Samsung Pay launches in Spain, UK next
Samsung has announced the launch in Spain of Samsung Pay, the first country in Europe to receive the service following successful launches in South Korea, the United States and China. Samsung Pay is also the first mobile payments service of its kind to be launched in the Spanish market.
The company plans to roll out the service to at least four more European markets over the next year, the UK being one of them.
“Our goal with Samsung Pay is to drive and lead innovation in mobile commerce, giving consumers a safer, smarter and better mobile wallet,” said Victor Kim, Global Director, Samsung Pay. “Samsung operates an open model of partnership and collaboration to deliver the best possible customer experience. With Samsung Pay, we’re confident that we’re providing Spanish customers with the mobile payments service that they’re looking for.”
“We are proud that Spain is the first European market to introduce Samsung Pay, an innovative new service that we believe will mark a turning point both in Spaniards’ payments behaviour and the evolution of the payments market as a whole,” commented Celestino García, Corporate Vice President, Samsung Spain. “The opportunity for Samsung Pay in Spain is significant, due to the high smartphone penetration rate and the digitalisation of the banking sector. Moreover, according to recent research commissioned by Samsung, nearly six in 10 Spaniards are interested in incorporating a secure, simple and widely accepted payments service like Samsung Pay into their lives.”
NFC-enabled, Samsung Pay-ready devices include the Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+, with specific availability varying by local operator. The Galaxy A5 2016 will also support Samsung Pay in the coming weeks.
New research conducted by Ipsos for Samsung Spain found that half of Spaniards aged between 35 and 65 carry more than two debit or credit cards in their wallets. According to the survey:
- 64 percent of consumers use credit or debit cards for all or most of their purchases;
- This figure rises to 71 percent among people aged between 35 and 44; and
- In order to enjoy even greater convenience and efficiency when shopping, 58 percent of Spaniards would like to use a secure, simple and widely accepted mobile payments solution.
Samsung Pay meets these requirements, offering three layers of security, ease-of-use and the option to pay at any location with a contactless point-of-sale (POS) terminal. Using the service does not incur an additional cost for users or businesses, as they simply need an NFC-compatible POS terminal. Users can also add up to 10 cards to the Samsung Pay application, without incurring additional charges from their banks.
With regards to mobile security, 90 percent of respondents surveyed were concerned about losing their device and someone accessing their card data. In order to deliver maximum security, Samsung Pay includes fingerprint identification, which guarantees that if your mobile phone is lost or stolen, no one will be able to access your payments information.
Samsung Pay already has a strong alliance of partners and supports eligible credit and debit cards from more than 200 major global and regional banks. In addition, Samsung Pay is compatible with payments networks, including American Express, China UnionPay, MasterCard, Visa Inc. and China’s leading third-party payments platform, Alipay.
The service is already available for customers of CaixaBank and imaginBank, which will be the first in Spain and Europe to benefit from Samsung Pay. After the launch of the service beginning today, users can download their CaixaBank and imaginBank debit or credit cards on their smartphones in order to make payments.
Samsung Pay is compatible with all stores that already have contactless terminals and the company is working closely with leading businesses from retail, food and service stations and parking services sectors to create value-added services for their customers. This includes well-known brands like Cepsa, Cervecería La Sureña, Domino’s Pizza, El Corte Inglés, Fridays, Ginos, Grupo DIA, MediaMarkt, Mercadona, Phone House, Repsol, Rodilla, Saba, Starbucks, The Good Burger, The Wok, VIPS, VIPSmart, 100 Montaditos, with more to follow in due course.
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”