Get the latest announcements from MEF Members across the mobile ecosystem globally in this weekly review of member news…

Wirecard mobile app implements chatbot to handle consumer queries

Wirecard, one of the leading global specialists for digital financial technology, will soon offer innovative, fully-digital and automated consumer interaction experiences via a Chatbot handling consumer enquiries.

The fastest growing mobile payment solution in Europe, boon by Wirecard, will be the first mobile payment app to benefit from this new way of managing consumer interactions based on Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence from Astute Solutions. Boon consumers in Europe will benefit from an industry leading, first of its kind service from the Bot. Soon, Wirecard will expand this offering together with its partner Astute Solutions to more of Wirecard’s business customers.

Georg von Waldenfels, Executive Vice President Consumer Solutions at Wirecard, said: “By continuously expanding its value proposition, boon by Wirecard has become an advanced mobile payment ecosystem, which is far beyond payment-only. We are excited to soon be offering a further enhanced consumer interaction experience which is well advanced versus market standard.”

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Orange launches the first fully unlimited mobile subscription in Belgium

Orange Belgium announces the launch of the first mobile subscription with unlimited mobile data volume in Belgium on February 12th as a first move underlining its bold challenger positioning. As from 40€/month, on top of unlimited SMS and calls, the Orange Eagle tariff plans will now include unlimited mobile data to allow customers to surf carefree anytime and anywhere they want without having to worry about their internet use anymore. Orange Belgium surveyed over 1.100 customers and it became apparent that the great majority of intense users would love an unlimited mobile data bundle.

Michaël Trabbia, CEO of Orange Belgium, explains: “We decided to adopt a bold challenger positioning, focusing on what’s essential for our customers. Many of them were asking for extra data due to the growing success of various social media, videos and streaming services. We simply listened to them and are proud to launch the very first fully unlimited mobile offer in Belgium supported by our leading 4G network. We now propose also the first fully unlimited Love package (mobile, internet and TV) of the market, perfectly suited for customers who are looking for a complete peace of mind.”

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Digi.me and SISS partner to give bank data back to Australians in true win-win

Australian consumers will be able to easily download a personal and reusable copy of their bank account data for the first time thanks to a partnership between SISS Data Services (SDS) and UK technology platform digi.me.

The partnership will leverage SISS’s expertise in providing bank-compliant and secure data feeds, which cover 80 per cent of the country’s banks, and digi.me’s unique personal data platform, which allows individuals to download their transactions into a secure cloud library that only they own and can access, and then share slices of it in return for personalised services or offers.

Digi.me’s Founder and Executive Chairman Julian Ranger, who is currently on the Lord Mayor’s FinTech Trade Mission to Australia, has already visited the country several times in the lead up to the SDS partnership to consult directly with the Australian banking sector and the Federal Government. He said: “The ability to reuse your own banking data in financial and other applications and to do so with your consent with complete privacy, allows transformational services to be provided to you.

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SpotX and Smartclip merger promises unified adtech platform

Video ad serving platform SpotX has merged with sister outfit Smartclip to form a single global company operating under a joint management team. The merger will see creation of an adtech powerhouse operating under the SpotX brand capable of providing over 1,000 broadcasters and digital publishers with the tools needed to maximize digital monetization.

Significantly the newly forged partnership will expand SpotX’s footprint outside the US by over 40%, enabling it to allocate resources toward investment and innovation.

Mike Shehan, co-founder and chief executive, SpotX commented: “In the ‘total video’ industry, scale matters and the combination of SpotX and Smartclip will enable us to compete more effectively in the dynamic programmatic video landscape, enhancing the enormous, exciting potential of our best-in-class technology platform, products, and services. The results speak directly to our company-wide commitment to making our clients and partners successful and combining the strengths of two great companies with a common goal. This is a key element in RTL Group’s ‘Total Video’ strategy.”

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Opera Mini and Mobile now block cryptocurrency-mining scripts

Over the past few months, websites have begun to capitalize on the increasing value of cryptocurrency in not-so-great ways. Numerous websites have started to include scripts that use your device’s processing power to mine cryptocurrencies. While the scripts usually aren’t as noticeable on desktop computers, they can slow smartphones down to a crawl and drain the battery.

Opera announced that it is adding crypto-jacking protection to Opera Mini and Mobile for Android, as part of the browsers’ ad-blocking feature. Put simply, it will block known crypto scripts from starting, keeping your phone fast and responsive. The company added the feature to its desktop browser earlier this month.

“When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining,” says Jan Standal, VP Product Marketing at Opera “A single webpage you visit can take up to 4.5 hours of your battery time, if you keep the tab open. This often turns out to be just the battery time you needed to use a ride-hailing app or check the map to get home”.

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