China's m-payment turnover reaches USD 1.6 trillion in 2013

Tuesday, 18th February 2014

According to this, the turnover of Chinese mobile payment industry reached 317.56% year-over-year to USD 1.59 trillion in 2013, while the number of orders reached 212.86% year-on-year (YOY) to 1.67 billion.

"According to the data released by Chinese central bank-Peoples Bank of China, e-payment business recorded 25.78 billion orders and a turnover of CNY 1,075 trillion in 2013, up 27.40% and 29.46% respectively from a year earlier. E-payment includes three categories of payment services of online payment, phone payment and mobile payment. In addition to mobile payment, the turnover of online payment business climbed 28.89% YOY to CNY 1,061 trillion and that for phone payment declined 8.92% YOY to CNY 4.74 trillion in the same period."

"The report added that China recorded a turnover of CNY 1,608 trillion from 50.16 billion non-cash settlements last year, up 21.92% and 24.7%, respectively."

Profit Is Not A Dirty Word

Tuesday, 18th February 2014

Since being established as a social enterprise in 2001 we have been proud to announce when we have made a profit. One of the big problems with working as a social enterprise is that if you tell people you want to make money, they think that you are demonic and that for some reason, wanting to make money negates your social values.

BUT to the contrary you need to make a profit to stay in business. If you want to help people and develop social programmes the only way to do this and be sustainable is to be good at the business side of what you do. How many organisations do we know that are great at working with people but who struggle to balance the books.

So with this in mind we did all the right things we registered for VAT, we have paid corporation tax on any profits we have made, we run PAYE schemes and pay Income Tax and NI. In my mind just like any normal business, so it came as a bit of a surprise to hear from HMRC VAT that we did not operate as a business because we received grants. Then came the big problem, because we were not a “real” business we could not reclaim the VAT on any money we had received as grants and with the letter came with a demand to pay back £12K in back VAT for the period 2008 to 2012

I am thinking hay what’s happened to the BIG Society? Small local companies and organisations taking over the running of the country? We argued the case for 2 years but (as you can guess) in the end after nearly going out of business to find the money, we paid the “debt” back to HMRC before we got taken to court.

So we have started to ask around if anyone else is in the same position? Please let me know if you have been subjected to a similar backdated claim.

Beyond e-commerce to everywhere-commerce

Monday, 17th February 2014

UK goverment published a reporttitled "Beyond e-commerce to everywhere-commerce" describing technology impact on British e-commerce and plans for expanding the markets.

- Consumer spend fuelled by technology

"Trade is borderless. Wifi is everywhere. There is no time delay on money. Smart mobile device ownership is on the rise worldwide. The combination of technology and the services it enables is stimulating consumer activity as society spends more and more time online. Mobile devices have driven this change with sales of smartphones and tablets surpassing laptops and desktops in 2013. Activity on social media platforms reflects this transition to an always-on culture and for many brands mobile is the strategic growth channel amongst the range of channels they operate.There were a total of 6.3 billion global mobile subscriptions in 2012. For 2013 there were 6.8 billion.These days it is possible to reach customers in parts of the world a UK brand would not have had reach total accessibility, global reach the digital platform allows us to know our customers like never before."

- Consumer behaviour changed by technology

"If the effect of mobile has been rapid it is likely the next generation of wearable technology will be even more dramatic. Not only will it create another channel for retailers but it will rebalance the way consumers shop for brands. Google Glass and Samsungs watch show how unobtrusive connected devices can become by going from separate objects to being integrated into everyday products. Mobile devices have already changed the way consumers shop, wearable technology will reinforce the ability of consumers to buy anywhere and do so when and how it suits them. When the consumer is always on and the market consists of multiple touch points for display and others for sell-though, the market is literally everywhere.The value of the wearable device market in 2013 was $2.5bn. It is expected to rise to $12.6bn by 2018."

- Consumer relationships with brands changed by technology

"The days of just optimising full version sites are over and retailers are now going to have to find new levels of skill to optimise mobile as part of the customer journey. Tracking journeys across multiple devices and giving customers relevant content will be a new exciting challenge for brands.In future the relationship between consumer and retailer will change; the new entrant is the device maker. The device maker will own the primary relationship with the consumer because the retailers brand will be accessed through their screen. These changes go to the heart of how a company will present its brand in the future as the role of data grows in importance and retailers search for new ways to compete against the competition and to connect directly with their consumers."

