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Why mobile payment systems aren’t catching on

Mobile payment platforms offer convenience, enhanced security, and more, so why aren’t more customers using them?

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Mobile payment systems and adoption rates

Samsung’s new mobile payment system, scheduled to release this summer, will solve on of the biggest limitations of Apple’s mobile pay system: the ability to work anywhere. Samsung’s system will work even at the millions of old-fashioned checkout terminals that don’t have a wireless connection.

While this is definitely a step in the right direction, Samsung faces a different, although equally serious, problem: none of the major mobile phone carriers have announced the pre-installation of Samsung’s software, meaning customers may have to add it on their own.

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Apple has deals with carriers to enable them to have greater control over hardware and software features. Add Google’s recent partnership deal (with formerly known Softcard) to add better pay technology to Google Wallet, and Samsung’s problems just got a bit more serious.

It’s not just Apple, Samsung is in on it, too

Samsung unveiled their new technology at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as part of the Galaxy S6 smartphone. The new phone will include a Near Field Communication chip, just like the latest iPhones, allowing the payment system to work wirelessly at stores with similarly equipped checkout terminals.

But, Samsung is also using the technology it recently acquired when it bought LoopPay last month. This allows a phone to send out magnetic signals, which can be registered as a swiped credit card at old-fashioned checkout registers. This allows the technology to work wherever credit cards are accepted.

Apple has seen greater success with Apple Pay than any previous mobile payment effort. But since Apple Pay requires one of the latest iPhones and only works at a fraction of U.S. retail outlets, that success is still limited. This could be one of the reason why some brands are giving away free card readers: to help adoption rates. As Matt Shultz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com aptly put it: “The biggest obstacles to mobile payments usage are convenience and security. Consumers are already very comfortable swiping their credit and debit cards. Most people don’t see why a mobile payments service would be quicker, easier or more secure.”

Study addresses adoption rates

A recent study by CreditCards.com and Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) found U.S. consumers are no more interested in paying for purchases using mobile phones than they were six months ago, when Apple unveiled its high-profile pay-by-iPhone technology known as Apple Pay, according to a new poll from CreditCards.com.

The poll suggests that even though the number of mobile payments is growing dramatically, with Apple Pay becoming a dominant method, skeptics of paying by phone remain unmoved. Mobile payments in the U.S. are expected to nearly triple in the next five years, to $142 billion in 2019, according to the latest projection from Forrester Research. The fastest growing subcategory is in-person payments, like mobile wallets and are expected to grow tenfold in the next five years from $3.7 billion in 2014. Other mobile payment categories, peer-to-peer transfers, and remote transactions, are anticipated to grow more slowly.

Much of the growth will come about due to Apple Pay

Apple Pay certainly wasn’t the first mobile wallet, but Apple introduced a core of loyal followers to the concept. Peter Olynick, practice lead with Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group stated, “Apple Pay was a major event just because of the size, scale and number of people …the fan base, if you will…that Apple brings with it; given the size of that company, it is almost impossible for them to do anything small.”

While I agree with this sentiment, I think there’s something about Apple people, by and large, find to be innately innovative, whether it is or not. Apple lovers were anxious to test out Apple Pay just for the sheer novelty of the concept and now with multiple data breaches from companies like Home Depot and Target, people are more worried now about security, especially mobile security than ever before.

The takeaway

While mobile payment platforms offer convenience and novelty, it may be a while before consumers fully trust and understand them enough to use them with consistent regularity.

#MobilePayments

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Tech News

Making Slack actionable makes you productive

(TECHNOLOGY) Slack is an amazing productivity tool, but of course can add more to your plate – this feature puts you back on track.

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You know when you’re using Slack and you’re having a conversation with your teammate about whether or not you should grab lunch or go to Soul Cycle, but before you can answer, your editor Slacks you about deadlines and your design partner messages you proofs and suddenly you snap back to reality and remember that you’ve been working on a blog post for an hour and your concentration is completely shattered? You know, the exact moment when your productivity is officially derailed?

Well, Slack now offers Actions to help make sure that doesn’t happen. Your day may get busy, but at least nothing will slip through the cracks, work-wise.

Integrated with project management tools like Asana, Zendesk, and Jira, Actions allows users to create and comment on tasks, tickets or issues within conversations. That means no clicking through tabs or apps until you can no longer remember why you started clicking in the first place. More importantly, Actions keeps track of the work you need to do and when you need to do it.

So, how do Actions work?

1. Need to create a deadline or set up an appointment? Anything you see in Slack that needs a follow-up can be turned into an action when you click the ••• icon and choose an “action.”

2. When you’ve completed an action, a message appears in your Slack channel and lets your team know you’ve flagged it for follow-up.

3. Whichever app you’ve integrated with will alert Slack at which point you and your team can determine the next steps.

Bottom-line, Actions help keep your workflow moving. While it may not stop the onslaught of Slack messages from breaking your concentration, at least you’ll know what you should to be concentrating on.

