Archiv der Kategorie: Payment

Bitcoin is soaring due to China and Brexit

Bitcoin is on a tear.

The price of bitcoin has jumped 42 percent since the beginning of June. It hasn’t been this high since early 2014. It’s moved from a total market capitalization of US$8.3 billion, to nearly US$12 billion. It’s unheard of for a currency – digital or otherwise – to skyrocket this quickly.

Bitcoin Price

China has played a big part in this rally. As The Wall Street Journalrecently reported, two Chinese exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, now collectively account for 92 percent of global trading in bitcoin.

In February, we explained that bitcoin is “cryptocurreny,” or a form of digital money. It’s created and stored electronically through a blockchain database.

Like dollars or yen, you can use bitcoin to buy goods and services. But, unlike paper currencies, which governments can create and print at will, no single entity controls the bitcoin network. Its mathematical rules limit the maximum number of bitcoin units to 21 million.

A network of “miners” digitally secures bitcoin transactions. When a miner completes the complex process of mining a block, he’s paid a fee – in bitcoin.

Every time 210,000 bitcoin blocks are mined, the value of mining new bitcoins is cut in half. There’s only been one “halving” since bitcoin was created eight years ago. It happened in November 2012.

Miners expect the next halving to happen in July. This is one explanation for the recent price surge. Some investors see the imminent halving – which will cut the mining fee from 25 to 12.5 bitcoins – as a reduction in supply. That’s why they’re bullish on bitcoin.

Another explanation is that blockchain, the technology at the heart of bitcoin, is gaining traction in a growing number of commercial applications, stoking investor interest.

Also, concerns over “Brexit” are adding to bitcoin demand. Some investors are worried about the financial fallout if the U.K. leaves the European Union. So they’re turning to bitcoin as a safe haven asset – treating it like a digital alternative to gold.

Yuan, china currencyReuters/StringerDamaged 100 yuan banknotes are seen on a table at a branch of China Bank in Foshan, Guangdong province, June 5, 2013. A woman brought about 400,000 yuan ($65,200), which she had kept at home, to the bank for replacement after most of the notes were bitten by white ants. Her notes were exchanged for new ones but for 60,000 yuan ($9,780) which the bank assessed and declared to be unchangeable. Picture taken June 5, 2013.

That said, the yuan is a much bigger player in this bitcoin rally.
China’s currency has been weak in recent months. It’s down 6.1 percent against the dollar since August.

Investors in China are selling yuan-denominated assets in favour of other currencies, particularly the U.S. dollar. In 2015, Chinese citizens and corporations moved an estimated US$1 trillion in capital out of China. The capital flight has slowed this year. But renewed weakness in the yuan may reaccelerate it.

China’s government wants this to stop. This is part of the reason why it prohibits individual citizens from moving more than US$50,000 per year out of the country. Even so, Chinese citizens have a variety of ways to bypass these capital controls – including bitcoin.

Bitcoin is gaining popularity as a method to quietly and anonymously move money out of China. Basically, a Chinese investor can deposit yuan in a bitcoin account and exchange the bitcoin overseas for some other currency. Fees range from one to two percent.

The price of bitcoin is volatile. So there’s a risk it might change while the transaction is being processed, causing the investor to lose money. Otherwise, it’s a relatively simple way to skirt the rules.

Still, the main reason for bitcoin’s price surge is even simpler: Good old-fashioned speculation.

In recent months, speculation driven by Chinese money has resulted in short-lived bubbles in assets as diverse as iron ore, steel rebar, cotton, and eggs – as well as in bitcoin.

All of these Chinese-driven speculations have the same basic lifeline. Whatever the explanation – lack of alternative investments, a deep-rooted gambling culture, investing naiveté, easy-money loans – each of these market booms played out the same way. Prices shot up in a speculative frenzy, and crashed once the mania faded.

Bitcoin shows all the signs of another Chinese-driven financial bubble.
That’s not to say the price of bitcoin won’t go higher. Bitcoin’s 2013 price surge, as shown above, is the stuff of legend. At the start of 2013, you could purchase a single bitcoin for around US$12. On November 29, you could sell that same single bitcoin for US$1,100.

That’s more than a 9,000 percent gain.

If the yuan starts to freefall, it’s certainly plausible that bitcoin could blast as high as it did in 2013, which would be about a 50 percent gain from current levels.

Keep in mind that China’s economy dwarfs the bitcoin market. Chinese financial deposits total over US$22 trillion. The country experienced capital outflows of US$45 billion in April alone, according to RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland). And by recent standards that’s considered moderate.

If the yuan starts a correction in earnest, and just a portion of the fleeing capital flows into bitcoin, it’s anyone’s guess how high the price of bitcoin might fly.

