The global Internet of Things (IoT) market is experiencing astronomical growth as Ericcson forecasts the number of IoT devices will surpass the number of mobile phones by the end of 2018. These devices include cars, wearable tech and other forms of consumer electronics. Ericcson further believes that the number of IoT devices will amount to 18 billion by 2022. This massive growth will translate to a market cap near $200 billion in 2023 according to analysts at ReportsnReports. The growth of this market is supported by underlying advancements in various technological platforms, including image sensors and data management systems. Additionally, the need for advanced data analytics in the business landscape is influencing significant investment into developing the market. Active tech companies in the markets this week include Gopher Protocol Inc. (OTC: GOPH), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), Quest Solution Inc. (OTC: QUES), Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU), Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD).
Gopher Protocol Inc. (OTCQB: GOPH) BREAKING NEWS: Gopher Protocol, a company specializing in the creation of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence enabled mobile technologies, increases the number of Board Seats for the company to seven.
As part of Gopher’s preparation to submit its application to list on a National Exchange, Gopher has added three additional Board Members, Robert Yaspan, Judit Nagypal and Ambassador Ned L. Siegel (Ret.). Mr. Yaspan will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Ms. Nagypal and Ambassador Siegel will be considered independent directors. These appointments bring the total number of Board Members to seven, including three independent directors. In addition to Ms. Nagypal and Ambassador Siegel, the independent directors include Muhammad R. Khilji, CPA, who shall be appointed as Chairman the Audit Committee and the Audit Committee Financial Expert, upon establishment.
The Board has assigned Mansour Khatib as Interim CEO following Gregory Bauer’s resignation for personal reasons. In addition to Interim CEO, Mr. Khatib will continue his role as Chief Marketing Officer and Secretary. Mr. Bauer will keep working for Gopher as a consultant assisting to identify opportunities in the prepaid financial markets. Michael Murray, a Director of Gopher, has been appointed President of Gopher, to assist Mr. Khatib with the day to day operations.
Interim CEO Mansour Khatib stated “We are very excited to have Ms. Nagypal, Mr. Yaspan Esq., and Ambassador Siegel join our team as we build toward the future. They each bring special skills, perspective, experience and contacts to Gopher.”Read this and more news for GOPH at http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/goph.html
Other majors involvement in the industry includes:
NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) recently announced record revenue for the first quarter ended April 29, 2018, of $3.21 billion, up 66 percent from $1.94 billion a year earlier, and up 10 percent from $2.91 billion in the previous quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were a record $1.98, up 151 percent from $0.79 a year ago and up 11 percent from $1.78 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $2.05, also a record, up 141 percent from $0.85 a year earlier and up 19 percent from $1.72 in the previous quarter. “We had a strong quarter with growth across every platform,” said Jensen Huang, founder and chief executive officer of NVIDIA. “Our datacenter business achieved another record and gaming remained strong. “At the heart of our opportunity is the incredible growth of computing demand of AI, just as traditional computing has slowed. The GPU computing approach we have pioneered is ideal for filling this vacuum. And our invention of the Tensor Core GPU has further enhanced our strong position to power the AI era,” he said.
Quest Solution Inc. (OTCQB: QUES) recently announced it has successfully developed and installed a state-of-the-art Real Time Location System (RTLS) based on a new BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacon solution for Information Technology (IT) assets. “We are proud to add this revolutionary system to our portfolio of solutions offerings. Our initial customer, like other large corporations, has many locations with a fluid office environment for monitors, laptops and other valuable IT assets,” states Greg Canda, Director of Partner Solutions for Quest Solution. “Their challenge is ensuring that all of their equipment is where it should be at all times. They requested a working Proof of Concept, where their goal was to receive quick reporting of any change in IT asset location without the typical resource-intensive frequent cycle counts or a check-in/check-out scanning system.” Quest considered several architectures and technologies and undertook a detailed benefit analysis comparing various IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), RFID and BLE beacon alternatives. The proposed solution included a dynamic, extensible and secure mesh network infrastructure from Wirepas, winner of the 2017 European Internet of Things Award by Frost and Sullivan, with battery-operated BLE tags.
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) recently announced at its Analyst and Investor Event in New York City that its Board of Directors has authorized the discretionary repurchase of up to $10 billion of its outstanding common stock, in conjunction with newly announced plans to return at least 50% of free cash flow to stockholders beginning in fiscal 2019. “The data-driven economy will transform nearly every industry, and drive secular growth in demand for memory and storage. Micron is exceptionally well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities and deliver strong business performance and robust free cash flow,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and CEO of Micron. “Our business results have dramatically strengthened Micron’s balance sheet and this stock buyback program emphasizes our ongoing commitment to enhancing shareholder value.”
