Innovation voices, who says what?

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A new voice heard on innovation: Business Experts and Professional Communities (an important one).

Originally posted on We Are Innovation:

Innovation is being defined at all time by anyone on any point of this globe. The very singularity of innovation is that it is a concept which is always under construction and challenges status quo to build a path to improvement. It can concern products, processes, practices. It drives investments, brand value, shareholders benefits. It creates jobs, transforms economy, links societies together. It encourages knowledge sharing, overseas meetings, unlimited creativity with the power of collaboration and open innovation. Voices and points of view differ invariably, but divergence and diversity are good: they provide different stand points and methodologies to understand a picture in multiple dimensions. WAI has been looking at many facets of today’s innovation voice. Here is what it sounds like through a high level segmentation of online innovation information providers.


Financial analysts & Investors:

Financial Analysts & Investors

Financial Analysts & Investors

What they do: They measure innovation through a series…

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We Are Innovation Because we are life artists

Life Artists

In our last post analysing innovation impact on society (The Disrupted Society) we talked about the new creativity that arises with diverted use of newly developed technologies. New creators are able to visualize and materialise an innovative form of arts, breaking open the doors of their imagination, taking us beyond. Connecting otherwise locked areas, sectors, methods, materials, they derive the core function of a technical tool which results in groundbreaking ideas. While they for sure are inspiring from an artistic and cultural point of view, they also help shaping the imaginary of societies as they open new opportunities to create, think, and see the world. The beauty of these arts combined with the Internet connectivity enables us to picture the world wondering, fearing, and perhaps, changing at last.


Find a punchline

Adele Peters from Fast Co-Exist stumbled upon an intriguing keyboard at the Istanbul Design Biennial.

Fast Co-Exist


A window on the Thames

On November 10th the Thames has offered a brand new view, as described by The Economist.

The Economist


Data Artists

Data flows and visualisation at the scale of million connections is art in itself, as TED shows in below video.


Playing with emotions

Animations get a minimalist lift, and make Casey Chan laugh on Gizmodo.


Playful science

Chan also lets us discover the movement of sound.


Good ideas

Art is also used to bring awareness. Snow White from Beauty Harmony Life has gathered a range of 25 ideas to recycle garbage into decorative items.

Beauty Harmony Life

Oldmammoth on DesignBoom outlines the responsible design of the IKEA table made from catalogues.

Design Boom

Arts and cultures offer a myriad of standpoints to consider a moment under different views. What message does it leave, if any? Is the artist playing us for fools, or is he or she trying to tell us we are not watching with the right lenses. Innovation requires that we sometimes drop our antique spectacles to admire present as unseen so far.

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Posted in Creativity, Green, Society, Why we are innovation

The disrupted society and The last mile

The Disrupted Society and The Last Mile

The Big Picture is a PESTLE analysis providing an overview of innovation over the past weeks. Today we look at Society and Technology. You can also read our previous post for Politics and Economics, “Europe in the mirror and Emerging Markets: form local to global“.

The disrupted society

The Disrupted Society - Smart Cities

The Disrupted Society – Smart Cities


Big life changes, big questions. “Are Shyp and similar tech start-ups for outsourcing chores the realization of the laziness economy? Or are they the opposite — a giant step toward unleashing the human productivity and creativity that technologists have prophesied? How do we judge whether technology is making us more productive, or just lazy and impatient?”  asks Claire Cain Miller in the New York Times. As Julie Hunt reminds, it’s not only for big cities. In Smart Data Collective, she writes “Such services and solutions should be tailored for midsized cities to keep costs down and provide exactly what these cities need for faster, more effective implementations.”  As Spyros Salpeas highlights for GulfNews, “Smart city planners need to approach their developments holistically to ensure inter-operability.” On World weighs the market opportunity of our life change: “The smart home has had hundreds of new entrants over the past few years including iControl Networks and that have each raised over $100 million in venture funds as well as Nest Labs and SmartThings that were acquired for $3 billion (Google) and $200 million (Samsung) respectively.” William Sand from Strategy and Business provides an essential thought on cities: “But no matter the indicators we’ve tracked or the elements we’ve added to the mix, one thing has remained absolutely clear since the study’s inaugural year: No single overriding strength can assure lasting growth, or shelter a city from reversals, if social and economic conditions are out of sync. “


The Disrupted Society - Creativity

The Disrupted Society – Creativity


Because they have understood the centrality of their play, humans are starting to use technology to create differently. SHAUNACY FERRO as an example reports for Fast Co-Design about an incredibly detailed architecture monuments that you can collect.  Carrey Dune from Fast Co-Design relates the mesmerizing work of Jakarta-based Rizkiyanto. He gets inspiration from the Internet and claims “It’s the never-ending resource of knowledge and inspiration, from the most basic design tutorials to ‘out of [this] world’ inspiration.” Mario Aguilar from Sploid takes us on a journey with “Photographer Simon Roberts took to the skies above the North Pole to shoot the sunset in each of the Earth’s 24 time zones over the course of 24 hours.” It is not just about arts. It is also about designing better products, as Dassault Systems experiences with Modul’Air and their strategic partnership to create new transportation systems for Grenoble. Shiraz Datta from Smart Data Collective explains how 3D printing and analytics will disrupt business models while Eyes In mentions “Smarter Than You Think” initiative built for adults and children “to develop children and adult’s appetite to discover their best way to learn and how to maximize it.” Setra from Press Citron introduces the “augmented reality” technology and firm Magic Leap which got fundings from major Internet players.


The Disrupted Society - Care

The Disrupted Society – Care

Sharing and Caring

Technology has allowed another disruption: sharing with others leading to caring for others. Firstly because we identified dangers. Mariel Norton noticed for The Next Web that “Embracing unfamiliar terminology as well as transforming the landscape upon which standard norms of interaction were practised, suddenly choosing the appropriate profile picture became a first world problem whilst others agonised over which hashtags best summed up their tweets.” Secondly because we spotted opportunities. As Jessica Plauds from Mashable explains, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has approved the launch of Airbnb, under conditions. Becky Robinson from Lead Change Group further enhances that we do not have the choice, especially as women. We need to speak up. This brings us closer to reality. Karen Mossburger from The Brookings Institute reveals that Chicago’s Smart Cities program has enabled communities of neighbours to influence investment from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). “The research shows that neighborhoods participating in this digital literacy and outreach program experienced increased rates of Internet use, broadband adoption, and online activities, including job search”. Accessing to knowledge, wherever it may be, even from ancient libraries from the Vatican, as Graham Templeton from Geek found out. Dom Philips from TIME Magazine portrays Pesce, a young Brazilian entrepreneur who went back home after MIT writing “The Girl From The Valley: How Entrepreneurship Can Change Your Life”. “It was downloaded a million times within months of release, going on to sell 53,000 hardcopies and top Brazil’s bestseller list in 2012”, says the author.

As Manuel Rapada from Good reminds about major tech companies in Silicon Valley: “(They) are in a unique position to help narrow the diversity gap in the industry by giving people the education, skills, and opportunities to break into tech”. There was a crying need to better care about our societies. Hadn’t we decided to turn to others, we’d have rejected them, eventually damaging their health. Mandy Oaklander from TIME Magazine explains: “Feeling judged because of your race could have a negative impact on your physical health, a new study finds.” Caring also involves health. Roy Smythe from Forbes warns: “We must avoid, at all costs, simply delivering health care by drone.” Humans need humans? On a larger scale, “The EU has announced €24.4 million from the EU budget for urgently needed Ebola research”, reminds the EU Commission. “The funding will go to five projects, ranging from a large-scale clinical trial of a potential vaccine, to testing existing and novel compounds to treat Ebola.” Health offers plenty of innovation space as Jessica Leber from Fast Co-Exist reports, such as painless blood testing.


