Payment impacts customer experience more than anything else.
In fact it’s easy to reel off examples of payment scuppering a deal altogether – the kebab shop that doesn’t take card, the mobile-unfriendly online checkout, the voucher which is suddenly no longer valid.
But payment has also improved many experiences – contactless payment has smoothed the flow of commuters on the London Underground, and PayPal has long since made eBay a safe place to shop.
Let’s look at payment now, as well as looking forward a few years to innovations by Google, amongst others, and examine how payments can continue to innovate the customer experience.
At the moment, mobile payment in stores is disappointing users
The smartphone as a form of payment in-store is currently disappointing users. The US uptake of Apple Pay attests to this fact.
In a country where contactless cards are virtually non-existent, one would expect the dominant mobile proximity payment service to be thriving.
However, repeat usage of Apple Pay in the US decreased from March 2015 to March 2016 and there was a drop-off in eligible transactions from 5.9% to 3.5% (stats via PYMNTS.com).
In the UK, the picture is different. 63% of all debit cards are contactless and contactless accounted for 18% of card payments in May 2016, available at c.19% of all card terminals.
Indeed, charity is one sector making the most of this ease of payment.
Yes, user adoption and rollout of infrastructure go hand in hand, but this stark comparison between Apple Pay in the US and contactless cards in the UK shows us that one technology significantly improves the customer experience, and the other does not.
Smartphones should have “drive-safe” modes similar to the flight-safe option, as too many people get “distracted or overwhelmed with information” at the wheel.
British charity the RAC Foundation says that each year at least 70 fatal accidents on Britain’s roads have “distraction in vehicle” as a contributory factor, while “driving using mobile phone” is cited in about 20 crashes.
Director Steve Gooding said smartphones were a “godsend” for helping drivers get directions and dodge congestion. But he warned about the potentially fatal dangers of over-relying on them.
In the UK using a hand-held phone while driving carries a penalty of three points on the motorist’s licence and a fine of 100 pounds ($A168).
Industry leaders in vehicle and phone manufacturing were interviewed by transport think-tank TRL to find out what was being done to limit distractions in car production, as there are no internationally accepted guidelines.
They found distraction was not considered a top priority in the design phase, and that it was deemed to be the driver’s responsibility to make sure their phone use complied with the law.
Without a legal requirement, few companies would impose limitations themselves because it would be a commercial handicap, the study said.
Britain has 38.5 million drivers, and two-thirds of the population now owns a smartphone, according to the foundation.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “In many ways smartphone technology and mobile communications are a godsend for road users, allowing us to do everything from getting directions to dodging congestion to calling for help if we break down.
“Yet the more functionality our cars and electronic devices have, the greater the chance that drivers get distracted or overwhelmed with information, particularly when using smartphones as satnavs while all the other functions are still ‘live’.
“There may come a day when autonomous cars allow us to spend all our time looking at our mobile, tablet and computer screens. Until then as drivers we need to make sure we have our eyes on the road.”
“A key question is where responsibility lies. Many in the industry say the onus must be on the user rather than the manufacturer.”
There are apps which drivers can voluntarily download on to their phones to help limit their functionality and hence reduce distraction.
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Tech companies are increasingly looking to chat apps as the next mobile gaming platform set to take off in the coming years, according to A List.
Many developers face difficulties in that, while in-app spending continues to climb, a vast majority of this revenue is going to a small pool of developers, leaving the rest with a small slice of the market to compete for. For example, in Q1 2016, 94% of US iOS App Store revenue went to the top 1% of publishers whose apps support paid or in-app purchasing, according to Sensor Tower.
The disparity in app revenue is largely the result of poor discovery in app stores, which favor publishers that have larger budgets for app marketing. Because of this, marketers are beginning to turn to messaging apps, which offer a number of advantages over app stores as a form of discovery for mobile game developers:
Messaging apps have a massive user base. The rapid growth of chat app users is making the platforms much more attractive to developers looking for greater visibility among potential gaming users. The top four chat apps have in excess of 3 billion monthly active users. Furthermore, these chat apps are adding more features, making them even more attractive to users.
Messaging apps are among the most used apps on users’ smartphones. On average, smartphone users open chat apps nine times each day, compared to two times for each traditional app on their device, according to Flurry Analytics. The higher number of sessions among chat apps gives app marketers more opportunity to reach users in-app. Messaging apps also have the added bonus of interactive features like chatbots that can engage with users more effectively than email or app stores can.
