19 March 2015 – Global Marketing News
Are mobile payments the future of ecommerce?
Mobile payment systems are gaining popularity across the globe, according to studies that have investigated trends in China and Mexico.
iResearch China has released data showing that the amount of money paid through third-party mobile payment systems in the country has quadrupled over the last 2 years to a staggering 9 trillion Yuan.
It is predicted that this strong growth will continue in the future, with mobile payments set to total 18 trillion Yuan in 2018.
iResearch China has put forward several theories to explain the rapid increase in mobile payment use over the last few years, citing a shift from PCs to smartphones as the preferred way of accessing the internet and the development of cash management tools as key factors behind the trend.
The research revealed that Alipay and Tenpay are by far the most popular mobile payment systems in China, with Alipay accounting for 82% of all mobile payments, and Tenpay accounting for a further 10%.
With Alibaba being the most popular ecommerce platform in the country, Alipay’s popularity comes as no surprise to analysts. Tenpay’s success on the other hand has been more recent, prompted by the launch of the payment platform on the popular messaging app WeChat.
China is not the only country to have embraced mobile payment options, with Mexico (a country where many citizens do not have a bank account) also seeing a rise in mobile payments.
Señor Pago is one such start-up offering a mobile payment option to Mexicans. The company allows retailers to attach a gadget to their smartphones that customers can then use to swipe their credit cards to make a payment.
Retailers can then take the gadget to any Oxxo convenience store, where they collect their money. The technology is proving popular amongst street vendors, and Señor Pago aims to have 50,000 users by the end of the year.
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Free Internet.org app launches in the Philippines
Facebook has announced that it has launched its Internet.org initiative in the Philippines.
The Internet.org project aims to provide key basic internet services to mobile users for free and has so far been launched in several African countries, Colombia and India.
The Filipino Internet.org app will include 24 websites, including Facebook, Wikipedia, news, weather, education, health and employment websites.
Facebook reached the deal by pairing up with the Filipino mobile telecoms company Smart Communications, meaning that Smart’s 69 million users now have the option to access the internet for free.
This would greatly improve the Philippines’ digital connectivity, with only 38% of Filipinos estimated to have access to the internet currently.
India asks Facebook for personal information of over 5,000 users
The Indian government asked Facebook for a record amount of user information from July to December of last year.
The government sent almost 5,500 information requests, of which 45% were complied with.
Almost 6,000 pieces of content were also blocked in India during the same period, on the request of the Indian government.
A lot of the content was blocked due to its “anti-religious” nature, amid fears that it may cause social unrest.
New app translates between North and South Korean
And finally, a new app has been launched that translates between North and South Korean.
Due to 60 years of separation, the 2 languages have diverged significantly. Around 35% of words are different in everyday speech, with this rising to 60% in business settings.
The app aims to help defectors from North Korea who have escaped to the South, many of whom struggle to get to grips with the new language and may feel too embarrassed to admit they don’t understand.
Users can type words into the app, which will then translate it from South to North Korean, or vice versa. The app can also work if a user takes a picture of some text using their camera phone.
The app currently contains vocabulary commonly seen in Korean textbooks and plans to expand its database. Users are encouraged to submit their own words and translations too.
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