The last mile

The Last Mile - Strong Innovators

The Last Mile – Strong Innovators

Instill the right skillset

When deploying a network, the last mile to home is always the hardest to get. As with everything, all it needs is a starting point. HR are a key enabler to recruit the right skills for Big Data. They in turn have to know not only what it means, but how to better use the technology, as Michael Carty from Personnel Today suggests. Then HR needs to chose the right candidates as well. For this,  Braden Kelley explains on LinkedIn that  “Most people would agree that our education system is no longer up to the task required for maintaining innovation leadership.” The Economist pledges for a massive change in the role technology has in economies. So far, it hasn’t proved successful in bringing sustainable growth, having rather initiated an economic decline instead.  Ted Greenwald from the MIT reminds that “it has taken a while for the software that helps people get work done to catch up with the fact that many people are increasingly working on tablets and phones. Now new apps are making it easier to create and edit documents on the go.” Jeff John Roberts from GigaOm explains through the voice of Paul Brody, VP of the Internet of Things for IBM, that the “IoT is still in a bubble phasis”.

Setrag Khoshafian from Information Week suggests a different idea: IoT needs to reach the digital processes to get traction. Matt Asay from ReadWrite suggests data scientists should develop their writing skills to better express their ideas and have a greater impact. Kim Wagner from the Boston Consulting Group has also analysed that strong innovators “demonstrate a consistent commitment, even—or especially—in the face of failure.” Gil Alouche from Big Data Startups recommends to recruit talents able to implement innovative solutions rather than data scientists. Service providers would already have them among their teams.

It may be that what matters most is the value of data. IBM Smarter Planet offers on Forbes a straightforward approach to benefit from it: “Take advantage, Monetize, Enrich and Protect the data.” New managers need fresh views. As Nicolas Glady from ESSEC Business School explains, Orange and the school deployed the “Data-Venue”, enabling researchers, companies and entrepreneurs to connect to a single platform and share knowledge and experience. Elucidat stresses how critical mobility experience is for e-learning, seeing an opportunity to “helping somebody work with and learn with a patient at a bedside, actually as they are doing it.” Ryan Fuller suggests a number of new indicators to evaluate performance, including collaborating times, interactions with managers. As he reports, “Now, with the ability to directly measure engagement, there is no telling what organizations and employees themselves will learn about what drives them.” Indicators should evolve as a result of social changes when unfortunately, other things remained the same. As Robin Ely explains for HBR: “In the end, we found not just achievement and satisfaction gaps between men and women, but a real gap between what women expect as they look ahead to their careers and where they ultimately land.


The Last Mile - Privacy and Security

The Last Mile – Privacy and Security

Create a Privacy and Security framework

One of the new habits the connected society will have to learn is data protection, in response to higher data exposure to cyber-criminals. The Telegraph lists a number of prerequisites to protect mobile data. Chris Matyszczyk finds out  for CNET that most American would better trust the NSA than a company like Google, according to a recent survey. Yet we are still trying to define the privacy framework for the Internet.  Jason Cronk from Big Data Startups writes: “The ethical considerations need to be similar as well, with a focus on minimizing the harm to the subject and maximizing benefit, quoting one of the many theories presented to define a balanced privacy policy. Chris Mills concludes his article for Gizmodo, about major U.S. companies backing up net neutrality, on a reinsuring note: “While it’s a little disappointing that these corporations don’t have the courage to take a public stance against Comcast and its spokespeople, it’s at least encouraging that non-internet-related firms like UPS recognise the value to everyone of having a functioning, democratic internet. “

There are also going to be growing security threats, as already analyzed in “More Data, More Problems. More Solutions?. Net Security reminds that “Most organizations (67%) are facing rising threats in their information security risk environment, but over a third (37%) have no real-time insight on cyber risks necessary to combat these threats.” James O’Toole reports for CNN on Verizon’s use of Unique Identifiers Headers to “keep individual customers anonymous while transmitting information about their interests and demographic background for use in targeted ads by marketers.” Nazar Tymoshyk underlines the need for real-time analytics: “If security monitoring is a data storage problem, then it requires a big data analytics solution capable of analyzing large amounts of data in real time”, he writes for MapR. Gordon Makryllos from CSO reminds how huge the impact could be: “Smarter devices, faster networks and the cloud becoming ubiquitous all combine to power greater consumption of digital content – in short, users want more data all the time and want it now.


The Last Mile - Real Needs

The Last Mile – Real Needs

Develop the right Business Models

As a consequence of new tools and new rules, the game is poised to change. Shekhar Mitra relates for Business Standard how Vyome is using a business model that “entails a recursive loop of investment – licensing or partnership, product release and subsequent royalties.” Thibaud Andre from Innovation Excellence presents the ten most innovative Chinese companies, with an overview of their strategies. PADDAY from Intercom has identified a new way of selecting applications which might “end the applications as we see today”.  Howard Baldwin notes that Big Data will leave no industry asides in this article for Forbes. Indeed, even the Marinescorp relates how “U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is building an open-source data-mining program that will run automatic keyword searches across a variety of websites and databases, allowing its operators to build a better picture of their operating environment in as close to real time as possible.” Sameer Nori from Smart Data Collective reminds that “Using Hadoop, businesses are able to get a better view of these important behavioral metrics.” It requires to identify the right business models, the right partnerships. US Telecom Media reports on an initiative between Cisco and the city of Chicago to better evaluate metrics in the city, from air quality to traffic. Is it an easy task? No. As stakeholders tend to disagree on the analysis of needs, they potentially prevent objectives to align. As an example, Gregory Ferenstein reports on Bill Gates disagreement over Thomas Piketty economic analysis in The Capital in 21st Century. Who is getting poorer? Who is getting richer? What are the real needs? Stuart Dredge mentions in The Guardian that Youtube may start subscriptions to access its video service, instead of displaying ads. What is the right pricing offer? Who is willing to pay for a service that was free up to now?

CB Insights intents to list key players category of the IoT in below periodic table to highlight the variety of stakeholders involved.

CB Insights Periodic Table of IoT

CB Insights Periodic Table of IoT

Indeed, the IoT chemistry proves rather complex. As Raja Rao from Tools Journal explains, “The importance of analysing big data has grown multi-fold.” That’s the main driven for “As-A-Service” markets, as Veer Gidwaney reminds for INC.  Kavi Guppta also points out for Forbes that “Agencies and brands are no longer sure how the metrics they’ve known for over a century factor into the behaviors of customers today.” This is the eventual result of disruption, showing past can be misleading, and pushing companies and societies to build a better, more adaptative future. Sreenivasa Chakravarti from Tata Consultancy Services has a closing advice to try and bridge past and future through a list of questions we could ask ourselves now:

“Can we take cost out of the system? How can we reduce non-value adding time from every production task?

How can we predict the potential machine failures and issues on the line to ensure proactive response?

What are the ways to ensure compliance to customer specifications in order to reduce the back end load on verification and validation processes?

How can we identify defects early in the production cycle?

What will help ensure that the firm’s most valuable experts are leveraged effectively?”

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Posted in Big Data, Change, Creativity, Digital Economy, Diversity, Education, Society, Society and Technology, The Big Picture

Teaching the World to Change

Teaching the World to Change

InnoTrends is a monthly innovation trends analysis per segment. Today we look at Universities, Schools and Institutes.

