SIM Partners today announced a strategic partnership with mobile marketer Vibes to integrate mobile wallet campaigns, including Apple Passbook offers supported by iBeacons, with its local marketing automation platform, Velocity. The relationship will help national brands create online and in-store offers to convert shoppers into buyers based on a customer’s search intent and proximity. [Read more…]
Benefit, a pre-paid mobile wallet application where everyday transactions result in a donation or contribution, today announced it closed a $900,000 funding round, which will help expand the startup’s next phase of software development and expand its reach into new markets with a white-labeled product.
Benefit places more than 100 of the biggest retailers in the world into the mobile wallet game, including Amazon.com, American Airlines, Gap, JCPenney, Lowe’s, Starbucks, Target , Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and more.
Fueled by this rapid pace of growth with major brands, Benefit’s early stage investment was led by Start Garden, an early stage venture capital fund, with additional investment from a variety of private equity partners.
Benefit users can purchase discounted e-gift cards on the app, while waiting in a checkout line, and instantly redeem them on-site. Benefit passes the discounted rate to the cause of the users choice. This can be a school, non-profit or a personal life expense, like a mortgage or health care premium. Benefit users become loyal shoppers because when they checkout using the app, they are supporting a cause that is important to them.
“Life is expensive, and most of our money is spent purposefully, whether it’s paying for a child’s education and field trips, or health care and the mortgage bill, Benefit empowers users to make those important payments by enabling them through everyday purchases,” said Derik Lolli, founder and CEO of Benefit Mobile. “With this new round of funding, we will establish Benefit as a comprehensive mobile payments platform on which private organizations and enterprise can offer valuable benefits to employees or customers.”
When users choose to fund life’s expenses on their iPhone or Android device, Benefit and its retail partners contribute up to 25 percent of those everyday transactions back, which can be applied to the things that matter most to each user.
“We are very excited about Benefit Mobile and how their platform can build brand loyalty while empowering intentional contributions to a charity or life expense. They have put together a great technology with an extremely scalable platform that appeals to retailers and integrates with large, corporate environments,” said Kim Pasquino, investment director at Start Garden. “Benefit is perfectly positioned to leverage the emerging mobile wallet trend in an entirely new way. Start Garden and our co-investors recognize the value Benefit is bringing to this market and looks forward to assisting Derik and his team with scaling and market adoption.”
More information: Benefit
Source: Derik Lolli, Benefit
Rogers announced today that its suretap wallet will be available to customers in the coming weeks, making it the first mobile wallet from a carrier in Canada. The service will be available on select NFC-enabled smartphones, offering a co-branded virtual Rogers Prepaid MasterCard and gift cards from select national retailers as the first cards available for download. [Read more…]
The battle to transform the way Canadians pay at the checkout counter is gearing up to be a long slog with countless twists and turns.
While the country’s biggest banks, telcos and credit card companies are sprinting out of the gate, each with different approaches on creating the mobile wallet, the race is more likely to evolve into a marathon with very high stakes. [Read more…]
Gemalto has been selected by Isis to secure its mobile commerce platform through Gemalto’s Allynis Trusted Service Manager (TSM) solution. Isis, the mobile commerce joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, will provide consumers and merchants with an open and secure mobile commerce platform that will revolutionize how consumers shop, pay and save. Gemalto is a leading digital security company.
“We selected Gemalto for their long-standing relationships with financial institutions and mobile operators, which includes experience in securely provisioning services over the air and issuing sensitive financial information to the consumer,” said Ryan Hughes, Chief Marketing Officer of Isis. “Gemalto’s dedication to security is unmatched in the industry and will provide the Isis Mobile Commerce Platform with the necessary infrastructure to ensure consumer and merchant confidence in the Isis Mobile Wallet.”
Isis will enable consumers to enjoy the speed, security and convenience of mobile contactless payment using NFC technology at retail outlets such as restaurants, movie theaters and drug stores. Consumers will be able to securely pay, present loyalty cards, and redeem coupons all with a tap of their phones.
“Gemalto is thrilled to support Isis in delivering the speed, security and convenience of mobile contactless payment,” added Sebastien Cano, Senior Vice-President, Gemalto North America. “Using our extensive experience with worldwide commercial deployments Gemalto has designed a solution for Isis to support mobile payment and a host of NFC services like digital couponing and loyalty programs, access control and mass transit.”