Nevertheless, buyer beware. When this bubble pops (as they all do), many speculators will wish they had never heard of bitcoin.

This is why China’s investors are crazy about bitcoin


Number26 Is A Bank Designed For The 21st Century



Why does it still take two days in Europe for a card transaction to show up in your bank statement? Meet Number26, the Simple of Europe — a fintech startup that promises to fix all the oddities of the European bank system. In other words, Number26 is a bank that doesn’t suck. The startup is launching today in private beta on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London.

“We are providing Europe’s most modern current account, bank account,” co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf told me in a phone interview before Disrupt. “Attached to it comes a MasterCard.”

As a reminder, commercial banks in Europe suck. In the U.S., you can show up and open an account in five minutes. In Europe, you need to make an appointment with a bank’s local branch, bring documents and fill a lot of forms. You can also sign up online, but you’ll have to go to the post office to send documents.

When you sign up for a Number26 account, the process is much easier than any other bank — you don’t have to physically send anything as the entire process takes place on the company’s website. The company told me that you can sign up in five minutes.

At the very end of the process, Number26 starts a video call to verify your identity. You simply show your passport to the webcam and answer a couple of questions. A call is much less painful than having to go to your local post office to send copies of your passport.

Every time you use your card, you can open the app a few seconds later to see the transaction right here on your statement

After that, you will receive a debit card that works in all MasterCard ATMs and shops. So far, Number26 doesn’t seem very different from traditional online banks in Europe.

But this is when it gets interesting. Number26 focuses a lot of its attention on the user experience of the mobile app. In addition to being a beautiful app, there are a few interesting features that make the app stand out of the crowd.

First, transactions show up in real time. Every time you use your card, you can open the app a few seconds later to see the transaction right on your statement.

“When you look at a MasterCard transaction, all of these transactions have an online authentication,” Stalf said. “The terminal contacts the MasterCard cloud and the cloud network tells that this card number is linked to this processing company. We see what’s happening with the processing company in real time, because this transaction needs to be authorized.”

Other banks could technically do the same and display transactions in real time. But it’s more difficult for them to implement these features due to their existing infrastructure.

You can also open the app and block your card with a simple button. But if you find your card a few minutes later, you can simply unblock it. You don’t need to wait and receive a new card.

If you lend your card to a friend that you don’t really trust, you can also block ATM transactions for let’s say an hour. Whenever you get your card back, you can unblock ATM transactions in the app. Everything works in real time.

Finally, Number26 added a few financial tools in its mobile app. For example, you will see how much money you spend at restaurants or clothing stores. It’s very reminiscent of Mint, but Mint is only available in the U.S. and Canada.

And then, there are all the reasons why you wouldn’t trust a startup to manage your money. Once again, it works a lot like Simple.

“Because we need a banking license, in the background, we have a banking partner,” Stalf said. “The money sits in this bank. Regulators require us to do that. And on the other end, because it’s a German banking license, all the amounts are insured until something like 6 million euros.

While the startup is based in Berlin, a German banking license lets you operate in other European markets. So far, the company accepts clients in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. But it will be very easy to scale to more European countries in the future.

For the end user, there is no card fee for EUR payments, and no service fee for your account. Number26 takes a cut of every MasterCard transaction. Its partner bank will also invest the money sitting in the bank accounts. All of this is transparent for the end user.

In the future, the startup will add new features to make the product more compelling. For instance, Number26 plans to add overdraft and savings options. It is also looking into building a corporate solution as well.

You can also expect innovative futures that you won’t find in your existing banking app. For example, the company wants to use your smartphone’s geolocation to compare it with the location of your card transactions. This way, Number26 can detect suspicious activity and ask you to accept or block a transaction.

In the long run, the company wants to integrate other fintech startups directly into your Number26 account. “We could integrate TransferWise for international transfers for example,” Stalf said. “The idea is to be the connector for finance startups.”

The team of 17 has raised $2.6 million so far (€2 million) from Earlybird Venture Capital, Redalpine Venture Partners, Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator. It will be hard to convince conservative customers and compete with traditional banks and their advertising money, but Number26 definitely has a chance when it comes to creating the best banking experience in Europe.


Judges: Niko Bonatsos (General Catalyst), Jon Bradford (Techstars), Bindi Karia (Silicon Valley Bank), Brenden Mulligan (Cluster).

Question: Your app is gorgeous. There has to be a major pain point that you are solving to make people switch. How did you find that real time data was a pain point?

Question: The relationship with the regulator is complicated. How do you do it?
Answer: We have a banking partner in Germany. We’re doing much more than using their technology. And we can do video conference calls to verify customers all over Europe.

