Monitise-powered app sees nearly half a million downloads and over 90,000 ticket sales in first six months
Monitise (LSE: MONI), a global leader in Mobile Money, is proving how mobile can transform customer engagement in the travel industry six months after the launch of its app for Pegasus Airlines, the leading low-cost airline in Turkey. In the first week since its launch in 2013, ‘Pegasus Airlines Mobile’ became the most downloaded travel app in Turkey’s App Store, with more than 450,000 downloads.
Monitise designed and developed the new version of Pegasus Airlines Mobile, Turkey’s first iOS 7-compatible airline application in December 2013, as well as an Android application in January 2014. In its first six months, the new app has had over 283,000 downloads on iPhone and 175,000 on Android. 5,000 new users continue to register every month, with 1.7 million monthly views and 23,000 check-ins. The app has created a new channel that enriches the airline’s customer relationships, with 18,000 tickets sold through the app per month, as well as in-flight meal and seat reservation purchases.
The uptake of the app and its ability to drive customer engagement has been thanks to a combination of intuitive and sophisticated design, which uses rich imagery of destinations and products, with simple-to-use features that enable the user to easily complete their journey from purchase to landing. Available in English and Turkish, the app allows users to purchase tickets and store them to a Passbook, check-in and access flight status updates, and choose and pre-pay for seats and in-flight meals. It also offers access to the Pegasus loyalty programme and its benefits.
“The success of the app confirms our belief that mobile will form an absolutely integral part of the future of air travel,” said Didem Namver, Digital Marketing Manager at Pegasus Airlines. “We seized the opportunity to deliver an amazing end-to-end journey for mobile – a natural travel companion in itself. The results show how the business has experienced the benefits of using mobile to deliver a truly customer-centric experience.”
Fatih İşbecer, CEO of Monitise MEA, said: “With Pegasus Airlines, we’re proud of having created a service where you can really see the material results of enhancing customer engagement via mobile. This is what can be achieved when break-through, intuitive mobile design becomes a key differentiator. For us, this is just as important as having glowing user reviews in the App Store and Google Play.”
Peter Radcliffe, President International at Monitise, added: “As an industry, travel is perhaps one of the most inherently mobile and one that’s ripe for innovation. This is where a product like Pegasus Airlines Mobile and Monitise’s expertise helps bring the travel industry into a new era of consumer behaviour, seeking new opportunities to not just compete, but grow. We look forward to helping create a truly mobile future for the travel industry.”
The success of the mobile application and its opening of new revenue streams are set against a backdrop of renewed success for Pegasus Airlines. The business increased its 2013 revenue by 25 percent year-on-year, to 2.4 billion Turkish Lira. Gross profit rose to over 450 million Turkish Lira, translating to an increase of 41 percent year-on-year.
U.S. inauguration turns poet Amanda Gorman into best seller
WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The president’s poet woke up a superstar on Thursday, after a powerful reading at the U.S. inauguration catapulted 22-year-old Amanda Gorman to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list.
Hours after Gorman’s electric performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, her two books – neither out yet – topped Amazon.com’s sales list.
“I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY!” Gorman, a Los Angeles resident, wrote on Twitter.
Gorman’s debut poetry collection ‘The Hill We Climb’ won top spot in the online retail giant’s sale charts, closely followed by her upcoming ‘Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem’.
While poetry’s popularity is on the up, it remains a niche market and the overnight adulation clearly caught Gorman short.
“Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: ‘For words alone are certain good: Sing, then’.”
Gorman, the youngest poet in U.S. history to mark the transition of presidential power, offered a hopeful vision for a deeply divided country in Wednesday’s rendition.
“Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it,” Gorman said on the steps of the U.S. Capitol two weeks after a mob laid siege and following a year of global protests for racial justice.
“We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.”
The performance stirred instant acclaim, with praise from across the country and political spectrum, from the Republican-backing Lincoln Project to former President Barack Obama.
