appetite for new apps is declining with almost one third of respondents not downloading a single app in a typical month.  The study which looked at users in the UK (considered to be early adopters) also indicates that almost nine in 10 smartphone owners never spend money on apps or other smartphone content. At the same time King Digital Entertainment which owns top ranking games such as the massively successful Candy Crush Saga is experiencing a faster than expected decline in downloads whilst its other apps are failing to make … [Read more...]

Industry Views: Will Yahoo’s Flurry acquisition help it face down competition from Google and Facebook?

Last week's news that Yahoo has acquired mobile advertising and analytics firm, Flurry (rumoured to be somewhere between $200 and $300 million) sharpened the focus on the mobile advertising space, which, according to figures from eMarketer is set to reach $32.71bn in 2014, up 85% from 2013’s total.  No doubt Yahoo is keen to achieve a bigger slice of the advertising pie.  Indeed, with Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer, continually referring to the company as *mobile first*, its intentions are quite clear yet to date its mobile revenues have done little to support that description. We asked the … [Read more...]

Industry Views: The Blackphone – the phone for the privacy conscious consumer in a data driven world?

Last week the newest addition to the smartphone market, the Blackphone started shipping to security conscious consumers -  the initial stock was quickly sold out. The phone trades on its advanced security features, with a customised Android operating system and a suite of privacy-optimised software including encrypted VoIP; 'Silent Text', for secure messaging; and 'Silent Contacts', for an encrypted contact list that other apps can't access. Here we've asked for views from MEF members and the wider mobile industry on the smartphone market's latest entrant and why mobile privacy is such a … [Read more...]

Industry Views: Amazon Fire – a shop with a smartphone or a smartphone with a shop?

Last week Amazon launched its first smartphone - the Amazon Fire. What's interesting is how the company has bundled free Amazon Prime as part of the phone package, signalling its intent to take more ownership of the m-commerce and streaming media space by guaranteeing free and speedy fulfillment of mobile purchases, free ebooks and access to a large library of films and TV shows. It's a bold move and shows how, by creating its own mobile ecosystem, customer value can be derived from the mobile service and user experience level rather than differences in the device OS. Here we've asked MEF … [Read more...]

Has the iPad peaked? Industry Views

Apple’s recently announced Q2 2014 earnings broke all previous company records with growth across all product lines in all markets – all apart from the iPad. The company sold 16.4 million units in the quarter – a 16% drop from 19.5m units in the same quarter 2013. The problem? Customers will balk at paying more for a product that’s not too dissimilar from a cheaper, rival machine, regardless of that product’s reputation. Tesco in the UK for example has just announced that it will soon be releasing its Hudl 2 budget tablet that will come pre-loaded with Tesco apps and services like its … [Read more...]