mobile commerce

Apple Pay Launches Without Starbucks and Walmart

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 20, 2014 11:17 AM

As CEO Tim Cook said last week, "We believe Apple Pay is going to be huge” and will "transform mobile payments.”  And the big day is here.

Apple Pay debuted Monday to more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners. Apple has lined up over 220,000 retailers including Staples, RadioShackMcDonald's, Macy's, Chevron gas stations, Walgreens and Panera Bread that will accept payment, and Visa, MasterCard and American Express plus more than 500 banks including Bank of America and Citi are on board. 

While Google's Wallet met with resistance and was blocked by wireless carriers, Apple took some of the best features of Google’s model and simplified it by seamlessly integrating hardware and software.Continue reading...

follow the money

Citi Scales Back Global Banking Footprint

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2014 11:22 AM

Citigroup Inc. is the US bank with the most international business, but that claim to fame isn’t enough to keep the company from announcing that it is exiting its consumer banking business in 11 countries, including Japan, Egypt, and Peru, which leaves Citi in 24 countries.

Citi, just named #48 on Interbrand's Best Global Brands report, has been studying its ledgers since 2012 to discover where it was weakest globally. The glacial pace of the proceedings is partially due to the bank not having “standardized accounting systems across all countries to compare the units' profitability,” sources told Reuters.

Announced with its latest quarterly earning report, it's all part of a bigger long-term plan by Citi to get smaller, better allocate "our finite resources" and increase profits. The effort kicked off after the financial crisis hit and has since meant the jettisoning of “hundreds of billions of dollars of bad assets,” Reuters notes.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Twitter Tests Mobile Payments Ahead of Apple Pay Launch

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 13, 2014 12:51 PM

Twitter is ready to enable simple person-to-person money transfers—but only in France, in what will be a closely-watched experiment.

Groupe BPCE is partnering with Twitter on the service, enabled by its S-Money mobile payments unit, which is open to French residents whether they're customers of the bank or not.

Billed as "instant, free and secure," the partnership "offers Twitter users in France a new way to send each other money, irrespective of their bank and without having to enter the beneficiary's bank details, with a simple tweet," Nicolas Chatillon, chief executive of S-Money, BPCE's mobile payments unit, said in a statement.Continue reading...

retail watch

Walmart Pitches Healthcare to Customers While Trimming Benefits for Employees

Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2014 05:27 PM

When it comes to healthcare, Walmart giveth to its customers—and taketh away from its employees.

The retailing giant announced Tuesday that it plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for its part-time US employees who work less than 30 hours a week, while raising insurance premiums across the board for all employees.

At the same time, Walmart said that it plans to offer consumers one-stop shopping, in-store and online, for healthcare insurance.

Neither move is particularly surprising for America's largest private employer.Continue reading...

brand inspiration

TD and Absolut Show Why Art and Brands Go Hand in Hand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 2, 2014 02:12 PM

Companies are not only active as arts patrons, they're innovating in ways that speak to their brands' DNA. New campaigns by TD Bank and Absolut show how brands from diverse sectors are using art in a fresh way to engage and inspire consumers, especially those who value culture and corporate citizenship.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

TD Bank Turns ATMs Into Automated Thanking Machines

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 29, 2014 06:44 PM

TD Bank showed its gratitude to its LGBT customers and employees by sponsoring WorldPride 2014. Now it's showing its gratitude to all its Canadian customers with its #TDThanksYou (or #TDVousDitMerci in French) campaign, in which ATM machines and the bank's employees thank customers for choosing TD.

In a move that recalls Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness machine giveaways, TD’s ATM machines are shown dispensing gifts ranging from a flight so a mother can visit her sick daughter in Trinidad to a meeting with a Toronto Blue Jay to free tickets to Disneyland. (The campaign also recalls WestJet's emotional holiday campaign in Canada.)

Watch what happens below, in a video that now has almost 1.4 million views on YouTube.Continue reading...

app watch

IKEA Founder Wants Consumers to Flap Their Way to Savings

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 28, 2014 10:33 AM

The richest man in Sweden, Ingvar Kamprad, who also happens to be the founder of IKEA, wants to share his money-saving ways with consumers beyond them just buying his affordable, do-it-yourself furnishings.  

As the owner of Ikano Bank, Kamprad recently provided quite the savings incentive when the bank launched its own form of the viral mobile game Flappy Bird. In the game, users fly their piggy banks through challenges like jewelry stores and shoe retailers, Bloomberg reported. The “Flappy Saver” game ran from June 27 to July 18 and was played 1.52 million times, with the winner banking 100,000 krona ($14,625).Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Forever Proud: TD Bank Walks Its Talk With WorldPride 2014 Sponsorship

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 7, 2014 06:05 PM

The recent WorldPride event in Toronto marked the first time the event had been held in North America—and served as a testament to platinum sponsor TD Bank Group's acceptance of diversity.

The most valuable brand on Interbrand's Best Canadian Brands report, TD Bank not only sponsored WorldPride 2014, which ran from June 20 to 29 and attracted an estimated two million people across the Greater Toronto Area, but helped the host committee land the event by sponsoring their bid and accompanying them to make their case to InterPride, the event's organizer, in a first for a corporate sponsor.

It also wasn't a one-off commitment. TD is supporting 42 Pride events across North America this year, including signing a multi-year partnership with Boston Pride, all part of its bigger committment to equality and creating an inclusive workplace. "This is our tenth year of supporting Pride events," notes Scott Mullin, the bank's Vice President of Community Relations. "Ten years ago it was seen as pretty edgy for a financial institution."Continue reading...

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