“Wasn’t @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait,” tweeted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
A graduate of Harvard University, Gorman says she overcame a speech impediment in her youth and became the first U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.
She has now joined the ranks of august inaugural poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
Her social media reach boomed, with her tens of thousands of followers ballooning into a Twitter fan base of a million-plus.
“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I,” tweeted TV host Oprah Winfrey.
Gorman’s books are both due out in September.
Third on Amazon’s best selling list was another picture book linked to politics and projecting hope: ‘Ambitious Girl’ by Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena Harris.
(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
Why brands harnessing the power of digital are winning in this evolving business landscape
By Justin Pike, Founder and Chairman, MYPINPAD
Delivery of intuitive, secure, personalised, and frictionless user experiences has long been table stakes in digital commerce, well before the era of COVID-19. As businesses harness the revolutionary power of digital technologies, they have pursued large-scale change to adapt to evolving consumer preferences (some more successfully than others, but that’s a blog for another day). Digital transformation is a term we hear repeatedly, and it looks different for each organisation, but essentially, it’s about utilising technology and data to digitise, automate, innovate and improve processes and the customer experience across the entire business.
As I said, this was already well underway but then came 2020 and no industry escaped the disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, which has had an indelible impact on businesses performance, operations, and revenue. Regardless of whether the impact of COVID has been very positive or very challenging, it has forced organisations globally to re-evaluate and re-orient strategies to adapt.
As lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions continue to change daily life, this raises the question of how we can balance a dramatic shift to digital and the benefits it brings, while ensuring business continuity and innovation both during and post-COVID, and protecting everyone against fraud?
Digital is an essential survival tool, and even more so in a COVID world
No one could have predicted the dramatic digital pivot that has taken place over this year. Indeed, within weeks of the COVID outbreak cash usage in the UK dropped by around 50%. Digital solutions including delivery applications, contactless payments, mobile commerce, online and mobile banking have become essential components of a touchless customer experience in the era of social distancing. It’s no longer just about an enhanced and superior customer experience, it’s also about health, safety and survival.
In store, businesses have benefited from contactless payments enabling faster throughput and reduced need for consumers to touch payment terminals (therefore requiring greater cleaning, which degrades the hardware much faster). Mastercard reported a 40% increase in contactless payments – including tap-to-pay and mobile pay – during the first quarter of the year as the global pandemic worsened. Digital has also become an essential sales channel for many B2C brands. Where brick and mortar stores have been required to close, digital commerce enables continuity of customer relationships and revenue. This channel also provides brands with rich customer data, which can be used to enhance and personalise the customer experience and typically results in greater levels of engagement and uplifts in revenue.
Industry forecasts estimate that worldwide spending on the technologies and services enabling digital transformation will reach GBP 1.8 trillion in 2023 – a clear indication that the process represents a long-term investment and a global commitment to digital-first strategy. The key point here is that digital brings significant benefits, and regardless of COVID, is here to stay.
The challenges that rapid digital transformation brings to businesses
Regardless of whether businesses are operating in developed or less-developed economies, these times of crisis have levelled the playing field in the sense that all businesses are facing similar issues. Access to products and supplies, maintaining customer relationships, accelerating sales for some and declining sales for others, health and hygiene are just a few of the unique challenges brought about by COVID.
Many businesses in physical environments have had to swiftly implement changes to significantly reduce safety risks for staff and customers, such as contactless payments, mobile ordering and delivery options. But with these changes come a host of other benefits of digitisation, such as faster transactions, and reduced human error at the point-of-sale.
The reliance on technology, however, can also expose organisations and consumers to certain vulnerabilities. In particular, the risks of fraud and cybercrime have dramatically increased since the onset of the pandemic as scammers have taken advantage of digital technologies to target both businesses and individuals.
As a McKinsey report illustrates, new levels of sophistication in the activities of fraudsters have placed more pressure on companies that have been previously slow to go digital, bringing “into sharp relief how vulnerable companies really are”, and damaging the financial health of small and large businesses. In fact, the Bottomline 2020 Business Payments Barometer reveals that only one in 10 small businesses across the UK report recovering more than 50% of losses due to fraud.
