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New data from Visa shows consumers are spending more online than ever before. eCommerce sales on the Visa network* have surpassed $1 billion a day for 188 days in the first nine months of the year, demonstrating that billion-dollar eCommerce days have become the norm rather than the exception.

The data coincides with a recent Visa survey – The Way We Pay: e- and mCommerce Trends – showing 27% of smartphone users and 24% of tablet owners have used their mobile device to make a purchase in the past 12 months. That growth in mobile shopping is continuing to help drive online sales, pushing Visa to process 16% more online transactions in the first nine months of 2013, compared to the same period last year.

The continued, dramatic growth in online sales means routing millions of transactions per hour through the world’s largest retail payments processing network, VisaNet. The network already handles 48% of global eCommerce transactions** and is prepared to handle another busy holiday season in the months ahead.

 MasterCard and Blue Label Telecoms Limited (Blue Label) hasannounced a partnership that will see 22,000 small traders and rural shops in South Africa equipped with Point of Sale (POS) devices, enabling them to accept card payments for the first time.

Blue Label currently provides thousands of POS terminals in South Africa, which are used predominantly to sell prepaid vouchers such as airtime and electricity and are identified by the BLU Approved branding. Servicing millions of customers in rural areas and under-served settlements, these BLU Approved traders have historically operated on a cash-only basis.

“Over and above the estimated 100,000 spaza[1] shops spread across South Africa, there are tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized retailers and service providers. Through our partnership with MasterCard, we will introduce many of these businesses to the safety, security, and convenience of electronic payments, enabling financial inclusion in communities where consumers have largely been unable to use formal payment products,”says Mark Levy, Joint CEO, Blue Label.

“While the number of South Africans with access to formal banking products has increased significantly in the last year, the number of card acceptance locations – especially in rural and peri-urban areas – has not grown in tandem,” says Philip Panaino, Division President, MasterCard, South Africa.

Two-thirds of UK mobile shoppers say they are primarily making purchases on their smartphones at home, while around a fifth are buying goods on the move according to new research. The data is based on a new survey of mobile shoppers in the UK from Shoppercentric and although the research house does not break out comparable figures for last year, the findings highlight the shift in behaviour as consumers increasingly use smartphones as they once used desktops. Read more

Breaking Bad Patents

In AMC’s Breaking Bad, high school chemistry teacher Walter White, although starting out as a protagonist, descends into depravity and ruin. Clearly, not all high school chemistry teachers are Walter Whites. Similarly, not all scientists, innovators and patent owners are evil. Yet Congress, at the urging of lobbyists, is ready to label many innovators and patentees as “patent trolls,” categorically unworthy of participating in the patent process and subject to stiff penalties. Read more

Boxed, a US-based e-commerce app, has received USD1.1m in funding from ENIAC VenturesSocial Starts and 15 Angels. Boxed, which launched in 2013, allows users to order wholesale goods via mobile and offers free two-day delivery on orders more than USD75. Boxed, a US-based e-commerce app, has received USD1.1m in funding from ENIAC VenturesSocial Starts and 15 Angels. Boxed, which launched in 2013, allows users to order wholesale goods via mobile and offers free two-day delivery on orders more than USD75. Read more

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