Agile Innovation Update – May 2015

Each month we bring you the FreshMinds Agile Innovation Update. This month we’re looking at rumours of a new delivery service from Uber, the potential for wearables as payment devices and Visa Europe’s new innovation hub.

Uber reportedly planning same-day retail delivery service

Tech disruptor, Uber, is rumoured to be planning a same-day retail delivery service. According to TechCrunch, the new service would see Uber drivers and employees of UberRush, the company’s courier service, delivering goods from retailers such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co to customers within a matter of hours. This is not the first time that Uber has made a foray into the delivery space. In addition to UberRush, the company has also launched an on-demand food delivery service, UberEats, in 4 cities. Uber has already disrupted the taxi market. Could the retail and food industries be next?

Jawbone introduces fitness tracker with in-built payment facility

In April, Jawbone launched the UP4 – a new fitness tracker with a difference. In addition to measuring a user’s physical activity, the fitness tracker also acts as a payment device, allowing users with an American Express account to link their card details and then make payments by simply tapping the device against a NFC-enabled card reader. Last month also saw another much-anticipated wearable burst onto the scene: the Apple Watch, which could also facilitate payments through NFC technology if and when Apple Pay comes to the UK. Do these developments signal a move towards wearables being used as payment devices?

Visa Europe launches an Innovation Hub

 This month saw the launch of Visa Europe’s London-based innovation hub: Visa Europe Collab. The innovation hub, which is designed to bring payment-related technologies and services to market through collaboration with start-ups, will provide the small businesses involved with the tools and support they need to do so. Visa Europe aims to take 20 ideas from the hub into its “innovation funnel” each year, ultimately helping the company to develop and roll out innovative, commercial solutions out to its member banks, retailers and consumers. Visa Europe is just one of a number of financial services organisations investing in innovation: from Wells Fargo, whose startup accelerator scheme is in full swing, to Commonwealth Bank of Australia, who launched an innovation lab late last year.