SparkOptimus News Highlights – Week 7

At SparkOptimus, we try to highlight the most important news and background stories in digital, e-commerce and retail. Here is our selection of last week’s news:

2015 is expected to be the year of mobile payments and Google is not planning on missing out. Together with Square, they announced on Thursday the launch of Plaso, a convenient new technology which allows customers to use their initials to verify a mobile transaction. The partnership is a next step in the race to lock in the customer, as earlier wallet attempts for both Google and Square didn’t really take off. Next to these tech giants, Rabobank announced a pilot with their own Rabo wallet. Although currently limited to only two Samsung devices, Rabobank expects nonetheless debit cards to be obsolete at the end of the year.

Despite having to adopt to changing payment options in the next ten years, some companies tend to focus on different problems: finding customers that can be charged in the first place. Twitter did, Fab didn’t. Belgium pure players are facing the same challenge, as their customers walk away to their Dutch neighbors, effectively losing €2.4 billion per year. The Belgians are disappointed, but as Paul Graham said: “You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and drag them back to your store”. Or in words of our own Jur Gaarlandt:  “Choosing a niche is essential in surviving the online gold rush”.