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What’s the news from the MEF community? Here’s your weekly round up of all the latest announcements from MEF members including product launches, partnerships, research insights and more…

Verve and Urban Science take location-based ads to car owners

Car owners are some of the most sought-after consumers in the world – and now Verve and Urban Science have teamed up to target them.

The partners will give advertisers the ability to identify these consumers via Verve’s location-based ad platform. They can then create campaigns, scalable to any budget, that target in-market car shoppers.

“Our partnership with Urban Science, following close upon the recent opening of our Detroit office, underscores Verve’s commitment to being automotive advertisers’ first choice for ROI-driven location-powered mobile campaigns,” said Kevin Arrix, Chief Revenue Officer at Verve.

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CLX: a third of businesses are ready to use RCS

Enterprises are increasing their commitment to RCS, chat bots and two-way SMS messaging.

That’s the positive conclusion of a major new report by CLX Communications and Ovum. Ovum’s Enterprise Messaging Survey 2017 canvassed 100 companies in seven countries about their use of messaging. It found 42 per cent of enterprises sent transactional messages in the last year, while 35 per cent send promotional messages. 23 per cent said they have sent more two-way SMS in the last 12 months.

Other research findings include:

  • 36 per cent are interested in enhanced SMS service, such as RCS
  • A quarter are experimenting with bots
  • Over half would be willing to pay between 1.5 times to three times more for enhanced messaging

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Viva Kuwait upgrades to Google Play carrier billing with Bango

Kuwaiti customers can now buy apps and content on Google Play direct from the phone bill.

The operator has connected to the Bango platform, which provides a payment alternative for users beyond credit and debit cards. The platform also provides data to operators and developers that helps them analyse their customer base, which drives up activity and revenue levels.

Anil Malhotra, Chief Marketing Officer at Bango, said: “A standard platform for alternative payments means that merchants can scale up faster using known, reliable technology at low costs of deployment. This is what the Bango Platform provides, giving operators a way to achieve higher revenues from app stores than they can secure through direct integrations”.

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Mahindra Comviva simplifies how merchants take payments

Indian merchants who use Mahindra Comviva’s payPLUS payment system can now take several payment instruments through one interface.

payPLUS now makes it easy to accept Aadhaar, Bharat QR, UPI, cards and wallets. All merchants have to do to start accepting payments is download the app.

The single dashboard view of sales will also allow merchants to make quick and informed decisions that will simplify reporting, reconciliation and user management.

“With payPLUS, Mahindra Comviva supports the Government’s vision of a digital and cashless India and is geared to extract the most out of the recent policy changes,” said Srinivas Nidugondi, SVP and Head, Mobile Financial Solutions, Mahindra Comviva.

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Vodafone overhauls customer care with bots and more

Giant operator Vodafone is re-thinking is approach to customer care with the aid of voice recognition, bots and more.

The company wants to make it easier for its customers to verify their identity, access their details quickly and receive account updates. To do so, it will launch a new ‘Ask Vodafone’ feature – a pre-recorded password that uses voice not text.

Vodafone is also improving its AI chatbot TOBi so it can handle more account transactions by the end of the year.

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Mozilla upgrades Firefox for iOS with QR code reader and night-reading mode

iPhone users are about to get a host of new features inside their Firefox mobile browser app.

Mozilla has just launched version 8.0, which adds a built-in QR code scanner, a Night Mode and a new tab experience for previously visited sites. Users can also automatically send web pages and tabs from iOS to other installations of the browser on other devices.

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Smaato partners with Adsquare on audience data

Smaato has teamed up with Adsquare to add even more audience metrics into its Smaato Demand Platform (SDX).

Adsquare data includes information on consumer interests, behaviour and purchase intent in markets including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Switzerland.

“The integration gives Smaato’s demand partners access to the adsquare data portfolio, comprised of audience data linked to mobile advertising IDs and local, contextual and app-contextual data,” said Tom Laband, CEO and co-founder, adsquare.

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