Question: What’s the plan for making money?
Answer: We have two short term revenue streams. But we have long term plans as well, becoming a fintech hub.

Apples Pay Day

Apple’s New Mobile Wallet Lets You Pay With a Tap of Your iPhone, Wired Online, 9.9.2014


„Apple’s new payment system Apple Pay lets people pay merchants using their iPhones. All of the major credit cards—American Express, MasterCard, and Visa—are on board, and will be accepted by more than 220,000 merchants at launch.

Using Apple Pay couldn’t be easier—simply tap your iPhone at a payment terminal. Apple CEO Tim Cook conceded that Apple isn’t the first to attempt replacing the card-based payment system we’ve known for decades, but so far no one’s had much luck.

“People have dreamed of replacing these for years,” Cook said. “But most have been a disappointment or not yet worked well enough for mainstream adoption.”

Instead of a card, Apple Pay uses the iPhone 6, the larger iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch announced today. Want to make a payment? Tap your phone at a retailer’s payment terminal. The phone uses a combination of NFC, Touch ID, and a secure chip called the Secure Element to complete the payment. To add a card, simply snap a pic of it using the iPhone’s camera. After verifying with your bank, the card is added to Passbook. Apple doesn’t store the number, or transfer it to the merchant during a transaction. Instead, it has a device number that’s relayed during payments along with a dynamic security code. If you lose your iPhone, you can use Find My iPhone to suspend payments for that device without having to cancel your credit card.

Apple says that the banks included in Apple Pay make up 83 percent of all credit card purchases in the U.S., and it will be accepted by more than 220,000 retailers. Apple specifically called out Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Walgreens, Staples, McDonalds, and Whole Foods.“


BitCoins 3 Fatal Design Flaws

For those that don’t know, BitCoin is a digital currency (known as a cryptocurrency) that is not issued by governments or banks. Instead the currency uses some complicated programming to limit the amount of money that can be created. Only 21 million BitCoins will ever be created, and there is no  human decision maker who can influence that. For advocates of the currency, this is a major advantage, as it prevents the abuse of the power to create money. It is easy to see why this would be so appealing – after all, we have recently seen the damage that can happen when commercial banks have the power to create hundreds of billions of pounds in just a few years.

But there are serious problems with BitCoin. This was highlighted most recently when one of the largest exchanges MtGox, revealed that it had lost around $350 million of customer’s money after hacking incident. “Lost” in this sense doesn’t mean they made bad investments that went bad; the BitCoins were literally stolen, now exist on somebody else’s computer, and the exchange has no idea where they are.

I want to look at BitCoin’s design flaws here, so if you want to know more about the details of the currency itself, read How to Explain BitCoin to your Grandmother by Brett Scott or this Chicago Federal Reserve paper for a central bank perspective.

BitCoin is a prototype

The key point to note is that BitCoin is a prototype for what is now known as crypto currency. It was the first of its kind, an experiment designed by someone (or a some group) going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The original paper that outlines the proposal for a currency is well written but has the tone of a working paper – an initial proposal, not fully thought out, rather than a fully worked out master plan.

What usually happens with a new idea or product is that you try it out, find that it’s inherently flawed, and then you alter the design to make it work better. Orville and Wilbur Wright’s original plane flew just a few metres. The first bicycle, designed in 1817, involved sitting on a saddle whilst pushing the bike along by running with your feet on the floor:

First Bicycle

The fanaticism of some BitCoin enthusiasts, along with the claims that BitCoin – specifically – will become the currency of the future, is a bit like someone in 1902 insisting that in the future we’ll all be flying across the Atlantic in individual gliders that look like this:

Wright Brothers Initial Plane

Of course we won’t. The first prototype of something should be a test case, which reveals the design flaws then gets discarded in favour of something better.

I believe there are two  design flaws that are fatal for BitCoin.

Design Flaw 1. The rate of money creation

BitCoin is designed so that new BitCoins are created (‘mined’) at a predetermined and gradually decelerating speed. Around half the BitCoins that were ever designed have been created already. The money supply will increase by another 66% between now and 2025, but by then the rate of creation of new BitCoins will have slowed to a negligible amount, essentially making it a fixed money supply by 2025.


This limited supply was supposed to be a clever design feature, but actually it’s turned BitCoin into a speculative asset. The problem with this is that the amount of the currency doesn’t increase in line with the number of people using it. Economists from the Austrian school would argue that this is fine: just allow prices to fall relative to the currency. Indeed, that’s what has happened with BitCoin – each BitCoin now buys you more real “stuff” in the economy than it did in the past.

