June 7: Apple enters US BNPL market this fall
Apple will allow users to buy goods and services on credit under a new “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) service called Apple Pay Later.
Launched in the U.S. this fall, Apple Pay Later will allow iPhone users to split the cost of purchases into four parts over six weeks with any merchant who currently accepts Apple Pay’s contactless transactions.
There are no interest on Apple Pay Later purchases and no fees charged for late payments. Apple Pay will work in the Mastercard payment network.
Users will be able to manage payments in the Wallet app and track deliveries as a result of Apple’s new partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify.
The move to face other BNPL lenders like Klarna and Affirm sees Apple move further into financial services after launching its own US credit card, the Apple Card, in 2019.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Last summer, Bloomberg reported that Apple was likely working with investment bank Goldman Sachs to cover the cost of purchases under an upcoming BNPL service.
The BNPL market, which is unregulated in the UK, has faced criticism in recent years, with claims that its fee-free, interest-free model makes it too easy for consumers to get into debt because of purchases they can’t afford.
According to Statistical dataKlarna – which is the most downloaded BNPL app in the UK – has almost 1,000,000 active monthly users in the UK.
Data from UK Finance, the body representing the banking and financial industry, showed last summer that more than 17,000,000 adults had signed up for mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay since 2020, with 84% of those registered using their mobile phones to pay for a transaction. .
Risk of overspending
Commenting on Apple’s move, Sarah Coles, at financial advisor Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Apple’s move to BNPL could spur another boom in the market, putting more buyers at risk of overspending.
“Since the beginning of the year, the phenomenal growth rate of BNPL has slowed significantly as people have reduced non-essential expenses. However, if Apple chooses to expand its BNPL service in the UK, the arrival of a massive global lifestyle brand in the market could revive our enthusiasm for lending.
“We already know that people are not inclined to think of BNPL as borrowing – they see it as a budget solution. The advent of a brand, which is much less related to financial services, risks reinforcing the misconception that BNPL is not a debt product, which could mean that even more people are tempted to use it without really considering it.
“The fact that it will be available on the same network as Apple Pay in the US means that if it were to adopt the same approach in the UK, it would be available to a huge number of retailers, both online and offline. BNPL companies are gradually pushed into stores, and this would mean a step change in the process overnight.It means we may be tempted to use it for even more of our shopping.
“At a time of rising prices, there is a risk that the arrival of Apple would mean more people using BNPL to make ends meet. Our research shows that already 11% of people used it to buy essential clothing such as a winter coat, while more than one in 20 people used it to buy food, and one in 10 used it for other necessities.
“Borrowing to pay for essentials feels like a solution in the short term, but spreading the cost means increasing your expenses for months, making it even harder to keep your finances. Soon it feels like a solution, but ultimately it only adds to the problem.”
Apple Pay Later was one of a bunch of iOS16 features unveiled at Apple’s WWDC2022 app conference yesterday (Monday).
Other new features of Apple’s latest mobile operating system include the ability to edit text messages after they’re sent, and customizable, context-sensitive lock screens that can, for example, be set to not show work-related notifications on the weekend.
Apple Safety Check will help protect people in violent relationships by allowing users to review who has access to apps that reveal their location, and to cancel that access.
Read more: How to Buy Apple Stock
May 31: Free Mobile Data for Vulnerable Households
A difficult fund is to offer free mobile phone data to 255,000 households struggling with the cost of living crisis.
Virgin Media O2 mobile operator is working with bakery chain Greggs and its charity, the Greggs Foundation, to provide eligible households with free SIM cards and coupons for 15GB of data.
The SIM cards will be distributed to schools in Scotland, the North East, South East and Midlands on a trial basis. The 15GB of mail is more than three times what an average mobile phone user consumes each month, according to regulator Ofcom.
The test is part of the National Databank scheme, which already has support from Vodafone and Three, and aims to address “data poverty” in the UK.
Tracy Lynch of the Greggs Foundation said: “We understand that many people are struggling to make ends meet and when unexpected costs arise, many may suddenly find themselves in very difficult circumstances.
“With the Difficult Fund, we can give help to those who need it most. By joining the National Bank we can now give additional vital support to those facing difficulties.”
The news follows last week’s announcement by supermarket chain Iceland that it will offer special 10% discounts for customers over the age of 60 every Tuesday.
May 23: Three Reinstals Overseas Roaming Charges
Mobile network Three has reintroduced roaming charges for certain customers using their mobile phones outside the UK.
Three earlier said its wanderings would not return after Brexit, however announced a turnaround in September 2021. Three customers who have upgraded or taken out a new contract after October 2021 will be affected, with older contracts unaffected.
From 23 May, phone calls, texting or using mobile data will receive a flat rate of £ 2 per day within the European Union (EU), rising to £ 5 per day for a number of non-European countries including the US, Australia, and New York. -Zelando.
