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Crowdfunding for Wearable Technologies Research Provides New Data About Funding Trends for Technology Startups

San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/18/2014 -- Crowdfund Productions (www.CrowdfundProductions.com), Colorado based crowdfunding consulting and event management company, completed a research “Crowdfunding for Wearable Technologies”.
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MasterCard is testing a new way for you to pay with your face

MasterCard is testing a new way for you to pay with your face | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
MasterCard announced on Thursday that it's looking to add a layer of biometric security to its credit cards and all user will need to do is simply take a selfie...
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MasterCard announced on Thursday that it's looking to add a layer of biometric security to its credit cards and all user will need to do is simply take a selfie. The system will create a digitized map of your face, convert that map into a hash and compare it to the hash stored on Mastercard's servers. Users will be able to pay through a mobile app with either their fingerprints or by staring into the device and blinking once. The blink is used to prevent someone from just holding up a picture of you to spoof the system. What's more, "They're storing an algorithm, not a picture of you," Phillip Dunkelberger, who runs Nok Nok Labs, told CNN Money. "And I'm sure they're doing the appropriate stuff to guard it.

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Sony has a new crowdfunding website for employee projects

Sony has a new crowdfunding website for employee projects | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Sony has created its own, Japan-only version of Kickstarter.
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Last year, Sony revealed a business program that encouraged employees to develop the most innovative ideas they can think of in an effort to find new hits. Now, the company has launched a crowdfunding and e-commerce platform called "First Flight" for products that come out of that project. While its main purpose is to raise funds for and sell Sony's experimental creations, the company's hoping it can also help connect it with audiences and gauge the public's interest. For its debut, First Flight is selling two products, which were already crowdfunded through third-party websites in the past: an e-paper smartwatch and a small device called "Mesh" tag that can turn devices into connected gadgets.  -  It's also scheduled to run a crowdfunding campaign for an e-paper remote control with a customizable display for six weeks. If you visit First Flight, you'll see that it's Japan-only for now

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Smart money: Blockchains are the future of the internet

Smart money: Blockchains are the future of the internet | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Entrepreneurs are hoping to profit from blockchain technology
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"Blockchains will be deployed in the financial realm and then e-commerce," says Aaron Wright of Cardozo Tech Startup Clinic. The Nasdaq is piloting a stock exchange off blockchain technology. UBS is experimenting with "smart bonds" that use the bitcoin blockchain.  -  One application could be "smart contracts" and micro-contracts that enable you securely to execute tiny transactions. Such micro-contracts offer hope to the unbanked and uncreditworthy. Micro-contracts could fund the internet-of-things, allowing your washing machine to order and pay for its own detergent. "Micro-finance is a killer application," says "Goran", (a potential investor who does not want to reveal his real name) at a Blockchain Workshop this month in London.  -  "Blockchains can solve areas of business life that frustrate me," he adds, "like the flawed banking system and dysfunctional global payments system. How to monetise blockchain technology? Anyone who says they have struck gold is lying, ignorant or trying to raise finance. If they knew, they'd keep quiet."  - Risks and uncertainties abound. A decentralised, flattened and destructured network is prey to undesirable elements. Governments will have to adapt or risk extinction in many functions  The smart money is eyeing up this "space". Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), Union Square Ventures and Barry Silbert (Bitcoin Investment Trust) are all over it.

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TD Ameritrade’s Apple Watch App Puts Markets On Your Wrist

TD Ameritrade’s Apple Watch App Puts Markets On Your Wrist | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
TD Ameritrade Mobile's new app lets clients view their customized watch lists, stock summary and major indexes on the Apple Watch.
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ThinkAdvisor spoke with Michael McGrath, managing director of web & mobile strategy for eCommerce at TD Ameritrade, discusses the new Watch app and TD Ameritrade’s place in the mobile technology sphere.  -  “You don’t have to pull out your phone, unlock it, launch the app. It’s right there,” McGrath said. Adding, “As much as we love our phones, and that access it’s given us is great, do you want to keep pulling it out of your pocket to check what’s going on? Whereas, this allows you to have brief interactions and basically keep you connected.”  -  The latest iOS app, released Tuesday, features three screens and lets clients view their customized watch lists, stock summary and major indices on the Apple Watch. It complements TD Ameritrade’s mobile and desktop platform suite allowing clients several options for engaging with the market.  -  Since the Watch app is only available to users of iPhone 5 or newer phones, the audience is somewhat targeted.  While he wouldn’t release a specific number, he said “we’ve seen a good number of users already use the app.”