The New Basics

Finance and economy

Finance and Economy

Finance and Economy

Sapnoti Eswar from the London Business School warns against the use of risks based financial strategy over longer term innovation. As he says, “firms may be able to use complex financial products, such as derivatives, to hedge risk. However, if they become over-reliant on this insurance mechanism, it could dampen their desire to invest in and produce innovative technology.” Indeed, some investments need to be envisaged with benefits that exceed short term return. As Dan Winterson from Stanford University reminds, “conservation impact investing is real and growing rapidly. One reason for this growth may be that it has broad appeal, as illustrated by the variety of collaborators on our study.” This new finance approach rise as the economy is demanding change. In this video, Nouriel Roubini highlights in an interview for Bloomberg the need for Europe to define an aggressive policy to generate growth, now going into unconventional approach as it is already too late to offset decline in the coming years. In Asia, a slowing Chinese economy is opening doors for India to become a key player in the next 5 years. These uncertainty conditions are causing a number of capital valuation to come under further scrutiny, as Wharton Knowledge explains about the recent valuation of Uber. “There was nothing in history for people to judge [such] valuations back then…. I think people will be far more disciplined.” As Justin Fox from HBR concludes on Icanh’s latest open letter to Apple: “Those decades also appear to have taught him that it’s okay to follow an investing strategy so simple that it invites mockery.  As long as he gets the last laugh, of course.”



New Management

New Management

New managers will be able to deal with uncertainty, and they will have to. They could for example develop a “reassessment cycle” whereby data and metrics are verified by experimentation, as Kevin Lindsay from HBR suggests. When needed, they’ll be given tools to reassess their own experience and learn to change, as Mireia Las Hera from IESE Business Schools explains. They can also develop a growth mindset, valuing potential instead of evaluating the past, as HBR explains. Joel Peterson from Stanford University underline the necessity of trust: “The people who run things must show – by their actions – the way they want business to be done, and the way they want people to be treated.” To achieve this, they will have to learn to ask the right questions as Richard Davies from HBR advises and take as less decision as possible following Netflix CEO example as related by Bill Snyder from Stanford University. This can lead to developing products and strategies that pull “a trigger, action, reward, and investment — helping us form new routines and establish new habits, no matter how endlessly loyal we think we are” as Nir Eyal from HBR implies. Finally, new managers will develop a strong but open sense of conviction, as Helmuth Ludwig from IESE Business School suggests.



Intentional Disruption

New breed of opportunities

New Opportunities

New Opportunities

John Hendersohn from London Business School reminds in below video that now is the era of everything “exponential”.

Now is time to be a non-conformist entrepreneur, as suggested by Eilene Zimmerman from Stanford University. As she explains, “Because the likelihood of failure is higher, their plan faces greater scrutiny and that makes them more likely to succeed in the long run if they make it through to the market.” It is also time to learn to work with partners and set the right alignment strategy, as Rick Reed from Stanford University explains. As we create the appropriate ecosystem and environment to encourage creativity in solving problems, opportunities impacts goes beyond revenues. According to Adam Grant from HBR, it generates three objectives: “The first is saving your best employees—those who exemplify collegial generosity—from being taken advantage of and helping them to gain stature as successful givers instead. The second is enabling employees who fear the risks of giving to contribute more to others and to the success of the enterprise. The third is creating a culture of and reputation for generosity that attracts more givers to your organization and appeals less to takers.”


Interconnected skills and capabilities

Interconnected Skills and Capabilities

Interconnected Skills and Capabilities

Professor Donnelly from the Watford Institute of Technology describes this new era for Silicon Republic. In his own words, “The exciting thing about the internet of things is that it is a new way of building services, organising society, collecting information and processing that information. But what is really exciting is how it can be used for the benefit of society”. Eddie Yoon from HBR details how localisation will also play a role in the way we address markets geographically. The disruption reaches every level of value chains. Michael Porter from HBR mentions products and functionalities potential while Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explains the impact on Human Resources, with the privacy concerns, lack of expertise and organizational politics issues that will rise with IoT technologies. IoT will also affect operations, finance and engineering, as Joey Fitts from HBR reminds. One way to thrive in that era is to purposedly determine a guiding vision to analyse data, as Jeanne Ross explains for the MIT. In her view, “That means somebody is dictating. There is somebody who says, “This is how we will define sales, this is how we will define returns, this is when we will register revenue, and we are all living by this rule. Until we do that, we don’t have data that’s useful for most kinds of analytics.” It also proves important in terms of recruitment and brand image. As Joe Panepinto reminds for HBR: “With competition for tech talent at an all-time high and mobile tech savviness a common characteristic of new employees, demonstrating that your org “gets” the new IT landscape is incredibly important.” Furthermore, “it looks at “leading indicators” that could help the company figure out if someone is about to make a purchase and needs an extra push, or if a customer is about to give up on a brand and needs a reason to stay.”, as Wharton Knowledge explains.


The Law of Change

The blurring limits

Blurring Limits

Blurring Limits

This new era leads to better include the “us” rather as focusing on the “I”, as Jean-Charles Cailliez writes on his blog. The interconnected world transfers some of the decision making and even production layers to customers and/or partners. “Predictive analytics has the potential to transform both how government operates and how resources are allocated, thereby improving the public’s health.” explains Bechara Choucair for HBR. Mojgan Afshari from the University of Malaya highlights the impact of 4D printing to CloudTweaks, while Gwen Kinkead from the MIT mentions a new design software that is able to propose different solutions to design intelligently creative objects. As a result, Bruce Katz from HBR sees a potential for new “Silicon Valleys” to arise in different regions of the world. As he says, “The confluence of these disruptive economic, social, and demographic dynamics has changed corporate calculus. As companies design forward-looking strategies, they should be asking whether and how a greater commitment to urban locales could help them squeeze out even more success.”


A fast-changing ecosystem

Fast Changing Ecosystem

Fast Changing Ecosystem

We are now able to estimate the real value of green policies, as Mike Orcutt from the MIT explains. This allows cities like Mexico to better manage pollution related programmes and reach ambitious objectives, as reminds Corydon Ireland from Harvard University. Politics are also taking action, as HBR reminds: “President Obama is committing the U.S. to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels, while Chinese President Xi Jinping announced China’s first cap on emissions by 2030 (…) But unfortunately, a little basic math shows they may be too little, too late.” As Andrew Wilson from HBR explains: “there is more than a hint of a defensive posture here – we’re being reactive. Adaptation is critical, but as a sole strategy, it’s kind of silly and potentially devastating.” Therefore we need to better pilot sustainability within organisation, defining a common language, as Gregory Unruh from the MIT suggests. This is why some of us take action, like Yadav, a Freshman from Yale University, portrayed by Susan Gonzalez. As Yadav says, “You don’t need to be older to be able to do something. Age is just a number”. Peter Reuell from Harvard mentions Burton and Musunuru, recently awarded as a “recognition of exceptional teaching in introductory courses” in Science. The University of Cambridge and Stanford University are also working on including more women in STEM. As the University of Cambridge says, “To be a world class University we must recruit and retain the best candidates – from every sector of society.” For their part, Harvard have decided to choose a more open way of sharing knowledge, while Andrew O’Connell calls for a “life long learning” attitude to avoid “feeling entitled to hard-won authority”.

The good news is there will be plenty of sources to learn from. As Philip Tan from the MIT explains to the Huffington Post, “Diversity – gender, racial, religious, and economic – is critical for making games that speak to a diverse world.” A changing society arises, with fathers taking paternity leave and coming back more productive, as Stew Friedman from Wharton University explains in following video for CBS News. New applications will enable an intelligent education, as a few ideas from Grenoble Management School students show on Jean-François Fiorina’s blog. With change also comes debate. Baratunde Thurston from Bucknell University explains how net neutrality is essential to protect innovation and innovators, anywhere.

Larry Downes, from HBR, argues that in fact “The best way to ensure that profound and powerful economic principle continues to operate is to continue leaving it alone, having faith that it will keep driving disruptive innovation that generates consumer surplus and economic growth.” Beyond faith, there are a few certainties, though. As Susan Crowford points out for HBR: “We’ll need both better policies and better technology to make the invisible electronic layer of cities visible to us all. Because only when we can see something can we make progress.


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Posted in Big Data, Change, Digital Economy, Education, Green, InnoTrends, Management, Schools and Institutes, Schools and Institutes, Society

Europe in the Mirror, Emerging Markets: from local to global

Politics and Economics October

The Big Picture is a monthly PESTLE analysis. Today we look at Politics and Economics.

Europe in the Mirror

Greying policies

Greying Policies

Greying Policies

“We will not allow this to happen”, is the comment collected by Gabriel Nedelec for Les Echos when Voktor Orban, Hungary President, announced a tax on Internet. Down and everywhere in the streets, the crowd gets its voice heard. On the political side, some complaint about M. Draghi’s “erratic communication” and “secret management style”, according to Audrey Tonnelier from Le Monde. Looking at business now: some companies have “demonstrated on numerous occasions the extent to which it is willing to lobby senior people in government to protect its interests”, says Bryan Glick from Computer Weekly in the UK. So let’s look at economies and banking. “The UK, Belgium, France and Germany have voted their own laws to separate banking activities in 2013 and 2014, although the English law is ambitious, the French and German versions are particularly weak and have low impact” says Laurence Scialom from Terra Nova. She is not the only one asking for change in the finance sector.

According to Christopher Joye from The Financial Review, “Most agree the crisis was triggered by excessive debt, cheap money, and overvalued investments. But today we have more debt, even cheaper money, and dearer asset prices”. Alexandre Naulot from Oxfam France explains in Challenges that France together with 11 other EU countries is opposing a “really ambitious tax policy” on financial services, impacting those financial sources that actually have an impact on real economies. Instead, the government has decided to reduce its allocated budget to sustain competitiveness clusters by 30%, according to Matthieu Quiret from Les Echos. In Spain, Google News and Yahoo News will now be submitted to an Internet tax, as reminds ZDNet. About immigration, The Economist explains: “In reality there is nothing Mr Cameron can, or indeed probably should, do to curb immigration that would be in line with the public disquiet it is currently causing”. In Germany, ABHIMANYU GHOSHAL from The Next Web explains that “If an upcoming ruling proposed by local politicians passes, American companies hoping to sell their products and services to the German government or tech startups and businesses in Berlin may find themselves in a quandary, as they won’t be able to uphold their promises of maintaining user data privacy when government agencies request access”. As Corinne Deloy from Trop Libre remarks: “A high responsibility lies on our leaders – in politics, business and culture – throughout Europe to reinvent new patterns able to sustain our common future”.


Unity builds strengths

Unity Builds Strength

Unity Builds Strength

Nouriel Roubini from Project Syndicate has our opening thought: “So the global economy is flying on a single engine, the pilots must navigate menacing storm clouds, and fights are breaking out among the passengers. If only there were emergency crews on the ground.” Any volunteer? Actually, many. Joel Elkaim from Deloitte argues that we should “retrieve public policies evaluation from the closed administrative orthodoxy under which we are currently reviewing them, in order to include elected leaders, operational experts and universities”.  This also applies to business, as Eric Beinhocker mentions for McKinsey, “We believe that a reorientation toward seeing businesses as society’s problem solvers rather than simply as vehicles for creating shareholder returns would provide a better description of what businesses actually do.” We could also apply a “spoils system” to recruit our leaders, as already done in the US according to Kevin Brooks from Trop Libre.

Or we could also use the digital policy developed by the UE as part of the Horizon 2020 program to turn Big Data into opportunities for a variety of sectors, including Utilities, as suggests Cap GeminiGuillaume de Calignon explains for his part in Les Echos that digitalization is a way to simplify processes. To achieve this, Farid Gueham explains in Trop Libre that “we need to find a way to combine participation and collaboration” to allow the rise of “open governments”. For example, according to Tracey Ross from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “While anchors are no silver bullet for addressing the challenges low-income communities face, they can play an important role in this work, and the federal government should help position them to do so”.  Greg Satell reminds on Innovation Excellence the creation in 2006 of the “now called Open Source Elections Technology Foundation (OSET) to create open standards for voting that would be customizable, scalable and politically neutral”. If we fail, this is what we should expect, as Mathilde Damgé reminds for Le Monde: budget decrease, less power given to local authorities, less power over territories. Business leaders from IESE Business School call “Europe to come together as a unified source of strength and power to withstand the pressure-cooker of global competition.”

The golden age?

The Golden Age

The Golden Age

Smaller regions also need to be included in strategies. The EU comes up with examples such as “Darmstadt -a city of 150.000 people– building on its research & innovative output and on its active business community, ranks number seven at EU’s top 10 ICT Poles of excellence”. Everyone, everywhere. As Pankaj Ghemawat from the IESE Business School reminds, “threats to globalization won’t come from macroecomic fundamentals, per se, (…) but from protectionist policies.” So The Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations places people at centre of discussions, hoping to define a roadmap for philanthropic action favoring familial agriculture with examples of measures that led to increase the impact of philanthropic investments. The EU is also launching Big Data centric initatives as part of their Horizon 2020 programme. As GrowthBusiness explains, “ the programme will recruit approximately 50 start-ups over 30 months, with €5.5 million allocated to each successful applicant to develop their concept. They will also receive mentoring, technology, infrastructure and networking support.” Samuel Gibbs provides additional details for The Guardian: “A further €3.7m will be used to fund 15 researchers into open data posed with the question “how can we answer complex questions with web data?”. Moreover, according to Challenges, “A new research presents “a positive image of immigration” (in the UK) (…) Immigrants from 15 UE countries, including France and Germany, have contributed by 64% more in taxes than they perceived social revenues; those coming from Eastern Europe having paid 12% more than they cost, according to a research”.

Finextra explains how government in the UK tries to open critical questions to society: “While the government recognises the potential of digital currencies, it also asking for views on the potential risks posed by digital currencies, including possible risks to customers and financial stability”. On Rec reminds change leads further than stability, it leads to growth. “By 2020 the UK will have created cumulatively 346,000 big data positions since 2013 (…)This equates to 160 per cent growth in demand between 2013 and 2020, while overall UK employment is set to rise by just six per cent for the same period.” Challenges mentions ROI: “the “CIR” (a French tax reduction system specific to research) has contributed to an annual increase in research and development for companies of €5.3 billion from 2007 to 2012 with the creation of 28.000 research posts since 2008”. Euractiv realises that this is a challenge which engages standardization, beyond research community and innovators. Because innovation needs new standards. According to the OECD, “ Fifty-one juridictions (…) have massively supported a multilateral agreement that initiates automatic information sharing and mutual administrative support for fiscality topics”. In Hungary, where the crowd is still walking up the democracy avenues to fight for Internet freedom, the government has started to review in Internet tax plans. Why not anywhere else in Europe?


Emerging markets, from local to global

Lessons from past, and present

Past and Present

Past and Present

An opening thought from Steve Denning on HBR gives us a first hint: “Globalisation has concentrated capital where costs are lowest without, impacting their relationship with other communities. (…) These operations are devastating on the long term”. Constraints may be of size, in the sense that some ambitions might turn out to discard the small size of many countries, as The Economist reminds. For the widest ones, The Street highlights the massive reforms to undertake: “World Bank economists warned the Chinese government against pumping credit into the economy. They also recommended an overhaul of China’s state dominated financial system and reforms in its labor and real estate markets.” Whether in developed or emerging economies, Domenec Mele lists a number of corruption indictments that might affect economic development as well. “Greed”, the word is out. As PYMNTS reports, “An Argentine bank whose anti-money-laundering controls got a clean bill of health from the New York Federal Reserve processed money transfers worth approximately $24 million that federal prosecutors now say were illicit funds being laundered, the Wall Street Journal has reported.”

Local greed can have a global impact, as Marc Fiorentino explains for Financier SA. According to the financial expert, Ukraine crisis “has plumbed the Eurozone growth since the last quarter of this year. (…) For now sanctions haven’t slowed Russian intentions in Ukraine but they’re coming back at us in a boomerang effect”. Temba A Nolutshungu from The Free Market Foundation brings attention on the Forex policy in South Africa which “leads to a foreign-imposed risk-premium on the cost of all local investment and government funding”. Sid Verma from Euromoney further enhances: “The rouble devaluation is running in line with prior major EM currency crises”.  Finally, EuroMoney explains the high connectivity of regional economic downturns: “A slowing China combined with a strengthening dollar heralds a new normal for emerging markets, hitherto buttressed by cheap dollars and the Asian nation’s voracious commodity-import demand”.


Future with a local flavour

Local Flavor

Local Flavor

Emerging markets can benefit from locally developed consumer trends, as CapGemini explains: “Asia-Pacific is also the only region in the world where HNWIs feel digital contact is more important than direct contact with their wealth managers”. They also have local strengths according to The Economist who considers China’s stockmarket as being a driver for all other stockmarkets in the world. As Ronald Klingebiel from HBR remarks, for Africa as well as Asia: “it opens the door to novel business models, especially those centered on mobile internet”. There are guidance to be borne in mind though. Ricardo Hausmann from Project Syndicate recommends “A strategy for inclusive growth must empower people by including them in the networks that make them productive (…) Viewed properly, inclusiveness is actually a strategy that enhances growth.” Some countries like Argentina also focus on managing their debt, as La Tribune reports.

In turn, huge benefits are generated locally. As Dan Keeler from The Wall Street Journal explains: “Multinationals from emerging economies are growing their businesses some 10 percentage points per year faster than their advanced economy peers, both in their domestic markets and abroad.” “China should need more than 6,000 new planes (in the next twenty years), which represents a $870 billions potential market.”, explains Patrick Deniel from Usine Nouvelle. Local consumer behaviours also secure local business. The Economist makes the case of Indian shoppers who much prefer local shops rather than supermarkets, limiting growth of the latter. Aaron Baar from MediaPost explains that in Latin America: “You need to have word-of-mouth as a key pieces of your marketing strategy.” That may be the reason why some cities develop tourism based on the social economy, as Maddyness relates. Hence the arrival of foreign investors to a digital emerging markets in Africa. According to Jon Russell from TechCrunch: “Through, Facebook is working with a bevvy of telecom and technology companies to enable users to gain access to certain services from their phone without cost”.


Regional actions with global impact

Regional Global

Regional Global

BCG has released a new list of Global Challengers. There are 29 companies from China, 19 from India and 13 from Brazil. The Economist warns: “Big bets made in anticipation of rapid growth forever will go sour, and that may trigger financial hardship that leads to even slower growth—especially if rich-world investors develop an indiscriminate fear of emerging-market investments”. There are still important regional strategies as Chris O’Brien from VentureBeat reports: “SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (SIMI), made its biggest investment of $627 million in SnapDeal, India’s largest online marketplace (…) SoftBank also invested $210 million in Ola Cabs, a car-sharing service that has 33,000 vehicles registered to use its service across 19 cities in India.” Jon Russell from TechCrunch mentions Samsung strategy: “we can expect more China-centric plays as the company seeks to lift itself from its present doldrums.” while Les Echos mentions Momo, an application which is about to raise IPO on NYSE shortly after Alibaba raised theirs. According to Pascal Airault in L’opinion, the French carmaker Renault is opening a new plant in Oran, as part of its development plans in Africa.

Development leads to higher urbanization. Jonathan Woetzel from McKinsey explains that “This shift (to urban areas) will support the continued growth of the consuming class, which could double, to 263 million households, by 2030.” Bruce Einhorn from Business Week hence deduces: “Economic growth in China, weighed down by an aging population and an obsolete investment-driven economic model, is going to fall to 6.5 percent next year and will drop below 6 percent in 2016, “while in India, with the right reforms, it could go to 7 percent”. Malavika Velayanikal from TechInAsia would agree: “the startup activity is spreading out more in India. This backs up a recent study that showed India is the fastest growing startup ecosystem in the world, with 800 startups sprouting annually and new hubs maturing across the nation.” Rob Hartley from EuroMoney has another client: “South Korea’s proximity to China and the resulting close trading relationship mean the importance of the renminbi has been growing for Seoul. This is expected to lead to the emergence of Seoul as another key market in the offshore renminbi sphere.” Even Nasdaq has their local awards Asian Exchange awards. In Africa, Franck Tognini from Ideas for Development presents a different approach from French SMEs seeking to develop “the “Senegal-West Africa Cluster” in which job creation and business start-ups by young people is the top priority.”



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Posted in Big Data, Change, Digital Economy, Politics and Economics, Statistics, The Big Picture

What’s your personal language?

Personal Language

On the go is your innovation story inspired from elsewhere.

I’ve started taking computer science online courses and have been through my first PYTHON lesson on Udacity. It is such a privilege to access all this knowledge and professionalism for free (a privilege for free… A nice paradox). Looking through my past experiences and reading through your many creative thoughts, I’ve come to believe I anyway use some sort of personal language to understand what you say and hear what you actually mean. Reason for that is you all have your personal language. Whether it is because you are specialized in a field or sector, or because you are sharing your experience as a leader, the way you share an information and the background information provided on your biographies builds a unique point of view to take into account.

Personal languages are sometimes hard to understand. This is what we need to learn to do if we want things like equality, diversity, creativity, innovation that makes sense. It’s not that we don’t know. But we’ve started to focus discussions on ourselves, and we have forgotten backgrounds and experiences can differ. And to be honest although doable not going down this road was extremely demanding. There comes moments when we think it is too demanding. This is where complaints win over solutions. The system is such that there finally is no other choice than conceding defeat and letting things go. In 50 years, humanity has killed half of living creatures on Earth. Just one of the horrific bottom lines of our productive complaints.

Take Charge

Take Charge

Jacques Attali, a French economist, has recently issued a book called “Devenir Soi“, Becoming yourself. It only takes a few lines to understand the background of the title: Jacques Attali has tried, he has tried his best, but nothing changed. Everyone is driven by diverging interests. It doesn’t work. Is it hopeless? No. Jacques Attali asks us to stop waiting on others. We’re all waiting on someone else. What if we didn’t? What if we moved? Exploring cultures, arts, history, revolutions, the author takes us on a journey that starts with a downturn to allow reconstruction and then helps us understand there is hope. All it takes is understanding who we are, this very unique combination of experiences, thoughts, failures and successes, why it’s good, how it can help, and where we go from there. Be the change.

It may be all fine that we took so much time looking at ourselves. May be it all had to get that bad. But that can only be for a tremendous change. If you know your personal language, then you can write your own program and start interacting with that world you want to create. I’ve read so many good examples of constructive will to challenge the world. Today’s were: Michael Allen’s “No room to fail, no room to innovate“, and David Meyer’s “Mozilla and Mobile Operators want to make the world more global and more diverse“. As you can see, there’s a lot of inspiring personal languages out there. I hope they can help us take charge.

Have a nice week end.

J.R. Camp

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Posted in Change, On the go

The Payment Chess Board

The Chess Board

InnoGraph is an innovation strategy analysis through a series of charts and graphs. Following our article “Of Legacy And Change in the New Banking Ecosystem“, we now look at the payments market.

The Chess Board

The Chess Board - Opportunities

The Chess Board – Opportunities

Sharon Wajsbrot from Les Echos keeps spreading the news: non cash payments are increasing, players on the value chain are specialising, as mentioned in our latest article, the market is changing. As Jean Lassignardie from Cap Gemini reminds in the article, “banks try to delay complex transformation without losing sight of the crucial changes needed today”. Sharon Wajsbrot concludes: “for banks, the race has begun”. Alberto Jimenez from IBM is also on the race and estimates that “the full replacement of physical cash transactions with electronic payments could unlock over $4.13 Trillion dollars in fresh new revenue. Although it is unlikely that cash will go away entirely, just replacing 25% of today’s cash transactions could translate into over $1 Trillion dollars in new revenue for the payments value chain.” The opportunity is considerable, and mobile operators players have already made their first move: “massive client bases at all socioeconomic levels, dense physical agent networks –required for the conversion of cash to electronic value and vice versa-and the tight control they have over the content and services offered on basic devices (i.e. not smartphones). For banks and other parties interested in Mobile Money, these are pretty high barriers to entry and it would take a long time, and lots of money, to replicate them.” According to him, there is a solution: “Now the needs of the users of these platforms -­consumers at one end, and digital ecosystem players at the other-­ require enterprise-­grade platforms: the ones that work every time, all the time, and offer a wide-­range set of connections to the rest of the ecosystem to quickly grow the relevance of a Mobile Money service in the life of the consumer. This is the very definition of what Cloud technology can deliver.”

The Chess Board

The Chess Board

Have we just said Cloud? That opens doors to other players. As Alex Wilhelm remarks for TechCrunch, “Apple CEO Tim Cook said that in its first 72 hours, Apple Pay activated 1 million cards. That figure indicates that Apple Pay is picking up traction outside of the technology, early-adopter set. Apple Pay competes with rival offerings from Google, among others, alongside traditional payment methods”. About traditional payment methods, EMVCo reminds on FinExtra :“Adoption of EMV chip technology promotes a unified international payments framework, which supports an advancing range of secure payment methods, technologies and acceptance environments. As expected, in regions where EMV cards are widely deployed and the acceptance infrastructure is established, EMV transaction activity is much higher. As more and more countries move to secure EMV chip transactions, the payments industry can start to establish a truly global, interoperable payment environment.”.

As expected for this game, a range of chess pieces remains, aligned to defend the fortress.

Aligning pawns

The Chess Board - Threats

The Chess Board – Threats

As Michael Giusti from ISO & Agents mentions, “Just because there is new technology to implement, doesn’t mean we don’t need to finish implementing the old technologies,” said Gil Luria, managing director for Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities. Fraud prevention ranks among the biggest selling points for the EMV standard, and it’s beginning to outweigh one of the biggest selling points of magnetic stripe cards—compatibility. Mag-stripe advocates cite the system’s ubiquity in the U.S. as an advantage. But this country is hanging onto the legacy technology while the rest of the world has moved on, experts say.” Chris Measures explains in his article for Cabume, “PayPal has grown to be the de facto way of paying for goods on eBay, and has now spread to lots of other sites. Its smartphone app now makes it easy for people to pay for goods on the high street as well. Bitcoin goes further, not just marginalising banks but the entire idea of a national currency. However the real threat to banks is from brands coming into the market and pushing them into the background. The launch of Apple Pay in the US this week is a prime example of what might happen.”

The Chess Board - Millennials

The Chess Board – Millennials

Yet, The Economist warns: “Such technology has been around for years. It has failed to take off, however, in large part because so many firms have fingers in the mobile-payment pie, and often block others from grabbing a big piece of it. Google Wallet, a mobile-payment service that started up in 2011 to great fanfare, for a long time worked on only one of America’s four big wireless networks, Sprint. The other three have their own rival project, now called Softcard (…). A consortium of big American retailers, such as Walmart and Target, also offers a mobile-payment service, called CurrentC, as does PayPal, whose main business is online payments. And then there are dozens of startups, from Stripe to Square, each with its own take on mobile payments.” Josh Ong from Fast Company explains how “Mobile payments haven’t quite taken off yet. I’m sure more than a few of you have taken to using Google Wallet and other similar services for NFC purchases, but these are still the exception, rather than the rule. Apple is taking its entry into payments very seriously, working with hundreds of banks and major brands for the launch.” while Bryan Yurcan remarks that “60% of checking account owners said their debit card is an essential service. An even larger number of millennials (74%) report that they “can’t imagine not having a debit card.” When it comes to online banking, 51% of consumers cite it as their preferred channel to conduct checking account transactions. While mobile payments are gaining popularity, they haven’t “taken on a stronghold like debit cards have.”

These are not the only barriers to payment markets. TechVibes reports on a survey from technology research company Software Advice which states that “25 percent of consumers were likely to use digital currency if it becomes widely accepted, with 9 percent saying they currently use it, but among SMBs, half said they were ill-prepared for digital payments, and half were “not at all prepared” for digital currency.” Talking Payments concludes with the usage point: “Security will always be an issue to new customers, particularly when it comes to sensitive information like their payments data, and the providers of wearable technology will have to convince them of its safety before people will really trust it. (…) Wearable technology will have to be introduced as a completely unique means of making a payment before it’s really considered as the main way to pay.”

Objective: The centre of the board

The Chess Board Key Success Factors

The Chess Board Key Success Factors

Retailer base

Merchants and retailers are key partners in the payment sector. One objective the game is to create a network effect through their points of sales. As Jim Marous sets the scene for The Financial Brand: “Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) has built a consortium of over 70 of the largest retailers in the US including Target and Wal-Mart and announced an alternative mobile wallet solution, CurrentC. The participating merchants control one in five retail dollars spent in US stores, and have said they won’t accept Apple Pay”. Timeframe is also important as Harry McCraven reminds in his article for Fast Company: “with an October 2015 deadline looming which will require many retailers to install new terminals, the odds are good that many more will be Apple Pay-ready before too long.”

Daisuke Wakabayashi reminds in The Wall Street Journal that “only Apple’s newest phones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, include the technology. Apple has signed up the six biggest card issuers, accounting for roughly 83% of credit-card transactions, with 500 financial institutions coming by early next year. It also has the three major credit-card networks: Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and American Express Co. Still, corporate credit cards or prepaid cards aren’t accepted yet. Neither are retailers’ proprietary credit cards, so shoppers can’t use their Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s cards.” To win the merchants trust, Current C has developed a different approach, according to Mike Isaac from The New York Times. In his view, “CurrentC is an effort by merchants to build their ideal mobile wallet. CurrentC is designed to link directly to a customer’s bank account instead of a credit card. This is a strategic move, analysts say; in bypassing the credit card companies, merchants can avoid the high fees that they are required to pay on each credit transaction they process. CurrentC would also give retailers the ability to track shopping habits across the dozens of stores that belong to MCX, a data set that has traditionally been held by credit card companies, not merchants.” This video from Bridget Carey will give you an overview of where we stand on the board.


Security is key for payments. This drives companies to develop new solutions, and Aurus is presented by PYMNTS as being an innovative partner to work with. They “developed AurusShield®, a patented secure payment application that is solving the challenges being faced by retailers to protect their payment data against the threat of malware attacks. A data breach can result in substantial loss of revenue, drive customers to competitors and sometimes even result in bankruptcy. AurusShield is an innovative approach in the marketplace, and keeps our customers ahead of the cybercriminals while preparing them for EMV, mobile commerce and other innovative payment solutions.” Alex Scroxton from Computer Weekly mentions Boku in the UK, and explains “The advantage for consumers is mainly convenience – rather than enter your credit card number, security code and address, you can just enter your phone number – but also security, to make a charge the buyer must be holding their phone in their hand or send a text message to confirm. The scheme could therefore help protect consumers guard against card-not-present (CNP) fraud, a perennial concern among e-commerce merchants, Prideaux suggested.”

The Economist comes up with an estimated amount of debit card fraud in the US and wonders “Why has it taken America so long to adopt the anti-fraud measures that continental consumers have used for years? America is the only rich country that still relies on magnetic strips and signatures for most credit-card transactions. It is also the only one in which the market in counterfeit credit cards is still consistently growing. Retailers, banks and card issuers lost $5.3 billion to credit-card fraud in America in 2012—about half the global total.” As Josh Ong outlines for The Next Web, “CurrentC, a retailer-backed payment system billed as one of the chief competitors to Apple Pay, has notified customers that hackers may have acquired their email addresses, as first reported by Business Insider. (…) Even so, the hacking does raise questions about the security of CurrentC’s system, which stores financial data in the cloud and uses QR codes and passcode to approve payments.” Finally, Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan concludes by reminding “it’s far more likely that criminals will use the flaw to set up hundreds or thousands of fraudulent transactions in smaller amounts to evade notice. A good reminder to keep an eye on your account, no matter how small the charge.”

User experience

The Chess Board Key Success Factors

The Chess Board Key Success Factors

One thing we should expect from a service is that it simply works. Meaning that is works simply. Anick Jesdanun explains why on INC: “It’s easier just to pull out my plastic credit card than to figure out which card works with which app and which app works with which store. In practice, the process isn’t so smooth. I have several payment apps taking up space on my phone. I open them only when I need a reminder of why they are so frustrating. After all, whipping out a credit or debit card isn’t so time-consuming, though it is a pain when I lose a card or leave it at home. It would be nice not to have to carry them around. Dewindra Hardawar from Venture Beat says “What we really need is a faster and more secure payment method than plastic cards with magnetic stripes.” The fact is, there are issues. As Ben Lovejoy explains for 9to5 Mac, “In two instances, multiple payments were taken for a single transaction. Apple later confirmed that the glitch was indeed a formatting problem in the data, and fixed it the same day. Some of the issues appear to result from using apps without signing-in – something Apple Pay in principle makes possible, but which many apps don’t yet appear to properly support.”

Evan Nemerof from American Banker reminds that this also is a market opportunity. In his article, he mentions “Digital Disbursements reduces end-to-end disbursement costs by as much as 75%, Bank of America said in a Tuesday press release, when compared to a physical check. Also, merchants could potentially save more than $1 billion annually by eliminating disbursement checks, the release said, citing data from an Aite group survey. “We are very proud to offer an alias-based business-to-consumer payments solution. Digital Disbursements is an important step in the evolution of the payments industry in the United States,” Dub Newman, head of global transaction services in North America for Bank of America, said in the release.” Faaiz Tameem from WIRED concludes: “Digital technology is about making life easier, and Apple Pay is just the start. And for now, that my wallet has been digitally transformed, it can go back to being a style accessory.”

Strategic opening

The Chess Board Strategic Opening

The Chess Board Strategic Opening

Central pawns first

This is how John Heggestuen from Business Insider introduces Apple Pay: “Apple Pay boasts a number of security features that speak directly to consumers’ top mobile payments concerns. (…) Hoping to steal the show, MCX, a consortium of over 70 of the largest retailers in the US, announced its own mobile wallet, “CurrentC,” days before Apple. These merchants control one in five retail dollars spent in US stores, and won’t be accepting Apple Pay, according to sources familiar with the matter.” Sarah Perez from TechCrunch presents another device based strategy. In her article, she relates the story of “The former head of Google Wallet and longtime PayPal exec, Osama Bedier, is this morning revealing his new company Poynt, a “future-proofed” payment terminal that combines an Android-based tablet with a hardware docking station, and includes support for all modern payment technologies, including traditional magstripe cards, EMV (chip and pin), NFC (Google Wallet and Apple Play), Bluetooth, QR codes, and beacon technology, in an all-in-one device sold at cost.”

Making good developing moves

They already know how to do it on the web. Should they be successful on mobile as well? Ben Thomson says he’s not so sure. In his article for Stratechery, he explains “The problem for PayPal is that, as noted, peer-to-peer payments is a “square”-shaped problem; all of PayPal’s internal incentives are designed to solve this problem first-and-foremost. That’s why when it comes to a new problem, like easily enabling an individual or small business to be a merchant, PayPal is markedly inferior to what is on offer from startups like Stripe (for e-commerce) and Square (for offline purchases)”. Josh Ong from The Next Web explains “Previously, PayPal had tested Pay After Delivery with a small pilot in the UK and Europe. The service is now generally available in the US. Pay After Delivery is free, but you’ll need to have a verified account, since it’s basically a short-term line of credit (…) PayPal also announced a partnership with Tillster, which will see it provide mobile payments in an upcoming Burger King app, and an integration with GoDaddy for its online store.” Napier Lopez from The Next Web remarks that “Google has been quickly expanding the capabilities of Wallet recently. What first started as a simple mobile payment tool is now approximating established rivals like PayPal in functionality. The company also made it a point to note that your Wallet transactions are 100 percent covered by the company’s fraud protection system, surely in reaction to claims that Apple Pay is safer, as well as general concerns over vulnerabilities in mobile payment systems.”

The Knights before the Bishops

The Chess Board Strategic Opening

The Chess Board Strategic Opening

Banks also want to play the game. Sarah Clark from NFC World quotes RBC and writes: “With the addition of new mobile devices we are making the RBC Wallet more accessible to our clients through an additional platform and devices, ensuring that our users will continue to have the choice and flexibility that they have experienced in our traditional and online banking channels,” says Linda Mantia, executive vice-president for cards and payment solutions at RBC. “Our mobile capabilities are growing and will continue to evolve to offer our clients with value added services, more payment options, on more devices, across more networks.” Nick Summers mentions a French example for The Next Web, “French bank is gearing up to launch an online payment service for Twitter users. Unveiled last month by S-Money – a subsidiary of the banking group BPCE – it’ll give users the ability to “simply Tweet money to one another.” As Leila Abboud from Reuters explains to TechMeme: “The move by Groupe BPCE, France’s second largest bank by customers, coincides with Twitter’s own push into the world of online payments as the social network seeks new sources of revenue beyond advertising. Twitter is racing other tech giants Apple and Facebook to get a foothold in new payment services for mobile phones or apps. They are collaborating and, in some cases, competing with banks and credit card issuers that have run the business for decades.” In France as well, Sharon Wajsbrot relates the launch of a new service from Visa in an article for Les Echos. According to him, “To remain at the forefront of the market, the credit card specialist Visa is launching a new solution for contactless payments, in partnership with Atos subsidiary Worldline. Based on the Host Card Emulation technology, which utilizes a cloud-based storage system, will be on trial as of March with around 1,000 users of four partnering banks”. Banks want to play the game, but at calculated risks, and that may be an issue according Jim Marous. In his article for The Financial Brand, he explains: “A reluctance to “accept failure” is a cultural weakness which impacts innovation. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that banks are not good at supporting employees who take calculated risks and fail, and the survey confirms that banks are weak in this area. With regard to where investment is being made, channel innovation still is receiving the greatest emphasis, 89 percent of banks worldwide saying they were increasing their investment in this category. “

Never move the same piece twice in opening

That’s the law of change: it can even stumble the foundation, and affect currencies themselves. May that be with limited impact. Hacking Finance presents BitCoin status with key figures.

