Following the overwhelming response and many queries from my article on the Blockchain, I thought it may help to provide a quick overview of the Blockchain – what it is, how it works, and the ways it is being applied.
Whether it’s Bitcoin, or the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency gold rush cannot go unnoticed. From traditional finance, Venture Capitalists, traders to governments around the globe are all stepping up their activity keen to get a piece of the action on the promise of the digital currency.
To keep track of all the recent announcements Q INSIGHTS has gathered key global trends to take note:
This is the third and final installment of the 3-part blog series on social currencies and its impact on payments. In part 1, I provided background on Google and Facebook’s social media intentions. In part 2, we took a look at the different payments business models of Google and Facebook, and here we examine some potential barriers as well as the opportunities in social currency adoption.
One hurdle (though minor, in my perspective) is that Facebook Credits charges 30% of earned revenue, which is relatively large in comparison to credit card processors and other options that are typically in the single digits. In the context of other online providers, the rate is in-line with Apple, Google, and Amazon that take 30 percent of all purchases made through iTunes, app stores, or Amazon’s eBooks store. For social game providers the benefits can outweigh the costs, which may be the reason why they are willing to adopt a more expensive, but secure, reliable, and frictionless payment system.
Last week, I provided background on Google and Facebook’s social media intentions. In this second installment of the three-part blog series we take a look at the different payments business models of Google and Facebook…
Google’s Payments Business Model
As I previously mentioned, games integrated into the social network experience would propel Google’s payments growth strategy and help drive the adoption of Android Operating System, Chrome Web Store, and Google Checkout. Back in 2006, Google launched its PayPal-like alternative payments method, Google Checkout, funded by the major card brands. It was the search giant’s initial venture in a one-stop mechanism for purchasing from stores across the web. Although Google Checkout already exists as a payment function for hundreds of merchants, adoption rates have been sluggish. In incorporating Google Checkout in its Chrome Web Store, Google plans to accelerate adoption of its mobile applications, and looking to emulate the success of Apple’s business model.
I’m sitting in New York Penn Station. I’ve downloaded the Amtrak mobile app so now I can check the train schedule without having to race to the display board every time there is an update. Train is delayed. Ugh. I realize that I’m on the regional train and not the faster Acela. I peer over at the long waiting line and my heart sinks. I return to the Amtrak app and see if I can change my reservation. Yes! A few clicks and a lighter wallet, my transaction goes through.
I look at my twitter feed. Markets in turmoil. I check LinkedIn. Lots of transition. I switch over to Facebook. I’ve been invited to play Farmville, the current popular social game. I notice the teenager seated next to me is absorbed in harvesting his crops in Farmville. He’s not happy with his withering tomatoes, and uses real money to purchase “farm cash” to rejuvenate them. For the sake of productivity and my purse (I know how those small payments can add up), I choose to stay away.