According to various news accounts, Vodafone is now giving its prepaid mobile customers the ability to recharge their credit from their handsets using PayPal. The service provider claims it’s a first for Australia. Vodafone customers can register for a PayPal account online and select from either direct debit or credit card payment.
Once the PayPal account is activated, they can recharge their prepaid cap or extras pack directly from their handset via the Vodafone live! mobile content portal, according to Vodafone.
The PayPal payment engine authenticates the customer’s identity with a unique user name and password.
At the completion of the transaction, the customer receives a recharge PIN via SMS or email, with the prepaid credit redeemed with a free call to 1555, the carrier said.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Consumer Online Bill Payment Behavior Revealed in New Study
In an Uncertain Economy Consumers are Taking Advantage of Online Financial Transaction Tools to More Carefully Manage Their Money
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec 08, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In an effort to retain some financial control in uncertain economic times, consumers are using tools to stay on top of bill payments. Billeo, Inc., the company that gives consumers unprecedented choice, control and convenience when paying bills online, conducted a 2008 customer behavior study focusing on online bill payment trends. The results show that consumers are utilizing free online tools to track, manage and organize their transactions. Three quarters of those who pay bills and shop online save electronic receipts of their transactions and identified ease of "tracking online purchases and payments" as a top motivator.
"The most important thing we glean from this study is that a growing number of consumers are not only more comfortable doing a variety of transactions online, but they prefer it," said Murali Subbarao, founder & CEO of Billeo, Inc. "We believe that the new economic situation will make them more savvy about how and when they spend their money and how they manage and store their online shopping and bill payment information. In uncertain times, they have the ability to exercise more control over how and when they pay bills, as well as how they track and evaluate expenses. To stay in control, consumers simply need to have some very basic online tools."Billeo's survey revealed that more than half of people who transact online never pay late fees. The study found that more than 31 percent of those who transact online are baby boomers, and more than 58 percent are over the age of 45. The study also showed that more than 56 percent of those who transact online have attended college with more than half acquiring a graduate degree. In terms of credit cards, 90 percent have credit cards and 47 percent carry no debt on their cards."Currently, more than two-thirds of online consumers pay at least one of their monthly bills with a credit or debit card. As the growth rate for non-card based online bill payment slows, Aite Group believes that banks will find their highest rate of growth in online bill pay from card-based payers," said Ron Shevlin, Senior Analyst for Aite Group. "There is an opportunity for banks and billers to acquire an attractive set of consumers - consumers that are relatively affluent, are a low credit risk and actively engaged and loyal to the firms with which they do business."In other research, Billeo found that credit card bills are the most popular bill paid online by consumers in terms of number of bills paid. Other categories in order of number of bills paid online were: Utilities, Telephone, Cable/Satellite Television, Wireless, and Insurance. In terms of average transaction amount, credit card bills were the highest with $602 per bill. Other categories in order of transaction amount include: Insurance (with $319), Utilities (with $217), Cable/Satellite Television (with $162), Wireless (with $159) and Telephone (with $143).
Splendid Search, a tool developed by Billeo to automatically save and categorize electronic copies of bill payment and shopping receipts, is available now to consumers. Splendid Search allows the search of financial transaction records by the retail store or company name, amount paid, credit card used, or even by date. Whether you want to save all of the records around the online booking of an airline ticket, hotel or car, are looking at all online transactions for a month, want to print a receipt for a rebate or in-store return, or want to file a warranty claim, Billeo automatically saves the full receipt, categorizes it and allows you to locate the right record in seconds. It takes all the work, frustration and clutter out of paying bills and shopping online.
Source: Press Release
Online Shopping: Mega Monday Set To Be Busiest Day Of The Year For Web Retail Market | Business | Sky News
Online retailers are hoping today will be a 'Mega Monday' as experts say it will be the year's busiest online shopping day. The first Monday in December is usually the busiest for online sales. More than two million internet purchases are expected to take place today, with the hour between 1pm and 2pm the peak time for trading.
The commercial director of Visa Europe says buyers will turn to the web after failing to find what they wanted in the shops over the weekend. Steve Perry also predicted that savvy shoppers would look to the internet for a better deal on an item they had already viewed in store.
Martin Talbot, marketing director of online retailer Play.com, told Sky News said: "Last year was an historic high for us. But this year we are already breaking all the records.
"At peak periods today we expect to take over 800 orders per minute. By ten o'clock this morning our sales were up by seventy per cent on the same day last year." He added: "Now more than ever customers are looking for value and convenience. Because of the recession people are becoming more selective andmore demanding about what they want." "The average Brit is planning to spend £23 per gift, compared to £28 in 2007."
Figures from electronic retail industry body IMRG suggest that 77% of people plan to do at least half their shopping online - up from 56% last year.
They predict overall online spending in the run up to Christmas will top £13bn.
In other news, debit card usage is clearly rising.
In the four weeks from November 6 to December 3, the early part of the Christmas shopping season, total spending in the UK on Visa debit cards increased by 7%, with the number of transactions increasing to just over 206 million.
Visa debit card usage increased 29% for online purchases, compared with the same period in 2007, accounting for more than 15% of all Visa debit card spending.
Dr Perry said: "We expect the rise of online consumer shopping to continue. In the last week alone, online spending with a Visa debit card increased by 20% on the previous week, amounting to nearly £600 million.
According to "The Paypers" a fake Firefox plug-in targets data exchanges between online banking and money transfer sites here, and abroad in Australia and Europe.
Romanian anti-virus company BitDefender warns online banking users that a Trojan virus posing as a plugin for the popular web browser Mozilla Firefox is currently targeting computers which are already infected with other strains of malware.
ChromeInject-A, the Trojan in question, sits in the Firefox plugin folder and is activated every time users start Firefox. It targets data exchanges between infected computers and a series of pre-defined online banking and money transfer sites in Europe, the US and Australia. Once the sensitive login information is acquired, it is forwarded to a rogue server in Russia. BitDefender reports that while incidents involving the Trojan posing as Firefox plugin have so far been rare, the virus can cause “very high” levels of damage once it infected a vulnerable computer.