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Tech firms jockeying for position in mobile wallets

Tech firms jockeying for position in mobile wallets | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
With more consumers willing to make purchases using smartphones, the nation’s top two search giants -- Naver and Daum Kakao -- are rushing to take the lead in the mobile payments market. Naver, the No.

Via Kenneth Carnesi
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Very interesting story playing out in Korea on how mobile payment players, from Google, Samsung, Apple, and two Korean search giants Naver and Daum Kakao along with Chinese companies like Alibaba's  Alipay and WeChatPay.  Korea as it is starting to turn out is the battlefield for a workable, safe and effective mobile payments system.  Stay tuned for more on this front.

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New Rules Allow Early Adopters to Become Early Investors

New Rules Allow Early Adopters to Become Early Investors | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Were you one of the first to identify Uber as a game changer?  What about being one of the first to use Amazon or Google in the early days? If you had..

Were you one of the first to identify Uber as a game changer?  What about being one of the first to use Amazon or Google in the early days?

If you had invested in Uber (now valued at $40B) in 2011, you would currently be sitting on a 600x return. Unfortunately, unless you were already very wealthy, securities laws would have prevented you from being able to invest in the these companies.

Early adopters have historically been prevented from crossing the threshold from customer to investor. However, a fundamental shift in the relationship between consumers and companies has been set in motion by new SEC regulations set to go into effect on June 19th.

Most early adopters interested in supporting private companies have been limited to rewards-based crowdfunding. This type of crowdfunding has proven to be a poor substitute for true early stage investing. Rewards-based crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter allow individuals to pre-order products or donate towards something that they want to exist in the world. These “backers” do not get shares or equity in the company. Although these backers take on significant risk, they do not get any significant upside.

The story of Oculus VR is apt. Nearly two years after its celebrated rewards-based crowdfunding raise, Oculus was acquired by Facebook for $2B. Oculus’ early Kickstarter backers felt angered and betrayed. Though they had a sense of ownership in the company, they reaped no benefits from the transaction. Meanwhile, the institutional and accredited investors who invested in Oculus after the Kickstarter campaign (and in large part because of the Kickstarter campaign) made a large amount of money in a short period of time. $300 in equity in Oculus at the time of the Kickstarter campaign would have been worth approximately $45,000, a 145x return.

Successful technology startups owe it to their early adopters to let them participate in the company’s financial success.  These are the people who realized the company’s potential before the public and provided the momentum to turn that potential into a reality. Read more: click on image or title.


Via Marc Kneepkens
Richard Platt's insight:

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • EMV cards are being rolled out with an embedded microchip for added security. The microchip carries out real-time risk assessments on a person’s card purchase activity based on the card user’s profile. The chip also generates dynamic cryptograms when the card is inserted into a payment terminal. Because these cryptograms change with every purchase, it makes it difficult for fraudsters to make counterfeit cards that can be used for in-store transactions.
  • To bolster security throughout the payments chain encryption of payments data is being widely implemented. Encryption degrades valuable data by using an algorithm to translate card numbers into new values. This makes it difficult for fraudsters to harvest the payments data for use in future transactions.
  • Point-to-point encryption is the most tightly defined form of payments encryption. In this scheme, sensitive payment data is encrypted from the point of capture at the payments terminal all the way through to the gateway or acquirer. This makes it much more difficult for fraudsters to harvest usable data from transactions in stores and online. 
  • Tokenization increases the security of transactions made online and in stores. Tokenization schemes assign a random value to payment data, making it effectively impossible for hackers to access the sensitive data from the token itself. Tokens are often “multiuse,” meaning merchants don’t have to force consumers to re-enter their payment details. Apple Pay uses an emerging form of tokenization. 
  • 3D Secure is an imperfect answer to user authentication online. One difficulty in fighting online fraud is that it is hard to tell whether the person using card data is actually the cardholder. 3D Secure adds a level of user authentication by requiring the customer to enter a passcode or biometric data in addition to payment data to complete a transaction online. Merchants who implement 3D Secure risk higher shopping-cart abandonment.
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, June 21, 11:24 AM

Early adopters are part of the success of a startup and should be rewarded for their input and commitment. This article digests the new opportunities.

