This week in mobile commerce had a particular twist to it; while there was no shortage of news, this week seemed to take a focus on the payments side. Bitcoin, electronic payments, and even Google (News - Alert) chipped in with a way to get the goods from store to home so much faster. With a weekend now at our doorstep, it's a fine time to take a step back and see how the events of the week in mobile commerce add up, which we'll do right now with our Week in Review coverage!
First, we saw how TeraExchange launched its first Bitcoin derivative transaction. With this transaction—both a milestone deal for TeraExchange and a serious shot of credibility to the Bitcoin market besides—it opens the way to regulate Bitcoin trades, and gives it new life as both a cryptocurrency and investment vehicle. This also may go some way in cleaning up Bitcoin's image in the face of events like Silk Road.
Next we got a look at how Twitter (News - Alert) was looking to get involved in the mobile payments market, thanks to a new team-up between itself and Groupe BPCE, reportedly the second largest bank in France. With the new partnership in place, Groupe BPCE will be putting its S-Money service to work, a development which already allowed for money transfers via text message. Making a few minor tweaks to drive transfer via tweet, meanwhile, should both open up new opportunities for Groupe BPCE and give Twitter access to a new source of revenue.
Walgreens then stepped in with at least a hint of a planned launch date for Apple Pay service. An internal memo leaked from the company suggests that employees were to plan for an October 18 launch of the service, a date that struck industry watchers as odd owing to the fact that October 18 is a Saturday, a day commonly known for higher than average sales volume. However, some suggested that instead Walgreens wouldn't support Apple (News - Alert) Pay before that date.
Then we had a look at Equity Bank in Kenya, which rolled out a line of smart SIMs to clients. The SIMs in question, built with technology from Taiwan-based Taisys, allows users to quickly add access to secure banking functions by adding a component to a currently-active SIM card. The smart SIM essentially allows users to tie a bank account to a phone itself. The move is regarded as a great way to quickly bring mobile banking options to an increasingly mobile-savvy populace.
Finally, we had a look at Google Shopping Express, which got an overhaul so major it hit down to the name. Now known simply as Google Express, the service reached more markets, brought in more stores, and offered more features to allow users to more rapidly receive goods purchased online. With a variety of pricing structures from the per-order rate to the annual access plan, Google Express looks to bring a measure of immediacy to online shopping.
That was the week that was in mobile commerce, and it was clear a lot was happening this week. Though focused on payment systems, the news still posed a great many opportunities for those involved in the field, and our global online community was right in the thick of the action, bringing back the best in news. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest from the sector, and every weekend as well for our Week in Review coverage!
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