China UnionPay targets online payments market expansion Tuesday 5 May 2009 | 11:28 AM CET
Chinese credit card organization and interbank operator China UnionPay (CUP) aims to provide its online payment services to companies which are active in the Chinese e-commerce sector, Interfax China reports.
For this purpose, ChinaPay E-payment Service, CUP's online payments division, has become involved in negotiations for partnership purposes with various Chinese online retailers, including online book retailer Dangdang.com, B2C e-commerce company 360buy.com and Joyo Amazon. Furthermore, CUP has opened branches across the region and has signed agreements with banks across 61 countries and regions in order to tap into the online payments market.
According to Chinese consulting firm iResearch Consulting Group, revenues generated by internet payment transactions in China in Q1 2009 have reached USD 17.26 billion, growing 146.9 percent over Q1 2008.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
NetHaggler Will Barter With Online Retailers For You
Leena Rao - TechCrunch.com
With retail spending at all-time lows thanks to the current recession, stores are looking for ways to provide deals, sales and discounts for consumers. Some stores are even letting consumers haggle for prices. NetHaggler is hoping to woo both consumers and online retailers by providing a service that lets users track and negotiate prices online. Free for consumers, NetHaggler has enlisted retailers to participate in its service through affiliate marketing services, like LinkShare.
After installing a simple and secure bookmarklet (called the "Hagglet"), users can click on the link on the link in your bookmarks bar and draw a box with a cropping tool around any product that is from an affiliate NetHaggler Store. This lets NetHaggler capture and store the product and price information so the site can work its negotiation magic. The site will then let you choose whether you want to Tag, Nag or Haggle a product.
Tagging an item lets you enter a specific price and then get updates via email with price reductions that occur over the next few weeks or months. Nagging, which is NetHaggler's flagship offering, enlists NetHaggler to determine whether consumers are eligible for an immediate discount on the list price. Consumers can submit a price that they are willing to pay and then NetHaggler will return with an yes, no or counteroffer from the retailer. NetHaggler's founder, Satya Iluri, says that the site employs an algorithm to determine how much of a discount the retailer is willing to negotiate (if any) and also takes into account the consumers behavior in the site.
Continue Reading at Washington Post
© 2009 TechCrunch
May 5th, 2009 by Fiona Swerdlow, Head of Research, Shop.org
Today marks an annual milestone in the Shop.org calendar – we’re releasing to Shop.org Members the 2009 State of Retailing Online (SORO) Marketing Report. Much like last year, this report is the first installment of the three-part 2009 SORO research series that we produce in partnership with Forrester Research.
A few highlights:
Despite the economy, the Web channel perseveres. In addition to analyzing how trends and benchmarks are evolving in the online marketing space, this year we asked retailers how they perceive the impact of the economy on our industry. In general, over half of retailers surveyed told us they foresee slowing sales growth for the retail industry as a whole in the next twelve months. The Web channel, though, is quite a different matter: fully 80% of retailers feel that the online retail channel continues to be better suited to withstand an economic slowdown than other channels. For all the gloomy news we’ve heard of late, one third of retailers note that they have actually gained market share from competitors since the slowdown really hit in late 2008. Key performance indicators bear out this assessment further: for example, the average conversion rate still hovers between 3% and 3.5%.
Retention focus grows, but aquisition marketing still rules. We also asked retailers whether they had adjusted planned spending for their Web business this year. While almost half plan to stay the original course and spend largely as planned, approximately one third is ratcheting back spending, and the remaining quarter is actually increasing investment in their Web businesses beyond the original plan. Retailers cutting back will do so primarily in areas such as staffing and search, and by focusing on smaller initiatives. Those retailers now increasing spend for their Web business plan to further fuel areas such as search, email and social marketing, among other initiatives.
What does all this (and much more detail in the report) tell us? Looks like retailer focus on retention marketing this year has grown considerably in the past year – but acquisition marketing is as important as ever, signaling increased competition in the marketplace for customers and wallet share.
Read all about it… In addition to all of the areas noted above, the 2009 SORO Marketing Report also covers numerous other aspects of the online marketing world. These include retailers’ assessment of the effectiveness of various marketing tactics, both overall and specific to acquisition; customer acquisition spend; search performance metrics; and customer retention tactics and areas of focus this year. For several of these data points, we have been able to segment the data by either retailer size (measured in terms of total online sales in 2008) or type of retailer.
