The holiday season is nearly upon us, but big things keep happening in the Product world. Make sure you’re all caught up on the top news…
USA Goes Contactless
FinTech experts across the United States are dancing for joy. It seems like contactless cards have finally landed and look like they’re here to stay!
Although many other places in the world happily tap and pay, the American market simply wasn’t ready for the contactless experience. In fact for many countries, particularly Canada and Australia, it’s the dominant payment method for in-person transactions.
According to Forbes, the time is finally right for tap-to-pay to hit the American market for a variety of reasons, including falling insurance costs, a preference for cards over mobile payments, and adoption by merchants.
The younger generations are becoming increasingly comfortable with modern ways to pay. 27% of people aged 18-24 have used their debit cards through a mobile wallet/app, compared to only 3% of those over 65.
In recent years we’ve also seen a dramatic shift of favoritism from credit cards to debit cards, with 54% of people preferring debit in 2018.
With internet-only banks like N26 and Revolut taking off, especially across Europe, it’s an interesting time to be in FinTech!
However, we’re still far away from a completely cashless future (expect for maybe a future without pennies) as 82% of people surveyed stated that they still sometimes use cash.
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Indian UberEats Sold to Zomato
In a bid to cut back on their global spending, Uber plans to sell the Indian division of UberEats to Zomato.
Although UberEats has enjoyed a measure of success in India, it struggled to catch up to rivals Zomato and Swiggy, which each process more than 1 million orders each day, according to TechCrunch. At its peak, UberEats only processed 600,000 orders.
While the numbers are still impressive, Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi knows when to call it quits. Speaking at a conference earlier this year, he said: “With UberEats, we are going to be the #1 or #2 player in every country where we operate…or we are going to get out.”
Not happy with being #3 in India, it seems a deal will soon close between Uber and Zomato. Both companies have abstained from commenting to the press, but sources suggest that UberEats will sell for a cool $400 million.
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Mind-Blowing Google Earth Data
Google Maps remains the undisputed champion of mobile Geomapping. 154.4 million people used it monthly in 2018. This number absolutely dwarfs the competition, with the nearest “rival” Waze (which is actually Google-owned) only used by 25.6 million users, and Apple maps coming in third place with 23.3 million monthly users.
But what is it that makes Google Maps the default? Well, Google recently revealed some pretty impressive numbers!
Google Maps contains 10 million miles of Street View imagery, and 36 million square miles of Google Earth imagery.
That’s a pretty big number to wrap your head around. Apple have just started to catch up, including a similar style of street photography in the iOS 13 version of Apple Maps. To cover the same distance as Google, Apple will have to drive the equivalent of going to the moon and back…nearly 21 times.
Ethan Russell, a Director of Product at Google, said to CNET: “Imagery is at the core of everything we do. We think of it as the foundation of the entire mapmaking process.” Clearly more than lip service – as the footage in Google Maps covers an estimated 98% of where humans live.
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Tech Industry Continues Fight for Net Neutrality
Net Neutrality is the center of a long and complicated fight. And it’s not over yet.
Last Friday, trade groups from major tech companies appealed to the U.S. court to reconsider their October
In a nutshell – net neutrality means that all content streams are treated the same by internet service providers. They can’t block or slow down certain websites, while receiving payments to move other websites onto ‘fast lanes.’ Essentially, it’s what keeps the internet fair for everyone.
Small businesses and content creators are naturally quite worried about the end of net neutrality. Check out this video from Vox for a complete explanation:
The impact the end of net neutrality would have on innovation is a serious concern for big tech companies as well.
The trade groups who took up the fight again last week include Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google’s parent company Alphabet. They benefit from net neutrality just as much as smaller independent creators. Advocacy groups like Free Press and Public Knowledge also added their voices.
A lot of powerful voices stand behind net neutrality, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats. So it’s hard to believe we’ll see the true end of net neutrality any time soon, but in an internet-focused world the stakes are high!
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