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Brands, Tech Companies React to Trump Travel Ban
This weekend, news was dominated by coverage of President Trump’s travel ban imposed on citizens of seven Middle Eastern countries. The Drum rounded up responses from a number of brands to Trump’s move, while Quartz offered an alphabetized list of reactions from tech companies.
Starbucks Introduces Virtual Assistant
Starbucks has launched a new feature within its mobile app: a virtual barista. Consumers will be able to order and pay for their drinks or food by speaking into the device. And according to TechCrunch, the company is also introducing a feature for Amazon’s Alexa, which will allow customers to automatically re-order their favorite items.
Indonesia’s Bank Central Asia Launches $15 Million Fintech Fund
Bank Central Asia announced that it had started a venture capital unit called Central Capital Ventura focused on financial tech services. The Indonesia-based bank said it had invested IDR 200 billion ($15 million) in the fund’s initial stage. Indonesia banks now face competition from telecoms and other startups to serve the country’s underbanked population.
Thailand Launches C2C Epayment Service
Thailand, working with a group of banks, launched PromptPay, a consumer-to-consumer digital fund transfer service. The consortium behind the digital payment system hopes to launch business-to-business payment services by March 1.
$1.35 Trillion in 2017 Mobile Wallet Spending
Juniper Research expects $1.35 trillion to be spent worldwide through mobile wallets by the end of 2017. The nearly 30% increase over 2016 spending will be due to users in the Far East and China through Alipay and WeChat. However, in the West, Apple and PayPal mobile wallets are predicted to become the norm among consumers.
Thailand Readies Itself for Blockchain Technology
The Bangkok Post on Monday reported that, according to technology experts and academics, blockchain technologies underpinning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were headed for widespread adoption in Thailand within two years. According to experts, Thailand’s government needed to consider new legal and regulatory frameworks in order to deal with the adoption of blockchain technology.
Indian Carriers Vodafone, Idea Start Merger Talks
Mobile service provider Vodafone India announced on Monday that it had begun merger talks with rival company Idea Cellular. Together, the two would form India’s largest telecom as measured by subscribers, with 390 million. India’s mobile service sector has been heavily disrupted by the launch last September of Reliance Jio, which initially offered consumers 4G service at drastically lower prices than competitors.
IPA Study: Diversity Rising at UK Agencies
A study of diversity among UK creative and media agencies by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and Campaign magazine found black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals making up a rising share of agency personnel—12.0% overall, or nearly double the 6.1% share in 2007—thanks to greater hiring of junior staffers of those backgrounds. But the percentage among more senior staff was much smaller, just 4.7% among C-suite execs.
$100 Billion in US Digital Food Shopping by 2025
In a preview of the “Digitally Engaged Food Shopper” report, Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) predict that 20% of grocery shopping will be completed digitally by 2025. In eight years’ time, US consumers will spend $100 billion in total buying food staples online. Currently, 23% of US consumers purchase groceries through digital channels.
—Rahul Chadha, Cliff Annicelli, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats
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