FNB is seeing continuous growth in online shopping spending by its credit card holders. January 2015 statistics reveal that online shopping now accounts for 12% of total credit card purchases, a 7% increase from the same period in 2014.
The majority of these online transactions, 36%, were on online retail and entertainment websites, followed closely by professional services such as school fees, university fees, and professional-membership subscriptions.
“An increasing shift suggests that South Africans are realising the convenience that online shopping offers. The desire to view products in store is quickly being overtaken by the time it saves to select and order items online,” says Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Credit Card.
More importantly, the efforts by online retailers, banks and card issuers to assure users of the security of online shopping, have paid off.
“Improved communication, tracking systems and continuously evolving secure transacting technology all ensure consumers of the safety of online shopping and the protection of their details, as well as delivery of their purchase,” notes Labuschagne.
The age group 20 – 30 has showed the most significant increase in online spend. This is in accordance with consumer trends of instant gratification and the always-on culture of, particularly young professionals.
As online shopping evolves, retailers will continue to enhance their offerings in order to fit the needs of different consumers. Most recently, local major retailers have started pilot phases of the concept “click and collect” which will see same day deliveries to an allocated box, for example at a fuel station or an office block, in order to add to convenience and cut down on delivery time.
“It is expected that online shopping will grow exponentially in the coming year and we encourage consumers to make use of the value that shopping online with credit cards offer,” concludes Labuschagne.
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CES: Most useless gadgets of all
Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.
It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.
But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.
The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.
1. DUX voice-assisted bed
The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.
2. Smart Baby Dining Table
Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.
Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.
CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”
Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.
Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:
Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator
The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication.
It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.
It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.”
Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.