The payments industry is a compelling space, but it’s a time consuming one as well. You might not have time to keep track of every major story and trend or every funny and fascinating tidbit that we cover on everyone’s favorite payments site.
With that in mind, we bring you What’s In And What’s Out: a weekly look at the best stories from the PYMNTS.com EMEA newsletter, and a bit of light reading before you take off for the weekend.
Make sure to understand What’s In so you avoid being part of What’s Out!
Turkey Gets A Blue Ribbon In Payments
What’s In: Checking your account balance on your Facebook app in Turkey.
What’s Out: Checking your account balance on your NatWest app in Turkey, or anywhere in Europe. Good luck with that.
What Happened: Turkey is leaving the rest of the payments world to bite the dust. PYMNTS.com took a deep dive into the soon to be EU-member’s digital advancements in payments, and discovered they were the first country to launch a Facebook bank branch back in 2012.
Turkish Garanti Bank was also the first in the world to launch a contactless card that features mChip Advance solutions from MasterCard. They were even the first to launch a SIM card with NFC capabilities.
What’s in the water over there? Technological superpowers?
The French Attack Online Retail To Save Culture
What’s In: Supporting French culture and going to the local bookstore on the corner of Rue Sain Honore to buy a copy of the classic Les Miserables. Possibly enjoying a fresh croissant en route.
What’s Out: Buying a hard copy of Les Miserables on Amazon for 7 euros cheaper, and getting free delivery. Tempting … but, non!
What Happened: The culture minister of France attacked online giant, Amazon, accusing it and other online retailers of undermining French culture. The French have threatened to investigate strategies to curb the growth of Amazon sales in attempt to preserve the longevity of traditional bookshops along with culture.
Note to the French: Put the kindle down, and no one gets hurt.
M-Pesa Gets A Make Over
What’s In: Kenyans walking to local supermarkets to transfer money to family outside the country, using the soon-to-be updated Safaricom M-Pesa service.
What’s Out: Kenyans using outdated services to send money to relatives, ie: Snail mail. It may never make it.
What Happened: Kenya’s Safaricom announced it will be updating the current M-Pesa platform to a new system. M-Pesa money payments will allow customers to begin making real-time transactions.
The updated M-Pesa will also undergo vendor integration, and will be featured in banks, micro-insurance branches and most supermarkets. Consumers will be able to instantly pay for goods using M-Pesa, which means it will become a viable contender of credit cards.
Mozilla Makes Cheap Smartphones Cool
What’s In: Consumers in emerging markets passing on the iPhone 5 to buy a Mozilla smartphone for under 50 bucks. Bargain.
What’s Out: Mobile operators and manufactures trying to sell overpriced phones in mature markets, never mind emerging markets.
What Happened: This week Mozilla Corp. announced it was teaming up with various mobile phone manufactures to design a low-cost smartphone to target the underserved consumers in emerging markets.
Putting an end to the technological isolation of emerging markets is a step forward for both ethics and business. Low-cost smartphones alternatives are scant – not just in emerging markets, but worldwide.
If more consumers in developing countries are given access to smartphones, they are provided with more opportunity to take advantage of financial services such as M-Pesa and online banking. New services could indirectly lead to greater agricultural development, thus improving global trade and the quality of life in emerging markets.
Now there is a classic example of people helping people.