Gemalto provides personal mobile services, identity protection, payment security, authenticated online services, cloud computing access, modern transportation, e-healthcare and e-government servicesthrough its secure software, a wide range of secure personal devices, and managed services to wireless operators, banks, enterprises and government agencies.
Gemalto also provides products for electronic passports and identity cards, two-factor authentication devices for online protection, smart credit/debit and contactless payment cards, as well as subscriber identification modules (SIM) and universal integrated circuit cards (UICC) in mobile phones. In the emerging machine-to-machine applications Gemalto supplies wireless modules and machine identification modules (MIM), as well as server platforms, consulting, training, and managed services.
The Isis consortium is a joint venture is between AT&T Mobility LLC, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless and is based in New York City. The venture is chartered with building ISIS, a national mobile commerce platform that will be available to all merchants, banks and mobile carriers.
Western Union now provides services for consumers to send money directly to the mobile “wallets” of Safaricom M-PESA subscribers in Kenya from 45 countries and territories. According to the company, it’s the first service of its kind in the world.
The expansion of the service to more than 80,000 Western Union Agent locations worldwide follows the successful debut of the offering from Western Union Agent locations and the Western Union website in the U.K.
The service rides on Western Union’s worldwide network and trusted global “hub” for processing cross-border remittances. It also builds on the unprecedented success of M-PESA, a domestic mobile money transfer service in Kenya offered by Safaricom that has attracted more than 13.5 million customers since its launch in 2007.
“We are pleased to extend our service with Safaricom, and we look forward to adding additional functionality for M-PESA users in the near future,” said David Yates, Executive Vice President and President, Business Development and Innovation, Western Union.
The service will allow people to visit one of more than 80,000 Western Union Agent locations in 45 countries and territories across the globe, including the U.S., Canada, Italy and the U.K., and send funds directly to the mobile “wallets” of M-PESA’s 13.5 million subscribers. Funds are delivered generally in minutes.
The service will likely benefit thousands of Kenyans working abroad. According to the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenyans living outside their home country sent US$642 million home in 2010—up from the US$609 million sent home in 2009.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said, “Our customers are very proud of the revolutionary M-PESA service, and this partnership sees us pushing new boundaries to continue to keep Kenya at the forefront of the mobile world. Through this partnership, our customers and their friends and families will benefit from affordable, faster and more convenient international remittances, and the money is available to use straightaway for any M-PESA transaction, or can be withdrawn as cash at any of our 24,000 Safaricom agents.”
Western Union offers the Mobile Money Transfer Service in the Philippines with Smart Communications and Globe Telecom; in Malaysia with Maxis; and in Canada with EnStream. Western Union also has agreements with other mobile operators and banks to introduce the service in the future.
Source: Business Wire
Western Union and Etisalat Group, a mobile phone company in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, will introduce Western Union Mobile Money Transfer service in the 18 countries where Etisalat operates.
Once agreements are signed between Western Union and Etisalat’s mobile network operators and the service is introduced, it will enable Etisalat’s subscribers to send and receive Western Union money transfer transactions using their mobile “wallets,” or accounts tied to their mobile phones. Subscribers who initiate transactions from their mobile phones would be able to send funds to a receiver for cash payout at more than 400,000 Western Union Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In addition, Etisalat subscribers would be able to send funds to other selected mobile subscribers who have mobile wallets.
“Our research shows that many of our customers want to send and receive money via electronic channels like the mobile phone,” said Khalid Fellahi, Senior Vice President of Electronic Channels, Western Union. “This alliance with Etisalat will offer the company’s extensive subscriber base a convenient service they can use anywhere, anytime.”
Etisalat subscribers who receive a Western Union money transfer in their mobile wallets would be able to use the funds to pay bills, top up airtime, send money domestically or internationally, or withdraw cash at a cash-out agent or any participating ATM.
Commenting on the alliance, Essa Al-Haddad, Etisalat’s Group Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Etisalat’s association with Western Union is a substantiation of our relentless commitment to increase the reach of our customers by offering innovative services. This strategic alliance will help us leverage each other’s experience and strengths – including our strong base of subscribers and award-winning customer service and Western Union’s expertise in moving money around the globe and their well-known brand – to enable customers to send and receive money using their mobile phones.”
Rashed Alabbar, Etisalat’s Director of Mobile Commerce, said, “This agreement with Western Union is part of Etisalat’s broader mobile commerce strategy to offer innovative and cost-effective mobile payment applications to our 135 million mobile customers across our operations in 18 countries, including the UAE. Etisalat has been a leader in providing innovative mCommerce services in the UAE, and this association will enable us to extend the reach of our services across the globe.”
