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This blog deals with innovation, creativity and investments.

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Dominic Faultz

7 thoughts on “About

  1. You may want to have a look at this

    Eight technologies making waves in 2014
    During 2014, eight major areas of technology will make waves, increasing their capacity to change how business operates, creates value and responds to customers. Governments too will need to learn to play by new rules. The list is by no means exhaustive, and we would gladly hear your suggestions. Their impacts will play out over many years, but we see 2014 as a time for critical growth.
    What is changing?
    1. Variable cloud forecast- The cloud will continue to evolve and transform and enable mobile and tablet-based services. Companies will need to incorporate enhanced digital experiences and services into their customer offers and internal processes. Cities will be able to create responsive, intelligence-based strategies and reduce IT costs.
    2. The Internet of Things (IoT) gets personal- Connectivity and embedded intelligence are beginning to hit critical mass as ever more equipment, from watches to cars, is connected. As a result, our surroundings will begin to ‘look after us’, our homes and cars will do more and more for us, services such as healthcare will migrate to the home, the sharing economy will challenge more sectors.
    3. M-Payment, a logical next step- As consumers reach ever more for their smartphones to research options and make purchases, so their use of their smartphone to pay is increasing. Retailers, restaurants, and services need to be ready, or miss out on these hyper-connected consumers.
    4. Wearable technologies grabbing the headlines- Momentum is building and capabilities are rising as wearable technologies begin to get into their stride, and bring a host of new interfaces with gesture, voice, BCI (Brain Computer Interface) and haptics all playing a role. Health and medical applications are growing, along with others. Watch out for our forthcoming report on Wearable technologies.
    5. 3D printing delivers on new fronts- Several patents end this year and 3D printer prices are falling to under $500, which may liberate a wave of experimentation. Bio-printing may see a major breakthrough with the first liver being 3D printed. NASA is preparing to take 3D printing into space. But, criminals will also explore its potential for counterfeiting and weaponry.
    6. Big data going extreme- A direct knock on effect of the growth of the IoT will be ever more data streams coming on line; big data will become even bigger. Competition to provide devices, tools and techniques which can simplify and make sense of it will increase. New approaches to medical research may reveal significant new insights. Consumers may become more aware of the value of their data.
    7. Gaming playing hard and fast- Gaming is leading the charge on many new technologies- enhancing player interaction, creating more immersive experiences, developing new graphics and displays. It is also migrating to mobiles, colonising our living rooms and integrating entertainment. Gaming will continue to disrupt not just leisure, but learning, retailing, and marketing as its capabilities migrate.
    8. Machines get very, very clever- New chips will bring self-learning machines that can ‘tolerate’ errors, process automation that requires little or no programming, robots and other forms of AI (Artificial Intelligence) that are able to see, hear and navigate ever more like humans.
    These eight technology areas – collectively and in some cases individually – have the capability to transform processes and industries, create new opportunities and new competition, to transform business models and drive innovation, generate new jobs and annihilate others, and to provide companies, governments and consumers with ever more power at their fingertips. Organisations will need to take a systems view of their potential and impacts in order to develop strategic responses to ride the technology waves not drown in them.
    Over the coming year we will continue to scan for developments in these and the many other areas of change that will affect us all, and discuss the impacts and implications in more detail.
    If you would like to explore the impacts of these and other areas of technology for your business, please contact us to discuss how we might help you develop technology roadmaps, impact and risk assessments, and assess strategic options.

  2. Mobile payments – let the battle commence
    Mobile payments’ time may have arrived, after years of anticipation. Start-ups as well as major technology and finance companies are investing hard in new options. Not only that, consumers appear more than willing to use mobile payments. Competition is becoming fierce for what is seen as a rapidly growing global market.
    What is changing?
    Mobile payments are ready for lift off. One forecast for the UK suggests that 20 million British consumers will be using mobile payments by 2020, spending approximately $23 billion in the process. Another estimates global offline mobile transactions at $1.5 trillion by 2017, with $244 billion of that in the USA. However, credit and debit cards continue to dwarf mobile payments – $6.2 trillion global spend versus about $240 billion in 2010 – but they indicate the potential market size.

