Mobile Payment 2015 (Infographic)

2015 will be the year of Mobile Payments in the UAE. National wallet project is going on (read our related article here) while telecom operators are launching partnerships (read our related article here) in parallel. Not only that, many banks are working on different services on the wallet space and other big companies investing on independent wallets (See our article about Beam Wallet here)

While a lot of thing happening in the UAE market, we wanted to share what is going on in the world in terms of Mobile Payments and what is expected in the near future. Mobilepaymentstoday.com and Cellum shared the below infographic about the latest stats in mobile payments area.

mobilepayment2015-infographic

What Does Crowd Economy Mean For UAE

Crowd economy

On digital of things, everybody is asking the same question: What is next?

There are different trends (we also shared some of them with you here and here) but when and how they will effect our market is still the biggest question.

As Modirates.com, we believe that, one of the most important trends for the UAE market will be crowd economy. We will describe why it is important but first of all, let’s take a look, what does crowd economy (it is also called as shared / collaborative economy) means:

“The sharing economy (sometimes also referred to as the peer-to-peer economy, mesh, collaborative economy, collaborative consumption) is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organizations. These systems take a variety of forms, often leveraging information technology to empower individuals, corporations, non-profits and government with information that enables distribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services. A common premise is that when information about goods is shared, the value of those goods may increase, for the business, for individuals, and for the community.” (Wikipedia)

As you can understand from the above definition, crowd economy is all about sharing services. Sharing things is not something new for human being. We started sharing thoughts first, than we shared food, we shared life and everything we had basically. Today, it is much more easier to share things, thanks to the digital world! Previously, we were sharing things with people around us, now our borders widened, we can reach any people all around the world and this means, we can share more.

For companies, this is bringing a huge opportunity. 2014 was the year for the ones, who took this opportunity really well like Uber, Airbnb and even the Dubai based company Carpool. All these examples showed that, the platforms, which are creating the crowd economy are growing faster than any other business.

When it comes to UAE market, this opportunity is even higher. Most of the companies in the UAE are just moving to Digital and still have a lot to do to achieve world class standards. If they choose the way to move traditionally about creating their space in the digital world, which means investing individually to create all the services from scratch, this will take a huge time for them to catch the digital train. But, if they focus on their core business and share them with more specific digital services, they will benefit more in a shorter time period. Not only time, but also from the cost perspective, this will reduce the costs, especially in terms of initial investment costs.

This means collaboration of companies. For example, API sharing is becoming more important everyday. Big companies, who has the power but not enough flexibility to move faster should focus on creating the open APIs to serve their core services. Small companies, like tech startups, who are less powerful but more flexible will be able to take these APIs and focus on user experience. With this collaboration, it is an absolute win-win model for both sides and even for the end users.

More important, this can be implemented in all sectors, not only for specific ones. Today, especially in US, there are many examples working perfectly in health sector, cities (governmental areas), financial sector, tourism, transportation and more.

Watch the video below to see how crowd economy evolved just under 1 year and what is expected in 2015.

 

Zomato is Launching Cashless Payments in Dubai

Note the date, 1st, February, Zomato is launching Cashless Payments in Dubai. If you are using the Zomato app, you will be able to pay your restaurant bills directly by using your mobile device.

zomato_cashless

Zomato, the restaurant listing service is doing great things in Dubai. As Modirates.com, we previously mentioned Zomato as one of the must have applications if you are living in UAE. By using Zomato, you can find the best places to eat and drink around the city.

Now, they have added one more ability to their application, which will be making your life easier. With the cashless payment option, all you need to enter your card details to Zomato app ones. The app will be saving your card information securely so you don’t need to introduce your card to waiters to do payments. Once you check in to the restaurant, your bill will appear on your mobile device and you will be able to pay it quickly.

It will solve a big problem in Dubai, as it is really a nightmare to pay a bill in most of the restaurants.

Apple Pay Is Coming To UK In The First Half of 2015

Apple Pay coming to UK in 2015

The news on The Telegraph says that, major banks of UK are close to an agreement with Apple to bring the Apple Pay service to the country in the first half of 2015.

UK banks seems to be impressed by the early results of Apple Pay in the US, after the service achieved great numbers compared to any other mobile wallets so far. However, the banks are concerned about the customer information which Apple is collecting through the Apple Pay service.

“Negotiations between the Silicon Valley giant and at least one of the biggest banks have proved tricky, however, because of wrangling over the terms, including what data Apple will be able to access, according to sources.
It is understood the bank is uncomfortable with the amount of personal and financial information Apple wants to collect about its customers. Some executives fear Apple Pay and the data it delivers to Apple could serve as a beachhead for an invasion of the banking industry.”

Early in December, Apple Pay was on the headlines in UK financial industry news, after the Cupertino company posted a job listing for a “Apple Pay Intern” in the UK. Now, it is clear that Apple Pay is becoming a reality for Europe and this will start from UK.

As Modirates.com, we believe that, this will speed up the process to bring up Apple Pay to the UAE also. UAE should definitely be the first country in Middle East to allow Apple Pay transactions and we hope it will be easier to convince the UAE Banks to be ready for Apple Pay after their British colleagues implement it in the UK.