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Commerce-as-a-Service’s Amazon Complex

Commerce-as-a-Service’s Amazon Complex | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Think consumers are fueling the rise in Commerce-as-a-Service? Think again.

Via Kenneth Carnesi
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In mid-2014, Frost & Sullivan calculated Alibaba’s B2B eCommerce merchandise value to be $27.28 billion, while China itself is expected to emerge as the largest B2B eCommerce market by 2020. With Alibaba’s recent decision to deploy a B2B business model to strengthen its cross-border commerce operations, analysts are fixing their eyes on the corporation to see just how high it can go.

Historically, retailers looking to jump into digital commerce have sought out Commerce-as-a-Service providers that will provide them with an experience similar to that of Amazon. But as the B2B eCommerce market grows, CaaS providers will need to strengthen their reach to manufacturers and wholesalers. In doing so, experts’ sentiments suggests that both CaaS providers and the B2B sellers they service may want to emulate Alibaba – not Amazon – in achieving online success.

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7 Myths of Startup Financing

How do you successfully pitch your business to investors? As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I've been on both sides of the funding process. Here are 7…
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A quick and useful appreciation for understanding on what you should and shouldn't do when it comes to your start-up.

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Only 1/2 of top 100 retailers will accept Apple Pay by end of 2015

Only 1/2 of top 100 retailers will accept Apple Pay by end of 2015 | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Is 2015 really the year of Apple Pay? During his January conference call with investors, Tim Cook said that 2015 would be 'the year of Apple Pay', and whil
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In an interview with Reuters, an Apple spokesperson said they’ve spoken to all of the top 100 merchants in the year and “about half will accept Apple Pay this year, with many more the following year.”

That sounds pretty good, but Reuters decided to speak with all 100 of the merchants themselves and found that nearly two-thirds have no plans to begin accepting Apple Pay this year. And only four companies said they’re already planning to join the program in 2016.  -  Insufficient customer demand was cited as the top reason for retailers not accepting Apple Pay, despite Apple’s aggressive marketing of the new mobile wallet. One top merchant said Apple has called to persuade their company to adopt Apple Pay even after they told Apple they wouldn’t because not even a “small percentage” of customers have asked for it.

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Twelve Reasons Why Wearable payments Are Now

Twelve Reasons Why Wearable payments Are Now | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
"Consumers are hungry for a connection." And as the many technology innovations across the payments and commerce space have shown, that connection is no longer
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An opinion anyway on "How Wearables And Mobile Play A Role In The Consumer Shopping And Purchase Experience"

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Google’s Android Pay Will Help Drive Growth of Mobile Payments

Google's (GOOG) introduction of Android Pay is another sign of the growth in mobile payments, according to an executive at MasterCard (MA). Android Pay will ...

Via Kenneth Carnesi
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Well articulated reason why mobile payments are going to take off

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In shadow of Android Pay, Google Wallet evolves to stay alive

In shadow of Android Pay, Google Wallet evolves to stay alive | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Google's 4-year-old mobile payments service will turn into an app for transferring small payments between friends to make room for the new Android Pay system.
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A key difference between them is that Android Pay -- unlike Google Wallet -- is an open platform that can be used to power third-party payment or loyalty-card apps created by banks or retailers, according to Vijay Koduri, an executive at payments processor Adyen and a former Google executive who helped launch Google Wallet. That should allow Android Pay, which will launch later this year, to worm itself more into the mobile-payments world.  -  The change may help breathe new life into Google Wallet, which never really took off with customers or retailers. It will also allow Google to differentiate the two mobile payment systems, since, right now, both Google Wallet and Android Pay would both share many of the same features, including the ability for users to make in-store payments with their smartphones and make purchases within mobile apps.