Shop.org Members may now download the full 2009 SORO Marketing Report. Our second SORO report, focusing on Merchandising, will be released in July in conjunction with the Shop.org Merchandising Workshop (see also more information about SORO). I look forward to your feedback on this research, and, if you are a retailer, to your participation in our next SORO survey later this spring.
Best – Fiona
State of Retailing Online (SORO)
Produced annually in partnership between Shop.org and Forrester Research, The State of Retailing Online (SORO) study is the highly anticipated research that brings details of Marketing, Merchandising and Profitability to the online retail community. This research serves many functions for retailers, from benchmarking performance in the marketplace, to highlighting marketing and merchandising best practices and guiding financial planning.
- SORO Survey Participation Sign Up
- SORO FAQ & Troubleshooting
- 2008 SORO Reports (members only)
- Purchase SORO
2009 Research Surveys and Reports
During the first half of 2009, Shop.org and Forrester Research are jointly deploying two surveys, designed to gather the most important details you need about marketing, merchandising, multi-channel integration, and profitability. The results of these two retailer surveys are being released in three separate reports: Marketing (May), Merchandising (July), and Profitability (September).
2009 SORO Marketing Report
Released May 2009
The SORO Marketing Report covers areas such as:
- Marketing key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Impact of the current economic climate
- Marketing budget
- Allocation and effectiveness of marketing spending (both online and offline)
- Customer acquisition and retention
- Email marketing
Members, Download the Marketing Report
Non-Members: Purchase Here
Online retail giant Amazon.com unveiled a larger-screen version of Kindle electronic reader on Wednesday. Dubbed Kindle DX, the new reader it sports a 9.7-inch display, about two and a half times larger than the current Kindle. It's priced at $489, well above the $359 price point for the other Kindles. Amazon said it will start shipping the devices this summer.
As expected, Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) said a variety of college textbook publishers will start selling books through the Kindle online store. Amazon is also working with a group of universities, which will hand out hundreds of Kindle DX devices to students in the fall. Participating schools are Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College, and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Washington Post will offer Kindle DXs at a reduced price to readers who "live in areas where home-delivery is not available and who sign up for a long-term subscription to the Kindle edition of the newspapers," according to Amazon.
For pictures and more on Amazon's rollout of Kindle DX, go to TechFlash.com.
According to Practical eCommerce:
"Some retailers saw better than expected onlinesales in the first three months of 2009, according to the results of anew survey.
But it was not clear whether some online purchases werecoming at the cost of brick-and-mortar sales.
Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, and Forrester Researchconducted a "flash" survey of some 80 retailers in April.
Of thoseretailers, 44 percent had seen double digit increases in online sales,and an additional 14 percent of respondents had sales grow up to 10percent for the first three months of 2009."
U.S. getting squeezed by EMV
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 in News
With Canada and Mexico both going to EMV and most of the rest of the world doing the same it may be a matter of time before U.S. card issuers are forced to go to chip and PIN. EMV in the U.S. was the topic of a panel at the CTST Conference in New Orleans.
Geography isn’t the only issue either, says Rene Bastien, product manger for payment products at SAFENET. It’s becoming more common for U.S. travelers in Europe to have transaction denied because retailers aren’t authorizing transactions with just the mag stripe. “EMV is happening everywhere.”
Jack Jania, vice president and general manager of secure transactions at Gemalto, says some U.S. banks are considering issuing EMV cards to high-end customers who frequently travel overseas.
Dual-interface cards are also starting to appear on the scene, Jania says. These cards have one chip but can perform EMV transaction through a contact interface as well as contactless.
Canada may also bring to bear some pressure for EMV, says Deb Baxley, managing partner at Keypoint Solutions. If Canadian issuers start to see credit card fraud add up with mag stripe transactions merchants could start denying the transactions.
So when will the U.S. make the move? It’s hard to say. “I hate to put a date on it,” Jania says.
But there has been progress. Two years ago U.S. issuers wouldn’t even talk about EMV but they are now, Jania says. [end]
Make way, Zambian kwacha. There's a hot new exotic currency on the market, only it's not from any country on earth—at least not one in the material world.
This currency is called the Project Entropia Dollar (PED) and it's used to buy and sell goods on the planet Calypso, in an online gaming world called Entropia Universe.