Messaging apps offer a less expensive form of app marketing via chatbots. With the increasing number of apps available for users, developers are spending more and more on acquiring loyal users, which is measured via cost per install (CPI). Although CPIs change with the market, the most recent estimate put the average CPI at $1.78 for iOS and $2.51 for Android. This means that it costs developers $2.15 per app install, on average, a number that quickly adds up. Chatbots are relatively inexpensive to build and maintain, and they can be used to reach out to users to incentivize them to download a game. For example, a chatbot might offer users a prize like virtual currency or an in-app item in exchange for downloading the game.
Advancements in artificial intelligence, coupled with the proliferation of messaging apps, are fueling the development of chatbots — software programs that use messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks, from scheduling a meeting, to reporting weather, to helping users buy a pair of shoes.
Foreseeing immense potential, businesses are starting to invest heavily in the burgeoning bot economy. A number of brands and publishers have already deployed bots on messaging and collaboration channels, including HP, 1-800-Flowers, and CNN. While the bot revolution is still in the early phase, many believe 2016 will be the year these conversational interactions take off.
Laurie Beaver, research associate for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on chatbots that explores the growing and disruptive bot landscape by investigating what bots are, how businesses are leveraging them, and where they will have the biggest impact.
The report outlines the burgeoning bot ecosystem by segment, looks at companies that offer bot-enabling technology, distribution channels, and some of the key third-party bots already on offer. The report also forecasts the potential annual savings that businesses could realize if chatbots replace some of their customer service and sales reps. Finally, it compares the potential of chatbot monetization on a platform like Facebook Messenger against the iOS App Store and Google Play store.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
AI has reached a stage in which chatbots can have increasingly engaging and human conversations, allowing businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers.
Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile — perhaps more so than apps. Messaging is at the heart of the mobile experience, as the rapid adoption of chat apps demonstrates.
The chatbot ecosystem is already robust, encompassing many different third-party chat bots, native bots, distribution channels, and enabling technology companies.
Chatbots could be lucrative for messaging apps and the developers who build bots for these platforms, similar to how app stores have developed into moneymaking ecosystems.
In full, the report:
Breaks down the pros and cons of chatbots.
Explains the different ways businesses can access, utilize, and distribute content via chatbots.
Forecasts the potential impact chatbots could have for businesses.
Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of chatbots.
To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:
Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT
The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of chatbots.
A tiny mobile phone made of plastic are now bestsellers among inmates as they can be smuggled into prisons and stored ‘internally’ without being detected by scanners.
The LONG-CZ handset weighs just 18 grams, is 68mm high and 23mm wide, so is small enough to be smuggled in and stored by inmates.
It is available online for just £25 and is made almost entirely made of plastic, so is not detectable by the machines used in Irish jails.
The handset is marketed as the ‘world’s smallest phone’ and has become the most popular mobile for prisoners.
In 2008, prison chiefs installed eight Body Orifice Security Scanners – nicknamed the BOSS – in a number of Irish jails.
The handsets are even being advertised on Irish online buy-and-sell websites and second hand shops as ‘Beat the Boss phones’.
The high-tech x-ray scanners allow officers to detect internally-concealed drugs and phones without conducting body searches.
But a prison source has claimed that inmates are snapping up the plastic mobile phones in a bid to fool the scanner.
A source claimed the micro-phones have overtaken the so-called ‘key fob’ phones as the most popular handset in Irish jails.
Miniature mobile phones disguised as BMW car ‘fobs’ had previously been a favourite of inmates because of their small size.
The source said: ‘The phones are easy to smuggle in internally, particularly by prisoners on day release.
‘The prisoners swallow the SIM card so it can’t be picked up and retrieve it later.
Prison officers have made huge advances in cutting down the number of illicit mobile phones in Irish jails in recent years.
A total of 805 mobile phones were seized in 2013, with 728 being confiscated in 2014.
However, inmates have become increas¬ingly inventive in coming up with ways to get phones into jails.
Last month, a Finglas criminal was jailed after he was caught trying to throw a football with mobile phones hidden inside into a prison.
The court heard how gardai on patrol spotted Niall Cully (27) stand¬ing inside the railings of Dublin’s Cloverhill prison.
They stopped Cully and found he was hold¬ing a football with a hole cut into it and four mobile phones inside it.
Cully said he was un¬der pressure to smug¬gle the phones and said his brother was inside awaiting trial for murder.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3511621/Mini-mobile-phones-bestsellers-inmates-small-stored-internally-plastic-don-t-picked-scanners.html
Lava International Ltd., will start making mobile phones in India after having the component ecosystem in place, said a top official.
“Recently, we announced the setting up of mobile phone India design centre by end-2017.
“We have hired professionals, who are being sent to China for training. Post training, they will come back to set up the entire design ecosystem in India.
“As and when other component manufacturers set up component units in India, and then we will start making mobile phones here,” said Lava International Vice President and Head – Marketing & Communication, Solomon Wheeler.