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Samsung Group Reportedly Acquires LoopPay for $250 million

Samsung Group Reportedly Acquires LoopPay for $250 million | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Samsung users, only a few months till the company treats you with the payment facility.
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Primarily, LoopPay was acquired to rival the Apple Inc. Pay service, and the Google Wallet. Following the acquisition, users will be able to make payments. Moreover, merchants wouldn’t even need to retool their machines, as they need to for the Apple Pay. In simpler terms, you can now make payment off your phone at millions of locations around the world

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PayPal buys Xoom for $890 million to strengthen hold in the money transfer business

PayPal buys Xoom for $890 million to strengthen hold in the money transfer business | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
With Facebook and Square reigning in on the money transferring business, PayPal isn’t resting on its laurels. The company today dropped $890 million on Xoom, a payment transfer service similar to the already PayPal-owned…
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PayPal says the acquisition will allow it broaden its services by cross-selling to Xoom’s 68 million active users, and expand its presence in Xoom’s 37 countries – Mexico, India, the Philippines, China and Brazil in particular.  -  Meanwhile, Xoom also gets access to PayPal’s customers

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The Emergence of a Digital Money Ecosystem - MIT Video

The Emergence of a Digital Money Ecosystem - MIT Video | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
About the Presentation We are in the early stages of a very important transformation—the transition to a digital money ecosystem. This transformation is likely to be among the most ...
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We are in the early stages of a very important transformation—the transition to a digital money ecosystem. This transformation is likely to be among the most exciting, important, and challenging initiatives the world will undertake in the coming decades. - The 55 minute webinar presents an overview of the digital money transformation and the technical and societal forces that are driving it. Also discussing some of the potential major consequences to business, the economy, and society in general.

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What is the future of payment technologies?

What is the future of payment technologies? | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
TECHNOLOGY has already made your Nokia 3315, VCR and cassette player irrelevant and now it wants to destroy your wallet.
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A well written article on the future of security and payment options are likely to head, e.g. scanning recognition, the one chip rule under your skin (not sure I would agree with this), instantaneous transfers, windscreen recognition, wearable technology, register-less transactions, and potentially new digital currencies.  

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How the Internet of Everything will help bank the unbanked

How the Internet of Everything will help bank the unbanked | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
IoE can enable banks and financial institutions to address the massive challenge of financial inclusion..
Richard Platt's insight:

Despite all these advances in banking, financial inclusion remains a challenge, especially in developing economies such as India. And digitization is an important tool towards addressing this challenge. As digital frontiers expand, banks will be able to deliver highly customized services at relatively low costs and expand their customer base by reaching people who were until now outside the banking ecosystem. In other words, the spread of digitization and the Internet of Everything will accelerate the process of financial inclusion.  A 2014 study by Cisco revealed that of the 7200 retail banking consumers surveyed across 12 countries including India, customer expectations from financial services were not being adequately met. It showed that 4 out of 5 customers would rather trust a non-banking organization for their banking needs.  Those surveyed were keen to explore the following five IoE-related solutions: virtual financial advice, virtual mortgage advice, automated advice, branch recognition and mobile payments. While these services may not necessarily be the most relevant for people outside the fold of formal banking, IoE offers a number of opportunities for the bottom of the pyramid as well.  -  For example, while it may not be feasible for banks to build physical branches in remote areas, they can still be accessible and provide requisite services to the people through mobile banking, interactive electronic kiosks and smart payment devices.

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The strange death of the tech IPO

The strange death of the tech IPO | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
It is not often these days that investors have the chance to send the shares of a tech company to a huge premium on its first day of dealings. Such acts of exuberance do still happen. Last week, in an echo of the dotcom craze of the 1990s, buyers
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Tech IPOs now raise less money, adjusted for inflation, than in the early 1990s, according to research by Andreessen Horowitz. When it comes to the number of deals done, you have to reach back even further into the past, to the 1980s when the likes of Apple and Microsoft were listing their shares.  -  The main reason is that tech ventures are staying private longer. Instead of doing IPOs, they are tapping funds from “late stage” venture capital investors. So far this year, companies have raised $20bn through such private offerings. Their reluctance to go public explains the increasing ubiquity of what are termed “unicorns” — privately held entities whose equity has been ascribed a valuation in excess of $1bn. At the beginning of June there were 61 of these fabled creatures in the US, valued at a collective $212bn.  -  It is easy to see why tech founders want to stay private. Most prefer to get on with growing their businesses, rather than courting institutional investors and dealing with the bureaucratic demands of the quarterly earnings cycle.