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) recently announced the appointment of software chief architect, Dr. Jeffrey Cheng, to AMD corporate fellow. The appointment is based on his demonstrated technical leadership and role evolving the company’s graphics technologies and approach to software development. Dr. Cheng has played a key architect role spanning hardware, software and system component design at AMD and has a deep understanding of operating systems, applications and end user requirements. Dr. Cheng has been at the helm of major AMD products and technologies that significantly impacted the industry, including GPU architectural design for Microsoft® Windows®, GPU virtualization with SR-IOV technology (single-root input/output virtualization), the AMD Radeon™ “Vega” High-Bandwidth Cache Controller, and GPU datacenter projects. “Jeffrey has been an integral part of the team for many years and is one of the most respected leaders in graphics system engineering and software architecture,” said David Wang, senior vice president, engineering, Radeon Technologies Group.
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ECB launches small climate-change unit to lead Lagarde’s green push
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is setting up a small team dedicated to climate change to spearhead its efforts to help the transition to a greener economy in the euro zone, ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Monday.
Lagarde has made the environment a priority since taking the helm at the ECB, taking a number of steps to include climate considerations in the central bank’s work as the euro zone’s banking watchdog and main financial institution.
She is now creating a team of around 10 ECB employees, reporting directly to her, to set the central bank’s agenda on climate-related topics.
“The climate change centre provides the structure we need to tackle the issue with the urgency and determination that it deserves,” Lagarde said in a speech.
She said that climate change belonged in the ECB’s remit as it could affect inflation and obstruct the flow of credit to the economy.
The ECB said earlier on Monday it would invest some of its own funds, which total 20.8 billion euros ($25.3 billion) and include capital paid in by euro zone countries, reserves and provisions, in a green bond fund run by the Bank for International Settlement.
More significantly, ECB policymakers are also debating what role climate considerations should play in the institution’s multi-trillion euro bond-buying programme.
So far the ECB has bought corporate bonds based on their outstanding amounts but Lagarde has said the bank might have to consider a more active approach to correct the market’s failure to price in climate risk.
“Our strategy review enables us to consider more deeply how we can continue to protect our mandate in the face of (climate) risks and, at the same time, strengthen the resilience of monetary policy and our balance sheet,” Lagarde said.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
What to expect in 2021: Top trends shaping the future of transportation
By Lee Jones, Director of Sales – Grocery, QSR and Selected Accounts for Northern Europe at Ingenico, a Worldline brand
The pandemic has reinforced the need for businesses to undergo digital transformation, which is pivotal in the digital economy. In 2020, we saw the shift to online and cashless payments accelerated as a result of increased social distancing and nationwide restrictions.
The biggest challenge on all businesses into 2021 will be how they continue to adapt and react to the ever changing new normal we are all experiencing. In this context, what should we expect this year and beyond, in terms of developments across key sectors, including transport, parking and electric vehicle (EV) charging?
Mobility as a service (MaaS) and the future of transportation
Social distancing and lockdown measures have brought about a real change in public habits when it comes to transportation. In the last three months alone, we have seen commuter journeys across the globe reduce by at least 70%, while longer-distance travel has fallen by up to 90%. With it, cash withdrawals for payment has drastically reduced by 60%.
Technological advancements, alongside open payments, have unlocked new possibilities across multiple industries and will continue to have a strong impact. Furthermore, travellers are expecting more as part of their basic service. Tap and pay is one of the biggest evolutions in consumer payments. Bringing ease and simplicity to everyday tasks, consumers have welcomed this development to the transport journey. In-app payments are also on the rise, offering customers the ability to plan ahead and remain assured that they have everything they need, in one place, for every leg of their journey. Many local transport networks now have their own apps with integrated timetables, payments, and ticket download capabilities. These capabilities are being enabled by smaller more portable terminals for transport staff, and self-scanning ticketing devices are streamlining the process even further.
Ultimately, the end goal for many transport providers is MaaS – providing an easy and frictionless all-encompassing transport system that guides consumers through the whole journey, no matter what mode of travel they choose. Additionally, payment will remain the key orchestrator that will drive further developments in the transportation and MaaS ecosystems in 2021. What remains critical is balancing the need for a fast and convenient payment with safety and data privacy in order to deliver superior customer experiences.
The EV charging market and the accelerating pace of change
The EV charging market is moving quickly and represents a large opportunity for payments in the future. EVs are gradually becoming more popular, with registrations for EVs overtaking those of their diesel counterparts for the first time in European history this year. What’s more, forecasts indicate that by 2030, there will be almost 42 million public charging points deployed worldwide, as compared with 520,000 registered in 2019.
Our experience and expertise in this industry have enabled us to better understand but also address the challenges and complexities of fuel and EV payments. The current alternating current (AC) based chargers are set to be replaced by their direct charging (DC) counterparts, but merchants must still be able to guarantee payment for the charging provider. Power always needs to be converted from AC to DC when charging an electric vehicle, the technical difference between AC charging and DC charging is whether the power gets converted outside or inside the vehicle.
By offering innovative payment solutions to this market segment, we enable service operators to incorporate payments smoothly into their omnichannel customer experience that also allows businesses to easily develop acceptance and provide a unique omnichannel strategy for EV charging payments. From proximity to online payments, it will support businesses by offering a unique hardware solution optimized for PSD2 and SCA. It will manage both near field communication (NFC) cards and payments from cards/smartphones, as well as a single interface to manage all payments, after sales support and receipt with both ePortal and eReceipts.
