Target launched its Accelerator program in India Tuesday, as the retailer steps up efforts to build new technology solutions.
Visa and Mastercard are backing host card emulation (HCE), making it possible for credit card companies to bypass barriers to providing cloud-based mobile payments.
Amazon announced that shoppers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany can now buy, spend and earn Amazon Coins on their Android phones and tablets. Previously, Coins were available for use exclusively on Kindle Fire tablets.
A new database now lets consumers opt-out of location analytics, essentially hiding them from companies seeking to access mobile devices for analytic purposes. The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank seeking to advance responsible data use and consumer privacy, and The Wireless Registry, the first global registry of wireless names and identifiers, launched the new platform that will allow consumers to easily and quickly opt-out of mobile location analytics at thousands of locations in the U.S.
The Wireless Registry wants to create a global registry for wireless names and devices, making it easier to associate content to these names and provide meaning when they are detected.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) ran into trouble with Wall Street this week after an ordering manager sent an e-mail to a supplier saying that the world's largest retailer was "looking at reducing inventory for...
Is iBeacons really the killer new iOS feature that some Apple watchers think it is? According to various claims, iBeacons is Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) solution for payments, for "indoor GPS," for replacing RFID tags, for tracking customers everywhere and for in-store mobile marketing. Most of that is the usual technology-lust silliness. But iBeacons really do have some interesting in-store possibilities for retailers. And the technology is cheap enough—and low-risk enough—that, for once, chains really can have some fun experimenting with technology. Here's the basic concept: You can put small, free-standing, battery-powered Bluetooth transmitters called beacons at key spots in your stores. When a customer running the right smartphone app comes close enough, the beacon sends out a message—longer than a Tweet but smaller than a web page—for the app to display. The beacons are cheap (starting at about $35 each), easy to move and reuse, and short-range (so they really can send messages to just people in, say, the produce department). Think digital signage without that expensive, bulky sign and you've started to scratch the surface.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has discovered the fingerprint. OK, Apple actually discovered the fingerprint in 2008, when it began filing patents for biometric security. But after five years and the acquisition of biometric authentication vendor AuthenTec, on Tuesday (Sept. 10) Apple finally unveiled an iPhone that can be unlocked with a fingerprint. Very impressive, and something Apple views as crucial for its eventual foray into mobile payments. The only problem? It's really not enough. That's not a knock against AuthenTec or Apple. There's a fundamental problem with all fingerprint-based authentication—and the very reason it's so popular for law enforcement. The huge advantages of fingerprints over any traditional password or fob system are that (a) they're virtually unique, and (b) users aren't likely to lose, forget or get confused about them. The big problem with fingerprints? You leave copies of them virtually everywhere you go.
How is it that Twitter has become one of the most valuable social-media tools for most retailers and one of the biggest and hardest-to-nail-down risks for them? That question cropped up again last Thursday (Sept. 5), when popular multi-account Twitter management tool HootSuite announced a partnership with Nexgate to finally provide what, in any other context, would be considered the absolute minimum tools necessary to keep an organization from regularly shooting itself in the corporate foot. The problem, in a nutshell, is that Twitter was never designed for this. Like so many other things on the Internet, it was intended as something relatively simple for ordinary users—in this case, an online replacement for mobile text messages. But the combination of potentially instant response and the fact that Twitter is free made it perfect for everything from customer service to group chats, at least in the eyes of budget-strapped corporate users. Could anyone have intentionally designed an Internet boobytrap more potentially devastating? Probably not.