OPERATIONS

Survey details smartphone activities

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Marketers attempting to understand consumer habits that influence mobile marketing can get a revealing glimpse into the mindset of the mobile consumer through the newly released 2011 Mobile Consumer Report from Experian Simmons, a part of Experian Marketing Services.

Twenty nine percent of cell phone owners today believe their phone will be the primary device for their entertainment needs in the future, according to the newly released 2011 Mobile Consumer Report from Experian Simmons, a part of Experian Marketing Services.

Other findings from the report include:

  • More than nine out of 10 adults, seven out of 10 teens and one out of five kids own a mobile phone.
  • Fifty-six percent of smartphone owners access the Internet from their phone; 27% watch video.
  • Thirty percent of iPhone owners want to make purchases in stores using their phone.
  • Twenty percent of social networkers access their account from their phone.
  • Sixteen percent of mobile owners downloaded a mobile app last month.

Click here to download a copy of the Experian Simmons 2011 Mobile Consumer Report.

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Walmart expands check, card cashing services

BY Marianne Wilson

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart announced on Monday that it is expanding its check and card cashing services to accept more types of checks and take more forms of identification from shoppers.

The expansion includes cashing most types of pre-printed checks up to $5,000 and accepting more forms of ID for check cashing, as well as establishing exclusive “Express Check Cashing” check-out lanes at selected stores during peak hours. The chain, which already accepts driver’s licenses, military IDs and tribal IDs, will now also accept state IDs and U.S. passports as identification for check cashing.

Walmart, which already cashes payroll, government and tax refund checks for customers, will now also accept student loan, insurance and pension checks up to $5,000, among other kinds of checks. Customers will be also able to cash payroll cards and some government benefit cards at Wal-Mart’s stores.

In addition, customers will now be able to cash payroll cards and eligible government benefit cards down to the penny.

"We know more and more of our customers have a need to cash these kinds of cards, and it’s important that they’re able to gain access to all their cash," said Daniel Eckert, head of Walmart Financial Services. Eckert. "We’re excited to be the first major retailer to make it possible to cash these types of cards to the penny and give every cent to the customer, instead of in $10 or $20 increments."

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Best Buy Express to add 100 kiosks in the next year

BY Staff Writer

Minneapolis — Best Buy Co.’s Best Buy Express plans to add nearly 100 kiosk locations in the next year spread over a variety of new channels.

The division has opened 150 Express locations in three years, and said it is adding two locations at Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif., and multiple locations at college campuses, events and ferry hubs this year.

Best Buy Express is a self-serve kiosk solution offering consumer electronics at Best Buy prices. With locations in airports, train stations, casinos and turnpike rest stops, Best Buy Express sells such products as computer accessories, digital cameras, storage devices and headphones through strategically located kiosks.

"The arrival of our self-serve kiosks at Disney is a testament to the continued growth of Best Buy Express," said Julie St. Marie, business leader of Best Buy Express.

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