Mobile Payments to Determine Future of Global Economy

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, Nov 03 (IPS) – Half the global working age population does not have a bank account, yet six billion people have access to a mobile phone. Ninety percent of people in developing countries have mobile phone subscriptions and 84 percent have signed up to mobile broadband subscriptions.

This supports an upward trend in adoption of mobile payment technologies in developing countries, where many users now have a means to utilise previously inaccessible financial services via their mobile phones.[pullquote]3[/pullquote]

It has been predicted that mobile payment subscribers will reach almost 1.1 billion users by the end of 2015, with an annual 1.3 trillion dollars in global mobile commerce by 2017.

The growth of mobile data traffic in Africa is also expected to increase 20 times between 2013 and 2019, Latin America is forecasted to experience a 67 percent growth in mobile data traffic by 2017, and Asia Pacific will produce 47 percent of all global mobile data traffic within this same period.

On a global scale, mobile data traffic will surpass growth rates of Internet access, driven primarily by developing economies that are reliant on mobile data to access the internet. Mobile devices will continue to be more common than desktop or laptop computers in developing countries, signaling that mobile commerce will continue to dominate e-commerce.

Societies that have weaker financial systems with less regulation are quicker to accept m-payment technologies, with better consumer response than in developed economies, possibly due to different expectations than those in developed economies.

These emerging economies will face a range of growing pains as regulations and competition surface in markets where digital transactions represent the first mainstream financial system. Its unclear whether the current model will be sustainable.

Its highly likely that emerging economies will bypass diffusion of credit or debit cards completely. Current trends have demonstrated a move directly from cash to mobile. In order to get a credit or debit card, individuals must go through a lengthy process and merchants must invest in hardware to accept cards. Using mobile payments typically just requires a basic mobile phone subscription in developing countries.

Mobile payments and mobile banking in developing countries will establish a financial system which will be led primarily by private sector telecommunication companies. Read More

Apple outlines $100m grant for Obama’s ConnectED initiative

Apple plans to contribute $100 million in grants to US schools as part of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative.

The iPad and iPhone maker’s new microsite details the company’s contribution, saying that “Education is a fundamental right for everyone,” and so free Apple technology will be issued where it is needed most to further student tuition.

Obama’s ConnectED initiative aims to bring reliable Internet access to 99 percent of US students by 2017, with a particular focus on “parts of the country that typically have trouble attracting investment in broadband infrastructure.” The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and firms including Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and Verizon support the scheme by offering grants, as well as free and discounted software.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple plans to divide $100 million between 114 schools in 29 states. The company has chosen schools where at least 96 percent of the students are eligible for a free or discount-price lunch, and 92 percent of students enrolled at the partner schools are of Hispanic, Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, or Asian heritage.

The tech giant says that every student at these schools will receive an iPad, every teacher and administrator will be given a free iPad and a Mac, and every ConnectED classroom will be equipped with an Apple TV. In addition, a team from Apple will be assigned to each school in order to ensure the technology is used effectively.

The statistics surrounding Apple’s contribution to ConnectED are detailed below.

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Read on here

Study Shows Kenyans, Nigerians rely on Mobile money more than South Africans

A new report on mobile Internet use in Africa shows South Africa’s mobile penetration rate is much higher than in Kenya and Nigeria, but Kenyans and Nigerians rely on their phones much more than South Africans for financial services.
A new report on mobile Internet use in Africa shows South Africa has mobile penetration of 133%, measured by active Sim cards. That’s much higher than that of Kenya and Nigeria, which are at 70% and 72% respectively.

The study was conducted by On Device Research, a mobile research company, with a representative sample of mobile Internet users in each country. The study was also done in the UK to compare the effects of the mobile Internet in developing and developed markets.

“For many Africans, mobile is the only way to connect with the world and the Internet is having a huge impact on people’s lives. It’s helping them save time and money and it gives them access to education and medical information,” says Alistair Hill, CEO of On Device Research. Read more

Memeburn: Fiber-optic cable to increase Africa’s mobile coverage by 20% in 2015

We all know Africa has a massive mobile population, right? Well, recent efforts will see a massive increase in internet coverage for this fast-growing population.

Telecom operator Angola Cables has just announced an investment of US$100-million together with Brazil’s Algar Telecom, Antel from Uruguay and Google that will increase mobile coverage to internet by 20% in 2015 of Africa’s population.

The Angolan telecom has already invested US$200-million in 2013 to construct a submarine cable from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil.

“The new cable route will be 10,556 km long and have six fiber pairs. According to estimations, it will increase the overall bandwidth of existing subsea cable systems by 64 terabits per second of capacity,” says Angola Cables CEO, Antonio Nunes. Read  more