Daily Review: WeChat Teaches the World What 'Mobile-First' Truly Means

Having an undisputed control over communications in the domestic market, WeChat aspires to become a lifestyle choice overseas. Almost a billion users actively using the platform for various purposes prove the idea of a lifestyle app and a platform to be a bulletproof strategy. WeChat not only redefines brand-consumer interactions but also serves as a role model for Western companies to learn how to win Chinese consumers and understand what ‘mobile-first’ truly means.

Pick #1. China’s WeChat Isn’t Just an App – It’s a Cross-Cultural Education

The US tech industry likes to talk about ‘mobile-first’ experiences, but that catchphrase doesn’t play out the same way that it does in China, which never developed the PC-centric culture that Americans experienced before smartphones took off. For WeChat, being mobile-first means that your phone is king, and everything goes through it.

For example, if you want to use WeChat on a laptop or desktop PC, you have to use a QR code to link it to your phone and verify access from your phone. Every time. You never enter a password into a desktop app: Instead, you click “login” and get a notification on your phone asking you to confirm.

WeChat’s mobile-first, desktop-second design is also exemplified by the fact that the desktop app doesn’t sync every single message. If your computer is asleep for an extended period or the app gets logged out, it likely won’t get the messages sent to you during that time. There’s no record of those messages ever happening. The WeChat desktop app may be more convenient than no PC-based experience at all, but it’s definitely not meant to be used as a primary way to access WeChat.

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Pick #2. PayPal CEO: ‘Checkout Is Like a Vestigial Organ of Yesterday’

“I think the best payment apps will transcend just payment itself. It will tie into all of your other activities,” Schulman said.

He noted how Chinese consumers are using payment apps WeChat Pay and Alipay constantly.

“They open those apps 30 to 40 times a day, a day. They do everything on that app. The average PayPal customer is 30 to 40 times a year. So they do 30-40 times a day. Thinking about how mobile and mobile payments kind of move into everyday life is very important.”

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Pick #3. Square’s Cash app now supports direct deposits for your paycheck

The Cash app rolled out support for ACH direct deposits, meaning users can now get their paycheck or other deposits put directly into their Cash app balance.

This feature combined with the Cash app’s debit card now means that the app can essentially provide all the basic functions of a bank account, assuming users don’t need to deposit checks or do complex things like wire transfers.

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Pick #4. Civic Launches First CVC Token-Powered KYC & Accredited Investor Checks with Votem

Civic, a blockchain identity verification technology provider, announced its partnership with Votem to launch the first CVC-Powered KYC process. Votem is a technology platform that enables citizens, organizations, and governments around the world to easily manage or participate in online voting.

Civic will register and authenticate Votem’s presale participants without the need for usernames and passwords, and verify their identity using blockchain-powered attestations. Users store their identity documents and attestations using the Civic app and can reuse the attestations with upcoming ICOs.

Votem has more than 8.2 million votes on its blockchain platform.

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Pick #5. EU Proposes Crowdfunding ‘Passports’ in Boost for FinTech

The European Commission has proposed crowdfunding “passports” for the European Union in a draft law that forms part of efforts to boost growth in the financial technology sector.

“An EU crowdfunding license would help crowdfunding platforms scale up in Europe. It will help them match investors and companies from all over the EU, giving more opportunities for firms and entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a wider base of funders,” the EU’s financial services commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said.

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Pick #6. Kakao Pay’s Blockchain-Based Authentication Boasts 1 Million Users

Kakao Pay Corp., a major South Korean mobile payment service provider, reported that >1 million people have joined its blockchain-based mobile authentication service. Users of KakaoTalk, South Korea’s top mobile messenger, can use the authentication service on the mobile messenger without having to download an application.

A total of 20 institutions and companies, including insurer AIA Life Korea and the Korea Transportation Safety Authority, use the service.

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Elena Mesropyan

Global Head of Content, MEDICI Elena is a research professional with a background in social sciences and extensive experience in consumer behavior studies and marketing analytics. She is passionate about technologies enabling financial inclusion for underprivileged and vulnerable groups of the population around the world.