Mobile payment apps taking over

We’ve spoken previously about the importance of marketing on mobile devices; with smart phone ownership expected to reach 6.1 billion by 2020, there’s no doubt that handheld devices are dominating the market. However, mobile payment technology has been slow to adapt to this growing market. It was only when Apple released its ‘Apple Pay’ service and allowed its customers to make mobile payments via NFC that brick and mortar merchants started to take mobile tech more seriously. The reality is that mobile payment technology is becoming a useful tool for today’s hectic lifestyle, accommodating the needs of tech savvy millennials (who are the biggest users of this technology at 39%).

With Visa and MasterCard contactless now being accepted on the London transport network and with some of the world’s biggest tech firms having mobile wallets, it’s only a matter of time before phones take over our purses. It has also been reported that in 2015, 13% of UK adults have made an in-store payment using their mobile phones, a 3% increase from the previous year.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top trends from the Mobile Payment industry:

  • Biometric authentication and security management

We’ve all seen the news headlines saying security breaches have led to the leak of customer data. A standard password should contain a mix of lower case and capital letters and at least one number to increase security, but with the average customer having to remember 19 different passwords this can be a daunting task. To ensure a more secure form of making payments for its customers, MasterCard has introduced a biometric authentication process. The Identity Check app allows users to authenticate their online purchases through fingerprint and facial recognition. The simplicity and high level of security biometrics provide is great, and the rest of the financial industry is jumping on the trend, with HSBC and Natwest already introducing the same technology for its customers.

  • Big tech firms are now taking on banks

With growth in digital payments, large tech firms are entering into this lucrative market by introducing their own payment systems. A good example is Facebook’s introduction of payments in its messenger app and IBM’s acquisition of British mobile payment software company, Monitise. As they increasingly feel the threat from large companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon, banks are upping their spend on tech in order to compete. We have also seen start-ups move into this space, for example, Atom Bank, which is a digital bank accessible only via a smartphone.

  • Wearable tech and the Internet of Things

Last week the UK held its annual Fintech week, the world’s largest Fintech focused conference. This proves the status of the UK as a thriving Fintech hub, providing businesses a supportive structure to establish themselves and be successful. During the event, wearable tech was profiled as the next big thing. Fitness wristbands, smart watches and other wearable devices have provided a new way for customers to stay connected and updated. As wearables continue to gain popularity, financial institutions are looking to tap into opportunity and stay ahead of the curve. Citi, Barclays, NatWest and many others have already jumped on the wearable tech bandwagon.

The need to carry a physical wallet is diminishing and will continue to do so as more merchants accept mobile payments. With wearable tech on the rise, it will be exciting to see how the banks and their challengers adapt to an ever-changing market.

Mobile Payment Apps

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tinder Social – just in case you missed them…

social media scoop

#1 Twitter now lets anyone request a verified account
By The Verge:

  • Twitter will let users request a verified account and the all-important blue tick by filling out a form on its website
  • The form asks for a verified phone number and email address, a profile photo, and additional information regarding why verification is required or helpful
  • However Twitter still says, “an account may be verified if it is determined to be of public interest”

#2 Selena Gomez’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts ‘worth up to $550,000′
By The Independent:

  • Selena Gomez is now also the most influential person across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, with almost three million engagements per post
  • She has a combined following of 181 million followers – half of which are on Instagram
  • Her success has been attributed to her selective attitude to the brands she works with on her social channels – she posts less sponsored posts than many other celebrities, and as such is more engaging to her fans

#3 Facebook may be trying to copy Snapchat again with “quick updates”
By Mashable:

  • New screenshots of what look to be an experiment, show the company is working on a new feature that allows groups of friends to privately share photos and other updates that disappear after 24 hours
  • Quick updates lives in the main Facebook app behind the new smiley face icon in the top right corner of the app. From there, you can add friends to groups so you can see each other’s updates
  • However, a Facebook spokesperson said this was an old test and that it had no plans to roll out the feature to more people

#4 Tinder Social launches globally
By TechCrunch:

  • Tinder Social has launched to provide a new way for groups to plan big nights out
  • Users can choose to add friends to their group via Facebook, and then match with other groups that are in the area
  • If one person from each of the groups matches, then the groups gain access to a shared chat room – just like regular Tinder

#5 Twitter test redesigns how you compose new tweets
By Mashable:

  • Twitter is experimenting with a new look for the tweet composer in its iOS app
  • The test moves the app’s tweet composer to the top of users’ timelines. Previously, the app’s tweet composer was a separate part of the app
  • A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the experiment, saying it was meant to make it easier for iOS users to tweet while browsing the app

#6 Instagram lets Taylor Swift test a tool that could see celebrities block abusive comments
By The Drum:

  • Instagram is reportedly allowing Taylor Swift and other high-profile figures on Instagram test a tool that “blocks” negative comments
  • According to the Times, the new feature means that rather than having to individually delete hundreds or thousands of comments, as a regular user would have to, Swift – or whoever is controlling her account –  is able to remove them en masse immediately

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onechocolate loves… the view from France

Our French office selected this week’s round-up of inspiring PR and digital marketing campaigns, smart new tech and cool events…

#1 PokémonGo arrives in France!


The latest mobile craze, PokémonGo, has created a worldwide phenomenon in such a short space of time. Of course, big brands and companies such as Orange and SNCF (France’s national rail company) have been quick to exploit the buzz on social networks to attract and entertain customers…

#2 Viva Technology, a great success for the first French IFA

French IFA

Earlier this month, the first “Made In France” tech trade show came to Paris and what a fantastic turnout it had! A massive 45,000 visitors attended the fair to discover the latest innovations from tech giants and start-ups alike. Key themes from the show included digital art, drone, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and Internet of Things…

#3 Sucre Detox, the sugar-responsible packaging!