In 2010, Etisalat Group closed the year by reaching 135 million customers, and 2% revenue growth over 2009.
Western Union offers the Mobile Money Transfer Service in the Philippines with Smart Communications and Globe Telecom; in Kenya with Safaricom; in Malaysia with Maxis; and in Canada with EnStream. In addition, consumers can now visit one of more than 80,000 Western Union Agent locations in 48 countries to send money directly to a mobile wallet in select countries. Western Union also has agreements with other mobile operators and banks to introduce the service in the future.
Source: Business Wire
Whether you’re a consumer, developer or investor delving into mobile payments technologies for personal or professional use, There are a number of important factors to consider when evaluating mobile payment technologies in the coming year.
Here’s your cheat sheet for owning your mobile transaction financial health. Ensure that your credit card information is:
- Only sent to the venue’s POS system, rather than passing through third party services
- Only stored on your phone, where it’s safest, and not in the cloud
- Always encrypted when it is sent to the POS system, where the transaction is taking place
Read the full article, via CNN.
Monitise, a provider of mobile money solutions, has joined forces with near field communication (NFC) software developer ViVOtech, to deliver mobile phone payments services to banks across the United States. The partnership means customers of participating banks will be able to turn their handset into a mobile wallet (linked to registered bank accounts, credit and debit cards) and purchase items using contactless payments at merchants with NFC capabilities.
In addition to contactless payments, service users will be able to transfer money from their registered accounts to other bank accounts, perhaps in response to an overdraft alert or to friends and family. The service will also deliver retail coupons and discounts directly to the user on their mobile phone. [Read more…]
Over the next two years, analysts forecast contactless payment transactions via MicroSD technology will be used by more than 20 million people in North America alone, at thousands of contactless payment terminals already in place. According to a Sept. 2009 forecast by Juniper Research, near-field communications (NFC) contactless payment global gross transaction value is expected to exceed $30 billion by 2012.
Tyfone has recently been awarded a patent for its new mobile electronic wallet technology. The technology enables the use of a mobile phone having a memory card slot and a memory card compatible with the memory card slot to transmit transaction data to a reader device. The memory card includes circuitry used to produce a time-varying magnetic field that enables a contactless transaction. The circuitry used to produce a time-varying magnetic field may include smartcard circuitry.
Tyfone, based in Portland, OR and Bangalore, India, is a global provider of unified mobile money and secure transaction infrastructure for mobile banking, mobile identity management, and mobile contactless NFC payments
“Tyfone recognizes the value of this intellectual property and the hard work that it has taken to continue developing innovative solutions, confirmed by this patent issuance. This patent will uniquely enable solutions that will allow consumers to benefit from the convergence of money and mobility,” said Dr. Siva Narendra, chief technology officer at Tyfone. “Our innovations allow financial institutions to provide secure, convenient and holistic solutions, therefore enable a value driven user experience to multiple generations of consumers, whose needs and usage models differ widely. Tyfone’s neutral secure commerce solutions are easily implemented and scalable by financial institutions, merchants, account issuers, or network operators. Ensuring security and a positive consumer experience are our guiding principles.”
“As recent news from major financial, mobility and computing brands demonstrate, all the stakeholders in financial services and commerce are converging on mobile,” said Dr. Narendra. “The NFC and contactless market is heating up now more than ever as handset manufacturers, OS developers, network operators, payment card networks and financial institutions all race to secure a stake in this technology and its direction. Tyfone’s innovations include a secure end-to-end mobile money and transaction platform that also provides neutral contactless NFC solutions.
Unlike software-only technologies that refer to their application as an electronic wallet and are limited in functionality and security, Tyfone’s platform includes the SideTap™ neutral secure element — thereby creating a digital container and functionality, unavailable in software-only solutions, for securely storing content for a true electronic “wallet.” This solution enables any stakeholder to securely manage multiple consumer credit, debit, pre-paid, loyalty, identification, and transportation accounts for use in a wide range of payment and other secure transactions, while maintaining the storage capabilities of existing memory cards that consumers have grown accustomed to.
In the growing contactless payment marketplace, Tyfone’s patents, SideTap memory card product, and u4ia (pronounced euphoria) mobile money and secure transaction platform enable any commerce stakeholder to bring immediate scale by converting most existing handsets to be NFC ready.