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One of the world’s largest mobile events, Mobile World Congress typically serves as a platform for unveiling new innovation and disruption in the space, and setting trends for the year. This year's congress was no exception
Mobile World Congress 2015 was bigger than ever with 93,000 attendees. In this presentation we've collated the top five trends we saw at the event and have provided insight into the implications of each for brands and the future of the industry.
2 Top Five Trends from
#MWC15 This year’s Mobile World Congress took place in Barcelona, Spain and was bigger than ever with 93,000 attendees. MWC is one of the world’s largest mobile events and typically serves as a platform for unveiling new innovation and disruption in the space, and setting trends for the year. This year’s congress was no exception. Here is our round-up of key trends to note from this year’s MWC. Enjoy! Top Trends: 1. Mobile payments advance and competition heats up 2. Mobile Security is top-of-mind for consumers and tech companies 3. Internet connectivity expands further into the developing world 4. Tech challenges Telecom as companies like Google move into the wireless space 5. Wearables and the Internet of Things (#IoT) go mainstream
3 “ ” Samsung’s mobile
payment service using LoopPay technology was announced with the initial preview of the Galaxy S6 smartphone. Why is this a game changer for the mobile payments market? With unparalleled retail penetration, this move positions Samsung as a key player in the mobile payments space. LoopPay works with 90% of merchant’s point-of-sale terminals and is the most accepted mobile payment service solution worldwide. Most competitors, including Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Softcard, use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which requires retailers to update their payment infrastructure in order to accommodate mobile payments. This issue has been a key obstacle in universal adoption of mobile payment services. 700,000 payment terminals can accept payments using NFC technology. 1. Mobile payments advance and competition heats up “This acquisition accelerates our vision to drive and lead innovation in the world of mobile commerce’…’we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal.” - JK Shin, President and Head of IT and Mobile Division at Samsung* Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Mobile Marketer, Fast Company (See p. 15) #1
4 “ ” Samsung/LoopPay Apple
Pay Google Wallet PayPal HowitWorks Users download the app and register their credit, debit, and gift cards. At the point of purchase, users select a card from the app, enter their PIN, and hold their phone up to the payment terminal. LoopPay transmits the magnetic signal from a selected card and the payment is made. Users store card information in Passbook and pay in store by holding their iPhone close to the payment reader and using Apple Touch ID. Users can also use Apple Pay within apps. Users download the Google Wallet app and enter credit, debit, gift, and loyalty card information into it. Payment in store can be made via the Google Wallet card or by holding their their NFC-enabled device up to the payment reader. Purchases can be made across all Google products and wherever the ‘Buy with Google’ button appears online or within apps. Users download the PayPal app and enter payment information for their cards and accounts. In store, users open the app and check-in at that location. The clerk can see the user’s PayPal profile in the store’s PayPal system and then process the payment. Users need to create a PIN for specific larger chains and restaurants. Tech Works w/ both NFC and traditional mag stripe readers NFC NFC; needs cell service The app needs a Wi-Fi connection or cell service Require- ments Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone or LoopPay phone case or fob Works with iPhone 6 and Apple Watch and apps on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 NFC devices include most Android devices running 4.4+; app is available in US to users on Android 2.3+ or iOS 6+ App available for Android devices 2.3.3+, iOS devices on iOS 7.1+ Pros Works with 90% of US payment terminals Will likely spur adoption of NFC payment systems in the long-term Stores all of a user’s loyalty cards PayPal has the most experience in the payments space Cons Security is still up for debate In the short-term, only 700,000 retailers in the US support NFC payments; can store loyalty information for only select retailers Users need to carry the Google Wallet card for non-NFC retailers; need cell service in order to use it Has the lowest retailer penetration. Works at “thousands” of US retailers; the app needs a Wi-Fi connection or data to work News Recently purchased SoftCard. Recently purchased Paydiant. Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Mobile Marketer, Google, CNET, Mobile Payments Today (See p. 15) The Mobile Payments Landscape #1#1
5 • Consider mobile payment
integration when auditing or designing loyalty programs. Integration of retailer’s rewards programs with mobile wallets is something few in the space have done but will provide a huge competitive advantage to the mobile payment service provider who does this well. Integration of loyalty programs is likely to increase mobile wallet usage and penetration. • Look for integration with apps to enhance user experience. Brand partnerships, like Domino’s Google Wallet payment option, stand to enhance mobile wallet adoption, and also offer a more seamless experience for the consumer. What are the implications for brands? #1 “Having access to loyalty program points and rewards within a mobile wallet is the number one feature they [consumers] are interested in.” - Thomas Husson, Analyst, Forrester The global Mobile Wallet market will reach a value of $1,602.4 BN by 2018 Sources: The Wall Street Journal, CNET, Burberry Plc (See p. 15) • Convergence across mobile messaging and mobile will potentially create shifts in user behavior. The potential of mobile messaging providers to expand their capabilities to mobile payment services will heat up competition in the space. SnapChat released SnapCash earlier this year, and LINE, a popular Japanese company which originated as a mobile messaging service, is expanding to include a mobile payment service. In addition, Burberry recently teamed up with LINE to broadcast its runway show during London Fashion Week. As brands partner with messaging apps that are moving into the mobile payments space, there is potential for users to be able to purchase directly from the apps.