Did you know French citizens consume an average of 70 grams of sugar per day, which is the equivalent of 14 tea spoons! To raise awareness of overconsumption of sugar in France, food distribution chain, Intermarché launched a new creamy chocolate dessert that helps you ‘detox’ from sugar. The product comes as a pack of six pots, each with decreasing sugar amounts. By the time you reach the last pot, it contains 50% less sugar. A great campaign with a strong message, worthy of the Cannes award it won this year. Check out the video to find out more about the campaign.

#4 Travel Football

To celebrate being the host nation of Euro 2016, 48 train stations across France participated in a footie-themed stunt involving Foosball (what we call “baby foot”) and giant robotic replicas of plastic players. It was a great way for travellers to entertain themselves while waiting for their train. By downloading the app, you can invite people to play against you at the station and players had the chance to win tickets to matches too. A very fun, interactive experience organised by SNCF, inspired by Euro 2016.

#5 Tropical Summer

Perfume brand, Eau Jeune, recently launched its new fragrance ‘Double Je Urban Tropical’. Via a partnership with popular YouTubers, Rose Carpet, Eau Jeune made several short videos for the launch, which has already received over 1.8 million views since the start of July. The brand campaign will run until the end of the year. We love this vibrant experience from these fab girls. Check out the video from Rose Carpet above.

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop

#1 Snapchat wants to archive your favourite content

  • While snapchats usually only stick around for 24hours, the company has launched a new feature which will allow users to save their favourite content into a built-in “photo album”
  • The Memories section will allow users to search content based on captions, stickers and emojis to find old snaps easily and repost

#2 Facebook’s disappearing messages gets fourth re-launch
By The Guardian:

  • Facebook is once again giving users the opportunity to send “snapchat style” messages to one another
  • This launch goes alongside Facebook’s announcement of end-to-end encryption of its messages, a task that was previously rather difficult due to the nature in which users read and send messages, usually over multiple devices
  • You will now be able to set a timer on a message so it disappears from the conversation to control how long it remains visible in the conversation

#3 Japanese messaging app is all set for IPO
By The Drum:

  • Line is set to raise as much as $1.3bn and could become one of the “biggest tech listing this year”
  • The platform has a selfie app similar to snapchat built in
  • The IPO will help Line expand globally, as it is currently relatively focused on the Asian market

#4 Multiple Facebook accounts supported on Messenger for iOS
By Social Times:

  • Facebook Messenger will now let users switch between different accounts within the app without having to sign in and out
  • This feature has been available to Android users since February, and comes  off the back of a report from GlobalWebIndex which states that 31% of Facebook Messengers users “share their mobile devices with at least one other person”

#5 Social Media ban to stop exam material being leaked
By BBC News:

  • Ethiopia is banning social media across the country after a university entrance exam was leaked
  • This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Viber


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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

social media scoop

#1 Twitter unveils Snapchat-style stickers

  • After Facebook bought MSQRD, and added its many masks and filters to its live video; now Twitter’s adding Stickers, which is a clever mash-up of all Snapchat’s filters into a single place
  • Twitter stickers are basically emojis you can place on top of a photo
  • Twitter’s not yet charging for any of its stickers, nor is it allowing advertisers or users to make and sell them, but “yet” is very much the operative word

#2 LinkedIn rolls out programmatic ads shortly after the $26.2bn Microsoft acquisition
By The Drum:

  • LinkedIn has set about monetising its 400 million members by introducing programmatic ad buying to advertisers
  • Trialled in Q3 2015, the new method will deliver display ads on LinkedIn desktop, on supplementing the earning power of sponsored content which delivers 60 per cent of its revenue
  • The automated ad buys come after Microsoft gambled $26.2bn on the company. With a wealth of professionals indexed by industry, interests and skills on the site, brands will now be able to find a more valuable proposition

#3 Facebook abandons standalone news-reading app Paper
By TechCrunch:

  • Facebook has pulled the Paper app from the app store and will discontinue support for existing downloads of it on July 29th
  • Despite its eye-catching, progressive design, the experience proved unnecessary for most and too unfamiliar for those that tried it. Part of the app will live on, though, as design elements and features in Facebook’s Instant Articles
  • Now with no dedicated place to read news, and the main News Feed focusing on showing posts from friends and family, news publishers may find it tougher to pull referral traffic from Facebook

#4 Pinterest adds two major new features that make it easier for you to shop
By Business Insider UK:

  • Pinterest has enhanced its social commerce efforts with a shopping cart and visual search capability to both its website and mobile app, reports Adweek
  • The shopping cart lets users add items from multiple sellers in a manner similar to Amazon, letting them checkout all items at once without ever leaving the Pinterest platform
  • Pinterest is also bringing Buyable Pins, the company’s version of a buy button, to its website. Until now, these buttons only existed on the mobile app

#5 Facebook’s new Featured Events recommended by staff members rather than algorithms
By The Drum:

  • Facebook has debuted a new product in the US called Featured Events allowing dedicated staff to recommended events to users
  • Moving away from a solely algorithmic process influenced by the behaviour of the user and friends, the company is altering (and hopefully refining) suggestions by introducing a human element to help spread the word about local events
  • Users can put their public events up for consideration, where it will be shared to relevant people in the local area. It added that events that have paid for ads will not receive priority in the suggestions


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