Starbucks Gives Mobile Payments Industry a Jolt

Starbucks, one of the most iconic corporations in the U.S., has rolled out a mobile payments program that will enable customers to make purchases with their smartphones. Never mind that the same near-field communications (NFC) technology has already been in use in other parts of the world for several years, this will have a significant impact on the emerging mobile payments industry in the U.S. The program will be available at every Starbucks location across the nation, and customers can download the free Starbucks Card Mobile App for use on select BlackBerry, iPhone and iPod devices. Users then will be able to pay for their purchases by holding the app’s on-screen barcode in front of scanners placed in more than 7,500 U.S. stores. The U.S. is much later to the mobile payments party than parts of Asia and Europe, where…

Social Commerce Platform Enables Selling Directly on Facebook

On Tuesday, ShopVisible launched a new e-commerce platform for Facebook that allows retailers to sell products to consumers without requiring them to leave the world’s most popular social network. Whereas Facebook has been a valuable platform for merchants to build brand loyalty and product awareness that drives customers to their retail websites, ShopVisible Social Commerce is the first solution to offer enterprise-class e-commerce tools and functionality within the site itself. Key features and attributes of the new release include the following: •    A full suite of e-commerce, analytics and social marketing tools built specifically for Facebook •    Integration with any existing e-commerce platform or can be used as a stand-alone platform for Facebook •    PCI Level 1 compliant •    Retailers control the design of their Facebook e-commerce sites •    Retailers can upload audio and video directly to their product pages…

Battle for SSL Dominance Heats Up

The December 2010 Alexa-Netcraft SSL Index was released recently and it seems the battle for dominance in the SSL (secure socket layers) market is heating up and getting pretty nasty. According to the report (compiled monthly by CatapultWorks) which provides an indication of SSL certification usage across the most trafficked websites by cross-referencing the Netcraft SSL Survey with the Alexa Top Sites list), GeoTrust maintained its leadership position and trumped low-cost competitors such as Go Daddy for the seventh straight month, securing 35,540 unique domains among the Internet’s 1 million most visited websites. Go Daddy registered 27,578 unique domains for the same period. “GeoTrust is consistently leading the low-cost, high-volume segment of the SSL market over competitors such as Go Daddy,” said Jeff Barto, senior product marketing manager for GeoTrust. “We expect to continue our lead into 2011 on the…

Google Zeitgeist 2010 Insights: How ‘Bout Them Apples?

Google’s annual analysis of search, Zeitgeist, has been released for 2010. Along with some unsurprising results – such as leading events of the Haiti earthquake, Chile and … Justin Bieber – there are some interesting observations to be made; most notably that Apple is in the driver’s seat. The fastest rising search term of all in 2010 was “Chatroulette”, the pseudo social network where one can video chat with strangers around the world. The search term dipped a bit after April and a wave of issues surrounding security and obscenity but is again on the rise. It’s interesting to note that the United States was not in the top 10, when it comes to regional interest in the term. “Twitter” makes an appearance in the top 10, as the eighth-fastest rising search of 2010, beating out “Facebook” at #10. The…