The Detroit Auto Show is finally moving out of the cold

The Detroit Auto Show—otherwise known as the North American International Auto Show—is moving its annual event out of the cold confines of January and into the warm embrace of June starting in 2020. The move aims to reverse an exodus of automakers that have opted to showcase their upcoming products at tech-forward shows like CES held in Las Vegas.

Organizers expect the shift to June, which industry experts, analysts, and weary automotive journalists have recommended for years, will save money for exhibitors. By eliminating November, December and January holidays from the move-in equation, exhibitors will see reduced overtime labor costs for builds, organizers said in a statement Sunday.  The show will also have a shorter move-in schedule of three weeks, significantly reduced from the average eight weeks that it takes now. The show is run by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and its executive board.

There’s another benefit to the move: outdoor demos. The annual show’s current January time slot holds attendees hostage in the a massive Cobo Center. A June show date will allow automakers, and even mobility tech startups, to hold demonstrations and first drives on the streets of Detroit. Autonomous and automated driving demonstrations will surely pop up as well.

Detroit Auto Show Summer 2020 from Lacey Ward on Vimeo.

Detroit is already in the midst of a revitalization. And an event in June will give organizers and officials a chance to show off the city, including Hart Plaza, Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue and Grand Circus Park.

Expect the Big Three automakers to make a big splash on their home turf. Ford is already on its way. The automaker announced this summer plans to transform at least 1.2 million square feet of space in Corktown—Detroit’s oldest neighborhood—into a hub for its electric and autonomous vehicles businesses. The campus won’t be complete until 2022.

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PayU acquires Zooz to take on international payment services

A week after PayPal led a $50 million round in the cross-border payment specialist PPRO, one of its big competitors in the developing world has announced an acquisition of its own in the same space. PayU — the payments division of Naspers that is sometimes described as the PayPal of the developing world — has acquired Zooz, a startup based out of Israel that provides an API to merchants that lets them accept a variety of payments depending on the market.

The two had already been working together — specifically to provide PayU payment options to merchants in markets where PayU is active — and the plan will be to integrate the services further to enable PayU to step deeper into the cross-border payment services space, potentially even by enabling the integration of the payment methods of competitors as part of the mix of payment options.

“In the choice between building a closed walled garden and open platform, we decided to go with the second model,” PayU’s CEO Laurent le Moal said in an interview. “The reality is that you need to be neutral and work with everyone.”

PayU will also invest in adding further features to the Zooz platform, such as fraud management (which you could argue is table stakes these days in payments), real-time reporting and smart routing.

Zooz’s whole team of 70 will be joining, including co-founders Oren Levy (CEO) and Ronen Morecki (CTO), who will respectively take senior roles at PayU as business development with larger merchants, and CTO of innovation.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but that PayU has said that this deal brings its total spend on acquisitions and investments to about $350 million to date. That includes acquiring CitrusPay for $130 million, investing €100 million (between $120 million and $130 million) in Kreditech and several other investments. Doing the math, this potentially puts this deal at a range of between $50 million and $100 million.

Zooz was founded in 2010 and had raised around $33 million, from investors that include Target Global Ventures, Fang Fund, iAngels, Kreos Capital and existing investors Blumberg Capital, lool ventures, Rhodium, Claltech (Access Industries’ Israeli tech vehicle), XSeed Capital, CampOne Ventures and angel investor Eilon Tirosh.

Similar to PPRO, the company in which PayPal invested earlier this month, Zooz’s service addresses the widespread fragmentation that exists in payments globally. While credit cards are very much the norm in the US, globally they account for just under 20 percent of all e-commerce transactions, with consumers and businesses in different geographies developing their own localised payment methods and preferences. For example, cash on delivery or deposited with convenience stores, or bank transfers also play big roles.

This can be a problem for a merchant that is based in one country but interested in selling to people in another — an opportunity estimated to be worth $994 billion globally — if it doesn’t accept whatever the local payment method happens to be. Zooz addresses this by providing an API to merchants that gives them the option of a number of payment providing companies and methods so that they can enable the most popular variety of payment options to buyers depending on the market.

It will be worth watching whether payment companies will continue to be happy integrating with Zooz after its sale to PayU is complete. The fact that Zooz already integrates with different payment options, and itself is not a payment services provider, was one reason why PayU was interested in it.

At a time when there are multiple options for payment methods, including PayU itself, there is potentially an opportunity to be able to make revenues by trying to play in as many of those transactions as possible. Notably, PayU already lets people integrate some 250 methods into its own wallet, and it says it’s the leading online payment service provider in 16 markets out of the 17 in which it is active..

