TechNation: Tech Salaries Rose Nearly 6% in First Quarter

Leumi Card teams with China via UnionPay; Customer complaints about mobile carriers rose 9.3% in 2015; Partner successfully launches new branding with virtually no TV ads.

Partner’s new color scheme and branding.
Ofer Vaknin

Tech salaries rose nearly 6% in first quarter

An expert on algorithms, fresh out of university with a master’s degree and no experience, can look forward to a salary of 24,000 shekels ($6,270) a month, about three times the average wage in Israel. That’s what a survey by the CPS Jobs website of 2000,000 Israeli high-tech workers and 3,000 employers found.

It estimated that salaries rose 5.7% on average in the first quarter from the same time in 2015 amid a 10% rise in the number of job openings for computer engineers in this period. Wages for software testers and automated test developers rose 16.5% between the first quarter of 2015 and the same period this year.

Entry-level Quality Assurance testers can make 15,000 shekels a month, while salaries for QA engineers and managers range from 21,000  shekels to 28,000 shekels a month. Salaries for mobile developers rose 7.4% during this period, to around 30,000 shekels a month for individuals with five years of experience. Another category in high demand is machine learning, where job offers rose 8.8% in the first quarter. People with six years’ experience in the category can count on an average salary of 30,000 shekels a month, CPS Jobs said. (Eliran Rubin)

Leumi Card teams with China via UnionPay

Leumi Card, the credit-card unit of Bank Leumi, is teaming up with Chinese credit-card giant UnionPay International to introduce five Israeli financial technology startups to Asian markets.

Under an agreement signed this week during a visit to China by a delegation of Leumi Card executives, UnionPay will offer products developed by selected financial technology startups to hundreds of banks that work with UnionPay. During the visit, Union Pay organized a workshop for figures from 12 Chinese venture capital funds planning visits to Israel aimed at identifying finance tech investments.

The accord is part of Bank Leumi’s strategy of high-tech partnerships. Each year Leumi Card integrates into its product line products developed by five or six Israeli startups, including the taxi app Gett and the mobile payment app developer AppFront. (Michael Rochvarger)

Customer complaints about mobile carriers rose 9.3% in 2015

Israeli cellphone rates may be extraordinarily low, but if customer complaints are any barometer, service is getting worse. The Communications Ministry said on Monday that the number of complaints against all telecommunications providers filed with it rose 9.3% last year to 10,300.

Among cellphone subscribers, the leading grievance was billing, but the biggest increase was for quality of service.

Golan Telecom had the most complaints relative to the number of subscribers, at 7.2 per 10,000, but the ministry found only 8% of the complaints to be warranted. Cellcom Israel had only 4.4 complaints per 10,0000 subscribers, but over a third were justified – the highest rate among mobile providers.  Overall, Partner Communications had the best record – 2.7 complaints per 10,000 customers, with 15% deemed warranted. (Hadar Kane)

Partner successfully launches new branding with virtually no TV ads

Breaking a long-standing marketing convention, Partner Communications has used almost no television advertising since it launched its new branding six weeks ago to replace the Orange name it long used.

The decision was both calculated and accidental: The company, Israel’s second-largest cellphone operator, had wanted to focus on digital media and outdoor advertising, but a commercial dispute between its media buyer and the broadcaster delayed the TV component and in the end its ads were aired for a single day.

Instead, Partner spent 51% of its 9.8 million-shekel ($2.6 million) ad budget on digital, mainly videos on Facebook and YouTube, and much of the rest on traditional outdoor advertising.

The results have been excellent, Partner said: A survey by market researcher Geocartography found that 28% of those polled said the Partner campaign was the first that came to mind among telecoms companies, versus 10% for Hot and 7% for Bezeq. (Nati Tucker and Elihai Vidal)