Aussies to ditch physical wallets for mobiles by 2021

Mobile wallets will have replaced their leather counterparts in Australia by 2021.

Aussies to ditch physical wallets for mobiles by 2021 -

In a survey of 1024 Aussies carried out for the bank by Lonergan Research, 73% of respondents expect to have ditched their physical wallet for their handset within seven and a half years. Cash and card payments are predicted to disappear even sooner, within six and half years.

It's not just payments and banking that consumers will expect from a mobile wallet: 55% of respondents expect to accessing loyalty schemes from their phones in the future, 45% think they will redeem coupons, 44% store receipts, and 43% get around on public transport.

Many of those quizzed will be happy to see the back of their wallets. Asked for their frustrations with the old-school technology, 94% cite forgetting to take it out, 88% forgetting to put specific items in it, and 77% having to carry around a bulky piece of material.

There's good news for CommBank: when respondents are asked who they trust to provide their mobile wallet 44% say banks, compared to 16% who back the government, 14% who place their faith in tech firms such as Google, and 10% who choose retailers.

Angus Sullivan, executive GM, cards, payments, analytics and retail strategy, CommBank, says: "While there may always be a need for different payment methods, such as cash for emergencies and cards for travel, it's clear the mobile wallet is set to become a part of many Australians' everyday lives."

Source: Finextra

Ukash launches app-enabled pre-paid card

Leading online cash payments provider, Ukash, has launched an innovative General Purpose Reloadable (GPR) prepaid card, supported by a mobile app that makes uploading of funds quick and easy.

Ukash launches app-enabled pre-paid card -

Putting customers in control of their money, the free smartphone app (iPhone and android) makes it easy to check transactions and balances while cardholders are out and about as well as top up their card as soon as they've exchanged cash for a Ukash code. Cash can also be loaded directly onto the Ukash Prepaid MasterCard at UK Post Offices.

Marking the launch, Ukash is waiving the card issuance fee until the end of April. The issuance fee - £5 and £9 respectively for the virtual and physical card - is being waived for anyone who applies for the card before the end of April 2014 and loads it with the initial minimum load of £20.

Designed for consumers who are excluded from mainstream banking and credit as well as those who want to control their spend or who are concerned about online fraud, the new Ukash Prepaid MasterCard card is available to anyone regardless of their credit status, and can be used instantly in its online form wherever MasterCard acceptance mark is displayed. Available in four currencies - GBP, EUR, PLN and USD and to residents of 29 countries - it goes to the heart of financial inclusion on a global scale.

Uniquely, there are two versions of the Ukash Prepaid MasterCard card; an online only card and a physical card. No matter which version of the card is selected, the card number and 3 digit security code are issued instantly for immediate use online as soon as the user loads funds. Customers who opt for a physical card can use the online version of their card until their physical card arrives in the post.

In research conducted ahead of the launch of the new Ukash Prepaid MasterCard, it was found that the budgeting benefits of prepaid cards were particularly important to consumers. 42% said the greatest benefit of a prepaid card is the fact that they have control of their spending. And nearly a quarter (23%) said that they felt a prepaid card was particularly useful to help parents teach their children about budgeting.

The Ukash Prepaid MasterCard also addresses the need by many consumer groups to have a simple way to send money to family and friends. With the facility to have a secondary cardholder, the Ukash Prepaid MasterCard is ideal for money sharing between family members or friends.

Prepaid Cards Find Wide Appeal

Open loop, petroleum and in-store gift card sales were at $115 billion in 2012.

Prepaid Cards find mass appeal in US -

This year, the category is expected to increase to $120 billion, then to $124 billion in 2014. And the growth is expected to continue to $128 billion in 2015 and to $132 billion in 2016. At Torrance, Calif.-based Famima convenience stores, total prepaid card sales rose 5% last year over 2012, said Eddie Oh, buyer for the nine-store chain. The category was led by financial cards, such as Visa gift cards, which contributed 56% to the category, an 11% rise over 2012.

“People don’t want to give cash anymore for gifts to family or friends or to employees, and our customers are choosing the financial gift cards over third-party gift cards more and more,” Oh said. “I think the financial card market will grow even bigger over the next 12-24 months. It will be huge.”
Right now Famima just offers Visa, but the company is looking at adding more prepaid financial cards to the mix. Another big seller is iTunes cards, which account for 10% of the prepaid card category at Famima. On the other hand, wireless phone card sales decreased from 33% to 21% last year. Long distance cards dropped 10%.“But we have made up for those losses and then some with the sales of financial cards,” Oh said.