Iran Is Working On A Different Solution On Internet Censorship

Iran Internet Censorship

Iran has not been applying some smart solutions about internet censorship so far. Users are able to have either a full access or no access to a internet site in the country. It seems like, this “black or white” approach has been reconsidered by the government and they decided to work on a smarter solution to have more flexibility on Internet Censorship.

With this new approach, government will be able to censor the content, which is defined as “inappropriate” or “element of crime”. The new system is not live yet but there are rumors saying that it is being tested on the popular social media platform Instagram currently and will be tested on the other social platforms in the near future.

As Modirates.com, we are against all types of censoring on internet. We think that, this is good news  for Iran and will be at least a step forward towards having more freedom in terms of internet access. This is also supporting Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani’s comment about the importance of internet access for the future of his country.

UAEPedia Is Launched With A New Design and A Mobile App

UAEPedia

UAEPedia, UAE’s first online website directory, now have a fresh new design and a new mobile application (available in the UAE mGovernment App Store). The directory is focusing on emirates based e-commerce websites, business, personal, professional and all other type websites since 2007.

“UAEPedia represents a national platform for information concerning our homeland: its history, heritage and cultural and political figures, while housing countless informational channels. We have developed this encyclopaedia to promote patriotism towards our nation and its leadership,” said H. E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General, UAE mGovernment.

Stressing the importance of preserving the Arabic language and making information available online in Arabic, Al Mansoori said, “The UAEPedia comes in line with our ongoing efforts to support Arabic content and the creation of an electronic record that conveys the UAE’s message to the world. Each contributor would have a responsibility with regard to their role in building the UAEPedia and to ensure constant flow of accurate information about our beloved nation.”

Gift Something Smart For The New Year’s Eve

Still trying to choose something as a gift for the new year’s eve? As Modirates.com, of course we will suggest something smart for you as a gift for your loved ones. Even, you can choose one of them for yourself and tell someone to gift it for you:)

Buy A Smart Phone: iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or LG G3

iphone 6 plus note 4 g3

This year, if you want to buy a really great smartphone, we suggest 3 models for you, iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3. We will not compare these devices in terms of their specs, but we can say, if you want a stable phone, easy menu and great working apps on it with a beautiful design, go for an iPhone. If you don’t like iPhone, than for the Android devices, 2 devices are recommended for you, Galaxy Note 4 or LG G3.

iPhone 6 Plus: AED 2,599 – AED 3,399

Samsung Galaxy Note 4: AED 1,999 -AED 2,399

LG G3: AED 1,199 – AED 1,399

Buy A Tablet: iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0

ipad-air-2-galaxy-tab-s-10-5

With the bigger screen sizes we have on the phones, tablets re not attractive anymore for most of the people. But don’t forget, most of them are offering more powerful devices and increased experience for games, reading content and surfing on the web compared to the phones. If you want to buy a tablet, your first choice should definitely be an iPad. We suggest you to go for iPad Air 2 as it has a bigger screen than iPad Mini, with a higher resolution. If you have a big size phone, iPad Mini or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 is not recommended because of their smaller screen size. Also, compared to Android Tablets, there are more applications in Apple App Store compared to Google Play. but if you want to have more freedom with your tablet, than pick a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5.

iPad Air 2: AED 1,899 – AED 2,399

iPad Mini 3: AED 1,499 – AED 1,999

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.5: AED 1,599 – AED 2,118

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0: AED 848 – AED 1,099

Buy a Wearable Device: Jawbone UP24, Sony SmartWatch 3, Motorola Moto 360, Samsung Gear S

LG_G_Watch_vs_motorola_moto_360_vs_samsung_gear_live

Wearable devices are getting more popular and you can expect them to increase their popularity after Apple Watch hits the market. But if you think that you don’t want to wait Apple Watch (or you are not an Apple user), than go and buy some other options. We suggest 4 options for you, 1 wristband and 3 smart watches. If you are happy with your current watch but just need something to track your movement, Jawbone 24 is just for you. It doesn’t have a screen but this makes it look more stylish than any other wristbands. If you want to have a more complex product, than go for a watch with different applications. We strongly suggest Motorola Moto 360 to benefit from a true smart watch with your Android design. Moto 360 has a great design, a well engineered device working on the pure Android Wear operating system. Your other option is Sony Smart Watch 3. but if you are a Samsung user, than go and select directly to a Samsung Gear S which will be the most ideal one for your smartphone.

Jawbone UP24: AED 550 – AED 659

Sony Smart Watch 3: AED 899 (Not officially sale in UAE)

Motorola Moto 360: AED 1,189 – AED 1,299

Samsung Gear S: AED 1,199 – AED 1,495

Best Mobile Apps of 2014 in the UAE

Best Mobile Apps of th UAE in 2014

2014 has been the best year ever for UAE in terms of the Mobile Services. The first services related to the smart government initiative has been released in the market this year. Smart Government initiative also encouraged the private sector and startup ecosystem in the country and as a result, many new services become available for the end users.

