Approaches aimed at increasing functionality with smaller budgets are frequently discussed at management level in established companies, but are rarely successfully implemented. The reasons for failure (or at least lack of success) of these projects cannot be attributed to general factors (e.g. company size) or even a few different factors; reasons specific to the company in question also play a role. It is clear that a successful approach must be implemented in various areas if the core of the entire process of relevant innovation is not to be abandoned.

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Leading German and European companies have stated their intention to cooperate more closely to establish a joint, pan-industry platform for online registration, e-identity and data services. The aim is to make online registration simpler and more secure for clients. The participating companies have signed a corresponding declaration of intent. The initiative was set up by Allianz, Axel Springer, Daimler and Deutsche Bank with Postbank as well as the technology think-tank Core, and Here Technologies, the location services provider.

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The automotive industry is currently faced with a structural shift that is primarily based on technological and sociological changes, with development driven by demographic change, urbanization and technological progress (Moore’s law). As a result, transportation needs are changing, which in turn is giving rise to altered demands on existing infrastructures. This is illustrated clearly by the prominent example of the shared economy trends in urban areas. In the context of automotive transportation, this means that customers are restricting their use of personal modes of transportation in favor of alternative options. In Germany, for instance, this trend is making itself felt in a shift of the modal split between different means of transportation.

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Telefónica Deutschland launched the “O2 Banking” app in partnership with the Munich-based Fidor Bank at the end of July, by offering a fully-fledged current account which includes a MasterCard debit card. An app, developed in-house, provides customer-friendly access to all online banking applications. Furthermore, transfers can be carried out by means of a cellphone number or email address without the need to know the recipient’s bank account number. Telefónica recognizes the frequent use of the account by increasing mobile data volume and eliminating the account’s monthly costs. As neither Fidor Bank nor O2 has the necessary infrastructure in place, cash withdrawals are provided by third-party ATMs, whereby customers are not charged any fees, provided that there is sufficient usage.

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Less than a month after the announcement at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple Pay went live on the Swiss market on July 7, 2016. Up until then, there had been no sign of the revolution at Swiss NFC terminals predicted by Apple, which was mainly due to the fact that only three card issuers – Cornèr Bank, Swiss Bankers, and Bonuscard – support Apple Pay. Major players such as Credit Suisse, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, UBS and ZKB – who, between them, account for the majority of the Swiss payment card market – are not currently taking part in the Apple Pay program.

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Since October 2014, payment service Apple Pay can be used in combination with credit and debit cards of a partner bank in the USA. Additional markets, such as the UK, Canada and Australia successively followed. Following market entry in China during February 2016, the payment service has now been successfully established in five countries. The fact that during market launch in China, more than 40 million cards were activated within the first 48 hours is one indication of its increasing relevance. This quick adaptation rate indicates great potential. It is therefore safe to assume that the trend towards digital payment will continue.

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