Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fujitsu M532 - A Review

The Fujitsu STYLISTIC M532 is the newest tablet from Fujitsu which offers great processing capabilities and even more. Fujitsu has been truly a business technology innovator. Some of the features listed in the Datasheet that make the device outstanding for me include :-
OS – Android 4.0
Supported capacity RAM 1 GB
Weight 560 g
Camera Front camera 2.0 megapixel, back camera 8.0 megapixel with autofocus and flash
VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (very important feature for corporate companies looking to cut down IT cost)
Runtime 1st battery video playback 9.5 h
Multitasking: the quad core Cortex A9 CPU can support all applications and social networks at same time.
The 10.1-inch multi-touch capacitive touchscreen with 1280 x 800 resolution device can be docked and extended by connecting it with HDMI to an external monitor. A key board and a mouse can make this device work like a light workstation and make wonder with Quad-Core 1.4 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.
Web conference: with front 2mpix camera and lots of connectivity options such UMTS and WIFI.

The two vital elements in the Web 2.0 world for a new gadget are mobility and connectivity. The STYLISTIC M532 is lightweight, slim and that turns into a mobile office on the go. You can access office emails via synchronized Microsoft Exchange, make presentations via the pre-installed software such as Office Suite, file editor and file viewer for documents and presentations.

Fujitsu Stylistic M532's excellent specs position it as a direct competitor to the ASUS Transformer Prime and the iPad 3. What makes this tablet stand out is the fact that Fujitsu clearly markets it as a business tablet.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Technology Innovations - My Timeline

A timeline depicting the introduction of tech innovations in my life from 1989-2011 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mobile Payment Systems

The below article was published in @QatarToday Magazine - Feb 2012 issue.

The mobile network is evolving at a lightning speed and will thrive over coming years. Recently, introduction of mobile payment systems (MPS) has gained momentum and a greater attention from telecoms and financial institutions. Mobile phones are looked upon as an appropriate medium for supplementing existing payments and settlement procedures.

The cashless society is coming: American consumers now carry more than 750 million credit cards, while paper currency production continues to decline.

The phrase “mobile payment system” can apply to various mechanisms for initiating and accepting transactions using a mobile device.

According to Forrester Research MPS can be divided into two categories: -

• Payment systems that utilize a mobile network to initiate or authorize a transaction.

• Contactless systems that use a mobile phone in lieu of a traditional credit card.

In other words, mobile payment systems apply to: -

• How consumers pay for goods

• How merchants can process transactions.

Lets us look at some of the emerging mobile payment systems in the market that allow accepting credit card payments on mobile: -


Started By – the San Francisco-based mobile technology firm is a startup from Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame.

How does this work - Square enables users to accept credit and debit purchases by swiping cards through a small dongle that plugs into their iPhone, iPad or Android audio jack. The startup has already released software for iPhone and Andriod devices.

Fees - Square charges a fee of 2.75 % on each swiped transaction, no contracts, monthly fees or hidden costs. Users who select to enter credit card numbers manually must pay 3.5 % and 15 cents per transaction. Service will only deposit up to $1,000 per week into the merchant’s account, the rest is deposited in 30 days.


Started By - It is a partnership between popular iPhone accessory maker Mophie and Intuit. Intuit is the company that provides business and financial management solutions and the creator of QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax.

How does this work - the pocket-size GoPayment reader plugs into the audio jack of any supported smart phone or tablet and supports the iOS Android and BlackBerry operating systems. Users can swipe cards or manually enter card data. GoPayment processes and authorizes payments in seconds, and funds are then immediately deposited into the merchant’s business bank account. Its 4 million QuickBooks users can sync GoPayment transactions with the most recent versions of QuickBooks for PC and Mac

Fees – Merchants who process less than $1000 a month need to pay 2.7% rate to swiped transactions and a 3.7% rate to manual transactions. A high-volume option, priced at $12.95 a month charges a 1.7 % fee on swiped transactions and 2.7% on manual entries

There are a few more payment systems like Pay Anywhere and Verifone’s PAYware Mobile, which work on a similar mechanism of attaching a card reader to your mobile.

Contactless Payment Technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) enables mobile payments by tapping your phone on the payment machine.

Google Wallet is an app that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to make secure paments by tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal. Google Wallet being an app can store credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift card. Mobile phones will automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points when a customer taps the phone on a terminal.

In the Middle East region, NFC mobile payments have already been introduced in UAE following a collaboration agreement between Etisalat, MasterCard and Research in Motion. People can pay for their purchase of cinema tickets, and in the future metro tickets, just by tapping their phone at a payment terminal. Nokia has also introduced the NFC enabled phones in UAE for the users.

As with introduction of a new technology, there are security concerns that need to be addressed prior to its commercialization. Merchants that use a personal mobile device as part of accepting payments from customers may not have direct control on the security of the environment in which the device is used. Some merchants feel this is the most convenient way of receiving payments, while some customers feel this is very insecure; any merchant can attach a customized scanning device on their mobile to collect the card info.

