Friday, August 10, 2012

Mobile Money and Mobile Commerce -is now the inflection point? PART 2

In the second part of this post, you can find the rest of the Infographics on Mobile Money produced by Sapient.

The first in the series (below) highlights how the world's "unbanked" are acting as a key driver globally for the rise of mobile banking services in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The trend is for more mobile banking services to be launched, providing key facilities like cash transfer and Point-Of-Sale payments, with big corporate players getting in on the act.

The final Infographic shows a dramatic increase in m-payment users in the year from 2010 to 2011 and the likely increase in NFC-enabled devices and m-payment purchases.Privacy remains a key blocker in adoption today, though as the generation gap shortens (eventually) between the digital-natives and the analog-natives, this is likely to change.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mobile Money and Mobile Commerce -is now the inflection point?

Back in 2008, I posted my very first entry related to mobile money by blogging about the rise of the mobile wallet here .

Progress has been painfully slow since then, both because of squabbling between the key stakeholders over who owns which part of the ecosytem and also because of the failure to address consumer concern over payment security.

It is inevitable though that mobile money will grow, both because of the increasing convenience of this payment payment (especially for the "unbanked population") and also because of changing consumer attitudes (electronic payment, even on mobile, is safer than carrying cash in your pocket).

Terrapinn produced this nice Infographic last month summarising the history of mobile payments from 1997 up  to today.2011 marked a significant turning point in the evolution of mobile payments with Google launching their Mobile Wallet, making payments simpler (See more in Google's video here).

There is a whole lot more to mobile money than just mobile wallets and a lot of talk is based around mobile payments, especially those using contactless or NFC technology. As Apple´s iOS6 gets set for launch and the new iPhone is tipped to be NFC-enabled, we will see a raft of new mobile payment players rushing to claim their stake in this space.

Sapient has produced a very detailed Infographic with some interesting background information about mobile payments. I have edited the graphic into readable chunks and you can see the first one below. Susbequent ones will follow in a next post.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Location Based Games poised for growth -Turf, Paparazzi and Shadow Cities lead the charge

Location-based gaming is once again being tipped as a significant area of growth opportunity, with the advances in popularity of both Foursquare and mobile games (driven by the inevitable Angry Birds) fuelling renewed interest.

I dedicate a chapter in Part 2 on my book "Location Aware Applications" on "Consumer Applications" to Location-based games and include reference to pioneers like MyTown.

San Francisco-based Turf plans to capture some new fans of the genre with a location-aware version of Monopoly set on top of Foursquare. Emily Price in describes the game dynamics as follows:

Purchases are made not by price and instead by chance. Buying a location involves spinning a virtual slot machine. Each spin costs a certain amount of coins. Stopping on a “Win” square will win you the location from its current owner; stopping on a “Lose” means you’ll have to try again.

The odds of winning a spin and the cost of a spin vary depending on the property in question and what its current owner has done to it.
Properties can be enhanced for instance with additional floors. Each floor makes your property more valuable, earns you more money in rent, and makes it harder for someone to steal it from you. Construction takes time though, adding a new floor to your acquisition will take at least a few hours.
According to founder Michael Tseng he plans to create a fully fledged gaming company based on the success of Turf, which he says as having a strong community element.

Shadow Cities and Paparazzi are other location-based games that are looking to cash in on the renewed interest in this area though some analysts believe that the greatest challenge for gaming companies is to build a sizeable community of their own. Success may lie in leveraging existing communities rather than recreating them from scratch.