The PED is among a growing number of alternative currencies changing hands in virtual worlds, social networks, and other Web sites eager to make it easier for users to spend money and carry out other transactions while online.
"We'll try to make the link between real and virtual world as close as possible," says Hans Andersson, who in March was granted a license from the Swedish government to open Mind Bank, which will exchange Swedish kronor for PEDs. The game's 1 million users now buy and sell land, minerals, and tools by depositing U.S. dollars or Swedish kronor directly into the game. Once Mind Bank opens in January, users will be able to link real-world checking and savings accounts to the virtual world. Eventually they'll be able to take out PED loans.
Andersson hopes that as it becomes simpler to transfer funds from real-world financial institutions to those that exist on the Internet, site users will spend more time and money online. The difficulty of paying for goods in virtual worlds, online games, social networks, and even dating sites has long stymied growth in what analysts see as a burgeoning market. China's virtual goods economy, the largest in the world, is worth $800 million and growing 30% a year, estimates Shaun Rein, managing director at China Market Research Group. In Second Life, one of the biggest U.S.-based virtual economies, transaction volume is expected to rise 39%, to $500 million this year, according to the world's creator, Linden Research. "Our virtual economy has been on a tear," says Tom Hale, Linden's chief product officer. "It's grown much better than the real economy. It's a wonderful, wonderful business."
Facebook: Testing Virtual "Credits"
Services such as eBay's (EBAY) PayPal and credit and debit cards provide a way for people to pay for virtual goods or site-specific virtual currencies. But many users, including teens and people in emerging economies, don't have bank accounts or credit cards.
In the U.S., 95% of teens make purchases with cash, according to the Charles Schwab (SCHW) Teens & Money 2007 survey. Of China's 1.3 billion people, only 115 million own credit cards. And many players balk at the high fees levied by financial services on the sub-$1 transactions commonplace in the virtual-goods world. "There's a new category of transactions—micropayments—that traditional players have had trouble catering to," says Michael Ting, senior director at mobile-payments provider Obopay. Visa (V) and PayPal declined to comment for this story.
Web sites view alternative payment methods as a way to accelerate the sale of the virtual goods that are an important source of revenue, especially as demand for online ads slumps. On Apr. 3, social network Facebook announced that it is testing its own "credits," which would let users carry out transactions in certain subnetworks. News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace is developing its own virtual currency and payment system.
Continue Reading at Businessweek
Terrorism funded with stolen data
Andrew R. Cochran, founder and Co-Editor of the Counterterrorism Blog, delivered a statement dated March 31, 2009, to the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology Hearing, United States House Committee on Homeland Security.
The statement entitled "Do the Payment Card Industry Data Standards Reduce Cybercrime?" outlined a number of instances in which stolen U.S. credit cards were used to fund terrorist attacks.
Cochran asked the subcommittee to review the evidence he was presenting and "the effectiveness of the PCI standards to reduce data breaches, identity theft and the potential funding of terrorism." He also extended an offer to assist them in that mission. The Counterterrorism Blog, with its host of experts from both the government and private sector, reports on and analyzes terrorist attacks and counterterrorism policies.
Cochran chaired a special panel in February 2009, Meta-Terror: Terrorism and the Virtual World. His statement to the subcommittee summarized information from that event and pertinent entries in the Counterterrorism Blog by its experts, including Dennis Lormel, who led the FBI's investigation into the financing of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The following was included in his summary.
The plastic trail
- The 2004 Madrid train bombings and the 2005 London transportation system attack were paid for in part by credit card fraud.
- Indonesian and Jamaah Islamiah terrorist, Imam Samudra, who masterminded the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, wrote a manifesto in prison in 2004 in which he recommended that Muslim radicals attack U.S. computers, which he described as vulnerable to hacking, credit card fraud and money laundering. That same year, Indonesian police noted that their country had the greatest incidence of credit card fraud in the world.
- Three terrorists set up shop on the Internet to provide forums, training, education, recruitment and outfitting for terrorists worldwide. They used computer viruses and stolen credit card accounts to fund the operation.
- The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam financed international terrorist activities with credit card fraud.
Call for collaboration
Continue Reading at The Greensheet
In Alternative Payment Fight, Amazon Wants To Reverse Google’s Move
Written by Evan Schuman
With EBay with a seeminglytight lock on the first two slots, it’s been interesting watching twoother Web pioneers figuring out what to do. Google had invested inBillMeLater and was hoping to ride that horse against PayPal, untilPayPal bought all of BillMeLater. BillMeLater quickly then lost itsAmazon client and the war was on.