Currently, Lava mobile phones are entirely assembled in Noida with the help of semi-knocked down kits. Chips are designed and fabricated in China along with other components.
The secondary unit at Noida will also continue to assemble mobile phones, said Mr. Wheeler.
The second assembly unit will become operational by the year-end and it will meet the country’s entire demand. The production capacity of these units will increase from 10 million units to 25 lakh per month, he said.
Asked about the progress of new units at Yamuna Expressway and Tirupati, he said they have earmarked an investment of Rs.2,615 crore. This will increase production capacity to 21.60 crore units per annum in the next five to eight years.
Both these facilities would become operational by the year 2018.
Clayton has teamed with SeeClickFix to create a moble app for residents to report non-emergency and quality-of-life issues
Need a road repaired? Want to report tree damage or code enforcement violations? There’s an app for that in Clayton.
Clayton has teamed with SeeClickFix to create a moble app for residents to report non-emergency and quality-of-life issues in their neighborhood. It’s called ClickClayton and it’s free. Residents will be able to provide Clayton County staff with pictures, videos, specific descriptions and other valuable information to get the job done efficiently. The mobile app provide Clayton officials with a central management system to deal with issue from the creation of a problem to the resolution of it. The app is available for download on Android and iPhone and available for services in unincorporated Clayton only.
Being a boss and a mom (or dad!) ain’t easy. Every second of every minute of every day is filled to the brim with meetings, driving to more meetings, answering emails, picking up and dropping off, making dinner, feeding dinner, eventually eating dinner, bath time, book time, bedtime, answering more emails. It’s head spinning on some days, and head crushing on others. Our smartphones can be our worst enemy or our best friend and sidekick. Here are my favorites apps for surviving both work and mom life.
Evernote: Where would I be without my Evernote? This is where I keep my passwords, alarm codes, essential business info (don’t tell), notes on interviews, notes from seminars and meetings, list of baby names, articles that I want to read later or save for reference. The list goes on. It’s not as organized as I’d like, but I have this article by Michael Hyatt saved for “when I have time”: How I organize Evernote. Maternity leave, maybe?
Slack: It’s basically instant messaging/text/email/file sharing in one easy tool. I forced this on my entire team of managers and admin and I love it. Working with seven restaurants, an ice cream store and an administrative team, I always have at least 10 group conversations going at once and it was overwhelming my inbox and texts. Sure this just moves the same conversations to a different place, but it also streamlines the communication into teams and topics so that I don’t have to keep typing in everyone’s names into a group text. It also has made collaboration easier, and I can fine tune the notification settings so that I’m only getting directly pinged if my name is mentioned in a conversation for some of the topics.
SmugMug: Like any mom or dog owner or business owner, I have an insane amount of photos on my phone. I needed a solution for safe and secure storage of my photos so that I could make room for other things on my phone and not worry what would happen if it fell in the toilet. Like any good Type A first born, I did my research. I compared Google Photos, iCloud, Amazon Photos and a few third party sites and finally settled on SmugMug. It starts at $40 per year, but I think that’s a small price to pay to know that my photos are stored safely and that the contents of the photos aren’t being scanned for marketing data (looking at you Google and Amazon). Other perks of SmugMug include a free upgraded PicMonkey account to edit photos and you can order prints and products straight from the site.
Snapseed: My favorite photo editing tool. It’s amazing how great you can make smartphone photos look with this app. There are plenty of tutorials out there, but this one from At Home With Natalie was simple and mama friendly.
Pepperplate: Home-cooked meals for my family are important to me. I use this app to store my recipes. I can tag categories like “freezer meals” or “slow cooker” and when I’m prepping for the week ahead, I can pull up what’s easiest for me to make according to what’s on the calendar. It’s also completely searchable, and you can import recipes from at least 30 popular sites like allrecipes.com, the Pioneer Woman, Food.com and Bon Appetit. Finally, there is a function to create a weekly menu and shopping list that sounds fantastic but that I honestly don’t use.
Reminders: I use this built-in Apple app religiously. I have three main folders: Future To Dos, Repeat Reminders and Reminders + To Dos. Repeat Reminders are things that I need to do on a regular basis but vary from daily reminders to monthly and even periodically. Future items are things that I don’t need to do right now but will need to be reminded of in the coming weeks or months lest they be completely forgotten. And of course, Reminders + To Dos are things that I need to do right away. I almost always set a time and date for all of the above for the app to remind me to complete them, or else they will never get done.
