Juniper Research: Beacons drive mobile commerce

According to a study published by Juniper Research, Beacon-powered coupon- and rewards programs proof to work. What may not come as a surprise to the mobile people among us has now a scientific foundation, based for instance on an 8% increase in the sales of Chicken sandwiches at McDonalds using in store beacons instead of the more traditional coupon activities they have – while I always asked myself how they measure those due to a lack of tracking. An article published by the Mobile Commerce Daily (which you can read here in full length) suggests redemption rates of 60% at a Chinese Retailer, which I would find pretty ground-breaking and leading to the question: how on earth did they do that? I would think they probably have beacons all over so the consumer has no choice but to redeem something, just to get rid of it? A question also raised in the article: how much pressure is good for beacon based advertising in stores? Two per visit per customer is suggested. I would turn notifications off by then. But perhaps thats just me.

Time for Biometrics: Costa Rican Bank uses Facial Recognition for mobile banking

This is a huge step for the Spanish Software-House FacePhi, I suppose: Banco National of Costa Rica has introduced their facial recognition software for their mobile banking application. The users will show their face rather than signing into their banking app the traditional way starting in Q2 this year.

Read the full story by Finextra here.

Russian lawmakers submit Bitcoin banning bill

A bold move in Russia: Lawmakers want to bann coin currencies domestically. Interesting read in The Paypers.

Click here to read.

EU Parliament informs in a Video about the latest decision on Payments (PSD2)

eu parlamentI am not the biggest fan of the EU parliaments decision on payments as I believe the effects will be quite different than expected and not make payments cheaper or easier for Consumers – but in fact will lead to a much more clustered market and increasing cost, as more players have the share the market, leaving each of them with the overhead cost for the highly regulated business. Payments, as I see it, is a business of scale. Too much clustering prevents scale and leads to increased cost.

But anyway: The EU parliament has decided and here is a link to the EU parliaments ITV channel, explaining the decision. Interesting in any case.

EU Parliament ITV: Cheaper and safer online payments

EU is getting serious with Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2)

I am curious what will actually result from this. Will the EU be right and make it easier for new business models, allowing a better, cheaper, more consumer focussed payments market in Europe? Or will it create a large number of „skins“ on existing business models – fancy looking front-end based on the same old back-end the banks have relied on for so long? And when so many new players will have it easy to enter the market-space, will that make things better for the consumers? Or more irritating and confusing? I am not convinced that the PSD2 will actually make things better – or cheaper. Only different. It will force traditional players to re-think their business models. Also I am not sure that opening access to bank accounts (or transaction accounts of other form) to new players, basically allowing them to tap into expensive infrastructure and relationships built over long time and with large budgets, is a good idea necessarily. That much I have learned in my life: there is no such thing as „free“, there is a price. And its going to be paid somehow, by someone. I suspect it will be the consumer – as its always been – just maybe in a different way, through increased account fees for instance. Like interchange regulation in various markets have made the transactions cheaper (for the merchants), the goods no cheaper to buy (for the consumers) but the annual fees for card-holders much higher. Well, we shall see.

EU Parliament Press Release about PSD2