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Japan Plans for a Cashless World
Cash will soon be obsolete in Japan if the country’s government has its way. The Financial Services Agency and the Ministry of Industry hope to increase digital payment use so they account for 40% of all payments in 10 years, up from 20% today. The government’s goal is to make things more convenient for tourists from other countries used to paying with methods other than cash. Currently, cashless payment use in Japan badly trails the US, China and South Korea.
Skype Adds Snapchat-Like Feature to Newest Update
Microsoft’s Skype unveiled a redesign of its mobile app, including a new feature, Highlights, that lets users snap photos and videos to share with their connections for a limited amount of time. The feature resembles Snapchat’s, but Skype is not the first company to “borrow” it. Facebook has used it in its suite of apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
China’s Tech Firms Eye Southeast Asia
China-based tech firms have moved quickly and aggressively into Southeast Asia via partnerships and investments, a report from DealStreetAsia finds. According to the outlet, companies like Alibaba and Tencent are working hard to capture market share outside of mainland China as they aspire to become dominant global firms.
India’s Hyperlocal Service magicpin Raises $7 Million
India-based hyperlocal service magicpin has secured $7 million in funding to aid in its goal of driving discovery and commerce among its users. Those who fire up the app are offered discounts as an enticement to eat at certain restaurants or shop at specific stores. magicpin claims to have more than 1 million active users. The company said it would use the new funds to improve its product and expand its geographic reach; the service is currently available in Bangalore, the national capital region of Delhi and Mumbai.
BT Sport Adds Snapchat to Champions League Plans
In a seemingly last-minute deal, UK pay TV broadcaster BT Sport says it plans to offer clips and other footage of this weekend’s UEFA Champions League final match between Real Madrid and Juventus via Snapchat, according to Broadband TV News. The coverage, including snaps by fans and players in the stadium, will appear in BT’s “Our Stories” section of Snapchat. Like last year, BT will also stream the game on its YouTube channel for free.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha and Rimma Kats
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