Monthly Archives: September 2011

ISIS: the mother of mobile payments

The Egyptian goddess Isis is the mother of us all.  The name means ‘Throne’.  The first hieroglyphs depicting Isis came from a period about 5,000 years ago. Isis and her brother/husband Osiris became the objects of myths, religions, cults and rituals throughout the Greco/Roman region.   Her sibling and marital relationship with her brother was emulated by Pharaohs for centuries. 

And now ISIS is poised to be the mother of all Near Field Communication (NFC) virtual wallets.  NFC is a decades old technology originally developed by SONY and NXP Semiconductors  (Philips NV).  It is currently used in Europe and Asia with wireless point of sale terminals.  The current  initiative by the mobile telcos (AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon) is to establish dominance over mobile commercial transactions and squeeze out other virtual wallet competitors – e.g. Google, PayPal, the credit card companies, banks, Apple (supposedly iPhone 5 will have NFC capabilities).

With the launch of Google Wallet (with partners Citibank, Mastercard, AMEX and Sprint) on the Samsung Nexus S last week, we’ve officially begun a period of wildly exaggerated claims, consumer confusion and wasteful investment by numerous parties having no realistic chance of successfully competing in the space.  The group behind ISIS is supposedly willing to spend $100M to win the hearts and minds of mobile consumers.  Who knows how much Google may invest?   

One of the winners in this may be VC-backed startup VIVOtech – a supplier of NFC software and systems.  When the momentum for a product or service gets to the frenzy stage, it is often a wise move to start following the enabling technology.


Stuff You Should Have Seen last week

This weeks compilation of interesting, infuriating or insouciant.

Google+ adds 10M members within 2 days after public launch – Search Engine Land

Employees using their personal devices in the enterprise – Tech News World

Facebook – Jobs Engine, Economic Engine – DIGITS

Protecting kid’s privacy online – Gamasutra

Telco analysts have seen this play before – E-Commerce News 

1Gb per day smartphone diet coming soon – GottaBeMobile

Hold onto your Google Wallet – Google blog

Summoner Showcase  – You Tube

Adobe double downs on Flash – IDG

Next Gen 911 system to accept text, video – PC World

Identified:  For all those people too cool for LinkedIn – Forbes

Social Brand =/= Social Business – The Brainyard

Lookout Mobile scores $40M to secure smartphones – Market Watch

 PBS Prohibition on iPad & iPhone – GigaOM

Have a good week. Get out and learn something. 


Marketers And Advertiser​s, Are You Mobile?

Gray DeFevere, one of LAVA Mobile’s sponsors, hosts and founder of strategic real estate consultancy DeFevere Advisory Group has provided some thoughts on the disruption mobile technologies are going to bring to businesses, plans, economics, technology and behavior.  Thoughts to share!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two or three years–not that there’s anything wrong with that–you have bore witness to the “mobile phone metamorphosis” and the “Smartphone surge.” Let’s face it, everyone and anyone has a mobile phone these days, or at least it seems that way, right? We all either have a smartphone or its not-so-intelligent stepchild, the “traditional” mobile phone. Sorry, don’t mean to slight the “traditional” mobile phone; after all, we ALL had one at one point.

Motorola Unveils New Offerings Video

AT&T Unveils New Wireless Data Plans

The numbers, as they say, do not lie:

  • 234 million Americans own a mobile device.
  • As of July 82.2 million Americans owned smartphones, up by 10% from April 2011.
  • The number of advertisers using mobile advertising has doubled in just two years.
  • Revenue from mobile commerce will increase tenfold from 2010 to 2014 in the US.
  • The total value of mobile payments for digital and physical goods, money transfers and NFC (near field communications) transactions will hit $670 billion by 2015 – nearly three times as much as will be seen this year, $240 billion.
  • 1/3 of us would rather give up sex than our mobile phone.

Do I have your attention now? Yes, you read right. 1/3 of us (not saying which 1/3) would rather sleep with their mobile phone than their…well, you get the idea.

Want more?

Good, cause I got more…

  • Among all interactive marketing platforms, mobile marketing is expected to grow 38% over the next five years with an estimated $8.2 billion being allocated to it by the year 2016.
  • Google Wallet. The latest gizmo/gadget from Google is an app that will use NFC technology to turn your phone into your wallet… literally. It stores virtual versions of your existing plastic cards on your phone, along with your coupons, and eventually, loyalty and gift cards.
  • iCircular. Haven’t heard of this yet? You will. It’s a new app developed by The Associated Press and is intended to be the digital equivalent of coupons and other promotions that are inserted into the print editions of weekend newspapers.
  • In 2011, 73.5 million mobile users will play games at least monthly, up 22.1%. By 2015, more than 100 million US consumers will play games regularly on their phone. And something tells me the advertisers and the marketers out there would want to get their message in front of all these gamers.

Ok, so now you know why it’s important to be advertising and marketing in the mobile space. At least I hope you realize that by now.

