Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2013 11:28 AM
Google Wallet was ostensibly created so that consumers didn’t have to carry around their loyalty cards, credit cards, gift cards, and cash in their actual wallets.
But in a move that perhaps indicates that consumers aren't quite comfortable enough yet with mobile payments, Google has introduced the Google Wallet debit card. The card allows users to pay for goods at shops that accept MasterCard and withdraw cash from an ATM—all with funds from their Google Wallet account.
The goal, AllThingsD notes, is to “mainly appeal to a subset of Google Wallet users who have had money transferred to them from another Google Wallet user and don’t want to wait a couple of days for the money to appear in their bank account.” For instance, users of Square Cash, the money-transferring spinoff of its mobile-payments parent, have to wait two or three days before funds appear in their account. There is also no monthly or annual fees associated with the Google card.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 25, 2013 02:56 PM
Popular photo-sharing app Instagram is easing its way into monetization with the introduction of its first ads, slated to begin running next week. And the Facebook-owned company couldn't be any more careful in its efforts to protect and preserve the Instagram community.
After announcing that ads would become a reality on the platform about three weeks ago, it posted a blog post with a sampling of potential ads from brands such as W Hotels, Michael Kors, Macy's, Lexus, PayPal, Ben & Jerry’s and Levis—the latter of which is using the app to track its novel station-to-station campaign.
The ads will function much like those seen on Twitter and Facebook; clearly marked with a "sponsored" tag in the upper right corner that users can tap to find out more about advertising. Users can also tap the "..." to enable ad settings and feedback.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 29, 2013 05:37 PM
Call it The Tesla Effect: a strange pack mentality that is said to have overtaken traditional automakers that don't offer an extravagantly expensive all-electric vehicle, weren't founded by a modern super-successful serial entrepreneur, don't dare the federal government to make crash tests harder and can't find a way to send supposedly rational investors into an Apple-like buying frenzy.
It has become a phenomenon. When Tesla's market valuation surged past the $20 billion mark this week, pundits began asking whether the EV maker had passed into some kind of new vertical that is perceived by investors as more related to the sexy high-tech industry than the mundane abode of auto companies. Why, not only was that assigned value more than that of Chrysler, it was almost half the value of GM and one-third that of Ford, USA Today noted.
"Tesla doesn't reflect the traditional automaker stock evaluation for the same reason that Amazon.com isn't valued in the same way as a traditional book seller," Andrea James, an analyst in Minneapolis, told the newspaper.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 15, 2013 12:57 PM
In the latest bid to expand its platform beyond social media, AllThingsD reports that Facebook will begin piloting a new payments product in partnership with JackThreads, a flash-sale site for men.
Launching within the next month, the service will allow consumers to make purchases via e-commerce mobile apps using their Facebook login (that is, if they've already provided Facebook with their credit card information). It is similar to a mobile-specific PayPal with the added value of getting Facebook more data on its users' purchasing and e-commerce habits.
The new service is a natural extension of Facebook Gifts and its in-game virtual goods that “not only facilitate e-commerce but also to add information resulting from those transactions to its ballooning social graph," comments AllThingsD. The product puts Facebook in direct competition with Google, Amazon and startups including Braintree, Stripe and Klarna, all of which are working to make small-screen checkouts easier and more secure.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 13, 2013 07:33 PM
Elon Musk has obliquely compared himself to Henry Ford. But if he keeps going, a better comparison could be Thomas Edison. The inventor and serial entrepreneur already has his hands in state-of-the-art electric cars, space travel—and now perhaps a travel innovation for those of us looking to keep our feet planted on Earth.
His latest fascination is what he calls a "Hyperloop" transportation system that could, he says, whisk passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in a mere half-hour or less. Musk conjectures that it would cost less than $6 billion in total and could transport 7.4 million people each way each year. But it would take up to a decade to complete. Musk laid out all of the details in a 57-page technical paper and invited feedback.
Why is Musk even bothering? The PayPal co-founder has plenty going on with two actually functioning enterprises that he founded, SpaceX and Tesla. In fact, he was just awarded $4.3 million in stock-based pay for his ongoing work on Tesla's next nameplate, the Model X all-electric SUV. He completed vehicle and engineering prototypes and even the first production unit of the new model.Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2013 06:10 PM
Bill Gates may be the world’s wealthiest person (at least today) with a net worth of $73.7 billion, but Pennsylvania resident Chris Reynolds briefly topped the Microsoft founder—thanks to an unusually large deposit from PayPal.
The 56-year-old opened up his monthly PayPal account notice last week and discovered that he had been credited with $92 quadrillion ($92,233,720,368,547,800), making him the world’s first quadrilionaire and one thousand times richer than the entire planet's combined GDP.
The wealth was brief, however. By the time he logged in, the account balance was back down to a more paltry sum: zero. "I was skeptical,” Reynolds told the LA Times. "And my skepticism was validated within two minutes."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2013 04:22 PM
The stock of his beloved Tesla was battered earlier this week after a leading auto analyst said it already was far overvalued at its current price. But whether he's comparing himself to Henry Ford or promising a way to travel from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes, Tesla founder Elon Musk remains focused on visionary new ideas for the future.
At mid-afternoon Thursday, Tesla shares had recovered much of the 14 percent drop they experienced on Tuesday after Goldman Sachs veteran analyst Patrick Archambault, in a broader research note on the automotive sector, set a six-month price target of $84 a share for the only successful EV brand. That was up from the analyst's previous price target of $61—but far below the Nasdaq stock's peak value of $132.41 on Monday. Archambault left unchanged his "neutral" rating on the stock.
Other Tesla watchers were seemingly more bullish, such as Adam Betancourt, who opined on SeekingAlpha.com that when the company reports second-quarter earnings next week, it "will still be a monumental step in the company's rapid growth cycle."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2013 01:51 PM
In a new partnership with the SETI Institute, PayPal hopes to develop a currency system for space.
Yes, you read that right. PayPal Galactic is a real thing, and it hopes to answer some of the big questions surrounding the future of a functional space commerce ecosystem. The "visionary partnership" is leveraging the nascent space tourism industry and is looking to increase public awareness of the many questions that need to be answered and hurdles that need to be conquered before a viable space transaction can take place.
"We may not answer these questions today or even this year, but one thing is clear, we won't be using cash in space," PayPal President David Marcus said in a statement. "PayPal has already pushed payments into the Internet, onto phones and across terrestrial borders. We look forward to pushing payments from our world to the next, and beyond."Continue reading...