CYBECOM Pty Ltd - Ecommerce Architects - Web Developers - Brisbane

Posts Tagged ‘mcommerce’

Retailers Beware of Purchasing Mobile Magnetic Stripe Only Readers

Magnetic Stripe on Business Card

Magnetic Stripe on Business Card

Magnetic Stripe on Business Card

As they increase security with ecommerce, National Australia Bank (NAB) has withdrawn support for any portable magnetic stripe only reader device that connects to mobile phones, iPhones, iPads and other portable devices.

Visa International, MasterCard International and NAB agree that these magnetic stripe readers do not align with the significant industry investment in Europay Mastercard and Visa (EMV) security for Visa and Mastercard products, and card acceptance devices in the Australian market. Therefore MasterCard, Visa and NAB have agreed that all support for these magnetic stripe readers is to be withdrawn immediately.1

Just to be clear, they are only talking about magnetic stripe only readers. My understanding is that if your add-on device is able to read chips, it will be fine although, given that chips cards are almost common place, it is easy to see that magnetic stripe readers will quickly become obsolete. The simple moral here is to consider the longevity of any such device before investing your dollars. And their new policy does not affect merchants who manually enter in card numbers as the issue of card swiping is irrelevant.

Back in July, 2012, the Commonwealth Bank announced its new point-of-sale (POS) payments system. As part of this, they have developed what they call the CommBank Pi software platform built on industry-standard technologies. This platform enables application developers to develop apps and distribute them through CommBank Pi’s AppBank to merchants. They said that both of these technologies run on CommBank Albert, an omni-commerce device featuring an interactive touchscreen experience, Android based platform, secure EMV pin interface, printer, and merchant terminal functionality. They also discussed CommBank Leo.

CommBank Leo attaches to Apple iPod Touch or iPhone4 and iPhone4S devices to enable Pi to transform them into a fully functioning merchant terminal and move beyond unsecure card reader alternatives. Both Leo and Albert represent the future of merchant terminals and open a new innovation ecosystem to developers and businesses alike. 2

If other banks and leading financial institutions follow NAB’s lead, there will be a big shake-up in the vendor marketplace given that a quick Internet search reveals many selling magnetic stripe only readers so BEWARE! And given the likes of Commonwealth Bank are leading the way with more innovative technologies, the writing is definitely on the wall.


Facebook’s Mobile Ads For Apps

Facebook Logo

Facebook Logo


Back on 8 August 2012, Facebook announced it was beta testing its new mobile ads for apps of which the repercussions are only just starting to filter out.  In their developer blog post, they said that developers of apps can “grow their business with an ad unit that helps them reach and reengage their users.”1  To explain it, Kim-Mai Cutler of Techcrunch said “These ads send users to the iOS app store, where they can download promoted apps. They’re going to be an important prong of Facebook mobile monetization efforts… Why? Facebook can’t derive fees or virtual currency revenue from mobile apps, because they exist on platforms operated by the company’s frenemies Google and Apple. As users have migrated to mobile devices, Facebook’s payments revenues has stalled because of this…. So mobile ads are going to be the key way that the company earns revenue from its developer ecosystem on mobile devices.”2

Back in August they were seeking out beta testers and right now, the results of that testing is coming in and it is all very positive.   Jim Edwards of Business Insider said, “ CEO Jason Goldberg, whose company tested the ad unit with Fab’s shopping app, says it was “Five times more effective than any other mobile download channel that we’ve used.” Fab is one of Facebook’s biggest advertisers.”3

At the fourth quarter briefing today, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, announced that 20% of the top 100 grossing iOS apps are using Facebook’s new mobile app install ads. It turns out that the ads don’t just get good click-throughs but many people download the resulting apps. History shows that once a user has an app on their mobile device, they’ll use it frequently. So how come the ads are so effective? One thing that Facebook has that many other ad networks don’t is information. They know all sorts of data about their logged in users which means that the ads are highly targetted. And then the flip side is that Facebook offer developers  a way to monitor their insights through a simple flow on the App Dashboard. So it’s a win-win value-add and finally it gives Facebook a way of earning money from the increasingly lucrative area of mobile devices.