Google hasn’t been faring especially well, with some seeing Google’s move in April to boost pricesas desperate. Then on Thursday (April 30), Amazon counterpounched,offering to waive fees for five months for retailers who would be newcustomers for its Amazon Payments program.
The Amazon offer wasquite limited, excluding any existing consumers, having the fee waiveronly lasts five months (from April 29 through Sept. 30). Technically,it would be five months for those who signed up immediately. The dealisn’t for five free months, it’s free transactions until Sept. 30,apparently regardless of when a merchant signs up. The deal also has anespecially low ceiling, with Amazon saying that the fees will startsooner than Sept. 30 if $2 million or more is sold.
Continue Reading at StorefrontBacktalk written by Evan Schuman
Research in Motion (RIM) has announced a tie-up with network vendor Cisco to launch BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) Server for Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
The system can turn a user’s BlackBerry device into an extension of their desk phone, providing one contact phone number and one voicemail that works across both the mobile device and a Cisco Unified IP desk phone.
The user can transfer calls between the desk phone and the BlackBerry as well as make calls from the smartphone using either the BlackBerry phone number or enterprise line.
Full Article Here
Retail banks face the prospect of disintermediation if they fail to prepare for the swelling interest in new media technologies and social networking by their customer base, according to analyst house Gartner.
Social banking won't change the consumer banking model immediately, says Gartner, although retail banks that understand social media, financial social networks and microfinance have a better chance of adapting their services.
Gartner defines social banking as an emerging approach to retail banking that makes depositing, lending and the connections between depositors, borrowers and financial institutions transparent.
Stessa Cohen, research director at Gartner, says the definition removes the banks from the centre of the customer relationship: "Instead the bank takes its place among a series of loosely connected financial and social relationships mediated by online social-networking media and tools."
Full Story at Finextra
There's a LOT of money and tax to be made off Internet Gambling and in light of all the recent bailouts and spending, a giant influx of capital to the federal government would be enticing. But what could bring in a lot of money quickly? Barney Frank thinks it's Online Gaming. He's preparing to fight the fight. He might not win but I wouldn't bet that he'lll walk out a loser, as I imagine the online gaming lobbyists are pretty good tippers.
Here's an article from Reuters talking Frank.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Barney Frank will unveil legislation on Wednesday (today's the day) to roll back a U.S. ban on online gambling, he said in a statement on Tuesday. The new bill would exempt operators that are licensed and regulated from the ban enacted in 2006, Frank said.
The Massachusetts Democrat said his legislation "will enable Americans to bet online and put an end to an inappropriate interference with their personal freedom." (Frank being Frank: You mean if I go to the ATM and withdraw $200, not even the Freedom of Information Act can tell people whether I bought potato chips or poker chips? Cool!)
The Frank bill is likely to be opposed by anti-gambling Republicans. The ban was imposed during the Bush administration and has damaged U.S.-European Union trade ties. European online gambling firms lost billions of euros in value after Congress made it illegal for banks and credit card companies to make payments to online gambling sites.
Republicans controlled the White House and Congress when the law was approved. Now, Democrats are in control in both branches of the government, but it is unclear how the Obama administration will handle the issue. Companies involved in the issue include PartyGaming Plc and 888.com.
(Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
20 Twitter Words for Tweap and an interesting article from eMarketer...all in one!
For the 4 in 10 of you Tweetoholics that feel "once a Twit, always a Twit, click here to follow HomeATM on your royal Tweetness.
For the rest of you...the 6 in 10 that have no long-term interest in Twitanthropy or living in the Twitosphere, please click here.
Here's the article:
Beware the Twitter Flitterers MAY 6, 2009
Tweet today, gone tomorrow?
Callit the Oprah Effect. Or maybe it was all the publicity generated by theAshton Kutcher/Ted Turner race to reach a million followers. Whateverthe cause, there is a growing fear that the mammoth micro-blogging sitemay be overexposed, overhyped and underused. It is true that Twitter’s growth is skyrocketing. No one agues that.
eMarketer estimates (see Twitter Tally) there will be over 12 million Twitter users in the US in 2009, slightly more than twice last year’s number. But figures released by Nielsen Online suggest that Twitter’s retention rate is only 40%.
