Mobile commerce

Eurobites: PayPal Pops Into Vodafone's Wallet

Also in today's EMEA regional round: Google extends "right to be forgotten"; snoopers' charter needs work; customers confused by bundles.

  • PayPal customers in Europe with Android smartphones will be able to use the Vodafone Wallet payment service to charge purchases to their PayPal accounts under the terms of a new agreement. Currently, only Visa and MasterCard card holders can use Vodafone Wallet in Europe. In 2015, 28% of the 4.9 billion payments PayPal processed were made on a mobile device. (See Vodafone, PayPal Team on M-commerce and Euronews: Vodafone Launches NFC Mobile Wallet .)

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has agreed to hide all search results removed under the "right to be forgotten" principle from all versions of the search engine when the search results are viewed from Europe, reports the BBC. Until now, search results filtered out under this principle -- which allows European Union citizens to request information about them be removed -- were only omitted from European versions of the main google.com website domain, such as google.co.uk and google.fr. The decision to broaden the scope of the "right to be forgotten" was largely prompted by the French data protection authority, CNIL, which issued Google with a formal notice requesting it to apply delisting on all of the search engine's domain names, and later rejected Google's appeal against the notice. (See Eurobites: EU Warns Google Over 'Right to Be Forgotten' Opportunism.)

  • A UK parliamentary committee has said that the government's draft Investigatory Powers Bill, that forces Internet service providers to hold all personal data relating to online activity for a year and effectively authorizes the bulk collection of personal data by Britain's intelligence agencies, needs "significant work." According to the BBC, the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill concluded that the bill was on the right track but that significant concerns had to be addressed. Various telcos and tech companies, Vodafone among them, have already criticized what some have dubbed the "snoopers' charter." (See Eurobites: Vodafone Slams 'Snoopers' Charter'.)

  • UK regulator Ofcom has criticized the complex pricing of certain bundles offered by converged operators, which, says Ofcom, makes the cost of services difficult to compare. And, reports the FT (subscription required), it has also had a pop at promotional discounting, which can leave those who are unwilling or unable to regularly check special offers paying more.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has added five energy companies as new partners for its Qivicon smart home platform -- Smappee, Plugwise, Grünspar, E Wie Einfach and Stadtwerke Karlsruhe. Launched in 2013, Qivicon has met with mixed fortunes, attracting more than 40 partner companies across the EMEA region, but failing to attract a telco partner by the end of 2015, apart from its own domestic unit, Telekom Deutschland GmbH . (See Is DT's Qivicon in a Quagmire?)

  • Nuisance phone calls are a major irritant for UK consumers, and are no doubt a major contributory factor to the slow demise of the landline. Now BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is announcing that it is compiling a blacklist of nuisance-call numbers, promising to harness "huge computing power" to do so. Calls emanating from these rogue numbers will not be allowed to reach the customer's home, but will instead be diverted to a junk voice mail service. BT calls this a "breakthrough," though TalkTalk has been doing something similar for a while.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Mitch Wagner 2/11/2016 | 12:12:19 PM
    Right to be forgotten Right to be forgotten is a bad law, but it makes no sense to block content based on the TLD of the server. That's not compliance at all. 

    Juxtaposing Right to be Forgotten with the Snooper's Charter results in a heck of an irony. 
    [email protected] 2/11/2016 | 8:35:45 AM
    PayPal and Vodafone Using PayPal as a payment platform - an interesting alternative to regular 'carrier billing' arrangements - consumers could like the control that gives them.
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