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Digital futures: Swindon event round-up

Written by Tiffany | 28-Nov-2014 16:35:00

In this round-up we will discuss the most recent talking points from our own innovations team and latest Digital Futures event held at the equimedia offices during November. Key points included how financial services brands are beginning to embrace wearable tech, how charities and their “chuggers” are rebuffing the “I’m sorry, I don’t have any cash on me” response form the public, the launch of money sending features within the big social networks and finally, the advances in geo targeting.

Finance brands embrace wearable tech

Nationwide is the first to market with their mobile banking app for smartwatches

At the start of the month, Tony Prestedge, COO of Nationwide based here in Swindon, announced the launch of the first mobile banking app for smartwatches within the Google Playstore. Users who download the app will be able to check their balance and manage their money directly from the smartwatch.

According to recent consumer research from Mintel (digital trends report, June 2014), only 14% of UK consumers would be interested in buying a smartwatch, so perhaps Nationwide are a little ahead of the curve in the short term by using this move to become more “tech friendly”. They were behind the curve at the start of the year, only offering contactless cards to their customers this year, so this could be considered as a PR play.

What the innovations team here seems to think is that although big tech brands like Motorola, Sony and most recently Microsoft have already launched their smartwatches, we’ll see the popularity grow with the first Apple iWatch, expected to drop in the US early next year.

We’ll keep watching this one…

Read the full release from Nationwide


For all the latest on smartwatch news, visit Wired smartwatches

Charity “chuggers” no longer need your change

New British non-profit, Snapdonate, launches app that allows donations through logo recognition technology

With mobile payment options – think Oyster cards and contactless debit cards – taking off here in the UK, fewer and fewer people will have that pocket or purse of change on them; a problem for charities and more specifically their “chuggers” you may often spot on a street near you. Snapdonate gets around the excuse of “I’m sorry, I haven’t got any cash on me” with the launch of their new “magic lens” app which is able to take donations via a smartphone.

The donor simply points their smartphone at the charity logo and a screen loads with a number of donation values to choose from and they’re away! Snapdonate doesn’t take a fee, although it works in conjunction with Just Giving, which still applies their 5% handling fee.

While the app is built on sophisticated image recognition software, it’s user friendly, works offline and most importantly doesn’t require the downloading of a third party app which we know has been a barrier to entry for some similar ideas.

A number of our charity clients including RSPB and Mind have signed up to Snapdonate, so we hope to be able to share some stats with you soon.

Advances with location targeting

Improved technology means that we can be even more specific with our targeting

Geo targeting or location targeting is not a new technique to digital. We utilise it successfully for clients across a number of sectors and apply it to PPC, display activity and more.

Previously the closest we’ve been able to get to a specific location is 20-25 miles, but new technology from providers such as Digital Element are improving targeting accuracy, allowing location-based targeting to be as close as two to five miles around a selected location. This makes the targeting much more appealing to clients and throws up more possibilities for us as marketers.

Cash transfers come to social media

Snapchat announced the launch of their payment feature on the 17th November and it looks like Facebook may not be too far behind.

Photo sharing app Snapchat announced earlier this month the launch of a new feature, Snapcash, that will allow users to transfer money between friends via the app. Details in the press release talk about the simplicity of the feature. Users register a debit card with the app, the details of which are stored securely by Square, which will swiftly process the payment and send the money to your friend’s bank account. Within the app users swipe to chat, type in the dollar sign and amount they wish to transfer, then hit the green send button. The tie-in with Square is one Snapchat is keen to shout about due to recent issues and questions around the security of the app.

While Snapchat usage is very high among 16-24 year olds here in the UK (22% according to data from Statista, usage drops off dramatically among the older audience with just 4% of 25-34 year olds, making the innovation team here question how popular this is feature is going to be if it ever lands here in the UK (it’s currently available for US users only, aged 18 or over).

What the guys are more excited about are the whisperings of a mobile payment feature within Facebook messenger. Andrew Aude, a computer science student at Stanford apparently ‘found this feature’ when reviewing the Facebook messenger code. It’s yet to be commented on by anyone officially from Facebook. Adding fuel to the gossip fire is Paypal’s former president, David Marcus, is now heading up the Facebook Messenger team while PayPal has recently begun moving away from eBay, leaving people to speculate whether this is down to a closer tie with Facebook. This is something the team are excited about and can see being very popular thanks to Facebook’s huge dominance and the confidence UK shoppers have in PayPal.