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...

brand extensions

Warren Buffett Pushes Berkshire Hathaway's Humble Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 13, 2014 02:02 PM

Warren Buffett has come a long way from his childhood days of selling gum, Coke, and magazines door to door.

The 84-year-old is known for living frugally—and for being one of the richest people in the world. The Oracle of Omaha is so well-known that he launched a cartoon with Jay Z in a bid to boost financial literacy among kids.

Less well-known, however, is Berkshire Hathaway, his investment firm (that's the homepage, above)—but Buffett aims to change that.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...

social media watch

MassMutual Refines Social Media Strategy

Posted by Dale Buss on October 13, 2014 10:01 AM

MassMutual has launched a social media campaign with a theme that everyone can agree with: "Love is a Gift." At the same time, the giant life insurer is adding to a playbook in which it has stretched social-media channels in a variety of ways over the last few years—with more to come.

The campaign benefits Easter Seals as it encourages people to "make a statement about the transformative power of love" by sharing a picture of themselves with those who matter most to them "along with a brief explanation of why." For every photo uploaded to LoveisaGift.com, Mass Mutual will donate $1 to Easter Seals, up to $50,000. It'll run through November 30.

But interestingly, the company's established acumen with social media was a major factor in what kind of campaign MassMutual put together this time for Easter Seals, which has had an ongoing program with MassMutual for 10 years, Kathleen Mayko, director of social media for MassMutual, told brandchannel. It is the third social media campaign that the insurer has conducted for Easter Seals alone.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...

e-commerce

PayPal Checks Out of eBay for Future Growth

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 30, 2014 11:01 AM

Call it a "Conscious Uncoupling." Or more accurately, an "Icahn-scious Uncoupling." After months of lobbying by activist investor Carl Icahn, PayPal is splitting from parent eBay and will become a separate, publicly traded company next year. 

In its announcement today, eBay said the board made the decision as the best path for growth and shareholder value creation for each business going forward—and already, eBay shares jumped more than 11 percent in pre-market trading.

In tandem with the news, Dan Schulman was named the new president of PayPal, joining the company from president of the enterprise growth group at American Express and previous roles at AT&T, Priceline and Virgin Mobile. eBay veteran Devin Wenig becomes CEO of the new eBay, replacing current president and CEO John Donahoe.

While the companies already operate fairly independently, the move will free each entity to grow and thrive—assuming all goes to plan—even though eBay stands to lose half its revenue as a result of the separation.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Mobile Payment Brands Go On Offensive in Fear of Apple Pay Domination

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 17, 2014 04:12 PM

With the first reviews of Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus making their rounds, the discussions around what many have deemed the most lack-luster announcement—Apple Pay—are only getting louder.

While PayPal, Amazon and Google are all making hay of Apple's payment platform, other mobile wallet brands aren't sitting on their hands. Softcard, formerly known as Isis and backed by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, just struck a major deal with Subway restaurants to launch NFC payments across the US. Consumers at any of Subway's 26,000 US locations can now tap their phone to pay for their order. 

That won't be the case for consumers using Apple Pay, though, as Apple is restricting its NFC-enabled chip to only be compatible with the iPhone 6 iterations and Apple Watch. The company has also closed off access to its NFC technology to app developers, unlike Samsung's range of NFC-enabled devices that can make use of several NFC apps. 

But while Apple Pay may be a bit restrictive, the upcoming platform is making competitors nervous about a potential Apple domination of the mobile wallet space.Continue reading...

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