NoWait: This restaurant app is great for busy working folks and parents eating with their kids. It’s nearly impossible to keep hungry children happy for a 45-minute wait. You can add yourself to a restaurant’s wait-list and it keeps you posted as to your place in line, which frees you up to walk around or do something better with your precious time. We use this at Scout’s Pub in Franklin and I’m hoping more restaurants in the Nashville/Franklin area catch on soon. Just know that if you’re not back to the restaurant in a timely fashion when it’s your turn, you will probably get bumped back to next in line, so pay attention!
Customers of Google Fi, the search giant’s low cost mobile service, are getting much faster data connections when they travel outside of the United States starting on Tuesday, the company said.
Thanks to a partnership with Three, a unit of China-based carrier CK Hutchison Holdings, Fi users will get 10 to 20 times faster 4G speeds in over 135 countries. International roamers got only 3G speeds in 120 countries when Fi first opened last year. Google already allows Fi subscribers to use their phones abroad without extra roaming fees.
Google is not the first carrier to improve its international roaming offerings this year, as the industry chases the lucrative group of U.S. mobile subscribers who travel frequently.
The faster Fi roaming data speed also marks Google’s second improvement for Fi users in the past few weeks. Last month, Google, which doesn’t own its own cellular network, but leases service from major carriers, added a third company, U.S. Cellular, to broaden the coverage already provided by Sprint and T-Mobile.
Google’s Fi service is known for only charging subscribers for data they actually use each month, instead of requiring subscribers to pick a set amount of data in advance and pay the full price whether the allowance is completely used or not. Fi service costs $20 per phone plus $10 per gigabyte of data used. But subscribers can only choose between three Nexus-branded phones that run Google’s Android software. Apple’s AAPL iPhone, for example, won’t work on Fi.
According to VentureBeat’s sources, BlackBerry will be releasing a new Android phone each quarter for the next three quarters. These are said to be code-named Neon, Argon, and Mercury, and “will target a range of form factors and price points”.
The first of these will be the Neon, which will be a mid-range effort with no physical keyboard. Instead, it will be reliant on a 5.2-inch 1080p display. Apparently the Neon will feature an aluminium frame and a plastic back, and will be powered by a Snapdragon 617 CPU with 3GB of RAM. There’ll also be a 13-megapixel camera and QuickCharge 2.0.
Next up we have the Argon, which will be the best-specced phone of the three when it lands in October. Expect a 5.5-inch QHD display, a Snapdragon 820 CPU with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 21-megapixel camera, and QuickCharge 3.0. Again, there’ll be no physical keyboard.
Finally there’s the Mercury, which is the only one of the three with a physical keyboard. Unlike the Priv, though, it’ll be fixed. On top of this keyboard there’ll be a 4.5-inch 1080p display in a 3:2 aspect ratio, so it’ll be more like the classic BlackBerry shape. It’ll be powered by a Snapdragon 625 CPU with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and there’ll be an 18-megapixel camera. Expect to see it some time in Q1 of 2017.
It’s perhaps a little surprising to hear of these plans. Despite being one of the better-received BlackBerry phones of recent years, reports suggest that the Priv hasn’t sold all that well. A high-level executive for US mobile network AT&T recently said that “The Blackberry Priv is really struggling.”
Apparently, BlackBerry only sold 600,000 Privs in Q4 of 2015, where it was expecting to sell 850,000. BlackBerry itself hasn’t released any sales figures for its maiden Android effort.
Read more at http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/blackberry-will-reportedly-release-three-more-android-phones-this-year
Apple launched its brand new iPhone 6S and sister handset 6S Plus back in September with impressive built-in 3D touch , a 12-megapixel camera , and luxury rose gold casing.
The flagship 6 upgrade – which sold out in just minutes nationwide – may have been well worth the wait for millions of fans worldwide, but with a premium price tag of £539 for the 6S handset alone – it’s an expensive luxury. More recently, Apple has withdrawn its iPhone 5C from the market with the arrival of the SE or ‘affordable 5’, with featured built-in touch – and a price tag of £360 sim-free and around £25 on contract.
If you want to get your hands on an Apple smartphone in the near future, we’ve researched some of the cheapest contract deals below, broken down by iPhone: 5SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus – all are 16GB. If you’re locked in contract, or your plan is coming to a close, you can use our handy breakdown for guidance, don’t forget to haggle with your current provider – as often loyalty pays – and you could lock in a pretty nifty deal.
Although news of a possible iPhone 7, or a release date is unlikely to be announced before the autumn, prices on previous models tend to crash in the run up to a new release – so if you can hold out for six-months, you’re unlikely to lose out. If you’re worried about over-spending, or finding the right deal for your usage, we’ve also got some money-saving tips on how to switch, how to find a package for you – and how to sell your current phone for the best price .
For iPad deals, see our guide on the cheapest iPads, or see the best phone and broadband deals and smartphone deals here. Some deals may include an upfront cost.