    A host of companies are entering the field ranging from mainstream financial providers to start-ups to tech companies. As a result, competition is intensifying between the various technologies and providers in the different elements of the mobile payments market, which includes:
    • Mobile POS – turns a mobile device or tablet into a payment terminal
    • Loyalty programmes – generates purchasing patterns and offers
    • Technology connections – links mobiles and payments
    • Mobile wallets – uses a mobile as a store for ‘cash’
    • Contactless payments/ NFC – enables tap and pay sales
    • Mobile transfers – supports peer to peer as well as person to company transfers
    • Mobile banking – enables transactions and money management
    • In app payment – allows direct in-app payments.
    Mobile online shopping will be a major driver in demand for mobile payments, which will become a natural extension to the process of browsing. Pre-Christmas and holiday season shopping would indicate that we are reaching a tipping point – mobile online shopping surged. According to IBM, mobile access accounted for 48% of total online traffic in the USA, with mobile sales reaching 29% – 40% growth on last year. In the UK, similar growth was seen especially to one particularly successful retailer, John Lewis a department store, where 50% of Christmas Day traffic was on mobiles. And consumers are not just making small purchases via mobile: its most expensive sale via mobile was a £7000 TV.
    Payment in store is also hotting up. Critical mass for NFC is arriving. An estimated one third of new smart phones will be NFC payment enabled in 2014, and terminal installation is rising. Zapp, to be launched in 2014, works for in-store, online and even paper bills via a QR code. It has recently signed up 5 UK banks to participate – giving consumers a trusted and existing provider to work through. It has also signed a deal with Worldpay, which administers card machines at tills in shops, giving it access to major retail chains. Square, another mobile wallet could be the technology IPO of 2014 in the way that Twitter and Facebook were in recent years. Meanwhile, Google is expected to streamline its mobile payments offering, and Apple is entering the fray with iBeacons and its iWallet offering, which will integrate marketing and payments and much more.
    In non-western markets the success of systems such as M-Pesa and the lack of existing financial infrastructures make mobile payment options all the more attractive. China Telecom has now joined the two main mobile carriers by announcing a major deal with leading banks to roll out a mobile wallet to pay for transport, shopping and dining out. The company aims to issue 30 million NFC enabled UIM cards (similar to SIM cards) in 2014.
    Although cash still dominates globally, 85% of all retail payments by volume are cash and 60% by value, many countries are increasingly ‘cashless’, courtesy of card payments. Belgium leads the nearly cashless group, with an estimated 93% share for non-cash payments, with 6 more nations each having over an 85% share. The USA tops the 5 in transition group with 80% cashless-ness. Mobile payments could become a natural progression for the near cashless, and a logical first step for those who are yet to start the journey.
    For consumers speed, convenience, being able to shop anywhere at any time – a large proportion of mobile browsing in the UK was during commutes- and ease of use are the major benefits. And, a growing number of systems are linked directly to consumers’ bank account enabling them to review their finances before making a purchase, thus providing greater transparency and possibly more effective money management.
    For retailers, mobile payments could provide significant opportunities for customer loyalty programmes and personalised special offers, with the ability to recognise regular customers. Instant settlement may improve cash flow and mobile payments could also be cheaper to administer. The challenge will be to provide a seamless experience and genuine omni-channel inter-changeability and consistency as consumers shift from store to mobile to tablet and desktop.
    For traditional financial institutions major changes to branch networks may be ahead, if consumers stay away in droves. Fraud may reduce – mobile payments are seen as more secure, and UK card fraud was estimated at $634 million in 2012. Either way, competition from new technology and more flexible competitors is rising fast.
    The number of competing options and providers could create confusion for consumers and retailers alike. Inter-operability will be critical to success. Companies will need to review mobile payments strategies within their overall digital strategies for operations and marketing, not as a bolt on option.
    If you would like us to help you review what mobile payments might mean for your organisation, please contact us.

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