To maximize prepaid card sales and make the selection and purchasing processes go more quickly and smoothly, employees must be trained on what each one is so they can relay that information to consumers.
“There are many different types of cards out there now and it can be confusing for customers,” Oh explained. “We make sure that our employees know what each card is and how it works.”

During December, Famima heavily promotes its prepaid card selection. Employees are trained in suggestive selling and are encouraged to create eye-catching displays with the cards. With the support of its prepaid cards vendor, Famima awards cash prizes to the stores that bring in the most revenue from the cards.
“Even though they are a very low margin item, it takes very little labor and little space for the spinner rack to carry prepaid cards,” Oh said. “So you have nothing to lose by carrying them in the stores and sales can be very high if you offer the right mix of cards.”

Oh also views the cards as a means to increasing incremental sales.“Very few people come and purchase a prepaid card and nothing else,” he said. Mercator Advisory Group finds prepaid cards are on the rise. Open loop gift cards saw $11.7 billion in sales, while payroll cards accounted for $20.7 billion.

Discover the best prepaid cards in the UK

Source: Csdecisions 

5 things to watch out for when using Bitcoins

5 things to watch out for when using Bitcoins -

Make Sure Your Wallet is Secure

You don’t have to worry about the security of the Bitcoins on the other end, but you do have to worry about the safety of the coins at your end. There are viruses out there that will steal all the Bitcoins out of your digital wallet in a few seconds. Keeping your Bitcoins safe is actually not all that hard. For maximum safety, you should keep your Bitcoins in a computer

that  isn’t connected to the internet. If you’re a small business owner, you should consider investing in a hardware Bitcoin wallet. Hardware Bitcoin wallets are not connected to your PC and are virtually hack proof.

Bitcoin Isn’t Always Anonymous

One of the most attractive features of Bitcoin is that all payments made and received are totally anonymous, at least in theory. If you have a service provider that supplies you with Bitcoins, it’s possible that the service provider publishes your information somewhere. You may also make your transaction public if you share a link of the checkout page. So be careful with whom, and how you share your checkout data. Your transaction is traceable, especially if you buy large amounts of goods with it. Unless you’re doing something illegal, this shouldn’t matter. And if you are, well, this is the very least of your worries!

Bitcoin Adoption is still growing

That’s both good news and bad news. There are millions of people out there using Bitcoins, but there are billions of people who use regular currency. Bitcoin is still in a fledgling state, so it’s not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket and concentrate solely on Bitcoins. Only invest a part of your money (and time and energy) in Bitcoins, and don’t expect to make a lot of Bitcoins very fast very quickly. At the same time, because Bitcoins are still nascent, this is the right time to make the most of the publicity the switch to Bitcoins offers.

The Value of Bitcoins Will Fluctuate

Bitcoins are like ordinary currency and their value against the dollar, or the euro, may fluctuate a lot over a given time period (even if it is stable in the long run). It’s important that you be fair, realistic and knowledgeable when you assign Bitcoin prices to your goods or services. One way to mitigate against currency fluctuations, is to schedule frequent dollar conversions.

Today, Bitcoin is accepted by several major retailers and online businesses. If things go well, Bitcoin may even be accepted by PayPal as a means of payment in the near future.

Click here for more info about Bitcoins. 

Source: Moblized 

Contactless on the rise

The new figures from WorldPay show that contactless transactions in the UK are growing significantly -- 249% in the year to Dec 2013

London leads the way in these figures, as London buses alone must account for a fair proportion of transactions, despite mixed reviews about the success of contactless on buses. With contactless soon to become available across the train network as well, it is set for another surge.

At present, contactless must seem like just an alternative payment method that is not needed in the majority of circumstances, but I for one think the convenience and speed of contactless over cash or other options will soon be widely appreciated and fuel the growth, not just on transport.

With HCE (Host Card Emulation) receiving support from Visa and MasterCard recently, the potential exists for NFC-based contactless payments to finally take off as well and add to the contactless explosion.

A few years ago wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t need to carry my iPod and my BlackBerry and my Nokia phone around; it would be great to have one device that could do everything.  Clearly smartphones now allow us all to do this and more – assuming the battery doesn’t run out of course.  Now  looking forward to being able to add NFC payments to that one device as well.