6 2. Security is top-of-mind
for consumers and tech companies The mobile space is responding to the flurry of high-profile data thefts and security breaches this year by integrating state-of-the-art biometric security measures into devices. Fingerprint Scanning: Vkansee, a New York-based startup, has created a scanner that uses an optical sensor to scan fingerprints with more accuracy. The resulting fingerprint scans are more secure because the sensor captures 150 data points from each fingerprint compared to the 10-11 data points existing fingerprint scanners in Apple and Samsung phones capture today. Eyeball Scanning: ZTE introduced the Grand S3 smartphone which scans a user’s eyeball with a camera and uses patterns in the eye to unlock the device. Although this phone is currently only available in China, the eye- scanning technology is a departure from fingerprint-scanning and represents the next level in device security. Implications for Consumers and Brands: Security and privacy continue to be top-of-mind for consumers as hackers and data thieves become more sophisticated. Although Samsung’s LoopPay technology works at most retailers, it’s security is still up for debate, and the potential for fraud via Apple Pay has recently come into question. The most secure technology could result in a competitive edge for device makers and mobile payment service providers. Image Source: Aloysius Low/CNET #2 Sources: Mashable, CNET, The Guardian (See p. 15)
7 3. Connectivity is expanding
to emerging markets Google announced that it will launch solar-powered drones sometime in 2015 as part of Project Titan that act as remote satellites to provide Internet connectivity to areas below. Titan will supply connectivity to smaller, more specific regions, Google’s Project Loon will supply connectivity to larger areas using balloons acting as cell towers to bring Internet service to rural and remote areas. A third initiative, Project Blank, will use a fiber network to bring Internet access to both rural and urban areas throughout the world. Although many of us cannot imagine our lives without the Internet, two-thirds of the world’s population, 4 billion people, lives without Internet access. This is due to a myriad of factors, with cost of access and lack Internet availability being primary reasons. Google and Facebook are working on initiatives to bring Internet access to the world. Facebook’s Internet.org initiative is on track for aggressive expansion and will be in 100 countries by the end of 2015. As a part of this initiative, Facebook works with data providers to offer free Internet access with the objective of bringing connectivity to the entire world. The goal is to get people to see the value that Internet brings to their lives and pay for more premium access plans. Facebook is planning to use drones, lasers, and satellites for its Internet.org initiative. Image Source: Jon Shenk/ Google Image Source: JEFF CHIU/ASSOCIATED PRESS #3 Sources: Mashable, Slate(See p. 15)
8 What does greater Internet
connectivity mean for brands? Greater reach. A more connected world means that there is much greater potential to reach many people including those in developing and emerging markets. What’s in it for Google and Facebook? First mover advantage sums it up. By introducing the Internet to first- time users, each company stands to grow a user base and build loyalty among these new markets. More platform users represent new opportunities for brands to buy ad space, and thus more ad revenue for platforms. Changes to platforms. With the goal to connect the entire world, billions of more potential users would help inform decisions about platforms like Facebook. It will be interesting to see how social platforms evolve to accommodate new users from emerging markets. #3 Sources: Techcrunch, Time, The Verge (See p. 15)
9 4. Tech challenges Telecom