Travel costs do not apply to Ireland or the Isle of Man.
For almost five years, UK customers have been able to use Three SIMs in EU countries without paying roaming charges, as EU regulations banned temporary roaming charges in 2017. However after Brexit, UK mobile phone networks are no longer owed to the rule.
Three was the third UK network to reintroduce roaming costs. EE and Vodafone both reintroduce a cost of £ 2 per day for roaming for selected customers traveling to the EU, based on when they joined their network.
Currently, O2 is the only major UK network that will not introduce traditional daily roaming costs when customers use their phone in EU countries.
Instead, the network says it is introducing a “fair use” policy, which charges customers £ 3.50 per GB of mobile data they use in Europe above the 25GB monthly limit. In addition, O2 mobile phone customers can use their phone in EU countries at no extra cost.
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May 18: O2 Mobile Scores Worst For Customer Service
Mobile and broadband customers have waited longer and were less than satisfied with how providers handled their complaints in 2021, according to data from the British telecoms regulator.
Ofcom’s latest research has found that, despite relatively high customer satisfaction overall, subscribers have waited longer to be treated. In fact, customers spent more time on hold than they did in 2019, ahead of the pandemic.
O2 mobile phone customers were worst hit, with “call waiting” times increased by one minute and 42 seconds on 2020 levels to three minutes and 59 seconds. The average wait times for BT Mobile, EE, Vodafone and iD Mobile were also longer.
At the other end of the scale, Tri performed best. Its customers waited just 16 seconds on average to talk to an agent.
Tesco Mobile and Virgin Mobile have managed to reduce their wait times from 2020 levels but only Sky and Three have been able to overcome their pre-pandemic performances.
In the broadband sector, KCom also kept customers waiting more than twice as long in 2021 as they did in 2020, at an average of eight minutes and 53 seconds, more than three minutes 19 seconds. NOW broadband performed best, holding customers for an average of just 31 seconds.
The Ofcom data shows that only half of the broadband and mobile customers who complained were happy with the outcome, and most had to talk to their provider more than once to get a resolution.
Virgin Media customers recorded sub-average satisfaction across the mobile, broadband and landline sectors. Subscribers were also less likely to recommend any of its services than the average telecommunications customer.
Tesco Mobile was the opposite, with higher than average customer satisfaction levels, the lowest number of complaints and the highest proportion of customers who wanted to recommend it.
Icom Macrae of Ofcom said: “When things go wrong with your phone or broadband service, it’s incredibly frustrating if you have to wait for ages to sort it out, or if your complaint is handled badly.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, some companies need to improve their game when it comes to solving problems, especially at a time when prices are rising. It’s never been easier to change, so if you’re not happy with the service you’re getting, vote with your feet and look elsewhere. “
May 12: Google introduces new Smartphones, Smartwatch and Android 13
Google has announced a new iteration of its Pixel 6 smartphone, its first smartphone, its next operating system, and its next major smartphone, the Pixel 7.
The influx of new products unveiled at its IO program conference yesterday marks a change in direction for the company’s Android division.
While Google currently produces its own Pixel devices, its Android operating system is used by devices produced by many other third-party manufacturers such as Samsung.
With its recently announced devices, however, the search giant has shown a shift towards creating its own product ecosystem, just like Apple.
Here’s what’s new:
The Pixel 6 is a new mid-range smartphone priced at £ 399 and available from 28 July.
It is smaller than Google’s flagship 6.4 “Pixel 6 device, at 6.1”, but includes the same Tensor processor and Titan security patch as its larger sibling.
The phone comes with 128GB of storage and a choice of three colors: Sage, Chalk and Charcoal. Google has promised to keep the 6th updated with its latest software for five years, which is longer than it usually does.
Google has also unveiled the next generation of its Android operating system (OS), Android 13.
Due this summer, the free update for Android users will introduce new features, customization options, and privacy settings.
Elsewhere, the new OS will support different concurrent languages, allowing multilingual users to apply different languages to different programs.
The Pixel Watch (release date not yet announced) joins Google’s Wear OS for mobile devices with Fitbit wireless tracking, thanks to Google’s acquisition of Fitbit last year. The Apple Watch’s rival will work with many Android devices beyond the Pixel range.
Google has not disclosed any details about the device beyond its name and images that show a circular clock with crown-based controls and interchangeable straps – as well as Apple’s smartwatch.
No release date has been set for the watch, but speculation is that it will land around October this year, along with the next flagship Google mobile phone – the Pixel 7.
The IO conference also teased the next-generation Pixel devices – the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Details have been sparse, but we can expect aluminum and glass-wrapped handsets that use a new iteration of Google’s highly acclaimed Tensor technology.
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