In the meantime, the conventional piece of plastic as a contactless device and take advantage of the convenience it offers.  However, watch out if you have too many contactless cards in your wallet. Who knows what the future has in store in terms of inconvenience for the consumer, acquirer and issuer if card clash becomes a major problem.

Source: Finextra 

How to Increase Sales with Mobile Payments

Whether you’re running a coffee shop, a bookstore or a gas station, providing your customers a smooth, seamless payment option via their smartphone can greatly increase your sales. Accenture recently published their extensive survey on the Mobile payments habits of North American users. Here are a few actionable takeaways for you.

1. Spread awareness. 

Let your customers know that they can pay you straight from their smart phone; that’s it takes just 2 clicks. Only 41% of North Americans were aware that they can pay for goods and services via their smartphones; and only 16% of this 41% used it!

2. Let your customers know it’s secure, and private. 

45% of respondents said they were concerned about security, while 37% said privacy was the main concern holding them back.

3. Reward customers to increase mobile payments. 

60% of respondents said they would use their smartphone for payments if they were given instant location based coupons, while 36% would also share personal information (contact details) for such rewards. That’d be a really awesome conversion rate for any kind of marketing!

4. Make it easy for your customers to pay for that morning coffee, or gas. 

No one can survive the day without their morning coffee! And everyone hates to stand in queue for their morning coffee - or at the gas station. A whooping 46% of respondents said they’d happily use mobile payments if it made it easier to pay for their gas! If you can use the available mobile payment platforms to make it a simple one step process for your customers to pay for the cuppa coffee or the dreaded gas bill, you’ll definitely have a winner!

Mobile Payments vs Increase Sales -

Source: Moblized

Fraud losses on UK cards on the up

Fraud losses on UK cards totalled £450.4 million in 2013, a 16% rise on the total in 2012 of £388.3 million. The figure, provided by Financial fraud Action UK, is still down 26% since fraud was at its peak in 2008. At the same time, total spending on all debit and credit cards reached £532 billion in 2013, a rise of 6.1% on 2012, with 10.9 billion transactions made in the year.

Losses on remote card purchases (those made online, over the telephone or by mail order) increased by 22% to £301.1 million in 2013, from £246.0 million in 2012.

Online fraud against UK retailers totalled an estimated £105.5 million in 2013, a rise of just four percent on the previous year. However, there has been a substantial increase in fraud against online retailers based overseas, rising 48% to an estimated £57.8 million.

Fraud losses on UK cards on the up

Enhanced card security features, such as Chip & PIN, as well as advanced real-time fraud screening techniques employed by banks and established Internet retailers, have forced criminals to change tactics, says FFA UK.

As well as tricking customers into handing over personal and financial details, for example over the telephone while posing as officers from the bank or the police (identified as key driver for a 14% rise in card ID theft to £36.7m from £32.2m), fraudsters are also increasingly using digital attacks, such as malware and data hacks, to compromise card details.

The rise in 'vishing' fraud and malware contributed to a three percent increase in online banking fraud, which ticked up to £40.9 million from £39.6 million in 2012. FFA UK says fraudsters are increasingly targeting business customers rather than personal accounts due to the prospect of a potentially higher return.

Detective chief inspector Perry Stokes, head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, says: "Whether in the real world or online, these latest fraud figures show just how important it is for consumers and businesses to know how to protect themselves against fraud."

For these reasons prepaid cards are valid alternatives to ensure privacy and security of customers.

Click here to see the best prepaid card in the market.

Source: Finextra

The Essential Guide to Bitcoins

Bitcoin is an electronic currency, backed by a large, complex cryptography system. Bitcoins are in limited supply, and new bitcoins are methodically introduced into circuit to prevent over inflation.
Bitcoins are used for electronic transfers and online shopping. That is instead of paying in cash or using a credit card, you can pay in bitcoins. Or you can receive a payment in bitcoins. You would have to create a ‘wallet’ and initially purchase a certain amount of bitcoins with other currencies. Once you have bitcoins, you can use them for whatever payments and transactions you want. You can store them securely online in your wallet for as long as you want. You can withdraw them anytime and convert back to your real world, local currency.

Bitcoin Wallet -

Bitcoin vs bitcoin

There is a difference between the terms 'Bitcoin ' and 'bitcoin.' If the 'B' of the Bitcoin is capitalized it refers to the entire system - the technology and network behind this currency. If it's 'bitcoin' it refers to the actual currency itself. For instance, "This T-shirt costs 0.05 bitcoins"


When you make a transaction using bitcoins, these get immediately registered on a digital transaction log which keeps track of the time and date of purchase - which owns how many bitcoins and other related and relevant details. This digital transaction log is known as “blockchain.”

