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Geek Shopping Heaven in Singapore

Funan DigitalLife Mall

I somehow added the blog post about the Funan Mall to my Hong Kong post when it is actually in one my favourite cities in the world, Singapore. As per my last blog post, I visited Singapore for the second time in Oct 2014 and it is great place to visit. It is clean and safe for tourists with lots to do especially as a stop over destination.

During my stay I visited the Funan DigitalLife Mall which is a techy’s dream shopping destination.

This is a shopping mall with 6 floors dedicated to all things techy, perfect for the geek in me (and you!) It is a great place if you are looking to buy cameras, computers etc. The prices are comparable to the UK but the range is huge! I also noticed the odd Hair Salon to leave your wife whilst you browse all the tech!

Funan DigitalLife Mall

Funan DigitalLife Mall

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Funan DigitalLife Mall

6 reasons why you need a mobile strategy

6mobstart

The Facts

Let’s face it. Mobile devices have drastically shifted the online landscape to the point that in 2010 more than 50 percent of all Internet access was being done via handhelds of some sort. About 45 percent of mobile owners are using their devices to download social networking apps. In fact, 35 percent of Android and iPhone owners in the U.S. use apps such as Facebook before getting out of bed, according to a recent survey conducted by telecommunications equipment vendor Ericsson.

The reasons stated by this article are clear and obvious but mobile strategy appears to be hard to get right. I think the challenge for everyone is how you effectively put these reasons into your own mobile offereing and:

  1. successfully make it an extension of your online or physical brand
  2. ensure that you do not lose your customer base with an excess of advertisments or deals
  3. keep your customer engaged and make sure they have a reason to come back to your mobile site and or application

Link: http://bit.ly/jnUNgz

Where to use contactless payment in the UK

I wrote a brief post based on a BBC News article on the recently announced tie-up between Orange and Barclaycard who together are bringing mobile contactless payments to the UK http://bit.ly/laHs9O

There are claims that 50,000 shops now support this technology in the UK according to the Sunday Times InGear magazine.

Orange-barclay-quick-tap

Here are some of the businesses accepting contactless payment:

Boots – 21 stores

Caffe Nero – Over 400 branches

Crussh – 24 London branches

Eat – 100 branches

Krispy Kreme – 50 branches

Little Chef – 162 restaurants

McDonald’s – 1200 branches

National Trust – 350 locations

Pret A Manger – 220 branches

Subway – over 1400 branches

There are also selected IKEA stores and Yo! Sushi restaurants and many more independent businesses.

Source: InGear magazine.

BBC News – Mobile wallet offered to UK shoppers

Mobile wallet offered to UK shoppers

I mentioned NFC on a recent post and came across a new service launched in the UK with Orange and Barclaycard called “Quick Tap” and featured on BBC news.

Does this mean mobile wallets are on the way? This service requries the NFC enabled Samsung Tocco Lite, clearly more handsets need to released and many more NFC readers installed in retailers / merchants.

I think that this is a good start in terms of adoption as you have a large mobile operator and a well known credit card working together. If the NFC rumours about the iPhone 5 are true and more handsets are released (no doubt on the Android platform) you too could save space in your wallets and purses 🙂

Paying with your phone
Continue reading the main story

The first service that allows users to pay for purchases via their mobile phone has been launched in the UK.

Among shops signed up to the system are McDonalds, EAT, Pret-a-Manger and some Boots stores.

Users wishing to use the system – dubbed Quick Tap – will need Orange and Barclaycard accounts as well as a handset set up for contactless payments.

The idea of the mobile wallet is gaining popularity around Europe.

Motorway toll

The service is made possible by Near Field Communication (NFC), the short-range wireless technology that underpins many wireless payment systems.

Quick Tap is a collaboration between Orange and Barclaycard. It will require a NFC-enabled Samsung Tocco Lite handset, which also goes on sale on Friday.

Mobile money looks like a useful addition to the way we handle our finances, rather than a necessity”

  Rory Cellan-Jones Technology Correspondent

Only purchases up to a value of £15 can be made using the service but users can preload their mobile with up to £100.

“Having a wallet on my phone has made it much more convenient to make purchases on the move and I like that it allows me to keep track of what I’m spending as I go,” said David Chan, chief executive of Barclaycard Consumer.

“It is going to start a revolution in the way we pay for things on the high street,” added Pippa Dunn, vice president of Orange.

Other stores signed up the service include Subway, Little Chef, Wilkinson and the National Trust.

Later this summer, users will also be able to use the service to pay the toll on the M6 motorway.

Olympic vision

Giles Ubaghs, an analyst with Datamonitor, thinks take-up may be sluggish.

“It is an important first step but I think there could be a lack of incentive. Early adopters may like it for the novelty value but the majority just won’t see the point,” he said.

Mobile wallet services have been available in Japan for some years and operator DoCoMo NTT spent a good deal of cash getting them up and running.

“They even had to buy a convenience store chain to get the readers in there but all the evidence is that people don’t use it that often. Only around 10% seem to use the NFC functionality on their phones,” said Mr Ubaghs.

Mobile couponing, where people can swipe their handsets in order to get discounts on goods, could kickstart NFC technology, he thinks.

Or it could find popularity in the future as an alternative to Bluetooth.

“It may be used for swapping data from phone to phone or for, say, taking pictures from a phone and putting them on a TV,” he said.

Nokia is believed to be bringing out an NFC-enabled version of the popular game Angry Birds later this year.

In 2009 O2 trialled contactless payments, using mobiles in place of the popular Oyster card which allows commuters to pay for their tube journeys.

It has said it will launch its mobile wallet service later this year.

By the time of the Olympics it is expected that transactions, transport and tickets will all be available via contactless technology.

Currently there are 50,000 stores with NFC-enabled readers in the UK.

Some 12.9 million credit and debit cards are already in circulation.