Welcome to our new Payments Insider newsletter, a morning email with the top news and analysis on the digital payments industry, produced by BI Intelligence.
APP STORES HAVE AN ADVANTAGE WHEN IT COMES TO PAYMENTS FOR DIGITAL GOODS. We’ve covered how companies like Amazon and Apple are well-positioned to get into the payments space and the niche market of payments for digital goods is no exception.
Yesterday, news broke that King, a game developer that created the highly addictive Candy Crush Saga, filed for an IPO.
In the filing, King reported that it had an average of 128 million daily active users playing its games over 1.2 billion times per day. These users drove $US1.88 billion in revenue for the company in 2013. The filing also said that “we [King] rely on third-party platforms such as the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, the Amazon Appstore and Facebook to distribute our games and collect revenue.”
We already knew that King depended on app stores for game distribution, but it does illuminate the reason why app stores could easily move into payments in the digital goods market: they already have established relationships with game developers who are dependent on their distribution channels. (SEC)
MOBILE COMMERCE EXPLODES IN CHINA. Payments made using mobile devices grew by 318% to $US1.6 trillion in 2013 in China, according to Technode via the People’s Bank of China. We should note that the bulk of these mobile payments were made through mobile commerce platforms rather than at points-of-sale in physical stores. In any case, the growth in payments made using mobile devices is phenomenal. (Technode)
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TELECOM-BACKED MOBILE WALLET ADDS LOYALTY. The U.K.’s three largest telecoms, Vodafone, EE and O2, have a mobile wallet joint venture called Weve, which we covered in a recent newsletter. Yesterday, mobile loyalty technology provider Proxama announced a partnership in which it would provide Weve with the technological foundation for location-based loyalty schemes. There is increasingly a major intersection between point-of-sale mobile technology and value-added services like loyalty programs. (Proxama)
THE LATEST BITCOIN CRASH ISN’T SURPRISING AND SHOULDN’T BE WORRISOME. Last week, we reported on Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox’s halting of bitcoin withdrawals to external Bitcoin wallets due to technical difficulties. The move caused the price of a bitcoin to fall from around $US800 to about $US400. What we are seeing in the Bitcoin world is akin to the Internet boom of the 1990s, argues Timothy Lee of the Washington Post. As Bitcoin continues to emerge as a payments network, some of the companies involved in the space will make massive mistakes and some will fail altogether. On the flip side, there are all sorts of players that are learning from the failures of their competitors. This will lead to greater stability in the Bitcoin network over time. (Washington Post)
MCDONALD’S AND VISA FORM MOBILE PAYMENTS PARTNERSHIP IN SINGAPORE. McDonald’s has a delivery service in Singapore, McDelivery. Now, the company has teamed up with Visa to allow customers to purchase their McDonald’s delivery using their mobile devices instead of paying in cash, reports Digital Market Asia. McDonald’s customers in Singapore will be able to add their Visa card numbers to the McDonald’s app in order to make their delivery purchases. (Digital Market Asia)
FIS TEAMS UP WITH MICROSOFT TO IMPROVE SECURITY AND FIGHT FRAUD. Payments Processor FIS announced that it is teaming up with Microsoft to fight cybercrime. FIS representatives will be working with Microsoft employees at the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, which opened in November 2013. The purpose of the partnership is to improve international channels of communication between public and private industry on the issue of cybercrime. (FIS)
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