In what looks like the first major blurring between telecommunications companies, credit card networks and banks, a conglomerate of mobile networks is launching a system that may take on credit cards as a way of paying for things, online and off. \nSimpay, founded by Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone, along with Telefonica Moviles of Spain, is launching a system that will allow customers to charge things directly to their mobile phone bill. \nThat's not a new thing but, just as with Visa or Mastercard, with Simpay it will not matter who your bill is from, who the merchant is and who you are connecting through. \nThis is new: the Simpay network will, it promises, create an international payment system specifically designed for charging things to your mobile bill, whether they are bought online from your phone, on the internet or in a shop. \nMobile phone users have been able to buy things via their handset for a while, either by a premium text message, or by proprietary payment systems such as Vodafone's M-Pay. \nIn some parts of the world, customers can use their credit card, buy prepaid credits, or charge things from their bank account via their phone in a variety of ways, but none of these systems can talk to each other. \nThis isomers can only buy from merchants who are signed up with the same payment system as they are -- meaning the merchants and the mobile phone companies have to go through the expensive business of finding each other and joining up their systems before they can start to look for people to sell things to. \nRoaming customers are in trouble too: each mobile phone network has to negotiate with each other to support each others' payment system, or not, should people roam abroad. In the worst cases, with every country having three or more networks, the number of deals that need to be done for one company to be able to sell to every potential customer is prohibitive. \nIt's just too much work for a small ringtone business, for example, to deal with and connect to every mobile payment system in the world. \nSimpay will mean they won't have to. As with credit card networks, the merchant only needs to have an account with one of the connected networks, and every customer of every network connected to Simpay will be able to buy things from them, and charge the cost to their mobile bill. \nThe merchant is guaranteed to get paid, and promptly: something so far not taken for granted. \nJim Wadsworth, Simpay's chief marketing officer, says: "The big difference is that it will be supported by multiple operators in multiple countries. Individual consumers will be able to transact with a much wider range of merchants.
Tesla Inc temporarily halted some production at its auto assembly plant in California because of problems with its supply chain, but work has begun to resume, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an e-mail on Thursday. “We are experiencing some parts supply issues, so took the opportunity to bring Fremont production down for a few days to do equipment upgrades and maintenance,” Musk said in an all-staff message seen by Bloomberg. The factory was “back up and running as of yesterday,” and would rapidly ramp up to full production of Model 3 and Model Y cars “over the next several days,”
Boeing Co on Sunday called for the grounding of 128 of its 777 planes around the world as US regulators investigated a United Airlines Holdings Inc flight whose engine caught fire and fell apart over a suburban city. United and Japan’s two main airlines confirmed they had already suspended operations of 56 planes fitted with the same engine that fell apart mid-flight over Colorado on Saturday. The US National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) is also investigating the incident, in which no one was hurt. Boeing said similarly fitted planes should be taken out of service until the US Federal Aviation Authority
The production value of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry grew 20.9 percent year-on-year to NT$3.22 trillion (US$113.6 billion) last year, and it is expected to build on that performance this year, the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s (工研院) Industry, Science and Technology International Strategy Center said yesterday. The global semiconductor market grew 6.8 percent to US$440.4 billion last year, boosted by robust demand from the digital transformation and growing stay-at-home economy seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the center said. That strength is likely to carry over to this year, leading to an 8.6 percent increase in domestic output to a new record NT$3.49 trillion,
United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world’s No. 3 contract chipmaker, yesterday said that its board of directors has approved a plan to pay a cash dividend of NT$1.6 per share this year, up from NT$0.75 last year and the highest in 21 years. Based on the plan, UMC would pay NT$19.88 billion (US$702.32 million) in cash dividends to shareholders this year. The payout ratio was about 66 percent, as the company earned NT$2.42 per share last year. The planned dividend represents a yield of 2.93 percent, based on the stock’s closing price of NT$54.7 yesterday. The payout plan is subject to shareholders’ approval