In other words, as David Martin wrote on the Nielsen blog,“Currently, more than 60% of US Twitter users fail to return thefollowing month.”
Not so good.
Anyone on Twitter knows the site is quick to tell you when afollower signs up, but mum on signoffs. No one knows how many of theirindividual followers get bored and fall away completely. Most worrisome, however, is that at some point after theinitial hoopla dies down, and Oprah and Ashton wander away to play withthe next hot thing, there simply won’t be enough new users to make upfor defecting dilettantes and Twitter’s growth will begin to decline.
Twitter has another “problem,” too. Hot new technologies are supposed to be the purview of young,hungry-for-new-gadget, early-adopter geeks. Twitter doesn’t fit thebill.
According to comScore Media Metrix 18-to-24-year-olds, the traditional social media early adopters, are not driving Twitter growth—25-to-54-year-olds are.
Specifically, 45-to-54-year-olds were 36% more likely than averageto visit Twitter, making them the highest-indexing age group—old byInternet standards—and 25-to-34-year-olds were 30% more likely tovisit.
“The skew towards older visitors, although perhaps initiallysurprising for a social media site, actually makes more sense than youmight think at first,” wrote Sarah Radwanick on a comScore blog.
“Withso many businesses using Twitter, along with the first generations ofInternet users ‘growing up’ and comfortable with technology, this is asign that the traditional early adopter model might need to berevisited.”
Several assumptions might need to be revisited. There is noquestion, Twitter is not developing in the same way as its socialnetworking predecessors, such as MySpace and Facebook.
The question is: Will the Twitter fad fade, or is a powerfullysimple networking tool only now beginning to find its unique audience?Only time will tell…
Don’t fade away, follow eMarketer on Twitter, click here.
CyberSource: (to me and now to you....)
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Fidelity National Information Services Tops New ABI Research Mobile Banking Vendor Matrix Ranking
Fountain Hills, AZ, May 06, 2009 (PIN Payments News) -- Fidelity National Information Services has been ranked at the top of the latest Vendor Matrix released by ABI Research.
Fiserv and Sybase claimed the second and third spots in the company's new evaluation of worldwide mobile banking vendors.
"FIS has assembled a comprehensive suite of mobile banking solutions," says senior analyst Mark Beccue, "which can accommodate a financial institution whether they would like to offer consumers an SMS, mobile internet or downloadable application, all of which are integrated into FIS' core banking solutions. That, combined with their market-leading reach into financial institutions worldwide, which became even larger with their recent announcement that they would acquire Metavante, secured them the top score."
Fiserv claims second place because of its strong global relationships with financial institutions, and a smart tie up with mobile specialist M-Com.
Sybase takes the third spot because of a powerful combination of factors. It has strong relationships with MNOs globally, while its Paybox acquisition and C-Sam partnership bring together a comprehensive and accessible mobile banking solution with multiple options for banks and MNOs.
The Vendor Matrix is an analytical tool developed by ABI Research to provide a clear understanding of vendors' positions in specific markets. Vendors are assessed on the important parameters of "innovation" and "implementation" across several criteria unique to each vendor matrix.
For this particular matrix, under "innovation," ABI Research examined these vendors products' unique features and the breadth of technology involved, as well as their experience and leadership in both mobile and financial services.
Under "implementation," ABI Research scrutinized the following criteria: the vendors' market presence, their global sales and support capabilities, any complimentary products on offer, the breadth of their product lines, and their regional expertise.
To view a chart showing the rankings of the "Top 10" firms in this Vendor Matrix, please visit "Mobile Banking Vendor Matrix" ( http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1003375-Mobile_Banking_Vendor_Matrix). Registration on the ABI Research website (free) is required. Access to the rankings and profiles of all companies surveyed is available to clients of ABI Research.
This Vendor Matrix forms part of ABI Research's Mobile Money Research Service ( http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Mobile_Money_Research_Servic...).
For a list of all ABI Research Vendor Matrices, please visit Vendor Matrices ( http://www.abiresearch.com/vendor_matrix_home.jsp).
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of emerging trends in global connectivity. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team of experts advise thousands of decision makers through research and advisory services in seven key practice areas. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.
SOURCE: ABI Research
Christine Gallen, 516-624-2542 firstname.lastname@example.org