PaymentObserverPayment Observer

The Latest News, Industry Insights and Research Findings on Global Payment Markets

8Mar/12

Clover Launches One-Click Mobile Payment Service

By Martin Schuppelius

Mobile payment start-up Clover is releasing SDKs for native iOS/Android apps and web applications. As an incentive for developers to integrate with Clover as a payment option, the company is giving away up to $10,000 in discounts for customers of early developers. According to TechCrunch the company is backed by a $5.8 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz and Sutter Hill Ventures.

Clover is a native app for iOS and Android devices and acts as a payment gateway for other apps and websites. In order to use the service, customers have to establish an account (providing credit card details, shipping addresses, etc.) that is linked with their phone and create a 4-6 digit PIN. The next time a customer clicks on a “Pay with Clover” button he will be switched into the Clover app where he can confirm the purchase by entering the PIN. Clover claims that the checkout flow will not take more than 5 seconds. The company charges a 3% per transaction fee.

Clover's mobile purchase flow

7Mar/12

Mobile World Congress 2012 Roundup: Mobile Payment Trends

By Martin Schuppelius

Mobile payments have been one of the main topics at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The congress is organized by the GSM Association (GSMA), the global industry association of mobile operators and related companies. It is not just about presenting the latest mobile devices; it is also about showing the future of mobile technology.

Mobile Payment

Mobile Payments are broadening outside of digital goods and services: Carrier billing provider BOKU announced a partnership with MasterCard to expand its payments technology to cover e-commerce and retail point-of-sale. The new BOKU Accounts service allows subscribers to make payments online, in-app, and in-store anywhere MasterCard is accepted. At the same time Facebook is starting to cut out mobile payment providers of the transaction cycle. Facebook’s CTO Bret Taylor announced during his MWC Keynote that Facebook is partnering with major mobile network operators (including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefónica) and will provide its own carrier billing solution. At present Facebook uses third party providers such as BOKU or Zong to process mobile payments.

Traditional financial service companies are going mobile:

  • Visa and Vodafone announced at the conference to join forces and develop a mobile payment platform based on Visa prepaid accounts.
  • Money transfer giant Western Union (in cooperation with mobile operator WIND) is going to launch a mobile money transfer service in Italy.

Innovative mobile payment services presented their latest developments:

  • iZettle’s mobile payment solution that allows users to accept card payments using their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch gains traction and is expanding into tree new countries.
  • Mobile payment start-up boxPAY launched and presented an in-app payment service for Google’s Android platform.

Near Field Communication

Near field communication (NFC) services are gaining momentum and have become one of the trending topics at the MWC this year. The GSMA has recently published a set of industry specifications to enable the development of secure and ubiquitous mobile NFC services.

  • Smartcard and digital security companies such as Gemalto and Giesecke & Devrient showcased their NFC-services at the MWC.
  • The Logic Group and ViVOtech announced to work together to enable customers to shop via their NFC-enabled smartphones.
  • Mobile payment joint venture ISIS has teamed-up with BarclayCard, Capital One, and Chase.
6Mar/12

Infographic: The History and Future of Credit Cards

By Gary Merrett

Credit Sesame has released a nice infographic on the history and future of credit cards. Enjoy!

Infographic: History and future of credit cards

5Mar/12

Virtual Goods Spending in the U.S. to Exceed 2$B Says PlaySpan Study

By Martin Schuppelius

More than $2.3 billion of virtual goods were purchased in 2011 (up nearly 30% from 2009) in the U.S. according to PlaySpan’s latest study of virtual goods purchasing trends. According to the study, one in four consumers bought a virtual good in 2011, spending $64 on average. Not surprisingly, young males still dominate the business – almost 50% of males under 24 have purchased a virtual good in 2011. The survey has been conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates in early January of 2012.

Virtual goods are a booming business and have become a mainstream topic. Big brands have entered the market: Virtual goods monetization platform PlaySpan was acquired by credit card giant Visa last year. “Consumer acceptance of virtual goods represents a huge growth opportunity, not just for game publishers, but for all digital content companies,” commented Karl Mehta, founder of PlaySpan.

Check out PlaySpan’s Virtual Goods Trends Report: