Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Verizon taking a media beating over Google Wallet, plays coy about its intentions with regards to Isis

NFC Rumors:  Well, it finally started - Verizon is being called to task about their position on Google Wallet and allowing consumers to use whichever services they want on their NFC smartphones. If you are a regular here at NFC Rumors, you will know we haven't been keen about how Isis members have treated NFC and NFC services for consumers. However, the Galaxy Nexus has taken this industry known issue into the main gadget media today as consumers start to ask "can I use Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus?" The answer is no and Verizon are throwing mud in different directions to try and relieve themselves of any blame, and what they are saying is probably not true. Ah, PR departments. You have to love 'em.

This post was originally written by NFC Rumors.

U.S. Holiday Spending = $20 Billion in 34 Days, Up 15 Percent

Weekly Online Holiday Retail Sales

U.S. Online Holiday Spending Approaches $20 Billion for First 34 Days of the November-December Shopping Season, up 15 Percent vs. Last Year

Spending Growth Strongest in Mid and Upper Income Segments, Driven by Increase in Dollars Spent per Buyer, while Lower Income Households are Seeing an Increase in Online Buyers
RESTON, VA, December 6, 2011 – comScore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 34 days of the November – December 2011 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, nearly $20 billion has been spent online, marking a 15-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week saw three individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending, led by Cyber Monday, which became the heaviest online spending day on record at $1.25 billion. Tuesday, November 29 reached $1.12 billion, while Wednesday, November 30 reached $1.03 billion. Growth softened somewhat during the latter part of the workweek, but strengthened over the weekend (Dec. 3-4) to 17 percent.
2011 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2010
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Millions ($)
20102011Percent Change
November 1 – December 4$17,007$19,57415%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24)$407$47918%
Black Friday (Nov. 25)$648$81626%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 26-27)$886$1,03116%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 28)$1,028$1,25122%
Week Ending Dec. 4$5,028$5,80515%
*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 2 thru December 5, 2010)
“This most recent week of online holiday shopping, known as ‘Cyber Week,’ reached record spending levels as three individual days surpassed the billion dollar threshold,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “We are now entering the portion of the season when online retailers typically reduce their promotional activity as they attempt to restore their margins, which can sometimes contribute to temporary softness in spending growth rates. However, this will likely be immediately followed with an acceleration in the spending rate as we approach the middle of December, which is sure to bring us several more billion dollar online spending days.”
Holiday Season Gains Driven by Increased Spending per Buyer in Mid and Upper Income Segments
comScore analyzed consumer spending patterns for the holiday season-to-date to understand which particular factors are driving the strong growth rates of 15 percent. The strongest overall spending gains have been driven by the mid-income segment (households earning $50,000-$99,999) at 19 percent, while spending among upper-income households ($100,000 and higher) is growing at a rate of 16 percent. Lower-income households (Under $50,000) are seeing a more modest increase of 9 percent.
In a departure from the past couple of years when the growth in number of buyers was the predominant driver of online spending growth, the majority of this year’s gains are being driven by an increase in spending per buyer. In fact, the number of buyers overall has increased just 3 percent compared to a 12-percent increase in dollars per buyer.
Analysis of the trends by household income revealed some differences by income segment. While mid- and upper-income households’ spending growth has been predominantly driven by an increase in dollars per buyer, lower income households’ spending rates have remained essentially flat while showing an increase in the number of buyers.
Retail E-Commerce Spending Composition by Household Income Segment
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Nov. 1 – Dec. 4, 2011 vs. Corresponding Shopping Days in 2010
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Dollars per BuyerBuyers (000)
20102011% Chg20102011% Chg
Total Households$146$16412%116,201119,6953%
Less than $50,000$136$134-1%37,75541,59410%
$50,000 - $99,999$146$17520%47,45347,004-1%
“We have seen some indications that mid- income Americans might be experiencing ‘austerity fatigue,’” added Mr. Fulgoni. “After spending the last couple of years increasing their personal savings in an effort to get their finances in order, some appear to have decided they are done pinching pennies and are increasing their spending by taking advantage of the many promotions and price discounts that online retailers have been offering in the first half of the holiday shopping season. The appeal of lower prices that can be found on the Internet is also undoubtedly a driver of the acceleration of the shift from in-store buying to e-commerce that we are witnessing among all income segments this season.”
About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit

comScore: 38 Percent of Smartphone Owners Have Made a Mobile Payment

Mobile Shopping Goes Mainstream: Majority of U.S. Smartphone Owners Performed Shopping Activities on Their Phone in September

Two of Every Five Smartphone Owners Have Used Mobile Device to Make a Purchase
comScore Hosts Webinar, “Handheld Shopping: How Mobile is Changing the Retail Environment”
RESTON, VA, December 5, 2011 - comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study on U.S. mobile retail usage based on data from the new comScore Mobile Retail Advisor report. The results showed that 38 percent of smartphone owners have used their phone to make a purchase at least once in the course of their device ownership. The most popular products purchased on smartphones during the month of September included digital goods, clothing/accessories, tickets and daily deals. These findings and others will be presented via a live, complimentary webinar,Handheld Shopping: How Mobile is Changing the Retail Environment, on December 7. For more details and to register, please visit:
“Fueled by smartphone adoption, mobile is becoming a central part in the shopping funnel for many consumers,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president for mobile. “In September we saw two-thirds of all smartphone owners perform shopping activities on their phones, including comparing products and prices, searching for coupons, taking product pictures or locating a retail store. Considering there are currently 90 million smartphone owners in the U.S., retailers without a well-developed mobile strategy are not only missing a tremendous opportunity with these customers but also risk becoming obsolete in the minds of these digital omnivores.”
Digital Goods, Clothing/Accessories and Tickets among the Most Popular Mobile Purchases
Digital content purchases, such as music, eBooks, TV episodes and movies, were the most popular mobile purchases in September with 47 percent of smartphone purchasers buying these items. 37 percent purchased clothing or accessories directly from retailer, while 35 percent of purchasers bought event tickets. Slightly more than one in three mobile purchasers bought daily deals and gift certificates on their device during the month.
Types of Products Purchased by Smartphone Buyers 
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 18+ 
Source: Custom Mobile Retail Advisor Survey Sep. 2011
Type of Products Purchased on Smartphone% of Smartphone Buyers
Digital purchases (i.e., songs/music, eBooks, ringtones, images, movies, TV shows, etc.)47%
Clothing or accessories directly from retailer37%
Tickets (i.e., concerts, movies, theatrical productions, sporting events, etc.)35%
Daily deals34%
Gift certificates34%
Electronics (i.e., television, computer)32%
Food (not grocery) for delivery or pick up (ex., pizza, Chipotle)31%
Hotel stays29%
Books (physical copies)26%
Car rentals24%
Airplane tickets24%
Analysis of where consumers were located when they purchased products/services on their smartphone found that 56 percent did so while at home, leading as the most popular purchase location. 42 percent of consumers made purchases while out of home (i.e. restaurants, parks, etc.) or at work, with 37 percent making purchases while traveling/commuting. Slightly more than one in three purchasers used their smartphone to make a purchase while in a store, highlighting the increasingly important role mobile is playing in consumers’ brick and mortar retail experience, especially as a tool for real-time price and product comparisons.
Location When Purchasing on Smartphone
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 18+ 
Source: Custom Mobile Retail Advisor Survey Sep. 2011
 % of Smartphone Buyers
Out other places (i.e., park, school, restaurant, etc.)42%
Traveling (i.e., in a car, on the subway, in a cab)37%
In Store36%

Handheld Shopping: How Mobile is Changing the Retail Environment Webinar
Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, will present further analysis from the comScore Mobile Retail Advisor via a live, complimentary webinar on Wednesday, December 7 at 2:00PM EST. For more information and to register, please visit:
The new comScore Mobile Retail Advisor is a twice-per-year report that focuses on the evolving mobile retail environment, with insights from comScore syndicated products as well as a custom survey. For more information on the comScore Mobile Retail Advisor, please contact Ralph Mango

MasterCard Board of Directors Announces Regular Quarterly Dividend

PURCHASE, N.Y.--()--MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend to holders of shares of its Class A common stock and Class B common stock. The cash dividend of 15 cents per share will be paid on February 9, 2012 to holders of record of its Class A common stock and Class B common stock as of January 9, 2012.
About MasterCard Incorporated
MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Learn more at

China’s Leading Location-Based Social Mobile App, Jiepang Partners With Starbucks

Jiepang Partners With Starbucks to Tap Outdoor Media for Huge Christmas Check-in Promotion

Jiepang launched its second Christmas check-in campaign with Starbucks on early November and now leverages outdoor media to further engage with consumers, setting new standards for location-based social media marketing

SHANGHAI--()--Jiepang, china's leading location-based social media app, today announced it has partnered with Starbucks to embark on the final part of a holiday promotion by using a combination of outdoor advertising, NFC technology, location-based service and social media to create rich and engaging experiences for consumers.
“It is interesting to see how a more traditional ad medium becomes a vital part of the location-based marketing, we believe this is going to be more and more popular going forward.”
From Nov 8 to Dec 17, Jiepang users who “check-in” at a Starbucks store in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces will receive a virtual Starbucks badge. When the number of badge issued hits 30,000, the virtual Christmas tree at Starbucks’ event webpage will fully light up, and those who have collected the badge will be able to enjoy a free upgrade – a bigger size of drink at Starbucks between Dec 17 and Dec 25.
To further engage with consumers, starting this week, Jiepang has placed digital signs that display the campaign advertisement at over 30 commercial buildings around those Starbucks stores in Shanghai. More importantly, these digital signs all have NFC tags on them. When consumers swipe a NFC-enabled smartphone over the tag, the phone will pop up a message showing them where the nearest Starbucks store is, and the fastest route to get there, thus prompting them to participate in the holiday promotion.
Also, on Dec 17, the huge LED screen of Raffles City Mall in People’s square, which is one of the busiest spots in Shanghai, will broadcast live the lighting up of the virtual Christmas tree for two hours. It offers a brand new interaction experience for consumers.
“This is the largest as well as most creative campaign we have ever worked with Starbucks,” David Liu, Founder and CEO of Jiepang said. “It is interesting to see how a more traditional ad medium becomes a vital part of the location-based marketing, we believe this is going to be more and more popular going forward.”
“We are happy to partner Starbucks with Jiepang to roll out this really engaging, interesting and impressive campaign that connects online interactions to the offline world. It successfully brings Starbucks closer to the consumers during this holiday season,” said Lu Huang, Marketing Director of President Starbucks Coffee Shanghai. Previously the number of virtual badges, which entitle customers to a free upgrade of drink at Starbucks, had been limited to 20,000, but since the campaign has gained so much traction throughout the past few weeks, Starbucks decided to increase the upper limit to 30,000.
About Jiepang
Jiepang ( is a location-based social mobile app that helps friends share where they are offline and in real-time. By “checking-in” with Jiepang’s iPhone, Android, or other mobile application, users share that they’ve arrived at specific venues, as well as share tips, photos, and comments around those venues. Merchants and brands can use Jiepang to reach, engage, and learn about their customers in both the offline and online worlds. To date, over 300 brands have partnered with Jiepang including Starbucks, McDonalds, Nike, Louis Vuitton and more. Jiepang is available for download in the iPhone App Store and Android Market, as an HTML5 or WAP mobile website at, and also preloaded on all new HTC, Sony Ericsson, Nokia and other smartphone brands in China. Jiepang is headquartered in Beijing, with offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei, and other cities as it serves its over 1.5M users in the major cities of greater China region.
Latest updates about Jiepang are available from the official blog and Sina Weibo (Chinese language):
Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Discover Releases November 2011 U.S. Spending Monitor

Discover U.S. Spending MonitorSM 
Consumer Confidence Jumps in November

More Consumers are Feeling Better About the Economy and Their Personal Finances; 
Discretionary Spending Intentions Rise as Holidays Approach
RIVERWOODS, Ill.--()--Consumer confidence increased substantially in November as more consumers viewed both the economy and their personal finances as improving, according to the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor. The Monitor, a 4-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month, recorded more than a 7-point rise from the previous month to 86.3 percent.
Nearly 19 percent of consumers felt economic conditions were getting better in November, a rise of more than 4 points from October. Similarly, those who believe economic conditions were getting worse declined by 7 points from October to 55 percent.
While most consumers still view the economy as poor, the percentage of consumers giving the economy poor marks dropped seven points from last month to 61 percent. Only 8 percent of consumers rate the economy as good or excellent.
Most of the shift in views about the economy came from 18 to 39 year-olds, whose pessimism declined substantially in November. Within this group, those rating the economy as good or excellent increased three points to 11 percent while those rating the economy as poor decreased by 11 points to 58 percent. The change for both 40 to 64 year-olds and 65 and older was much more subdued, and less than 4 points in these categories.
Personal Finances Are Getting Better
Consumer sentiment toward personal finances also improved in November.
  • 33 percent of consumers rate their personal finances as good or excellent, 3 points higher than October, and 24 percent rated their personal finances as poor, down 2 points from October and at the lowest level since July.
  • Consumers believing their personal finances are getting better increased for the third consecutive month to 18 percent, up 2 points compared to October. The percent of consumers who believe their personal finances are getting worse declined to 50 percent, down more than 4 points from October and the lowest level since May.
  • There was also a substantial decline in the number of men who felt their finances were worsening in November. Forty-seven percent felt their finances were getting worse, 9 points lower than the prior month.
Spending Intentions Rise, as More Consumers Have Money Left Over After Paying Bills
General spending intentions rose in November mirroring previous Monitor surveys during this time of year. Yet, more consumers plan to have money left over after paying their monthly bills.
  • 39 percent of consumers plan to spend more next month, the highest level since July 2008. Only 15 percent of consumers plan to spend less next month, a decrease of nearly five points compared to October and the lowest level since August 2008.
  • 48 percent of consumers expect to have money left over after they finish paying their monthly bills, an increase of more than 3 points compared to October and the highest level since February.
Consumers Planning to Boost Discretionary Spending
Improving attitudes about the economy and their personal finances has more consumers planning to spend the same or more in the month ahead on discretionary purchases.
  • On holiday gift giving, 40 percent of consumers planned to spend the same or more on gifts compared to last year, up three points from October. Fifty-seven percent of consumers planned to spend less, down nearly 4 points from the prior month.
  • 51 percent of consumers plan to spend the same or more on discretionary personal expenses such as going out to dinner or the movies, a 5-point rise from October, while those planning to spend less in this category declined by 5 points to 45 percent in November.
  • On major personal purchases, such as a vacation, 49 percent of consumers planned to spend the same or more, an increase of 3 points compared to October. Forty-five percent plan to spend less, 4 points lower than the prior month and the lowest level since February.
  • 48 percent of consumers planned to spend the same or more on home improvement purchases, up nearly 5 points from October.
  • Consumers’ plans to save and invest next month were also more optimistic, with those planning to save the same or more increasing 8 points in November to 57 percent, while those planning to save less decreased nearly 4 points to 39 percent.
About Discover
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers personal and student loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its Discover Bank subsidiary. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit

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