Facebook Unveils Peer-to-Peer Payments on Messenger App

Facebook is adding a new feature that allows its users to send each other money through Facebook messages. Users link their debit cards in order to send their friends money. Unlike PayPal or Venmo, users do not have to “cash out” the funds. The payments transfer directly between debit cards. The new service, which is free to Facebook Messenger users, will roll out in the U.S. in the next few months. It will show up in the Messenger app as a dollar sign, next to the icons for text, photos and thumbs up. Continue reading Facebook Unveils Peer-to-Peer Payments on Messenger App

Visa and MasterCard Unveil Features to Combat Cyberattacks

As concerns continue to rise regarding credit card theft and data breaches, Visa and MasterCard have separately announced new plans to increase the security of their customer data. The world’s two largest payment networks will expand their cybersecurity measures for online transactions through new tokenization and biometrics verification technologies. The announcements coincide with increased efforts by the federal government and numerous industries to combat future cyberattacks. Continue reading Visa and MasterCard Unveil Features to Combat Cyberattacks

Mobile Payments: Amazon Debuts New Credit Card Reader

Amazon Local Register, the company’s new card reader, is a black rectangular device that plugs into a merchant’s smartphone or tablet. For $10, it works with an app that tracks business transactions for merchants. Amazon offers lower processing fees with the device if a merchant signs up before the end of October, while the standard deal will remain a 2.5 percent charge, which is less than other card reader offers. The lower charge means that Amazon is likely making little profit. Continue reading Mobile Payments: Amazon Debuts New Credit Card Reader

FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

The following is on the schedule for the Federal Communications Commission: whether to approve or block AT&T’s newly announced $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, whether to allow Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, establish rules for next year’s auction of TV airwaves to wireless carriers, and determine whether and/or how to regulate the way broadband providers treat traffic over networks (and possibly face a busier calendar if Sprint makes a bid for T-Mobile). Continue reading FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

After a Lukewarm Response, Square Pulls the Plug on Wallet

Although Wallet seemed to have tremendous potential as the next big thing, Square recently pulled the app from mobile app stores after receiving a lukewarm response from consumers and retailers. Square Wallet, created by Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey, offered a radical new way of performing an everyday task by making payments through a mobile app easier. Dorsey’s vision was to reinvent in-person payments for the mobile era, but the public did not seem to respond well. Continue reading After a Lukewarm Response, Square Pulls the Plug on Wallet

AT&T Could Reach $50 Billion Deal for DirecTV in Two Weeks

AT&T is close to striking a $50 billion deal to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV, according to people familiar with the matter. An agreement between the two companies involving a mix of cash and AT&T stock could be reached within two weeks. Insiders say the two sides are discussing a share price for DirecTV in the low to mid-nineties (at $95 a share, such a deal would value DirecTV at almost $48 billion). The deal comes as AT&T considers video distribution a potentially key initiative for its future. Continue reading AT&T Could Reach $50 Billion Deal for DirecTV in Two Weeks

Canopy Aims to Showcase the Beautiful Products on Amazon

While Amazon has almost anything that most consumers need, the volume of products can be daunting for those who want to casually browse the site or discover well-designed or high-end products. Canopy is a website created by former Google designers that hopes to solve this problem by offering a curated storefront for products available via Amazon. Canopy offers a front-end alternative, while relying on Amazon’s back-end to make products available in just a few clicks. Continue reading Canopy Aims to Showcase the Beautiful Products on Amazon

Charter and Comcast Joining Forces, End Dispute Over TWC

Charter Communications may have figured out another plan to become the nation’s second-largest cable operator, despite losing out to Comcast in its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable. As part of a new three-part deal with Comcast announced yesterday, Charter plans to pick up subscribers that Comcast will be divesting. Should the deals be completed, Charter will acquire a stake in a new public company to be launched by Comcast, and swap subscribers with the cable giant. Continue reading Charter and Comcast Joining Forces, End Dispute Over TWC

Netflix Passes 34 Million Subscribers, Previews Price Increase

Netflix announced on Monday that it plans to raise the price of its streaming video service for new members by a dollar or two per month. The service, which now has more than 34 million paid U.S. subscribers, is justifying the rate increase based on its continued investment in original programs, including series such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.” In addition to its first-quarter earnings report yesterday, Netflix announced opposition to Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Continue reading Netflix Passes 34 Million Subscribers, Previews Price Increase

Rentrak Reports Increase in VOD Broadcast Prime Time Viewing

TV and film measurement service Rentrak recently released its latest “State of VOD” report, which found that free video-on-demand viewing of prime time broadcast television programming increased 24 percent over the same period last year. The Rentrak report also found that 66 percent of prime time program viewing occurred after the third day of original broadcasts, suggesting that there is increased opportunity to generate additional advertising dollars for VOD. Continue reading Rentrak Reports Increase in VOD Broadcast Prime Time Viewing

Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

According to a new survey from Harris Interactive, a significant number of consumers are being more careful with online activities in the year since Edward Snowden revealed information about NSA phone and Internet surveillance. Among the poll’s findings, Harris learned that 33 percent of those 18 to 34 said they were doing less online shopping, 29 percent of people in the same age group said they had reduced online banking activity, and 24 percent of overall respondents explained they were “less inclined to use email.”

Continue reading Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

Comcast Corp. has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal worth about $45.2 billion, in a move that will combine the top two U.S. cable operators. The boards of both companies have approved the proposed deal. The announcement likely marks the conclusion of an eight-month takeover battle waged by cable operator Charter Communications and its largest shareholder, Liberty Media. However, the proposed transaction is expected to face lengthy regulatory review. Continue reading Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

Amazon’s newest app feature will make it even easier to never have to leave your home to purchase media, gifts and common household goods. The new feature, “Flow,” will soon be available in Amazon’s shopping app for iOS, and it will allow users to simply scan any object with their iPhone camera and place an order for that specific product. The app does not require barcodes to work — just a clear image — and it takes less than 30 seconds to place an order. Continue reading Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

New Sensor Technologies Have Untapped Potential in Retail

Embedded sensor technology has proven to be useful in a number of markets, but some are saying it can revolutionize the retail experience for both companies and consumers if used to its full potential. Though online retail is booming in popularity, many transactions still take place inside physical stores, often with the aid of a mobile device. By linking up those factors, shoppers’ experiences will be more productive, and companies will benefit with greater profits. Continue reading New Sensor Technologies Have Untapped Potential in Retail

Vimeo PRO: Same Cost, More Storage and Unlimited HD Plays

Vimeo reintroduced its Vimeo PRO service this week, with several major upgrades including up to 1TB of storage and unlimited HD plays. The service is targeting professional film and video makers, offering new options at the same subscription rate it unveiled when the service was first introduced two years ago. Vimeo also announced its VIP customer service plan, FTP support and Vimeo On Demand feature for monetizing video content. Continue reading Vimeo PRO: Same Cost, More Storage and Unlimited HD Plays

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