Hacking Finance

Hacking Finance

Evan Faggart has studied the potential impact of a massive usage of BitCoin in current economic situation, and while accepting that things can differ in the real world, he concludes: “the general process of boom and bust holds true for each specific event. Thus, we have seen two possible scenarios in which a Bitcoin credit bubble could occur. Although both scenarios have distinct features, the end results are the same: a huge spike in the Bitcoin price would occur, and a massive price drop would follow. While it is uncertain if these scenarios will actually play out in the real world—given that several Bitcoin exchanges have passed proof of reserves tests, and that it is uncertain whether or not Bitcoin will become mainstream—it is important to consider the definite possibility of these scenarios.” In following article, Fondapol explains for Trop Libre that BitCoin is “an open network that no one ones, free of rights, a transmission channel that holds no interest in what it conveys. Thus, as the Internet is a platform facilitating digital communication, Bitcoin seeks to enable transactions and creates that last link that was missing to digital exchanges, a monetary tool”. Jonathan Shiebel from TechCrunch mentions Circle, “the mobile app focuses on core tasks in digital money like sending and requesting money using a phone’s contact address and a bitcoin address; performing in-person transactions using QR codes, and instantly converting between dollars and bitcoin using linked bank accounts and cards.” Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s owner, explains in the article that “Focusing on person-to-person payments is a straightforward thing to do right now. Payment products have been limited to domestic use and tied to one banking system out of thousands around the world.”

Castle early if you can

This complex chess board has witnessed a great variety of partnerships, burdens shared with relevant players. Global Payments announced on Finextra “that its Integrated Solutions division, OpenEdge, fully supports Apple Pay, and will deliver the service to more than 2,000 integrated software application developers. (…) OpenEdge will add Apple Pay to its software development kit, allowing developers the ability to embed the payment service into their offerings.”  Finextra mentions the partnership between Samsung and UnionPay in China: “People using Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 4 phablet as well as the older Note 3 and Galaxy S4 smartphones will be able to use the system across a network of some 3.6 million NFC-ready terminals at shops throughout the country. Samsung’s entry into China mimics Apple’s approach to the US launch of the Apple Pay service, by forging links with card schemes and issuers to gain a foothold in the nascent non-cash payments market.” Usine Digitale explains how Apple and Alipay could enter in partnership in the same country: “I hope we can do business together” said Jack Ma, Alibaba CEO, about potential talks with Apple.

The Chess Board - Outlook

The Chess Board – Outlook

PYMNTS reminds Apple is actually in talks with a wide range of partners, “Apple is talking with HID Global and Cubic, which both specialize in making secure keycard building access and transit fare systems. Developers today are not permitted to tap into NFC used in both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as it remains exclusive to Apple Pay. The feature could, however, be open to select partners and give developers the option to use the feature within their applications.” As Lance Ulanoff reminds, a lot of players cannot partner with Apple for payments, though. In his article for Mashable, he quotes “Denée Carrington, a Forrester analyst who closely tracks the mobile payments industry, explained that the members of MCX are also part owners in the LLC (Limited Liability Company) and, as such, all signed off on an agreement (…) “Part of the agreement,” Carrington told me in an email, “is a non-compete: No other mobile payment solution other than MCX’s CurrentC can be accepted in-store.” Carl Franzen from The Verge mentions latest bank partnerships with Apple and concludes: “Barclaycard has also reportedly turned on Apple Pay for its US customers today, but we have yet to see any official notice from the company. Several other smaller credit unions are also said to have turned on Apple Pay as well.”

Develop on both sides of the board

The Chess Board Symbiosis

The Chess Board Symbiosis

There is room for improvement, and only “offensive” developments will enable a chessmate. As Tony Levy from IBM reminds, “With analytics delivered on cloud through software as a service (SaaS), finance organizations and users can take advantage of the full breadth of reporting, analysis, planning, budgeting, forecasting, scorecarding and what-if profitability analysis capabilities—but with the speed and agility of a cloud-based solution.” About the Chinese market opportunity, Zennon Kapron  from INSEAD outlines “With over 1 billion consumers, mobile payments for Chinese vendors are a huge opportunity. (…) But if Apple does choose to proceed in China and obtains all licenses required, it could be too late to bring any innovation to the mobile internet payments industry. Local players like Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s Tenpay have infiltrated the mobile payments market offering extremely convenient money transfer; utilities payments; booking; and even fund investment technology. While mobile payments are huge here, NFC is not.”

The Chess Board Outlook

The Chess Board Outlook

Companies choices have wider repercussions on the economy, as PYMNTS reminds: “The argument goes like this: Apple is the world’s largest company, when measured by market capitalization and it accounts for about 3.5 percent of the weighting of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. Apple accounted for 18 percent of the entire rise of the S.&P. 500 index this year. That is how it drives—or at least strongly influences—the U.S. economy directly.” This is why William Lazonick has written an open letter to Apple to express his will to see a better shared ROI from Apple to its “real investors”. In his article for HBR, he explains “However, there are two other important groups of people who invest in the corporation without a guaranteed return: Taxpayers, through a wide variety of government agencies charged with spending on physical infrastructure and the nation’s knowledge base, regularly provide productive resources to companies without a guaranteed return.” Arnab Sengupta from Finextra is confident about the launch of Apple Pay and raises a key question: “within the next one year, we are expecting around 180 million iPhone 6 customers (some upgraded from iPhone 5) equipped with Apple Pay facility and iOS 8.1 Operating system ready for Apple Pay usage. Does anyone believe that the projected 180 million iPhone 6 customers with Apple Pay ready features within a year will not be using this feature for payments in the existing or newly deployed NFC terminals as well as with the online merchants with Apple Pay supported cards?”

Victor Luckerson sums up the situation for TIME Magazine: “But consumers are still reluctant to give up their credit cards. Mobile payments generated $4.9 billion in sales in 2014, a paltry figure compared to the year’s $4.8 trillion in card transactions, according to Euromonitor. Google’s own mobile payments service, Google Wallet, offers much of Apple Pay’s functionality but hasn’t seen widespread adoption. Startup Square abandoned its much-hyped mobile wallet platform earlier this year, instead pivoting to an order-ahead service like Seamless. PayPal, which is spinning off from eBay in 2015, has also struggled find a mobile formula that works in stores. The transition to mobile payments is a challenging one because it requires buy-in from so many different players.”
This article was inspired by Chess Central and Greg Satell from Innovation Excellence. It is dedicated to the chess game lovers of my family, my husband and my father.


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