The problem comes when the limited supply affects the way people use the currency. BitCoin users who have seen the currency go from 1 BitCoin = $5 (in 2011) to 1 BitCoin = $445 (as it currently is) don’t think “Great, the price of a Coke is falling in terms of BitCoin”. Instead they think, “If I sit on the BitCoins that I own, in 1 year they might be worth 10 times more. So I won’t spend them.”

This means that BitCoin users don’t want to pay using BitCoin. In other words, they want to use BitCoin as a speculative investment, rather than as a means of payment. 

The only way to avoid this is to ensure that the supply of the currency increases in line with how much it is being used, so that the exchange of BitCoin to other currencies or of BitCoin to real goods and services is broadly stable. Without this design feature, a currency that consistently and rapidly appreciates relative to other currencies will be held as an asset rather than being used to make payments.

This is a design flaw specific to BitCoin. Other cryptocurrencies have different ways of regulating the creation of the coins.

A Note on Volatility

BitCoin is also highly volatile, having jumped from $13.36 at the beginning of 2013 to $1,124.76 in November 2013 – an 8,313% increase – and then back down to $445 today. I don’t list this as one of the currency’s design flaws as it’s largely to do with the fact that BitCoin is new, uncertain, and that the authorities aren’t quite sure how to deal with it, so volatility is a result more of the speculation about whether BitCoin will be banned or accepted, rather than the fundamental issue of the rate of money creation.

Design Flaw 2: BitCoin rewards the adopters and speculators

As with the current monetary system, BitCoin rewards the creators of the currency (the ‘miners’ who use their computers to do complex calculations to create the currency). The early adopters have become very wealthy, along with speculators who sit on their coins rather than spending them. Again, this means that those who benefit from the currency are not those who use it to trade in the real economy i.e. people who actually produce real value and make BitCoin a viable and usable currency. Instead, the benefit goes to those who sit on the currency (which prevents it functioning as a currency and makes it a speculative asset).

I would prefer to see a cryptocurrency that rewards those who use the currency as a means of payment, rather than as a speculative asset. So the more you use the currency to buy goods and services from the real economy, the more you would get rewarded with a portion of any newly created currency, whereas those who sit on their coins and use them as a speculative asset would get no share of the newly created money.

My knowledge of computer science and maths aren’t sufficient to say how this could be programmed, but it doesn’t appear to be too complicated. (There would need to be some kind of check to ensure that you don’t end up with people gaming the system, for example two users trading the currency between themselves at high speed in order to ‘earn’ more of the newly created coins.)

Design Flaw 3: BitCoin is LESS secure that national currencies

Because of the design of BitCoin, each coin should be seen as a physical unit that exists on a specific computer hard drive. In the same way that a house burglar could steal gold coins (which I’m sure you have lying around the house), a computer hacker can steal your BitCoins.

One user left his coins on a hard-drive which went to landfill, and then saw the value of the coins appreciate to hundreds of thousands of pounds. The exchange MtGox has alleged ‘lost’ 650,000 BitCoins as a result of hacking.

Anyone holding a significant amount of BitCoins is advised to transfer them to “cold storage” –  a hard drive or USB disk that is disconnected from any computer connected to the internet, and hidden somewhere secure (eg. a physical safe).

For all the arguments that BitCoin is ‘safer’ because it has no central authority, it certainly isn’t safer in practical terms.

The Way Forward

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating. We’ve made a very clear argument that the current monetary system, in which most money is created by banks when they make loans, has been a disaster. But at the same time, when states have used their power to create money, such as through QE, they’ve used it to inflate financial markets (enriching the already wealthy), rather than benefitting the real economy and ordinary people.

We’re obviously campaigning for national currencies to be created and used in the public interest, but it’s still possible that national currencies might be bypassed completely if a currency comes along that is stable, works in the interest of ordinary people, and prevents abuse of the power to create money.

Since BitCoin was established, literally hundreds of other cryptocurrencies have been designed and released. One of them already out there might have the right design features to make a stable currency that can be a real benefit to society and the economy. Cryptocurrencies have only been around for half a decade; there will be a lot of innovation over the next 5 years and it’s possible that we might see something genuinely socially useful come out of it.

But with regards to BitCoin, it’s time to let it die to make way for something better.


PS. This reddit thread by people who lost money when the MtGox exchange shut down shows how BitCoin has become a speculative asset bubble similar to the dot com bubble or any stock market bubble. There are stories of people taking their  kid’s education fund, or partner’s life savings, and investing them entirely in BitCoin. One guy even claims his friend committed suicide after investing – and losing – over $900,000 in BitCoin.