Even if the general ecommerce market is still catching on, savvy developers and marketers quickly picked up on this.  Back in August, Nick Ellison; CEO of NickEllison.Net said, “Wow this is huge! Smooth move Facebook.” and Kasim Zorlu, Marketing Director at Bee Square said, “We were waiting for this, a piece of awesomeness :)”.

On a separate point, for the first time in the company’s history, the 4th quarter earnings announcement revealed that during the quarter more people used Facebook on mobile devices than from traditional web devices.  That is particularly poignant when looking to the future.


Mobile Commerce (Mcommerce) sales up 171% for the US Holiday Period 2012

Mobile Shopping Cart - Mcommerce

A mobile commerce platform (Branding Brand) showed substantial increases in shopping from smartphones. The data was collected over a 35-day period from November 21 through to December 25, 2012.

The Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index is a compilation of 84 mobile sites developed by Branding Brand for retailers across a variety of industries including apparel, health and beauty, and home goods. The Index is the largest collection of data on commerce sites specifically designed for smartphones, as opposed to non-optimized desktop sites with mobile traffic.1

“While the year-over-year growth and traffic demonstrated the explosion in mobile as a channel, we are also seeing dramatic conversion rate improvements as a result of optimization work throughout our technology platform,” said Chris Mason, co-founder and CEO of Branding Brand.

Mobile Shopping Cart - Mcommerce

Mcommerce – mobile shopping

The company has produced an interesting infographic that displays the key finding.

However, Mashable writes that for most retailers, mcommerce has had limited impact.

Lauren Indvik of Mashable said, “Sales of physical retail goods and services made on smartphones were $8 billion in the U.S. last year, accounting for 3% of online sales and less than 1% of total retail sales.”2

But given that smartphone take-up has only really accelerated in the last two to three years, it makes sense that it will be lagging the normal online sector. What is important is the pace of acceleration. 171% is a significant increase which is only going to continue.

Forrester, where Indvik got her data from, agree with this sentiment. Indvik also said, “Ensure that your mobile commerce site has a fast checkout solution, like PayPal Express or Checkout by Amazon. Make sure your mobile website is responsively designed so that it is optimized for the wide variety of device screen sizes on the market.”


The Rise And Rise of QR Codes

Cybecom Contact Details QR Code

Cybecom Contact Details QR Code

Cybecom Contact Details QR Code

What exactly is a QR Code I hear you ask. A QR Code (or Quick Response Code) is a type of two-dimensional barcode and was first designed for the automotive industry in Japan by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994. The code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square pattern on a white background. Various types of information can be encoded.

So your next question might be “So what! Why should i be interested in QR Codes?”. With the simplicity of the QR Code format and the growth in mobile technology, it has become super easy to store lots of information (or sometimes just a little) in a QR Code to make it easy for people to access that information. ie. With the camera of your smartphone or tablet and a free QR Code scanning app, users can very quickly scan the code and then act on that data. The best way to describe this is by way of examples. The following table highlights just a few and their use is only limited by your imagination.

Information StoredMain Benefit/sWhere Would The Code Be Displayed?
Website Address (URL)Customer can go straight to a specific page on your website and find out more information and/or buy the product.Online and offline advertisements.
In presentation slides.
On stickers attached to cars, shop windows, etc.
On products for competitions.
Public transport timetable information.
In newspaper articles.
In art gallery next to an artwork.
In parks, shopping centres, etc. as part of a virtual game.
At key spots along a route for a car rally.
Business Card InformationA quick way to import full contact information into your address book.On business cards.
On websites.
On any marketing material where contact information would be handy.
Asset Number And Other Relevant DetailsHelp track physical assets.On stickers.
Electronic Coupons or eGift cardsEasy method for a shopper to receive benefits. Smartphone apps.
Payment Information (Possible Future Trend)A virtual credit card - no need to have a physical one anymore.Smartphone banking app.
Bricks-and-Mortar store shopping app.
Frequent Buyer InformationNo more physical cards.Smartphone apps. Wave code over the scanner when you shop.

And if you want to see a good example of a funny but very innovative use of a QR Code, check out this video where the candidate had a very interesting way to provide his resume.


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