But take these stats with a grain of salt. While it is important to be aware of the risks and challenges this new business landscape brings, it’s equally as important to have a lens firmly across your own business, industry and audience, and to identify the changes you can make internally to mitigate risk as well as improve your customer experience. Where can you make some quick wins? Do you have the right skillsets internally to achieve what you need to achieve? What technology is out there that will enable your business goals? There are tech companies like MYPINPAD that are making huge strides in software development, which will transform businesses globally.
A digital world post-COVID
Almost a year in, the line between business success and failure remains fragile. However, an ongoing transition towards greater digitisation will be the difference between survival and the alternative.
There is a wide range of initiatives businesses can implement to weather this storm. If we look at the space MYPINPAD operates within, secure digital consumer authentication is crucial to the ongoing success and security of not only financial products but also identification and verification across a range of different industry verticals. Shifting the authentication of consumers securely onto mobile devices enables businesses to completely reshape their customer experiences. By bringing together a more seamless, frictionless customer experience, accessibility, privacy, security and access to consumer data, businesses are able to drive digital transformation across day-to-day activities.
Against this backdrop, software with stronger security standards continue to play an ever more vital role in supporting society, protecting consumers and businesses from the increase in risks that rapid digitisation brings. Already, merchants can deploy PIN on Mobile technology from companies like MYPINPAD, onto their smart devices to speed up the digitisation process many are now tackling.
Essentially, opening up universal payments and authentication methods that feel familiar, for both online and face-to-face transactions, will be key to opening up a world of possibilities when it comes to redefining how businesses engage with consumers.
Brexit responsible for food supply problems in Northern Ireland, Ireland says
LONDON (Reuters) – Food supply problems in Northern Ireland are due to Brexit because there are now a certain amount of checks on goods going between Britain and Northern Ireland, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.
British ministers have sought to play down the disruption of Brexit in recent days.
“The supermarket shelves were full before Christmas and there are some issues now in terms of supply chains and so that’s clearly a Brexit issue,” Coveney told ITV.
The Northern Irish protocol means there are “a certain amount of checks on goods coming from GB into Northern Ireland and that involves some disruption,” he said.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Tom Hogue)
The Beaconsoft story and introducing its one-of-a-kind digital campaign intelligence platform
By Nigel Bridges, founding CEO of Beaconsoft Limited What were you doing prior to setting up Beaconsoft? Before setting up...
Top 8 Tax Scams to Watch Out For
It is tax time and that means finding the best way to file your taxes and to get a refund...
Hisham Itani and Resource Group Recognized in the 2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards®
Global Banking & Finance Review has awarded Hisham Itani the Chairman and CEO of Resource Group, Technology CEO of the...
Euro zone business activity shrank in January as lockdowns hit services
By Jonathan Cable LONDON (Reuters) – Economic activity in the euro zone shrank markedly in January as lockdown restrictions to...
Volkswagen’s profit halves, but deliveries recovering
BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen reported a nearly 50% drop in its 2020 adjusted operating profit on Friday but said car...
Global chip shortage hits China’s bitcoin mining sector
By Samuel Shen and Alun John SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – A global chip shortage is choking the production of machines...
Iran’s oil exports rise ‘significantly’ despite sanctions, minister says
DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Iran’s oil exports have climbed in recent months and its sales of petroleum products to foreign buyers...
Nissan to source more UK batteries as part of Brexit deal ‘opportunity’
By Costas Pitas LONDON (Reuters) – Nissan will source more batteries from Britain to avoid tariffs on electric cars after...
Muted recovery for UK retailers in December ends worst year on record
By David Milliken and Andy Bruce LONDON (Reuters) – British retailers struggled to recover in December from a partial coronavirus...
Chinese phone maker Honor partners with key chip suppliers after Huawei split
By David Kirton SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – Chinese budget phone maker Honor said on Friday it had signed partnerships with...