TECHCRUNCH: Rakuten, Japan’s largest online retail firm, has announced that it will soon accept bitcoin across its global marketplaces. The company is putting its investment in Bitnet — a startup that raised $14.5 million last October — to work with this development. Bitnet, which was founded by ex-Visa execs and is rivaled by Coinbase and Bitpay, will initially be integrated into Rakuten’s U.S. marketplace to allow customers to pay in BTC.
FAST COMPANY: Think you’re not creative? The innovation gurus at Ideo beg to differ. The design firm argues that anyone can unleash an inner creative genius through certain methods—the same methods that Ideo uses on its own projects. A new series of online classes calledIdeo U shares those techniques with the world. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Thanks to startups like Simple, which was acquired by financial services organization BBVA last year, banking customers got a look at what a modern-day web and mobile banking experience looks like, with features like goal-setting tools, automated categorization of expenditures, real-time notifications of new charges pushed to your mobile phone, the ability to block a lost or stolen card right from the mobile app, and more. Now, a new startup called Bankjoy wants to bring a similar experience to other, smaller banks with a white-labelled product and accompanying API platform that’s initially being aimed at credit unions. (more…)
TECHINASIA: Yesterday at Cebit in Hanover, Alibaba founder Jack Ma took the stage to wax philosophical on entrepreneurship and the future of technology. While he oozed charisma on stage, the real treat came at the end of his address. After noting how online payments can sometimes be troublesome, the founder took out his smartphone and paid for a set of stamps on Alibaba using face-recognition technology (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Wiper, a chat application designed to provide users with control over their sent and received messages, recently rolled out support for bitcoin transactions between its users. The tool is simple, allowing individuals to send cryptocurrency to others inside the app’s main chat interface. But CEO Manlio Carrelli told TechCrunch that Wiper was “removed from the iOS App Store in China due to violating that app store’s policies,” and that “Apple [had] explained to [the company] by phone that this violation was related to Wiper enabling bitcoin payments.” (more…)
The article about Honest Dollar (retirement plans for SME employees)
TECHCRUNCH: The Pebble Time Kickstarter gained some momentum thanks to Apple’s special Watch event Monday. The new smartwatch from the smartwatch pioneer was drawing in funding at a rate of around $6,000 per hour on Sunday, March 8, which rose to $10,000 per hour on Monday, March 9 (when the event took place), and capped out at $16,000 per day on average during March 10, the day following Apple’s press presentation.
Pebble CEO and founder Eric Migicovsky told former Y Combinator lead and investor Paul Graham that interest in Apple’s media event had a doubling impact on the rate of its ongoing crowdfunding campaign, but in fact the numbers reveal it more than doubled, and in fact almost tripled in the extended wake of the announcement. (more…)
WIRED: Google is opening a pop-up workshop in Leeds in a bid to help local businesses improve their digital skills. The Digital Garage project will see Google give advice on how companies can use the internet to reach more customers and grow faster. The six-month trial in Leeds will open on 30 March and include a digital “tune-up” service for small businesses. Aspiring entrepreneurs are also encouraged to attend events organised by local partners and book one-to-one mentoring sessions on digital business skills.
WIRED: Libraries might conventionally be seen as non-happening places, but a £650,000 funding boost is set to add a further two UK libraries to the ten already taking part in a scheme aiming to disrupt conventional libraries. The Enterprising Libraries grant, which launched in 2013 as a £1.2 million project in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Arts Council England and the British Library, aims to support budding entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. (more…)
E27.CO: Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata has made an undisclosed amount of investment in mobile payments and commerce company Paytm. With this investment, Tata will pick up a small stake in One97 Communications, the company that owns and operates Paytm. He will also take on the role of an advisor at the company.
WIRED: It has been announced that WIRED Money Together with BBVA will be back on July 8, 2015. Now in its third year, WIRED Money returns in partnership with global financial services group BBVA. This landmark one-day summit, taking place at The British Museum, will bring together the most exciting forward-thinking innovators and captivating thought leaders in money, banking and finance. (more…)
PYMNTS: MasterCard and Microsoft have announced a partnership to support Mexico’s economic development. The companies support the foundation of the national economy – micro merchants — with complex projects, innovative technological, communication and payment tools. The partnership is said to be aimed at encouraging the use of electronic payments, as well as legitimacy and formality of technology products and services.
TECHINASIA: It’s official: Twitter has arrived in Jakarta and opened an office space in the 15th floor of the One Pacific Place office building, SCBD, Jakarta. In November 2014 at our Tech in Asia Jakarta 2014 conference, Rick Mulia, head of business development for Twitter in Indonesia, announced that Twitter would open a local office by early 2015. It seems today he’s made good on that promise. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening. (more…)
MarketResearch.com: Banking Innovation is a global growth‐sector. There are three types of banking innovations (on top of the regular IT investments done by banks): (1) In‐bank FinTech innovations – also known as FinServ innovations; (2) Neo‐Banks as part of the FinTech community; and, (3) Non‐Banking FinTech companies. Global FinTech investments almost hit the USD 10 billion mark in 2014 (USD 9.9 billion). Banking Reports’ research shows that 2015 is going to be the real point of inflexion: FinTech investments are expected to reach USD 19.7 billion globally. In the next 10 years – following 2015 – FinTech investment growth will be strong but not exponential, bringing circa 20 percent compound annual growth rate to the table. We have found highly significant qualitative and quantitative differences between the five continents examined in this report. While London and New York are jockeying for the global leader’s role, Australian banks are doing an exemplary and outstanding job.
The Payments Industry Explained: The Trends Creating New Winners And Losers In The Card-Processing Ecosystem
Business Insider: The payments industry had a huge year in 2014 and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. On the one hand tech giants like Amazon and Apple released new products that affirmed their long-term payments ambitions (Apple Pay and Amazon Local Register). On the other hand startups such as Stripe and ShopKeep continued to carve out market share, challenging older players like PayPal and VeriFone. (more…)