As Modirates.com, we choose 10 applications as the best mobile apps of 2014 in the UAE. These services are selected from different categories and rated by the benefit, innovation and the user experience point of view.

mDubai App

We wrote an article here about the mDubai application. This app is a must have application if you are living in the UAE. The application was released in the last quarter of 2014. Most probably, they have waited for the other government entities to be ready to integrate with mDubai application. mDubai covers almost everything you need from bill payments to transportation, from medical services to security services in the UAE. A real example of the smart government initiative vision.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

RTA App

One of our favorite mobile services in the UAE, RTA app covers everything you need about transportation. Read our related post from here. RTA app is a must have for any driver or for anyone using transportation in the UAE.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Emirates Airlines App

This was expected as we wrote in our article about the Emirates Airlines application. If you are a world class airlines company, you have to have a beautiful app in international standards. The app is offering the basic services you need, may be not offering anything extra yet, but we selected it for its beautiful design and user experience.

Click here for App Store

RTA Smart Drive

Another great service from RTA, which is your navigation in your mobile. The app is not only helping you to find your way in Dubai, but also helping you to save time by showing the real time traffic load, accidents and roadworks, so you can select alternatives routes in your direction. Every driver must have this application on their smart phones.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Entertainer

Read our article here about the Entertainer App, download it and select and buy your 2015 voucher now. Dining out is getting more expensive every day in Dubai. If you go out to a fine restaurant with your wife, you need to pay minimum AED300-AED400 (without beverages), which is quite high. Entertainer will help you to save minimum 25% of your bill with the wide range of offers in many locations.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Wally

If you have entertainer and decided to save some money from your purchases, than download Wally also to track your expenses in a more detailed way to control your income and spending. Read our article here about Wally, you will love using this application.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Emirates NBD Mobile Banking App

The biggest bank in the country is also offering the best mobile services in the country. This year, they have launched Shake n’ Save and mePay in addition to their various different transactions through their application. Not only that, they have been awarded 2 international awards this year (read our article here) for their mobile banking services. If you are banking with Emirates NBD, you should have the application.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Dubizzle

The most visited site in the country, the biggest e-commerce platform of the country and of course, the first place visited by anyone, before moving to Dubai. Yes, Dubizzle also launched their new, beautiful app this year. Now it is easier to find whatever you are looking for or place an add quickly and directly from your mobile whenever you want and wherever you are.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Souq.com

Another e-commerce giant has another great app for mobile devices. Download Souq.com mobile application and buy anything you want on Souq.com through this mobile app easily. Do you need another suggestion? Use this app as a reference for your in store payments also. For example, while you are shopping in Dubai Mall, search the item you want in this app, compare the process, read the reviews about the app or get more product details instantly!

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

DEWA

We just published this article for DEWA digital services. DEWA is another active government entity in terms of producing smart services, this is why we have this in our list here. You can do your DEWA transactions easily in multiple mobile platforms.

Click here for App Store and here for Google Play.

Du and Microsoft Agree On Carrier Billing For Windows Store Purchases

Microsoft and Du partnership

Du and Microsoft announced their new partnership about providing the carrier billing option for Windows Store purchases. With this partnership, Du subscribers, who has a Windows phone or Windows tablet, will be able to buy Windows Store applications and games without providing any credit card information. The amount of the purchase will be reflected to their monthly bills.

As Modirates.com, we believe that this is an important milestone in terms of mobile-micro payments. We believe that, Etisalat and Du should offer more carrier billing option for micro payments with the other companies to create the mobile payment awareness in the UAE.

DEWA Commercial Customers Can Do Their Transactions Online and Mobile

dewa online and mobile services

DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) customers can do their transactions on DEWA web site and DEWA Mobile Apps easily and securely, thanks to their new digital initiatives in line with the Smart Government vision in Dubai.

They published a press release on Gulf News, especially highlighting their focus on their commercial customers, saying that they have enabled their services like move-in, final bill request, updating customer information, and customer enquiries on their web side and smart phone applications in multiple platforms.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dewa, Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, urged Dewa customers in general, and commercial consumers in particular, to avail of the utility’s electronic and smart services to save their time and effort. Dewa’s smart transformation, he said, is a continuation of its electronic development to achieve customer satisfaction and happiness by providing our services round the clock. We encourage our customers to use Dewa’s e-services and download its Smart App.

In addition to saving customers’ time and effort, electronic and smart services help save the environment. Dewa has used its smart services to promote sustainable development. It is the first government organisation to highlight the impact of using smart services on the environment. Dewa’s customers conducted 3.3 million transactions in 2013 through its website and smart app. This helped eliminate the emission of 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that could have resulted from customers travelling to and from Dewa offices.

As Modirates.com, we believe that this is just another great news from one of the biggest Government entities in the UAE to boost digital transactions. As we highlighted in our earlier  articles, number of services, especially on mobile is increasing in UAE. (Take a look at our article about mDubai App here) Also, many online and mobile banking services are available for managing bills in the UAE which are making our life easier.

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