But this is not the fault of BitCoin, or a disadvantage of BitCoin. It’s more a fault of a lack of general financial literacy, in particular an ignorance of the basic point that you should never invest all of your wealth in one single asset, whether it’s BitCoin, or RBS shares (or property for that matter). Many of these people had no concept of risk management. I’m not sure we can blame them – an understanding of money and financial literacy is not something that most people acquired at school.

There’s also the desire to “get rich quick” or even just boost your income beyond what you can earn from working. Again, I’m not sure how much we can blame people for that. When the current monetary system is making it harder and harder for people to save anything after paying the mortgage and the costs of living, it’s natural to look for other ways of making money. If the guy mentioned above genuinely believed that investing in BitCoin would mean that his kids could go to university whilst avoiding being saddled with the debt, then it’s natural for him to take that option. It was the lack of understanding of money, finance or risk management that led to him making such a bad decision.


Apples Strategie im Mobile Payment

Kein anderes Unternehmen wird so unter die Lupe genommen und beobachtet wie Apple. Kaum ein anderes entfacht so viele Spekulationen und Gerüchte, generiert so viele Nachrichten und heizt die Phantasie über neue Produkte, Angebote und Technologien so an wie dieses Unternehmen aus Cupertino. Und das aus gutem Grund. Denn gerade Apple hat in der Vergangenheit mit seinen neuen Angeboten und Produkten bewiesen, dass es in der Lage ist, das Geschäft verschiedener Branchen grundlegend auf den Kopf zu stellen, und den Markt radikal zu ändern.

grey Apples Schachzüge im Mobile Payment: eine Analyse (Teil 1)Doch gilt dies heute noch? In den letzten Jahren sind mit dem Übergang von Steve Jobs zu Tim Cook die Unkenrufe immer lauter geworden. Hat Apple seine besten Zeiten schon hinter sich? Steigt das Unternehmen ins Mobile Payment ein? Mit welchen Angeboten, in welcher Rolle? Holen sie vielleicht zum großen Rundumschlag aus? Oder ist der Zug für sie vielleicht schon abgefahren, weil sie bislang kein NFC (Near Field Communication) integriert haben? Oder läutet gar wegen der „Android-Strategie“ eines offenen Öko-Systems die Todesglocke für das Unternehmen?

Alles scheint offen. Apple lässt sich wie immer nicht in die Karten schauen. Warum auch? Es sind jedoch mittlerweile mehr als eindeutige Signale zu erkennen in welche Richtung das Unternehmen sich bewegt. Wenn wir die Vorgehensweise des Unternehmens aus der Vergangenheit ins Kalkül ziehen, dann sollten Apples Schachzüge im Mobile Payment  sorgfältig beobachtet und begleitet werden. Das Zeitfenster für eigene selbstgestaltete Mobile Payment Strategien und Maßnahmen beginnt sich allmählich zu schließen.

Kein Wettbewerber in diesem Segment sollte davon ausgehen, dass er in 1-2 Jahren noch die Zeit dafür hat, seine Figuren in aller Ruhe auf dem „Next Generation Payment-Schachbrett“ auf zu stellen. Es ist zu erwarten, dass der erste Zug von Apple nicht „Weiß, von e2 auf e4“ sondern „Schachmatt“ ist.

Angstmache oder Trend? Was spricht dafür?

Fakten, Analysen und Einschätzungen in sieben Punkten mit anschließender Bewertung sollen in diesem Artikel aufgezeigt werden. Die ersten 4 von 7 folgen hier im Teil 1:

1.    Die Fakten

Mit 600 Millionen iTunes-Nutzern ist die Kundenbasis 4,37 mal so groß wie bei PayPal und 3,4 mal so groß wie von Amazon. Täglich kommen 500.000 Kunden dazu. In den Vereinigten Staaten werden 66% der M-Commerce-Ausgaben über iOS-Anwendungen erzielt. In Deutschland nutzen 60% (nach den veröffentlichten Downloadzahlen) der 30 führenden Mobile Banking-Anwendungen (der deutschen Banken) dieses Betriebssystem. Entwickler oder die neuen Mobile-POS Startups wie z.B. Square, iZettle, Payleven lieben Apple-Endgeräte bzw. iOS.

Tim Cook meldete im letzten Monat den höchsten Umsatz der Firmengeschichte, und dass 51 Millionen iPhone 5S verkauft wurden. Das alles mit einer Marge über alle Endgeräte von 37,9 Prozent. 41% der Smartphone-Kunden in den USA sollen mittlerweile das iPhone nutzen und 57% des Mobilen Internetzugangs in China erfolgt über das iOS-Betriebssystem. Und iPhones erreichen eine Kundenzufriedenheit- und loyalität von über 90%.