Bitcoin Miners

There are only about 12 million bitcoins currently circulating, with currency rates is it stands today, that is about $1.5 billion in USD. Instead of new bitcoins being introduced via federal banks, any computer can run a bitcoin mining software to solve complex mathematical problems. Those computers that help solve such problems are rewarded with fractions of the newest bitcoin introduced to the circuit. Computers that run such software, and those who manage the computers, are known as “miners.”

Bitcoin Wallet

A bitcoin wallet is a software program that stores your bitcoins. You use your bitcoin wallet to send and receive bitcoins. There are three types of bitcoin wallets - desktop wallets, mobile wallets and web wallets.

1. Desktop wallet - You can download and install this wallet on your desktop. Here you have complete control of your wallet. You're in charge of protecting your money and keeping backups. The electronic bitcoins are actually stored on your computer. Unless you have adequate backup and security, this may not be for you. If your computer crashes or is infected by a virus, you could stand to lose your bitcoins.

2. Web wallet - Here you can use Bitcoin on any browser. You should choose your web wallet with care because they host your bitcoins online. They should be reliable and provide adequate security and backup measures.

3. Mobile wallet - This is for those who are on the move frequently and want to carry their Bitcoins in their pocket. A mobile wallet is one that is created on your mobile device. You can use bitcoin transactions easily in physical stores by scanning the QR Code of the product.

Bitcoin Wallet -


Transactions of bitcoins are fairly straightforward for users, as it appears to be nothing more than direct transfers from one digital wallet to another. However, to keep the system secure and reliable, there is quite a bit more going on under the surface. Each bitcoin wallet has individual keys assigned to them, and when someone wants to make transfer, all they need is the key of the wallet they are transferring to. When a transfer request is made, it is sent to the bitcoin network where the “mining” computers pick it up to process. Transactions are broken into many blocks spread across the network, and it takes about 10 minutes to complete a transfer. Once the transfer is complete, it is added to the network’s blockchain. Because wallet keys are just a long string of random characters, they are commonly substituted with a scannable QR code for mobile devices.

Processing Systems

There are many services available that enable e-merchants to accept bitcoins as easily as they already accept credit or debit card payments. They normally integrate wallets as well—meaning you can create your online wallet with them and use it for all your bitcoin transactions.
Some of the most popular Bitcoin Payments gateway providers are BitPay, Coinbase and BitMerch.
As a business owner, you can set up a Web Wallet or a Mobile wallet. Brick and mortar stores can simply install any of these Bitcoin apps on a tablet or mobile and keep it in their stores to receive payments. Ecommerce or online stores can embed Bitcoin APIs from these same providers into their website. You can always use a combination of both.

Source: Moblized

Google Wallet ends support for old Android devices

From 14 April 2014 it will only be possible to use Google Wallet to make an NFC payment using a device that supports host card emulation. "Devices with Android versions older than Android 4.4 will no longer be supported for tap and pay," Google says.

Tap and pay "is available in the US, and requires an NFC-enabled Android device running 4.4  or higher on any carrier network," Google Wallet support explains However, it adds, "not all devices running Kitkat will support tap and pay" — NFC payments will not be possible on the Samsung Galaxy Note III, HTC Evo 4G LTE or the 2012 version of the Nexus 7.

Google Wallet ends support for old Android devices -

We wanted to let you know about an update to Google Wallet that might change the way you use the app. Right now it looks like you're using tap and pay with a device running an Android version older than 4.4 Kitkat. On the newest version of Android, tap and pay works with different technology for an improved experience. As a result, starting on A​p​r​i​l 1​4, 2​0​1​4, tap and pay will no longer work for devices with older Android versions.

Google first introduced support for NFC payments with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the Nexus S in December 2010 and followed up with the launch of Google Wallet in May 2011. The search giant met early resistance from carriers who blocked support for Google Wallet on their phones, however, and has since been looking for a way to get around those blocks. HCE, introduced with Android 4.4 in October 2013, may do just that.

Source: NFC World

What's Next For Square?

Square, Inc. has become hugely successful by finding an easy-to-use solution to a problem that plagued many small business owners and individual merchants. In just 4 short years, Square has transformed itself into a juggernaut for mobile payment aggregation by revolutionizing buyer/seller transactions. They have transcended PayPal, the industry leader, and have managed to stay ahead of the curve armed with a $5 billion valuation, a brilliant co-founder in Jack Dorsey, and a new company headquarters in San Francisco to house its 600+ employees - but can Square continue its astronomic growth?