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Google's News Lab launches three new crowd-sourcing projects

Google's News Lab launches three new crowd-sourcing projects | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Google's new projects include a joint venture with Storyful and a coalition aimed at helping citizen journalists learn new skills
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The YouTube project is an expansion of the relationship that Storyful—which was founded by Mark Little, a former foreign correspondent from Ireland—has had with Google’s video unit for some time. The two have worked on previous projects such as CitizenTube and the Human Rights Channel, with Storyful helping to provide fact-checking and verification for videos that are submitted by YouTube users around the world.  -  Since the company began in 2010, Storyful managing editor Aine Kerr says the service has verified more than 100,000 YouTube videos, using its teams of social-media analysts and journalists. And the challenge of doing so in real time has only increased, Little says: When Storyful started working with YouTube, about 48 hours of video was uploaded to the service every minute—now that number is closer to 300 hours.

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Building a fundable startup

Shekar Kirani of Accel Partners and Vijay Anand of The Startup Centre, did this talk at the NASSCOM Product Conclave 2013 held in Bangalore.
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Pretty good suggestions, not the same as a Guy Kawasaki preso, but that isn't a bad thing either, useful information.

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Square Will Launch An Apple Pay-Ready NFC And Card Chip Reader This Fall

Square Will Launch An Apple Pay-Ready NFC And Card Chip Reader This Fall | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Apple today announced a new partnership for Apple Pay with Square, which will release a new card reader designed to allow small businesses to take Apple Pay..
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Apple today announced a new partnership for Apple Pay with Square, which will release a new card reader designed to allow small businesses to take Apple Pay payments as well as credit card chip payments, but not card swipes.  - However, Square says it will ship its standard magnetic card stripe reader with the new NFC/EMV card chip reader so merchants can accept all forms of payment. Square will earn its standard 2.75 percent fee on all of these transactions, allowing it to earn money by pushing the adoption of Apple Pay.

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Chipmaker Atmel exploring Selling itself to another Semiconductor Company

(Reuters) - Atmel Corp , a maker of small processors called microcontrollers that are used in a variety of electronics, is exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, three
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Mid-sized semiconductor makers are becoming attractive takeover targets for larger semiconductor players looking to round out their capabilities with chips for cars, watches and other devices that will interact with each other in what is referred to as the "Internet of Things".  -  Atmel, which has a market capitalization of around $4 billion, is working with investment bank Qatalyst Partners on a sale process, two of the people said. There is no certainty that Atmel will decide to sell itself, the people added.  -  The sources asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential. Atmel declined to comment while Qatalyst did not respond to a request for comment.   -  Atmel shares rose as much as 7.2% on the news before ending trading on Monday at $9.75, up 3.6%.   Based in San Jose, California, Atmel manufactures microcontrollers and other hardware that can be used in "Internet of Things" technology. Atmel supplies these components to "wearables" products, including smart watches and fitness bands. 

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Retailers have mishandled mobile payments for years. It’s time to surrender to tech

Retailers have mishandled mobile payments for years. It’s time to surrender to tech | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
The jig is up.
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It’s time for retailers to drop the fight to control the way shoppers pay for things at their stores and concede to the technology sector, which has shown itself far more capable of designing systems with the customer experience in mind.

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How wearables will shape the future of mobile payments

How wearables will shape the future of mobile payments | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Three finance executives discuss the essential role wearable technology will play in the evolution of mobile payments.
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Interesting opinion,s, not sure I actually see how wearables and payment options using one are actually a "better than".

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Google and Apple Adjust Strategies on Mobile Payments

Google and Apple Adjust Strategies on Mobile Payments | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Google is set to unveil a payments initiative for merchants and a refashioned consumer app, while its rival reportedly plans a rewards program for Apple Pay.
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Changes include a service called Android Pay that will let merchants accept credit card payments from inside their mobile apps and can be integrated with loyalty programs at retailers, the people said. Google Wallet, a mobile commerce app, will also be reintroduced as a peer-to-peer payments app that consumers can use to send money to each other directly from their debit accounts, they said.  Apple is preparing to announce details about enhancements to Apple Pay at its software conference next month. Those include a rewards program for the mobile wallet service, said two people briefed on the product.  -  The moves are the latest advances in mobile payments as several players jockey for an edge. With more consumers willing to make purchases using smartphones, companies are rushing to take the lead in the market, spurring eBay’s PayPal to heavily market a suite of mobile apps, while start-ups like Square and Stripe expand their payments processing software to small and midsize businesses.

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