If you’re curious to know more about Actions, the company has ample info on their API pages for your perusal.

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Tech News

Freezetab streamlines how you save tabs in Chrome

(TECH NEWS) Freezetab is the newest chrome extension that allows you to organize saved tabs in a myriad of ways.

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Internet made easier

With the browser becoming more and more of a workspace than merely an application, the built in bookmarks tool may leave you a bit hungry for more.

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Chrome users who need better tools to organize and manage bookmarks may find the power they need in Freezetab.

Bookmark’s cooler, hotter younger brother

Freezetab seeks to answer the questions of “what if I could organize my bookmarks by website” or “I only want to save all but two of these tabs on zen office designs.” It seeks to give you more options beyond the “one or all” choices in chrome. Here is the lowdown:

  • The calendar feature remembers WHEN you saved a tab – so if you can’t remember the title you can just go back to the day.
  • Chrome either lets you save one or all tabs. Freezetab expands those options to include: all, current, everything but current, right of, left of, or pick and choose.
  • If you are sharing a collection of tabs with a workgroup or a partner, it exports as a nice textbox that is easy to share in integrated messaging, IM, or email. Or even social media!
  • Sorting is robust, and there is a solid search feature that searches as you type.
  • That quick save feature saves all the tabs and closes them – and you can adjust that quick save feature to meet your needs.
  • There is a handy little star feature to note important bookmarks (i.e. recipes and excel techniques).
  • Enhances your close tab capability to close everything to the left and specific tabs – this great if you work in chrome and have 75 tabs open that have one letter names.
  • It is easier to sort tabs after you save them – you can search for them and then sort into folders you create rather manually organizing them into folders.
  • As a bonus: for those who don’t want to have to sort bookmarks – unlike Chrome which requires you to pick a folder or risk turning your bookmarks to an unorganized mess, the extension automatically organizes it for you.

Freezetab findings

After spending a few moments with Freezetab, it does fit in nicely with a workflow. Solidly reviewed, the developer did solve an issue with “pinned” tabs in the 1.2 update. – so it doesn’t remove or add them. The features are nice and easy to use, and it doesn’t require more than five minutes of playing around.

One complaint – if you choose to the right or left of the current tab to close, it did close the active tab as well – which was a little funky. But once you get comfortable with the nuances, it’s easy to use.
The interface is function over form, but you won’t have any problem using or customizing this extension. Now Bookmark smart y’all!

#FreezeTab

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Tech News

We’ve all seen job listings for UX writers, but what exactly is UX writing?

(TECH NEWS) We seeing UX writer titles pop up and while UX writing is not technically new, there are new availabilities popping up.

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The work of a UX writer is something you come across everyday. Whether you’re hailing an Uber or browsing Spotify for that one Drake song, your overall user experience is affected by the words you read at each touchpoint.

A UX writer facilitates a smooth interaction between user and product at each of these touchpoints through carefully chosen words.

Some of the most common touchpoints UX writers work on are interface copy, emails and notifications. It doesn’t sound like the most thrilling stuff, but imagine using your favorite apps without all the thoughtful confirmation messages we take for granted. Take Eat24’s food delivery app, instead of a boring loading visual, users get a witty message like “smoking salmon” or “slurping noodles.”

Eat24’s app has UX writing that works because it’s engaging.

Xfinity’s mobile app provides a pleasant user experience by being intuitive. Shows that are available on your phone are clearly labeled under “Available Out of Home.” I’m bummed that Law & Order: SVU isn’t available, but thanks to thoughtful UX writing at least I knew that sad fact ahead of time.

Regardless of where you find a UX writer’s work, there are three traits an effective UX writer must have. Excellent communication skills is a must. The ability to empathize with the user is on almost every job post.

But from my own experience working with UX teams, I’d argue for the ability to advocate as the most important skill.

UX writers may have a very specialized mission, but they typically work within a greater UX design team. In larger companies some UX writers even work with a smaller team of fellow writers. Decisions aren’t made in isolation. You can be the wittiest writer, with a design decision based on obsessive user research, but if you can’t advocate for those decisions then what’s the point?

I mentioned several soft skills, but that doesn’t mean aspiring UX writers can’t benefit from developing a few specific tech skills. While the field doesn’t require a background in web development, UX writers often collaborate with engineering teams. Learning some basic web development principles such as responsive design can help writers create a better user experience across all devices. In a world of rapid prototyping, I’d also suggest learning a few prototyping apps. Several are free to try and super intuitive.

Now that the UX in front of writer no longer intimidates you, go check out ADJ, The American Genius’ Facebook Group for Austin digital job seekers and employers. User centered design isn’t going anywhere and with everyone getting into the automation game, you can expect even more opportunities in UX writing.

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