-UKTIs Global Digital Acceleration Plan

"The route to growth is through the screen. There are over 150 digital malls worldwide and they are a new breed of channel that delivers sales and marketing in one. This is made possible by the huge numbers of consumers who visit these platforms every day and the behavioural data that this traffic generates.UKTIis providing focused support to the retail sector in three areas:
  • new and emerging e-commerce channels
  • exploitation of the scale of digital marketing to maximise global presence
  • optimisation of ongoing marketing activity to meet international consumer interest"
"Recommended partners for advice and services to companies for each step of the export process from trademark and URL registration, landed cost calculation, packaging, shipping, payment, VAT registration, marketing and related services."

- UKTIRetail Industry International Action Plan

"TheUKTIRetail Industry International Action Plan aims to:
  • deliver 500m value to the UK economy through assisting up to 1,000 businesses with their international growth in the two years to March 2015
  • provide support for up to 600 retail sector SMEs to help with their international growth
  • work with Business Ambassadors, the Catalyst programme and the International Trade Advisor Network to prepare the UK retail sector for international trade
  • tailorUKTIsupport programmes and increase the uptake of these services to UK retailers seeking to internationalise their businesses
  • increase the professionalism of theUKTIglobal network of support for the retail sector, including working with private sector providers to deliver information and advice."

Online/mobile banking hardest hit by cyber criminals

Sunday, 16th February 2014

According to this, online banking and mobile operating systems have been the fields most affected by malware in 2013.

"Online banking malware directly targeting victims finances has intensified globally in 2013, while prolific ransomware has increased and evolved throughout the year. (...)online banking malware was detected in countries that had not been previously targeted, increasing not only in number, but spread across the globe."

"Japan and the US have remained most affected by online banking malware throughout the year, with Brazil and Taiwan following. A spike in increased online banking activity in Brazil and Japan were cited as a possible explanation for the rise in malicious activity."

"There was a sizable increase in both volume and sophistication of mobile threats in 2013. As the most dominant operating system in the market, Android also holds the top spot for drawing the most malicious applications. Almost 1.4 million Android apps were found to be malicious by the end of 2013 1 million found in 2013 alone.Furthermore, while 90% of malicious and high-risk apps were hosted on dodgy domains, about 27% of the total was also found on legitimate app stores."

"2013 has registered an increase in phishing attacks specifically targeting Apple users as criminals recognise the potential revenue from its install base."

"Through social networking and personal cloud accounts, personal privacy became a recurring issue. Aggressive phishing attacks riding on the release of popular products such as PS4 and Xbox One emerged to compromise personal information. High-profile incidents of infrastructure being targeted by cyber-attacks became a reality in South Korea, demonstrating how critical operations can be impacted on a broad scale."

European consumers worried about EU Payments Legislation

Sunday, 16th February 2014

According to this,European consumers are concerned that the EU legislation draft currently under discussion would make paying with cards more expensive and more complicated.

"A recent poll in 13 European countries indicates that 2 in 3 consumers believe that proposals to cap interchange fees would make it worse for them to use their bank cards and 8 in 10 people do not expect retailers to pass on any cost savings through lower prices."

"Results also point out that 65% of consumers fear that inflexible caps on interchange fees would leave them worse off in terms of using cards. An even higher number (82%) believe that retailers would not pass on any cost savings from a reduction in their contribution to the costs of the electronic payments system."

"The survey also reveals that consumers are especially critical of a proposed rule that would give retailers the right to decide which specific cards they will or will not accept. Breaking up the so-called Honour All Cards Rule would deprive consumers of the number one quality they look for in payment cards the certainty they can use it wherever they go around the world. Research shows that 8 in 10 consumers (77%) across Europe felt this measure would make using bank cards worse for them. Similarly, 60% are concerned that proposals to allow for multiple logos on the same card would have negative impact on consumers".

"MasterCard has consistently expressed its concern that the proposed caps would drive the cost of cards up for consumers. This concern is based on recent practical experience from countries like Spain, where legislation to cap interchange fees resulted in cardholder fees increasing by over 50% and no evidence of retailers passing on savings through lower prices. It also stems from the absence of any justification for fixing the same fees across over 30 countries where market conditions vary considerably."

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