But, and this is a big but: It’s huge. It’s colossal. It’s…you get the point. Before you go rushing off to start on your mobile-marketing and mobile advertising campaigns, remember these two things:

  1. Test. Test. Test. Ok, I know that’s three, technically but…consider yourself a mad scientist working in a laboratory. You want to ascertain the effectiveness of something before you announce it to the world, so what do you do? You test, of course. And then you test some more. And then maybe even a little more. In other words, don’t just jump into the mobile marketing and mobile advertising pool…dip your toe in it first, see how the water is.
  2. Integration. Repeat that word over and over in your head. Mobile marketing and mobile advertising can only truly be successful if, after you’ve tested it, of course, it becomes one part of your overall marketing and advertising strategy. It can be an incredibly powerful tool but it cannot work alone or in a silo. It needs to play with the other kids: TV, radio, print, online, and so on, in the marketing and advertising sandbox.

So go forth ye marketers and advertisers and integrate mobile into your campaigns. You’ll be glad you did.

Thought Of The Day “ Work is the curse of the drinking classes. ”  — Oscar Wilde

Gray DeFevere
DeFevere Advisory Group

Stuff You Should Have Seen last week

A day late ……

The Future of Performance is Social – Work Simple

Cali joins suit to block AT&T merger with T-Mobile – LA Times

Newspapers to insert iCircular ads on phones – WSJ

Mobile Start-ups push Health at DEMO Fall Conference – PC World

Most [in US] will access Internet via mobile phone by 2015 – IDC

Relaxed Hospital Policies on Wireless Devices Help Spur Growth – MarketWatch

Google to let users opt-out of location data collection – CNET

New Technology Offers Mom More Mobility during Childbirth – Fox Business

Failing to Manage Consumerization of the Workspace – eWeek








Worldwide Tablet Shipments grow 300+% Year over Year – IDC

HTC CEO – iPhones aren’t cool anymore – GeekWire

Tablet Computers replace Servers at Restaurants – truthdig

LA Mobile Hack Days this weekend

The first LA Mobile Hack Days down at the Aviation Room in Santa Monica this weekend.  Friday evening is Pitch Night – starting around 7.  Coding all day Saturday (9 AM – midnight) and then Sunday (10AM – 5PM) with the final hours dedicated to seeing what has been coded up and operating through demos and Q&A.  Judges will be circulating, the audience will participate in voting and the winners will be announced at the conclusion of the event.

The event is open to all levels of coders, engineers, GUI designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, mobile executives, investors and media.  You bring the computer, extra batteries and your charger.  LA Mobile Hack Days is supplying just about everything else except the ideas (and they’ll even help with that!)  The coding can be for any mobile platform – iOS, Android, HTML5, Phonegap, Flex, Blackberry or anything else.  A few developer/programmer seats are still available – register here.  Find rules here.

The winners will be announced on the LA Hack Days website and at The Bitsource has more details about the competition.

Mobile payment systems growing rapidly

I was talking this morning with 24/7 Card CMO Gordon Ho about mobile payment systems before the LAVA breakfast event – PR for Start-ups.  He was talking about his companies debit and remit business for those needing to send money overseas or to Mexico, Central America or points south.  He was telling us about the loose network of money handlers in foreign countries that handle remittance.  It isn’t just Western Union and AmEX but pawn shops, markets, bodegas and other places cash transactions occur.

We know that electronic payments or digital wallets or mobile payment systems are in the near future and with Near Field Communications – in close proximity.  And we know the behemoths of the credit/debit cards will be there – VISA, Mastercard, Discover and their banks – BofA, Chase, Citi, etc.  will all be playing.  Google, MS, Intuit, Sage, Apple will have influence over the devices and interfaces.  Your phone carrier will play a significant role and even offer their own home-grown variety of service like Buyster – recently introduced by French wireless companies.

And we are seeing a variety of research reports on the rapid growth of retail Point of Sales systems and new applications being implemented by retailers.  60% of retailers surveyed by Heavy Reading are planning on upgrading their systems.  Within a few years, mobile retail payments will approach $1T per year up from $60B today. 

Mobile retail and payments vendors are developing and introducing new solutions at an impressive pace because retailers and consumers show interest in the technology. Retailers recognize the consumer convenience factor, with customers able to research and compare prices while in the store, as well as make quick, secure payments. They are also eager to gain greater insight into customers’ spending habits to better stock merchandise and stay competitive.







And the PR for Start-ups panel was excellent.

Stuff You Should Have Seen last week

A day late but still tasty.

Oscar de la Renta uses Tumblr to Crowdsource Runway Show – Mashable

RIP Michael Hart – founder of Gutenberg Project and inventor of ebooks – The Mobile Gadgeteer

5 Ways Social Will Change IT – the brainyard at InformationWeek

The Art of Good Code Design – Read Write Web

Google gobbles up Zagat – Google Blog

Amazon’s New Tablet Design – eWeek

US Airways passengers use mobile phone for boarding pass – Business Wire

France Telecom preps for mobile service price war – WJS

Epicor enables mobile retail transactions – Forbes

Google gives HTC patents to bite Apple – The Telegraph

IT’s consumerization of the workplace – The Times of India

Mobile Wallet Gains Currency – NY Times

Have a good week.