08. February 2021 | 09:27 CET
Upco International, Square, IBM - Shop like Robinhood and pay by mobile!
Instead of using their wallets, more and more Germans prefer to use their smartphones or smartwatches at the supermarket checkout - for a good reason: It's simply faster. There's no more searching for change, and no one has to wait for change. Quick checkout at the supermarket, hotel or swimming pool has already proven its worth as a way of bypassing the queue. Mobile payments can be made wherever cash registers are NFC-enabled: Such cash registers can be recognized by the wave symbol, which looks like a WLAN symbol lying on its side. However, not every mobile payment service is suitable for every user. Upco is a small but very flexible provider that offers payment solutions via chat app and also allows crypto connections.
time to read: 4 minutes by André Will-Laudien
Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.
Upco International - at home in the mobile world
Upco International Inc. consistently delivers good news and the share price gallops. As recently as mid-December, it stood at CAD 0.04 - now it has reached CAD 0.28. The Vancouver and New York City-based Company is a specialist for comprehensive digital services on the web and mobile Internet. UpcoPay is the name of the mobile payment platform. It is innovative, highly secure and includes a convenient direct payment solution for person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) payments.
In the current expansion stage, where a full e-wallet is now being implemented, users have many options. Users can view multiple account balances simultaneously, top-up their digital wallet with funds, process payments and initiate foreign exchange transfers instantly within the app without creating an account or entering bank details. In emerging markets, this is very important, as many customers there do not yet have a corresponding banking connection.
In connection with the implementation of UpcoPay and the final Brexit, which came into effect in January 2021, UK license holders connected to Token.io cannot pass on their licenses to Europe under current legislation. They thus cannot continue to operate as a regulated company. However, the Finnish-licensed provider "Enfuce" is available as an alternative license as a strategic partner, allowing Upco to proceed with the launch of UpcoPay in Europe as planned.
Meanwhile, the messenger has also been further developed and now offers modern end-to-end encryption and serverless network infrastructure. Messages thus remain better protected and can only be read by the addressee, while at the same time, the data volume used is significantly reduced. Users with little bandwidth in remote areas thus remain able to act. With these innovations, Upco secures its place in the less frequented areas of the world. Upco's vision remains to become a global platform for secure essential communications in the form of chats and calls and to create a safe personal environment for users to use daily. The not-so-small Canadian value has quadrupled in capitalization and now costs around CAD 15 million. Who would have believed that 4 weeks ago?
Square Inc. - The Laughing Third
What kind of a stock market month lies behind us? Well, the investment community no longer listens to analysts but follows random postings on social media platforms. The buying frenzy of "Reddit traders" ignited and pushed the neo-broker Robinhood to its limits. Only a billion-dollar injection of capital and a trading restriction in particular stocks could initially avert the impending collapse. But the drastic step of temporary usage restrictions understandably infuriated account holders - and drove them straight into the arms of the competition.
Investors fled Robinhood's online brokerage app en masse and turned to Square's alternative offering, a mobile payments platform that allows users to invest in stocks and bitcoin alongside money transfers. As GameStop's stock soared to record levels, fueled by frenzied Reddit users, Robinhood and other brokers both online and offline, put the brakes on buying the video game retailer's stock and options contracts, only allowing it to sell. Indeed a unique and very unusual intervention!
Spontaneous surveys among users indicate that Square's "CashApp" was used as an alternative by about one-third of the disgruntled customers. It remains to be seen whether this change will last in the medium term. Square was able to gain over USD 30 in price and last week again reached its all-time high of USD 246, which corresponds to a market capitalization of USD 108 billion. The quarterly numbers show strong growth of 50% and in the last quarter and it has now reached the net profit threshold. That looks pretty good overall!
IBM Corp. - The rock in the surf has to reinvent itself
The US technology Company IBM is the pioneer among computer stocks and one of the world's leading companies, especially for industry-specific solutions and services in the IT sector. In 2020, IBM employed more than 300,000 people worldwide, with around 16,500 working for the "PC dinosaur" in Germany. Hardware is no longer on the shelves at IBM; however, following the acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, IBM Global Business Services is the largest IT consulting company globally, with 80,000 consultants in over 170 countries.
They support companies in nearly 20 industries, from large corporations to reliable medium-sized businesses. The consulting topics range from strategy consulting to finance, from supply chain to customer relationship and human resources management. IBM's services and consulting business now accounts for about 60% of its total revenue of around USD 74 billion.
The latest figures were somewhat disappointing, as IBM suffered a surprisingly significant drop in business at the end of the year. Revenue fell by a good 6% year-on-year to USD 20.4 billion in the quarter, and net profit decreased by 66% to just USD 1.3 billion due to high costs in the group restructuring. IBM's lucrative cloud business with IT services and storage space on the Internet also grew significantly slower recently than in the previous quarter.
IBM now wants to finally spin off its IT infrastructure business and float it on the stock market independently. The future focus will be on cloud services and business areas such as data analysis and artificial intelligence, which promise significantly more growth. Since April 2020, the share price has been trending at the USD 120 mark; from a chart perspective, it should not fall below USD 112.