2.    Apple „Passbook“

Im Herbst 2012 führte Apple mit dem „Passbook“ einen „Barcode Payment Container“ ein, über den Coupons, Tickets, Bordkarten gespeichert werden können. Über eine technische Schnittstelle können Entwickler und Brands leicht Dienste in das Passbook integrieren. Mehr als 100 Brands wie z.B. Lufthansa, Air Berlin oder British Airways lassen Tickets in Passbook speichern. Mehr als 150 Brands wie Starbucks integrieren Gutscheine darin. Erste Gutscheinkampagnen wie z.B. von Harvester in England lassen aufhorchen.

3.    Fingerprint Sensor: Touch ID

Sicherheit ist die größte Hürde für Kunden und Händler für ein erfolgreiches Mobile Banking und Payment und hat damit einen direkten Einfluss auf die Nutzungshäufigkeit und Akzeptanz der Services. Neben dem schnelleren Zugang zum Endgerät soll der Fingerabdruck zukünftig zur Authentifizierung genutzt werden. Eine wesentliche Voraussetzung für einen schnellen, attraktiven und sicheren Zahlungsprozess. In Amerika und Asien sind biometrische Verfahren im Alltag bereits weiter verbreitet als in Europa.

Es  werden nicht nur hier folgende Fragen beantwortet werden müssen: Akzeptieren Kunden- und Händler die biometrische Technik? Was ist bei dieser Technik zu beachten? Welche  Anforderungen stellen Banken und Händler? Ist die Technik geeignet für Online-Banking oder –Commerce? Was sagen die Aufsichtsbehörden dazu?  Allen Anpassungen zu Trotz ist laut Tim Cook: „Mobile Payment via Touch ID on the way.“

4.    Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) und iBeacons

Der Technologiestandard BLE ist schon länger in den relevanten Smartphone- und Tablets der führenden Hersteller integriert und ist damit bislang weiter als NFC-Technik verbreitet. Durch die Nutzung von iBeacons – vorgestellt im September 2013 – sind dadurch Marketing- und GPS-Lösungen innerhalb von Läden möglich bis hin zu Mobile Payment im Zusammenspiel u.a. mit der Touch ID. Darüber hinaus sind BLE und die iBeacons eine Antwort Apples auf das „Internet der Dinge“, ein weiterer großer Trend, der mittel- bis langfristig die „mobile Nutzung“ von Smartphones und Tablets im Wirtschaftsleben integrieren wird.

5.    Einflussfaktor: China Der chinesische Markt, der wichtigste Zielmarkt Apples, ist nahezu aus dem Stand der größte Mobile Payment-Markt der Welt geworden. Dabei überrascht weniger die Tatsache als die Schnelligkeit, mit der dies geschehen ist. Die Geschwindigkeit zeigt vor allem eins, es gibt einen riesigen Bedarf nach Mobile Payment. Damit passen übrigens auch die Gartner-Prognosen wieder. Die Chinesen sind in die Bresche von Google gesprungen. Die chinesische Zentralnotenbank berichtete unlängst von 1,6 Billionen US-Dollar in Mobile Payment, wobei die Transaktionen gegenüber dem Vorjahr um 213% und der Wert der Transaktionen um 317% gestiegen sind. 0,8 Prozent der Mobile Payment-Transaktionen haben NFC als Grundlage. China hat aktuell 500 Millionen Mobile Internet-Nutzer.

grey Apples Schachzüge im Mobile Payment: eine Analyse (Teil 2)

Was hat dies jedoch mit Apple zu tun? Apple hatte im vergangenen Jahr nach langem Ringen einen Vertrag mit China Mobile, dem mit 750 Millionen Kunden größten Mobilfunkbetreiber der Welt, abgeschlossen und damit endlich den Fuss im wichtigen chinesischen Markt. China Mobile setzt im Bereich Mobile Payment mit seinem Partner NTT Docomo auf NFC-Technik und hat innerhalb kürzester Zeit 3 Millionen Nutzer erzielt. Darüber hinaus wird chinesischen Banken die Zusammenarbeit bei einer Mobile Payment-Plattform (Kollaboratives Strategiemodell) angeboten im Zusammenspiel mit China Mobile. Die Milliarden-Dollar-Preisfrage lautet daher: Wie wird sich Apple jetzt entscheiden?