as companies move into the wireless space In addition to reinforcing its commitment to bringing connectivity to emerging markets, Google also announced that it will test offering a wireless service within developed markets. Google’s move into the space will utilize Wi-Fi and should provide disruptive for existing telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon. Disruptive Approach: User behavior has changed considerably since the introduction of the smartphone. Many users primarily use their phones to check email, play with apps, and access the Internet whereas, prior to the smartphone, the main use of phones was to talk and text. Although it is not clear what Google’s plan and pricing model will look like, it is a safe bet that Google’s offering will be less expensive and be priced from a data perspective. Currently, wireless plans from providers like AT&T and Verizon are based off of pricing plans for voice calls and text packages with data plans tacked on. Under the current plan structure, the majority of a user’s monthly bill go towards voice and text. In addition, more and more apps like WhatsApp and Skype allow for calling and messaging, do not require telecom voice services, and send data via the Internet. Looking Ahead: Google is expected to partner with smaller telecoms like Sprint and T-Mobile to compete with AT&T and Verizon, and phones using Google’s Wi-Fi service will switch between Wi-Fi connections and cell towers when Wi-Fi is not available. Implications for Brands Overall, it seems very possible that Google could disrupt the wireless landscape, but as of now, nothing is certain as questions remain about Google’s approach. The company has yet to disclose which areas it plans to launch its wireless service in, and if it will support all devices. It is rumoured that the service will only be compatible with the Nexus 6 Android, the company’s only smartphone, which may also affect consumer adoption. #4 Sources: Forbes, Slate, Fortune (See p. 15)
10 5. #IoT Goes Mainstream
The premise of #IoT are smarter, connected devices, working together as a network to create efficiencies, make life easier, and save money. From a brand perspective, data on usage and patterns will help brands better understand their users. Of the entire IoT ecosystem, wearables made a big splash at MWC this year. MWC 2015 was a showcase for how wearables are responding to consumer needs and becoming more mainstream. A notable improvement this year over past introductions of new devices was the attention that companies paid to style and the appearance of new products. Notable products: 1. Huawei watch 2. LG watch urbane 3. Kairos watch 4. Pebble time 5. Runcible 6. Smart suitcase 7. LifeBeam smart hat 8. HTC Vive Implications: Connectivity and smarter devices are the name of the game, and tech companies are paying attention to appearance. Brands that balance functionality and appearance to appeal to consumers will win. Image Source: sogeti.com #5 Sources: Forbes, Slate, Fortune (See p. 15)
11 Wearables of Note LG
Watch Urbane LTE What is it? • A smartwatch designed as a luxury wristwatch. Users can use the watch to make calls, NFC to make payments, and supports other apps such as email, calendar, etc. How does it work? • Runs on the LG Wearable platform. Uses LTE instead of 3G. How much does it cost? • Pricing has not been disclosed Huawei Watch What is it? • A smartwatch designed as a classic timepiece. Has to be synced with an Android smartphone to make calls and features a heart rate and activity monitors, and can receive SMS and email. How does it work? • Runs on Google’s Android Wear platform How much does it cost? • Rumored to be close to $1,000 USD Image Source: PCMag.com Image Source: PCMag.com #5 Sources: (See p. 16)
12 Wearables of Note Runcible
What is it? • A circular smartphone alternative aimed at eliminating the disruption and distraction that social feeds and endless alerts cause. Aimed at providing users a simpler experience. How does it work? • Runs on a Firefox operating system. Supports up to 12 contacts with other calls going to voicemail. Alerts users of above average social activity, but not to every single alert. How much does it cost? • Rumored to be in the $600 range HTC Vive What is it? • A virtual reality headset that features a 360-degree field of vision and 3D audio for gameplay. How does it work? • 1080 pixel screen and a 90 frame-per-second display. The complete system features a headset, two bay stations which track users’ movements, and two wireless controllers. How much does it cost? • TBD Image Source: PCMag.com Image Source: technobuffalo.com #5 Sources: (See p. 16)