The Mobile Wallet is Already Here...

Once a year, the Ofcom Global Media and Communications report is released. This is a UK focused report that is 363 pages (PDF download here) of insight and analysis on the communications sector. Let me save you some time and pull out the one chart that absolutely blew me away.



Do you see that? Respondents in China overwhelmingly use mobile payment services for non-digital goods ("real stuff") in comparison to the rest of the world. For all of the talk here in the West about the mobile wallet and how Apple Pay is helping to spur growth, it would seem that this digital unicorn has already arrived. Just not here.

So for those who have used a mobile payments system, what are they buying? Take a look at this chart. China continues to lead in terms of adoption across product categories.



So what's going on here? My suspicion is that mobile adoption in China is very commonly a "one device to rule them all" purchase. That is, consumers buy a phone (often a phablet) and use that one device for all of their computing needs. So it seems very natural that, as the middle class in China continues to explode, these new consumers are ready to adopt mobile payments systems because it is all they know. Over here in the West? We still seem stuck in our ways and the only thing moving the needle appears to be massive data breaches.

Staying Current After the Recent Apple Event...

There are three significant items to take away from the most recent Apple event (at the historically significant Flint Center in Cupertino, CA).

  1. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the direct result of growing market pressure on Apple to offer larger phones.
  2. Apple Pay has the potential to catapult company revenue to levels we have not seen in any other company. Ever. 
  3. The Apple Watch is a first generation offering. I didn't buy the first generation iPod, or the first generation iPhone, or the first generation iPad. The watch is no different. However, I am very much looking forward to watching Apple iterate on the now public commitment to each and every one of our wrists.

Spend 10 minutes with Ed Kless on a recent podcast we recorded and dig into the details of the three items above.

The single most significant item is the timing of Apple Pay. I kept waiting for a journalist to connect the dots between why Apple is "suddenly" interested in including NFC in their phones and the new chip-and-pin standard headed our way. In October 2015, gone will be the days of magnetic stripe credit cards as we usher in a new era of chip and pin (conveniently, something you have and something you know for the security buffs out there). 

This will create an environment of mass adoption for the much needed NFC chips that have gone underutilized in mobile phones to date.

Well done Michael Carney of Pando Daily. You win the prize.

Did you notice that Bing is at 30% market share?

 bing social search

bing social search

I read an article last week about Bing that made me say, “Wow!” No offense to the fine folks at Microsoft working on this product but I don’t often use “wow” and “Bing” in the same sentence. We assume the search engine market was locked up years ago and Google walked away with the top prize.

However, with change comes opportunity and the major search engines are working hard to figure out how best to integrate social signals with traditional search results. There is an opportunity to capture more market share based on how social integration is implemented. Bing is making some progress in this space which seems to eclipse what Google has accomplished to date.

While it has not launched yet, the redesigned Bing is going to include Facebook and Twitter data (among others). This is something that Google is not technically/legally able to do right now. If early adopters take to Bing based on their social integration there may be opportunities for socially savvy companies to capture additional eyeballs.  Based on your overall marketing spend, this could be a factor to consider.

Personally, I'm not happy with the social signals built into Google.  I don't hate it and I'm certainly not part of the cadre of people who have railedagainst it.  I just don't "love it".  I've used the social signals built into Google a few times and face all the normal issues that exist, the most obvious one being that my Google+ Circles are not representative of my real social graph.  "The idea is wonderful.  The execution is poor."

The Email You Never Want to Send...

I received the email below from the Chief Marketing Officer of Best Buy recently.  The key takeaway?  If you are responsible for customer data, please make sure you are being careful with said data.  You never want to send an email like the one below but you might have to one day.  It's a dangerous world out there and, while this is probably not an issue for Best Buy in the long term, it sure does sting a little bit.

Dear Valued Best Buy Customer,

On March 31, we were informed by Epsilon, a company we use to send emails to our customers, that files containing the email addresses of some Best Buy customers were accessed without authorization.

We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that may have been obtained was your email address and that the accessed files did not include any other information. A rigorous assessment by Epsilon determined that no other information is at risk. We are actively investigating to confirm this.

For your security, however, we wanted to call this matter to your attention. We ask that you remain alert to any unusual or suspicious emails. As our experts at Geek Squad would tell you, be very cautious when opening links or attachments from unknown senders.

In keeping with best industry security practices, Best Buy will never ask you to provide or confirm any information, including credit card numbers, unless you are on our secure e-commerce site,www.bestbuy.com. If you receive an email asking for personal information, delete it. It did not come from Best Buy.

Our service provider has reported this incident to the appropriate authorities.

We regret this has taken place and for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information. For more information on keeping your data safe, please visit: http://www.geeksquad.com/do-it-yourself/tech-tip/six-steps-to-keeping-your-data-safe.aspx.

Sincerely,

Barry Judge Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Best Buy