6.    Einflussfaktor: Strategien Apple besitzt aufgrund seiner erfolgreichen Endgeräte-Strategien wesentliche Eckpfeiler der Mobile Payment-Wertschöpfungskette: die Kunden und Händler. Mit der Entscheidung für BLE und iBeacons sind kurzfristig schneller einsatzfähige Mobile Payment-Services mit geringerer Öko-System-Komplexität möglich. Fatal sind aktuelle NFC-Payment-Anbieter ist die aktuell fehlende NFC-Technik bei Apple. Da Länderübergreifend, auch in Deutschland die aktivsten Nutzer (ca. 60%) aus dem iOS-Lager kommen. Stickerlösungen sind eher als Second-Best-Lösungen anzusehen. Der Markt dürfte erst richtig abheben, wenn es integrierte Angebote gibt. Zu guter Letzt testet Apple seine Mobile Payment-Lösung vor der Einführung in den Markt ausgiebig in seinen Shops.

7.       Innovationen und Patente Apple hat in der jüngsten Vergangenheit zahlreiche Patente für Mobile Payment-Services angemeldet. Dazu gehören „Zahlungen für Güter, die über ein Signal von einem Smartphone zu einem drahtlosen Empfänger veranlasst werden,“ oder „ein Sensor der biometrische und NFC-Technik kombiniert,“ oder „eine Methode und ein System, das Kredits verwaltet.“


Von allen Teilnehmern hat Apple die komfortabelste Position, da es mit Abstand über die meisten Optionen verfügt, und es sich beinahe Aussuchen kann, welche Rolle es einnehmen möchte, und welche Einnahmen an der Wertschöpfungskette es erzielen möchte. Als Stichworte für die Rollenoptionen mögen folgende ausreichen: Hardwarelieferant (Smartphone, Lesegeräte), Trusted Service Manager, White Label Plattform oder „Weltbank“. Das Unternehmen hat höchstes „Game Changer Potential“ aufgrund seiner Finanzkraft, der überragenden Kundenbasis (Endkunde/Händler), seiner Erfahrung mit komplexen Innovationsproblemen, seiner Historie und der skizzierten Schachzüge. Dabei wird das Unternehmen zukünftig nicht einseitig den Markt bestimmen, sondern wird auf Marktentwicklungen in seinen wichtigsten Zielmärkten wie China reagieren müssen. Wenn sich die größten Mobile Payment-Branchen auf die NFC-Technologie festlegen, wird das Unternehmen reagieren müssen. Die Patente geben dabei die hilfreiche Fingerzeige.


  • Apple wird NFC in seinen Endgeräten (Smartphone / Tablet) integrieren. (Argumente: Patente, China, wachsende Verbreitung von NFC-fähigen End- und Lesegeräte bis 2016).
  • Mit BLE / iBeacons hat sich Apple weitere Optionen im Marketing, Mobile Payment und Internet der Dinge geschaffen.
  • Apple wird sich nicht zu einer „Weltbank“ entwickeln. Dies ist erstens nicht erfolgreich und aufgrund der großen regulatorischen Anforderungen an Banken weltweit unternehmerisch nicht sinnvoll.
  • Apple wird versuchen, seine aktuelle Position, in zentrale Rollen in dem kommenden Mobile Payment Öko-System, zu übersetzen. Idealerweise als „White-Label-Plattform-Anbieter“.

Empfehlungen an Banken


  • Design, Gestaltung und Umsetzung Digitaler Strategie
  • Einführung und Ausweitung von Mobile Banking-Services
  • Design einer eigenständigen Mobile Payment Strategie
  • Unternehmensstrategie
  • Vorantreiben der „Mobile Readyness“ des eigenen Unternehmens
  • Konsortium innerhalb der Branche / Branchenübergreifend
  • Enge Zusammenarbeit mit nationaler und europäischer Regulierung


  • Einführung eines Mobile Payment Öko-Systems
  • Einführung einer Mobile Payment-Lösung

Dieser Artikel basiert auf einem Vortrag vom 18. März 2014 auf der Konferenz “Next Generation Payments” des Bankingclubs in Köln.

grey Apples Schachzüge im Mobile Payment: eine Analyse (Teil 2)

Der Autor: Thomas Lerner ist Management Berater, Autor, Trainer und Speaker bei Mobile Marketing, Banking, Payment und Banking Services. Im Dezember 2013 ist sein Buch „Mobile Payment“ in englischer Sprache erscheinen. Im Sommer 2014 erscheint sein neues Buch „Mobile Marketing / Mobile Banking“.

Quelle: sowie

Das Ende von Facebook? Top Investor Peter Thiel steigt aus

Peter Thiel Gründer von Paypal steigt aus Facebook aus.

2004 mit einem Investment von 500.000 Dollar gestartet, sind seine 22.3 Mio. Aktien nunmehr 446 Mio. Dollar wert. Die Aktie verlor seit dem Börsendebut mehr als die Hälfte an Wert.