Zooz potentially will be boosting that footprint with more than just a platform that enables multiple payment options, but the transaction data and analytics that come with those transactions, which can become useful for other services in other parts of the business.

“The unique contribution we bring to PayU is an advanced technological layer which not only helps merchants worldwide to upscale their operations and provide a better customer experience, but also offers analytics and optimization capabilities that equip them with unprecedented insights,” noted Levy, Zooz’s CEO.

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Connecting to the NBN should now become a whole lot easier

After what has been a tumultuous few years for the NBN, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has stepped in and laid down some new ground rules that all telecommunications companies now have to follow when migrating customers over to the service. 

“These new rules will give consumers greater confidence that their telco will make sure their new NBN service will work as expected and provide options if their connection doesn’t work,” explained ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

The rules were set after research conducted by the communications authority found that “almost one in six households moving to an NBN service was left without a working connection for more than a week” and “for almost one in ten households, the interruption was for more than two weeks”.

What the telcos need to do

To fix the migration hiccups, ACMA now requires all telcos to:

  • conduct a line test to ensure a customer’s NBN connection is working after installation
  • verify that the existing copper wire use to connect the customer to the NBN is capable of delivering the maximum speeds specified in the chosen plan
  • offer an interim service or make other acceptable provisions for customers where the new NBN service isn’t working and cannot be fixed within three days.

O’Loughlin suggested that the other acceptable arrangements “might be an uplift in their mobile data allowance; for others, it might be a billing rebate or payment to help cover the data charges.” 

The new rules are meant to “complement the recently announced Service Continuity Standard”, a set of rules to minimise the likelihood of customers being left without an internet connection during their migration to the NBN, and will cover all fixed-line services, namely fibre to the node (FTTN), building/premises (FTTP) and curb (FTTC).

Other obligations

While telcos now need to ensure a smooth transition for customers signing up for the NBN, they are also obliged to

"With this package in place, the ACMA now turns its attention to industry compliance with the new rules and any enforcement action required," O’Loughlin added.

While the first set of rules has already been enforced, the rest will take effect on September 21. But ACMA is determined to take a hands-on role in the process. It will “be working with industry to help them to understand and comply with the new rules, including published guidelines and industry 'tune-ups’” and “will regularly report on how things are going”.

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The best Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus plans and prices in Australia compared

UPDATE: Telstra and Vodafone are no longer offering the S8 Plus in contract plans, but there are some excellent deals on plans from Optus and Woolworths Mobile below.

If you want to get in on the cutting edge S8 action but were thinking you wanted to make better use of that gorgeous Infinity Display, then the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is gonna be the phone for you. We've collected a bunch of Australian plans that'll get you the best phone on the market without having to sell your house, but if you're after the UK or US page, you can check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus deals in the UK or the best cheap Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals in the US.

If Samsung's Galaxy series is what you're after, but maybe you'd like a little more screen real estate, and maybe a stylus, then check out the best plans and pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

On this page we've collected all the best plans currently going for the Samsung Galaxy S8 flagship, whether you're chasing the most data, best budget offering, or just the plan with the best overall value. We'll also take a look at each of the networks and pick the best plan that each offers.

If you already have your hands on a plan, check out the prices for a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus at our sister site Getprice.

See also: Galaxy S8 Plus review

The best Galaxy S8 Plus plans

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The best Samsung Galaxy S8 plans and prices in Australia compared

Samsung's Galaxy S8 took the smartphone world by storm with its sleek new look and powerhouse specs, so here's your chance to figure out what all the fuss is about without blowing up your wallet. This page is for savings on huge data, budget plans, or simply the best overall value in a contract in Australia, but if you're after the UK or US, head to the best Galaxy S8 plan in the UK or the best cheap Samsung Galaxy S8 deals in the US.

If you're keen on the slickness of the Galaxy S8 but need something slightly bigger, check out our Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus plans here, or check out our Galaxy Note 8 plans if even that isn't enough phone for you.

On this page you'll find the best overall value, best budget option and best big data contract across the major carriers, as well as each of these carriers best plan, so read on for some sweet savings.

If you've already found a neat plan and just need the handset, compare prices for the Samsung Galaxy S8 over at our sister site Getprice.

See also: Galaxy S8 review | Galaxy S9 deals | Galaxy S9 Plus deals

The best Galaxy S8 plans

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 plan for each carrier

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