Samsung’s payments play
This week Samsung extended its partnership with MasterCard to bring its payment service to its S6 range in Europe. It will be interesting to see whether Samsung will be able to trump Apple Pay which launched in the UK earlier this month.
Samsung’s limited launch would suggest not. The service will only be available to users of its flagship range, and after announcing a recent drop in smartphone sales, this doesn’t look promising. Launching the service on its flagship range will limit the number of users who can use this service, even more so than with Apple Pay, which is available across a number of its products, not just flagship devices.
While European Android users will no doubt be eagerly anticipating the launch of Samsung Pay, its initial launch in the US will be a test. Apple Pay added one million users with 72 hours of launching stateside and while the two manufacturers dominate the smartphone arena, who will break mobile payments?
Mobile switching scrutiny
Ofcom explained this week that ‘it can’t be right’ that mobile has less switching than other industries. CEO Sharon White spoke as a consultation was launched to make it easier for customers to switch mobile providers, but how much of a difference will it make?
The regulator claims that many customers are trapped within their network, with many having never switched operators. However it’s hard to predict whether consumers will take advantage of any change in regulation. Just because customers are able to switch, doesn’t necessarily mean they will.
It will be interesting to see which operators’ churn level will be most affected by a change in regulation. Customer loyalty is something that can change very quickly when jumping ship is made easier.
Retailer ramps up recycling
This week, Argos entered into mobile recycling by launching a new instant payment trade-in scheme, throughout its retail stores. The convergence of the two industries is one that will no doubt put pressure on online mobile recycling companies, who provide postal payment for devices.
Argos’ new initiative competes with the likes of online recyclers such as Envirofone and Mazuma, who will feel the squeeze as instant payment sees customers opt to trade-in on the high street, rather than over the internet.
This will only become more prevalent as the wearables market grows. Envirofone has revealed plans to expand into wearable recycling, but these devices converge with retail, and so Envirofone may not be alone in this market for long.