Where is Square’s possible biggest area for growth?

Simple - the international marketplace. Square first started to grow internationally by conducting business in Canada. “We’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurial spirit in Canada; a lot of people choosing to start their own business or start their own service, or really just do what they want to do,” says Jack Dorsey. Canadians are now able to accept both Visa and MasterCard payments through Square.

More recently Square has brought its mobile payment service to Japan. “The company decided to start its overseas push in Japan because of the size and maturity of the Japanese economy and the huge number of small and local businesses,” says Dorsey. Although PayPal already launched a service in Japan a year ago, Square partnered with Sumitomo Mitsui Card Corp and is offering a 3.25% transaction rate in comparison to PayPal’s 5% fee. 99% percent of all businesses in Japan are small businesses and the potential growth is unlimited. “Three-fourths of all small businesses only accept cash (in Japan) because of the costs associated with accepting credit cards,” says Masayoshi Son (CEO of SoftBank).

As this article was being written, news just dropped of Square’s planned launch into the Australian market. The company has already registered the web address and has already brought brand awareness to Australia even before its launch. Not only is Australia in the mix, but Square has its eyes set on China and other European markets as well.

Square - Accept credit card payments with your mobile phone and tablet -

Strength in Numbers.

Partnerships have always been a key to growth for Square such as its well known alliances with Starbucks and Visa but lesser known partnerships such as their partnership with the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts will continue to strengthen the company. This partnership will start an initiative to enhance the accessibility of blind users to utilize Square. The partnership will make use of iPads and mobile devices that have “screen aloud”, or Braille technology.

Last month Square and the company announced a partnership by announcing a new Merchant case, a protective case optimized for the Square Reader and a companion iPhone 5 model. Square’s willingness to work with others will only help further its growth and Square has embraced the concept. They recently announced a new initiative called “Works with Square,” a program that will allow developers to build accessories for Square businesses with Griffin being the first of many future partnerships.

Continuously Improving

Lastly, the company does not seem to be satisfied with its current success and is continuing to push the boundaries. Just in December of 2013 alone they launched a newly designed website, acquired the company Venmo (an app to send and receive payments for splitting bills and other expenses), and revealed new and improved hardware that reads credit cards with more accuracy and compatible with even more devices. This aggressive mentality combined with a still highly effective product creates a path for growth with no ceiling.

Click here to discover the best Mpos systems on the market

Source: Moblized 

UK businesses lose billions in late payments

UK sole traders and mobile micro businesses could be owed up to £2.5bn each year by late-paying customers.

The Chasing Payments report surveyed over 1,000 mobile tradespeople and micro businesses in the UK. It found that 75% of respondents have had a late payment in the last 12 months.

The research showed that tradespeople are owed an average of £799 in outstanding payments per year and write off an average of £770 per year in outstanding payments.

There are 3.137m skilled tradespeople currently working in the UK. Once the data is extrapolated across the country, these micro businesses are owed a total of £2.5bn per year, writing off up to £2.4bn of that debt.
Individual consumers have been identified as the worst culprits for late payments. Micro businesses have reported receiving a wide variety of excuses for not paying on time, including “the goat ate my cheque book” and “I fell over on the way to the bank”.

UK sole traders and mobile microbusinesses could be owed up to £2.5bn each year by late-paying customers -

According to the research, tradesmen often wait up to 15 weeks to get paid. Builders and plumbers are among the worst affected, with 88% and 90% respectively reporting late payments. For plumbers the wait can be up to 27 weeks.

Among those who have been paid late in the last 12 months, 45% have experienced cash-flow problems.

Click here to discover the best Mpos systems on the market

Source: Telegraph

It’s Time to Join the Mobile Payment Revolution

Mobile payments are clearly the trending technology for businesses of all sizes. In 2012 there were $12.8 billion in mobile transactions in the U.S., by 2017 that number will be at $90 billion. That’s a 48% compound annual growth rate over five years! Yet only 66% of small businesses use any type of mobile technology, let alone mobile payment technology. Obviously, the time to get started with mobile payments is now. But where do you start? Check out our infographic below, learn more about mobile payments and what your options are for joining the mobile payment revolution.
Payment Hacks for Small Business - Infographic

Source: Moblized