Ein „Insider“, der beim erstmöglichen Zeitpunkt Kasse macht: Zeichen des drohenden Innovationsrückgangs bei Facebook?

Den Mangel eines eigenen Betriebssystems für mobile Rechner auszugleichen und sich gleich gegen drei potente Gegner zu positionieren (Apple mit IOS, Google mit Android und Microsoft mit Windows Phone) erscheint als wenig gangbare Alternative. Was bleibt?

Ein Kundenstock, der sich weniger häufig einloggt als früher, quasi ein E-mail für die Welt, mit gleichzeitiger Sharing-Möglichkeit von digitalen Daten.

near field communications (NFC) und Mobiles Bezahlen (Mastercard: PayPass | Visa: payWave)

Bezahlen so einfach wie das Benutzen einer Zutrittskarte in Ihrer Firma?

2011 wird mobiles Payment massenmarktfähig.

Die Vorgeschichte.
seit dem 2. Weltkrieg: RFID als Vorläufer von NFC im Einsatz
2002 NFC als Forschungsobjekt in einem Joint-Venture von Sony und NXP Semiconductors
2004 formierte sich das NFC-Forum, dem alle Branchengrößen beitraten. American Express, MasterCard, Panasonic, Microsoft, Motorola, NEC, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard, VISA International Service Association, Vodafone, Sprint, Postbank, Telefónica und France Télécom.
2007 mobiles Bezahlen der ÖBB und Wiener Linien unterstützt NFC
2011-2012 Massenmarktfähigkeit: Branchenprimi Mastercard und Visa investieren hohe Energie in Schaffung der nötigen Payment-Infrastrukur und pushen Paypass und payWave aktiv in den Markt. 350.000 Händler sind bereits angeschlossen. Smartphone Hersteller Google und Blackberry bringen attraktive neue Handsets mit eingebautem NFC-Chips auf den Markt (Google Nexus S, Blackberry Bold 9900)

Wie funktioniert das mobile Bezahlen mit NFC?
Bereits seit mehreren Jahren erprobt und im Einsatz im Bereich der öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel. Statt ein Ticket am Schalter zu kaufen, wird das Smartphone (mit NFC-Chip) an einem NFC-Lesegerät vorbeigestrichen (bis zu 4 cm Entfernung).

Die Player am Markt und ihre Strategie?
Um den Rest kümmert sich der Payment Anbieter (mit der passenden Applikation am Gerät), der Endgerätehersteller (Google und Apple haben großes Interesse ihre eigenen Applikationen zu promoten) sowie Mobilfunknetzbetreiber (zur Abrechnung auf der Handyrechnung)

Die Zukunft?
Bald soll es nicht nur möglich sein mit dem Smartphone mobil zu bezahlen. Eine Implementierung in Microsoft Kinect ist angedacht, sodass in nicht allzu ferner Zukunft Einkäufe direkt vor dem Fernseher mit einem Schwenk des Smartphones oder des Controllers (Playstation, Xbox) möglich wird.

Wie kann NFC in Ihrem Unternehmen eingesetzt werden, um mobil höhere Umsätze zu generien?
Diskutieren Sie mit uns.


Exkurs: Wie funktioniert RFID?

„Die Übertragung der Identinformation erfolgt bei Systemen, die nach ISO 18000-1 ff. genormt sind, folgendermaßen: Das Lesegerät (Reader), das je nach Typ ggf. auch Daten schreiben kann, erzeugt ein hochfrequentes elektromagnetisches Wechselfeld, dem der RFID-Transponder (RFID-Tag) ausgesetzt wird. Die von ihm über die Antenne aufgenommene Hochfrequenzenergie dient während des Kommunikationsvorganges als Stromversorgung für seinen Chip. Bei aktiven Tags kann die Energieversorgung auch durch eine eingebaute Batterie erfolgen. Bei halb-aktiven Tags übernimmt die Batterie lediglich die Versorgung des Mikrochips.

Der so aktivierte Mikrochip im RFID-Tag decodiert die vom Lesegerät gesendeten Befehle. Die Antwort codiert und moduliert dieser „Reader“ in das eingestrahlte elektromagnetische Feld durch Feldschwächung im kontaktfreien Kurzschluss oder gegenphasige Reflexion des vom Lesegerät ausgesendeten Feldes. Damit überträgt das Tag seine eigene unveränderliche Seriennummer, weitere Daten des gekennzeichneten Objekts oder andere vom Lesegerät abgefragte Information. Das Tag erzeugt selbst also kein Feld, sondern beeinflusst das elektromagnetische Sendefeld des Readers.“