With a looming threat that Google will punish sites that do not strictly comply with its specific mobile guidelines, one SEO firm decided to pull out the Fortune 100 list and test everybody on it, using Google's benchmark. Only a half-dozen companies passed (I'd argue it was only five as one of the six was Google itself). No surprise: None of them were retailers. This we didn't see coming, though. One of the worst performers was Amazon.
MasterCard is tapping into the open source craze with the debut of its new e-commerce solution for small businesses. Simplify Commerce is designed to be as a channel for merchants to accept both e-commerce and mobile payments regardless of the payment brand within minutes. MasterCard describes it as a three-step process: use MasterCard's new APIs, activate a merchant account, and then start accepting payments.
In a move that could have significant consequences for the growth of mobile commerce on Windows Phone devices, Microsoft has forged a deal with mobile payments player Bango to enable direct operator billing for app purchases. The first mobile operator to switch on the billing platform is Indosat in Indonesia. The payment platform - also used by Facebook, Amazon, BlackBerry, Opera and Google - enables users to easily purchase digital content in one click without the use of premium SMS or the limitations of credit cards.
Clinkle, a mobile payments startup that aims to put your entire wallet on your phone, has raised a $25 million round from over 18 investors. The company, which has been in stealth mode since it launched in 2011, was the subject of much hype and speculation in April when a Wall Street Journal story explained that over a dozen students were leaving Stanford to launch the partially professor-funded startup.
Free People has debuted a new mobile commerce application that lets fashion-savvy customers browse and shop the latest styles and trends. Consumers can download the app and receive free two-day shipping on their first order. The app is available for free download within Apple's App Store.
Amazon has just launched its Amazon Mobile for iPad app in Japan and China and added an option to shop by category. In case you haven't used the app before, Amazon Mobile is the e-commerce behemoth's main shopping app for both iOS and Android. Unlike the iOS version, however, Amazon Mobile for Android has been available worldwide. Now, iPad is catching up, and is available in these two regions for the first time.
A report from Ericsson ERIC ConsumerLab suggests that Latin America has many of the conditions needed for the growth of m-commerce -- transactions conducted through the use of smartphones -- including high mobile penetration and a low percentage of banked consumers. Up to 74 percent of people who are not using m-commerce solutions today would be interested in using such services through their mobile phones, according to the report. As many as 66 percent of non-users are interested in mobile banking, while 42 percent could consider using mobile-wallet services.
Visa will provide cross-border mobile commerce offerings for online shoppers in China by partnering with e-commerce site comGateway that gives foreign customers access to stores in the US. Under the agreement, a new mobile application will be introduced to make it easier for Visa holders from the Chinese mainland to shop at US online merchants via their mobile devices, said the head of emerging products at Visa, who oversees the company's Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and African affairs.
Online shopping is on the rise in the Middle East, with regional e-commerce sites forecasting that industry revenues will at least double in the year ahead. Ahmed Khatib, founder and CEO of the regional online shopping website MarkaVIP, says e-commerce is growing exponentially as more consumers turn to the web. "I would say that [regional e-commerce revenues are] doubling year over year," he said. "MarkaVIP grew by 500 percent from 2011 to 2012."
VeriFone Systems and Lenovo have teamed up on a new mobile point-of-sale solution targeting larger retailers that can integrate with their existing Windows-based systems. The mobile POS space has grown quickly over the past couple of years, with players such as Square, VeriFone, Intuit, PayPal Here and others focusing on enabling small and independent merchants to process card-based payments from a mobile phone or tablet.