Elisa announced that they have launched Elisa Lompakko in Finland, which is basically an online wallet that you can put money into using a bank transfer. Once you have the money in the account, you can either create virtual credit cards to be used for online payments or put money into your purse which can later be used together with MasterCard Paypass NFC based sticker.
Now, having lived in Estonia, I can go on about the state of the banking industry in Finland for hours. For instance how the paper based passwords without a master password is a security vulnerability. Or how I am used to an e-bank that calculates my expenditure automatically and provides me with a general break-down of what I spend my money on. But perhaps the feature I miss the most are virtual credit cards. They are safe, expendable and you can set the expiration date to be in just a month so as not to get caught into subscription based payments for years to come.
Elisa, the Finnish telecommunications and ICT services company, has acquired Sulake, the makers of Habbo. Sulake will continue as an independent company and will continue under the Habbo brand. Elisa previously owned 24% of the company, and has now increased its share to 85 percent.
Sulake has had a dynamic six months, to say the least. This summer they were covered on the UK's Channel 4 for the company's failure to police the platform for sexual content, and were labeled by the press as a "paedophile haven." This caused Balderton Capital to exit their 13% share, and 3i to later leave their 16% stake.
The court's order to make Elisa block access to certain websites became our most retweeted story yesterday. It received almost 1500 retweets in about 24 hours. I'm sure the plaintiff didn't anticipate the implications this will have, not only on Elisa but on a variety of other things - potentially even harming themselves. The more significant result to this is perhaps that Finland received a lot of negative publicity in the digital media space for its court's decision. In a time when countries are competing for appeal in the eye of digital media entrepreneurs, a lot of potential candidates saw Finland's position diminish. This may sound far fetched, but it really isn't. Let me explain why.
Elisa, one of the largest internet service providers in Finland, has been forced to block access to The PirateBay for its customers. Elisa issued a press release (in Finnish) on the matter moments ago. The decision was given by a local district court in Helsinki. Elisa has stated that they will seek correction to the decision in supreme court. As of today, all Elisa and Saunalahti (part of the same group) customers will be denied access to ThePirateBay on an operator level, meaning they have denied access to the servers in their name servers.
Rovio, the makers of the Angry Bird game, have just announced Bad Piggy Bank - among a ton of other interesting things. Let's get to it then. Bad Piggy Bank is a new solution to one-touch in app mobile purchasing. Furthermore, the PC Version of the Angry Birds will be showcased at a press event beginning 4pm EET (we will update this post with info later). Finally, Rovio has updated the figures on their game downloads - Angry Birds has been downloaded now more than 50 million times.
According to Talouselämä, a Finnish business magazine, the Finnish mobile operator Elisa has bought an approximately 10% share of Voddler in their latest stock emission. The Swedish Dagens Industri writes that Voddler will be collecting approximately 40 million crowns in the emission, possibly valuing the company at 300 million crowns (about 30 million euros).
Elisa, a Finnish telephone operator and ISP, has created their own microblogging platform called Zircle. The service itself is having some hiccups at the moment as I couldn't get the registration to work and thus was unable to test drive the service. However, there are plenty of tips around the service that tell what it does.
The service in itself is some sort of port of Jaiku and/or Nokia's Friend View. Zircle does not provide their own mobile application, but you can use the service through the mobile browser, according to the FAQ -section.
Some other features of the service include free SMS messages (at least for now) between the users and the possibility to name the signal towers to your liking. In short, the value proposition of the service is relatively - if not the same as Jaiku's.
I have a strong feeling that this is some sort of a ported white label service to meet Elisa's need. If not, this raises serious questions about the possibility of Elisa to bring this sort of a product to the market. Where are the e-mail signups for the early adapters waiting to hear when the service is open, where is the buzz from the closed beta group leaking links and screenshots around, etc. etc? Elisa has nevertheless provided a quick tour of the service that tells more about the service, what it looks like at the moment and in short, what it does.
Building a community service where you don't involve the early adapters and possible evangelists to your service from early on is up for an uphill climb. It's all about taking that beach head in some group of people and building from there on, taking advantage of the connections people have. Then again, I don't know what they have up the sleeve so I may be speaking too soon.
Valimo, the Finnish mobile identification service provider, has signed agreement with the second largest Finnish mobile operator Elisa. The agreement allows Elisa's 2.5 million mobile customers in Finland and another 340 000 in Estonia to use mobile phone as everyday electronic identification method. With Valimo's solution the customers can login to internet services with a single PIN code, and also digitally sign documents. Thus mobile phone can replace web banking credentials now used extensively for secure identification in the region.
Valimo develops software to secure and perform transactions in both mobile and fixed network environments, offering solutions for digital signing, authentication, and validation. Valimo's service uses PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) and works on all handsets and devices, which use a SIM card as the user's secret key is stored on the card. Identification or confirmation request is sent onto the user's screen, and the user will use his/her own PIN code to verify. The service requires country specific registration of the person's identity and the SIM card. In Finland the registration is done by the police authorities.
Valimo's services have been well received , and the company recently announced the the Turkish operator Turkcell's customers recently exceeding 1,8 million mobile transactions.