London 2012 Olympics will be the first global event where mobile payment systems using NFC will be on display. It could take years before many other merchants adopt this payment mechanism and customers start getting comfortable to use it. You never know next time paying at the local grocery store or buying a coffee with a smart phone may be a regular thing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hong Kong - Financial Services Industry Info-graphic Stats - 2004 - 2010

Interactive Info-graphic of the Financial Service Industry for Hong Kong. Please see the details for the categories as follows: -

  • Banking - Licensed Bank, Restricted Banks, Deposit Taking companies, Local Representative Offices
  • Insurance - General Insurers, Life Insurers, Insurance Agents/Brokers
  • Other Financial Services Industry - Investment and holding companies, Stock and share companies, Asset Management Companies, Financial Leasing Credit Granting companies etc.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adobe Fotoshop Positioned as a Beauty Product

Jesse Rosten pokes fun at beauty product ads.

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Global Online Google Search Trends - Visa, Mastercard and American Express

Below is an infographic depicting the search trends for Visa, MasterCard and American Express from 2007-2011 for 33 countries. I have used Google Trends to collect the for data last 5 years. You can sort the data by Country or by Year. The key words used in the analysis are 'visa' 'mastercard' and 'amercian express' in the Financial Services Category.
According to Google - The data reflects how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don't represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100.

Following is the list of countries covered in the above analysis - Australia Austria Brazil Canada China France Germany India Italy Japan Netherlands Poland Russian Federation Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom United States Argentina Belgium Indonesia Denmark Egypt Hong Kong United Arab Emirates South Africa Ireland Israel Singapore Saudi Arabia Turkey New Zealand Portugal

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I am a Bank and I am Boring

The below article was published in Qatar Today magazine- Jan 2012 issue. The article is about how can banks manage customer relationships online without just talking about banking and being innovative. Click on the below pics to continue reading.

"Text Version" 
 I am a Bank; Iam Boring

Financial Institutions are perceived to be not innovative and creative when it comes to Online Media and technology. Due to certain regulations and reputation issues, they have been a step behind other industries to make their presence felt online.

Let us explore few ideas that can help you gain foothold in the Online Conversations and interact with your customers.

I recently attended a panel discussion, where a question was raised on how to deal with customer issues raised on your social media channels. Panelists were convinced on the methodology of trying to contact the customer to get details of the problem and acknowledge the issue. Post understanding the issue, commit on resolving the same.

What if your bank’s customer service still gets criticized online even though you have taken efforts to engage with your customers online? Well, then you have to investigate the case and invest in enhancing your customer service. Online media is just another channel to communicate with your customer.

A few more ideas: -

Don’t just talk about banking

If you expect to build a relationship with your customer, you need to talk about various other topics that can build a conversation on social networking sites. If a customer needs to know about your products and offers, they can always go to your public website.

You can use Social Media tools to change the mean and greedy perception of Financial Institutions.

Check out Lloyds Bank Facebook Page. They are talking about the upcoming London Olympics with a countdown ticker. This has got nothing to do with banking. These initiatives create friendly online conversation and interaction that may not be facilitated by a bank otherwise.

Be a Startup Mentor

Have you ever thought about nourishing the potential young talent to form large enterprises? How about offering some advice on launching a start up? A bank has the financial capability and the expertise to mentor start ups. Use your online channels to give tips to people interested in learning more about the enterprise world. Your investment banking arm may probably fund the next Google or Apple.

Show you CSR initiatives.

Have you done something for the community, how about informing people via your Social Media Channels? Do you want volunteers for a CSR initiative, ask for it on your Social Media Channels and watch the response. Check out the Bank of America Page, asking for people who would like to volunteer for their “Building Opportunity” initiative.

Many financial institutions are involved in charity initiatives that go unnoticed. Their projects are not covered in the media and an average customer is not aware about these initiatives. Social Networks are great online tools to tell your customers about these projects and strengthen your brand.

Giveaways for your Online Fans

Customers love participating in competitions. This initiative encourages them to follow your brand online. Host a few competitions for your Social Media Channel Fans. Check out the Citi Bank Facebook page. They are giving an opportunity for their fans to win cash or jam with their favorite band.

How about offering your online fans a $ discount or a coupon to dine at their favorite restaurant.

I wanted to get a feel on what do people expect from their banks in Doha on Social Media Channels. Following is a summarized version of various comments I got from people on Twitter in Doha.

People expect their bank to be more interactive and provide online support for issues. They want instant answers to their queries and special offers for following/liking the brand. Many twitteratis complained that the banks never responded to their queries. Surprisingly, few of them replied that they were not interested in having a conversation with their bank on social networks, as banks are only meant to manage their money, not their relationship. There lies an opportunity for the banks to show that they can manage human relationships and just not financial ones.

Online surveillance of social-networking sites is a new trend for traders dealing in hedge funds and big banks managing customer assets. Stocktwits is a social, stock micro-blogging service monitoring emotions of stock market traders. You will find a community of traders and investors sharing market insight, ideas, charts and news streaming in real-time. This is true engagement of Financial Marketing with Online Media. An investment company, Derwent Capital Markets, has launched a £25 million hedge fund that will use the sentiment of Twitter messages to help guide its trading strategy

As we look forward to 2012, Financial Institution will continue to heavily invest in the Social Media and Interactive Marketing, and work on the revenues.

There is a strong possibility of structural changes in many organizations, where by Digital Channels, e-Marketing and e-Business will fall under one umbrella.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Timelapse of traffic in Downtown Dubai - Happy New Year

Wish you all a Happy New Year. Hope things go really well for every one in the coming 366 days. Check out the below video by Gerald Donovan depicting time lapse of traffic in Down Town Dubai at the New Year's eve. Fireworks at 1:28:00.

Timelapse of traffic in Downtown Dubai on New Year's Eve (close-up 2) from Gerald Donovan on Vimeo.


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