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

Boku CEO On Digital Content’s New Tailwind

On Dec. 1, 2019, there was no shortage of predictions about which stories would drive payments, commerce and the global financial ecosystem. Trade disputes, the connected economy, new banks, cryptocurrency, mobile wallets, instant payments, trade disputes, mergers and acquisitions, biometrics, synthetic identity fraud — we could literally go on and on.

As is customary in the last few weeks of a year — particularly one that caps off a busy decade — everyone takes to the web to promote their favorite prediction for what will come out of the gate in the new year to start shaping the epoch.

What no one predicted, or possibly could have, was that a novel coronavirus called COVID-19 would appear out of the ether, break containment in China and, in a little under 10 weeks, infect nearly 100,000 people worldwide, shut down the global supply chains and send the stock market through the floor in its worst week since the Great Recession.

It’s a situation, as Boku CEO Jon Prideaux told Karen Webster, where fear of the unknown is starting to outweigh every other concern people have — and is impacting behaviors and choices in ways rational and irrational.

“As we saw last week, the sea of red happens in the market, and people just sort of panic and start buying cash and gold, because there is suddenly this great lack of consumer confidence,” Prideaux noted.

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IMImobile enables Hyundai to use WhatsApp Business for customer service

Global cloud communications software and solutions provider IMImobile PLC today announced that Hyundai India has integrated WhatsApp as part of their customer service strategy. Using WhatsApp, Hyundai wanted to streamline the vehicle service booking process, provide service updates and documentation all in one place via their customers’ preferred communication channel.

Sudarshan Dharmapuri, EVP Products at IMImobile, commented, “WhatsApp Business offers a new and more convenient way for consumers to communicate with brands. Hyundai recognizes the importance of embracing newer, effective digital communication channels to improve customer experience and create differentiation from their competitors. Conversational customer engagement, service and support present a huge opportunity for businesses, more so now than at any other time. We look forward to working with Hyundai to further optimize the customer service experience.”

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ZARIOT, New IoT Connectivity Provider, Is World’s First Global SIM With Signalling Security

In this era of connected chaos, ZARIOT, a new IoT connectivity provider, aims to restore order. With the proliferation of IoT devices, security concerns are increasing exponentially. There are daily headlines about security breaches costing enterprises and consumers millions as well as divulging sensitive data to bad actors.

ZARIOT is the world’s first global SIM with signalling security. While other providers offer security over IP protocols, ZARIOT is the first of its kind to also provide security over the inherently vulnerable SS7, Diameter, and GTP signalling protocols: Protection “from signalling to cloud”.

“The rate at which SIM cards are being recklessly thrown into every device imaginable for permanent connectivity is growing, with no thought as to how we control, provision, upgrade and secure their future,” said Dawood Ghalaieny, CEO of ZARIOT. “The disregard for important features such as security is perceived as addressed. It’s not.”

While encryption and other methods increase security, they only go as far as the IP layer – signalling security has been roundly ignored in the IoT sphere. Devices such as smart cars, wearables, medical devices, and remote sensors which use SIM cards or embedded SIMs and rely on signalling protocols to transfer data, are left vulnerable to denial of service, interception, location tracking, and other attacks over mobile network infrastructure.

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Q&A: Infobip hails chatbots role in customer care

Mobile World Live spoke to Kreso Zmak, director products at omnichannel communication platform Infobip (pictured), about the role of chatbots in the customer service industry and the possibility for AI-driven experiences to win people’s trust in the future.

What are the benefits of using chatbots instead of real people in the customer service industry?
Chatbots can have many benefits for companies. For example, a single chatbot can handle hundreds of conversations simultaneously, and all at the same quality standard. In addition to that, chatbots are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

There is no need for people to cover night shifts because chatbots can handle these more awkward times. In that way, it’s easier for companies to scale and grow internationally.

What are the concerns of entirely replacing humans with AI when providing customer care?
We think chatbots will never entirely replace humans in providing customer care. No matter how strong the AI engine in the backend is, a chatbot will never be able to understand 100 per cent of human conversation. Because of that, a chatbot is a great supplement to modern contact centres, able to handle basic and most common customers’ queries while live agents can focus on more complex problems, which eventually can bring more revenue to the company.

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How Mobile Messaging Can Enhance your Omnichannel Communications

Nick Millward, VP Europe at mGage, looks at the ways that  SMS messaging can be used to improve your omnichannel strategy

We understand how important it is to meet your customers where they are, so integrating a robust omnichannel strategy can dramatically enhance the customer experience, leading to higher retention and revenue.

With more than 3bn smartphone users worldwide, we ask has your brand adopted a customer engagement strategy that includes mobile messaging? Below we’ve listed three ways retailers can incorporate SMS messaging into their omnichannel strategy.

Click and Collect

With 75 per cent of UK shoppers using Click & Collect services, this is a great example of how some retailers are providing an omnichannel experience for its customers. It provides a seamless experience for the buyers as it allows them to switch from online to offline.

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