Cashless options for parking payments
The ‘new normal’ is now partly defined by a shift in consumer preference for cashless, contactless and mobile or embedded payments. These are now the preferred payment choices when it comes to completing the check-in and check-out process. They are a time-saver and a more seamless way to pay.
Drivers are more self-reliant and empowered than ever before, having adopted technologies that work to make their life increasingly efficient. COVID-19 has given rise to both ePayment and omnichannel solutions gaining in popularity. This has been due to ticketless access control based on license plate recognition or the tap-in/tap-out experience, as well as embedded payments or mobile solutions for street parking.
These smart solutions help consider parking services more broadly as a part of overall mobility or shopping experience. Therefore, operators must rapidly adapt and scale new operational practices; accept electronic payment, update new contactless limits, introduce additional payments means, refund the user or even to reflect changing customer expectations to keep pace.
2021: the journey ahead
This year, we expect to see an even greater shift towards a cashless society across these key sectors, making the buying experience quicker and more convenient overall.
As a result, merchants and operators must make the consumer experience their top priority as trends shift towards simplicity and convenience, ensuring online and mobile payments processes are as secure as possible.
Opportunities and challenges facing financial services firms in 2021
By Paul McCreadie, Partner at ECI Partners, the leading growth-focused mid-market private equity firm
Despite 2020 being an enormously disruptive year for businesses, our latest Growth Index research reveals that almost three quarters (74%) of mid-market financial services companies remained resilient throughout the pandemic.
This is positive news, especially when taking into account the economic disruption that financial services firms have had to go through since the crisis began. No doubt 2021 will also hold its own challenges – as well as opportunities – for firms in this sector.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest short-term concern for financial firms for the year ahead involved changing pandemic guidance, with 42% citing this as a top concern. With the UK currently experiencing a third lockdown many financial services businesses will have already had to adapt to rapidly changing guidance, even since being surveyed.
Businesses will also be considering the need to invest in working from home operations, and there may be uncertainty over re-opening offices on a permanent basis. According to the research 30% of financial services firms are planning to adopt remote working on a permanent basis, so decisions need to be made now about whether they invest more in enabling staff to do this, or in their current office premises.
Due to Brexit, UK financial services firms are no longer able to passport their services into Europe, which may cause problems, particularly in the next 12 months as the Brexit deal is ironed out and the agreement is put into practice. Despite this, Brexit was only cited by 24% of financial firms as a short-term concern. While it’s comforting to see that UK financial firms aren’t hugely concerned about Brexit at this juncture, it is going to be vital for the ongoing success of the industry that the UK is able to get straightforward access to Europe and operate there without issue, otherwise we may see these concern levels rise.
Looking ahead to longer-term concerns for financial services businesses, the top concern was global economic downturn, of which 40% of firms cited this as a worry when looking beyond 2021.
Investing and adopting tech
Traditionally, the financial services sector has been slow to adopt digital transformation. Issues with legacy systems, coupled with often large amounts of data and a reluctance to undertake potentially risky change processes, have meant many firms are behind the curve when it comes to technology adoption. It’s therefore promising to see that so much has changed over the last year, with 45% of financial services firms having invested in AI and machine learning technology – making it the top sector to have invested in this space over the last 12 months.
One business that exemplifies the benefits of investing in machine learning is Avantia, the technology-enabled insurance provider behind HomeProtect. The business has undergone a large tech transformation in the last few years, investing in an underlying machine learning platform and an in-house data science team, which provides them with capabilities to return a quote to over 98% of applicants in under one second. This tech investment has allowed them to become more scalable, provide a more stable platform, improve customer service and consequently, grow significantly.
This demonstrates how this kind of tech can help businesses to leverage tech in order to offer a better customer experience, and retain and grow market share through winning new customers. This resilience should combat some of the concerns that firms will face in the next year.
Additionally, half (51%) of financial services firms have invested in cybersecurity tech over the last year, which allows them to protect the platforms on which they operate and ensure ongoing provision of solutions to their customers.
Clearly, there is a benefit of international revenues and profits on business resilience. In practice, this meant that businesses that weren’t internationally diversified in 2020 struggled more during the pandemic. In fact, the businesses considered to be the least resilient through the 2020 crisis were three times more likely to only operate domestically.
Perhaps an attribute towards financial services firms’ resilience in 2020, therefore, was the fact that 53% already had a presence in Europe throughout 2020 and 38% had a presence in North America. This internationalisation gave them an advantage that allowed them to weather the many storms of 2020.
Looking at how to capitalise on this throughout the rest of 2021, half (51%) of are planning overseas growth in Europe over the next 12 months, and 43% in North America. Further plans to expand internationally is not only a good sign for growth, but should further increase resilience within the sector.
While there are many concerns, the fact that financial services businesses are investing in technology like AI and machine learning, as well as still planning to grow internationally, means that they are providing themselves with the best chances of dealing with any upcoming challenges effectively.
In order to maintain their growth and resilience throughout the next 12 months, it’s imperative that they continue to put their customers first, invest in technology and remain on the front foot of digital change.
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