Displaying items by tag: digital payments
Samsung Electronics recently increased its Samsung Pay application’s reach around the world by expanding in four markets over two days. Samsung Pay officially launches in Sweden and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and enters early access in Hong Kong and Switzerland.
With these market expansions, Samsung Pay continues to both bring mobile payments to new regions of the world and expand to new markets in regions where the service is already available. Launches in the UAE and Sweden showcase Samsung Pay’s first markets in the Middle East and the Nordics respectively, while Hong Kong and Switzerland demonstrate continued commitment and strength in Asia and Europe.
“Less than two years ago, Samsung Pay came to life in Korea with a simple mission: To empower customers with mobile payments that are simple, secure and available almost anywhere,” said Thomas Ko, VP and Global General Manager of Samsung Pay.
“Today, Samsung Pay is so much more. Our launches in different parts of the world demonstrate governments’ and consumers’ changing attitudes towards progressing to a cashless society. It is through the interest and support of our partners that we are able to answer their needs by offering Samsung Pay in these markets. We are incredibly proud of our rapid expansion and growth in such a short period of time, and look forward to bringing the most comprehensive digital wallet to all our users around the world.”
With the availability of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, users will be able to exclusively take advantage of several new features for an enhanced experience with Samsung Pay. In addition to the existing authentication methods, Galaxy S8/S8+ users can make use of iris scanning as a new form of biometric authentication to access Samsung Pay, enabling a secure, yet more convenient way to pay.
To continue the evolution to a digital wallet, Samsung Pay continues to expand its availability beyond smartphones by introducing Samsung Pay on the Gear S3 in three additional markets. Beginning in April, Samsung Pay is newly supported on the Gear S3 in Russia, Sweden and the UAE, in addition to the US, Singapore and Australia, enabling an even more convenient way for users to pay with their smartwatches. Details on additional Gear S3 support elsewhere will be available soon.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp will soon reportedly offer digital payment services in India which will be its first offering globally. WhatsApp founder, Brian Acton, first mentioned the idea to local media in February that the app was in the early stages of investigating digital payments in India. The company is looking a digital transactions lead in the country.
Similar digital payment initiatives have been launched in China by the likes of Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat. WhatsApp recognizes India as its biggest market, with 200 million of its billion plus users worldwide, and is working to launch person-to-person payments in the country in the next six months, according to news site The Ken.
WhatsApp recently advertised that it was looking for a candidate with a technical and financial background with a strong understanding of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and the BHIM payments app that enables money transfers and merchant payments among mobile numbers. This candidate would lead WhatsApp’s digital transactions initiative in the country.
“India is an important country for WhatsApp,” said a spokesperson for the company, adding that WhatsApp is striving to contribute to the vision of ‘Digital India’, referring to a government program that aims to strengthen the use of internet-based services in India. The spokesperson added: “We’re exploring how we might work with companies that share this vision and continue to listen closely to feedback from our users.”
India’s Prime Minister, Narenda Modi, shocked the nation when he banned certain high-value bank notes in November last year which accounted for 80 percent of India’s currency circulation at the time. The introduction of the ban increased the demand in India for digital transactions.
Accenture, a global professional services company in the IT sector, unveiled a series of exciting new e-commerce solutions at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. It was in the area of IoT and 'connected devices' that Accenture excelled and garnered most attention. The IT services colossus outlined its plans to implement technologies in order to create what it describes as 'frictionless transactions'.
In one demonstration, Accenture representatives displayed an application which would enable a driver to be able to fill up his car with whatever fuel the particular model required, proceed to pay for the transaction, receive a receipt and avail of some instore offers and discounts without even getting out of his vehicle. The driver wouldn't have to communicate with onsite staff in order to facilitate all these tasks – all the driver would have to do is use the mobile application, or the application designated for the vehicle dashboard.
According to Managing Director of Accenture Digital, Richard Meszaros, who also heads Accenture's commerce team, the key focus from Accenture's point of view is enabling its clients to avail of the new 'innovation architecture' the company is providing - and to create new commerce models to provide services in an autonomous fashion.
"We're really focusing on a lot of the innovations that we work on with our clients in order to create our new Accenture innovation architecture," said Meszaros. "I lead our commerce tower, which is focused on enabling new commerce models within the world of Internet of Things. Some of the things we're focusing on at MWC include an IoT marketplace that allows devices to make purchases for consumer services in an autonomous manner."
In addition, the Accenture executive spoke of the company's vision for blockchain technology with a particular focus on its specific use for smart solutions such as contracts and other related devices which can be connected.
"We're also focusing on blockchain technology and specifically its use for smart contracts and the ability to use that capability to be able to automate a complex transaction across a broad ecosystem of partners, and this, along with our innovation architecture, is just two examples of some of the solutions we're showcasing here at Mobile World Congress."
When asked about how he viewed the impact IoT would have on businesses and organizations that adopt it, Meszaros was emphatic that not only would the area continue to expand rapidly but that it had the unique potential to allow companies to completely transform their business and redefine structures.
"Depending on the research you see, there will be anywhere between 30-50 billion devices by the end of this decade," he said. "What I think is really exciting is that these devices are becoming smart and contextually aware – which allows our clients with Accenture's help to reinvent their entire business models.
"It enables them to be able to take advantage of the unique capabilities of these devices and all of the data that is available to really define new ways to serve their customers, create new business opportunities, and ultimately address challenges in their business today, and that's the most exciting thing for us at Accenture."
IoT is a big topic that has transfixed the industry and research indicates it's about to get a lot, lot bigger in the forthcoming years. However, as more and more businesses embrace the technology; one issue that consistently arises is that of IoT security.
Can organizations protect their data from cybersecurity attacks when adopting IoT devices? Meszaros believes security is of "paramount importance" in relation to IoT for Accenture – but said it was important to find out firstly what data is on the device and establish whether or not the device actually needs access to it.
"Security has to be paramount when you think about IoT and how these devices will interact with these new ecosystems," said Meszaros. "I think the key area to think about is what data is on the device. We have to establish whether or not that device needs access to the data or if it can it be tokenized for instance to be able to facilitate the transaction."
In an e-commerce environment, no consumer would want to put a 16 digit credit card number into a refrigerator, Meszaros explained, but the ability to use a token that represents that payment credential and that fridge could initiate that transaction by using that token. "It's a great example of how the industry can use existing capabilities to be able to facilitate these new next generation commerce experiences."
These are exciting times for Accenture which indicated clearly at MWC that it will be vying to retain its position at the forefront of IoT technologies in the forthcoming years as mass adoption of IoT and the creation of connected applications, devices and platforms continue to expand at a rapid pace.
However, for now, according to Meszaros, Accenture's vision is to help its clients take advantage of the new IoT world and allow them to innovate and transform their business by using Accenture's solutions.
"What we're about is helping our clients take advantage of this new IoT world and to innovate in that area, so that's what is so exciting about the release of Accenture innovation architecture," said Meszaros.
"It allows us to work with our clients from concept all the way to rapid prototyping, to scaling these solutions all the way to an enterprise launch. That's primarily what we're focused on here at Mobile World Congress: how we can help our clients transform and innovate in their business using that architecture."