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

Mobile payments are one step closer to being secured in South Africa: Vodacom and Evina unite to fight mobile fraud

Vodacom, SA’s leading network has taken a major step forward in mobile user safety by partnering with cybersecurity for mobile payments company, Evina. Mobile users in Africa’s most advanced economy will now join the ranks of the tens of millions of consumers globally that are protected daily by Evina’s payments technology.

In recent years, the South African mobile industry has attracted a large number of fraudsters leading to a substantial increase in user complaint rates. These frequent fraudulent attacks are due to the fact that a large number of the African population uses a cellular phone, especially as a mobile payment method. Fraudsters are never far from where mobile transactions are. In South Africa alone, the country fraud rate recorded by Evina’s fraud sensors was 23.53% with clickjacking being the most fraudulent technique used to defraud mobile users in the first quarter of 2021. This region is a playground for new and extremely sophisticated fraud techniques that are difficult to spot unless using advanced technology

David Lotfi, CEO & Founder of Evina: “We strive to work with mobile players that share our vision of fraud being a serious issue that needs to be dealt with – and soon. By integrating our anti-fraud solution into its operations, Vodacom with its large African network of mobile users, has confirmed that it too shares our values and wishes to create a fraud-free mobile payment ecosystem. This makes deploying the best technology worldwide, for the protection of South African mobile users, effortless.”

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Sinch acquires Pathwire, the company behind Mailgun and Mailjet, for $1.9B to add email into its API-based communications platform

Sinch, the Swedish company that competes with Twilio and others in the world of messaging and other communication APIs is making another big M&A play to build out its platform. It has signed a definitive deal to acquire Pathwire, the cloud-based email provider behind Mailgun, Mailjet and Email on Acid. Sinch said it would pay $925 million in cash, with an additional 51 million new shares in Sinch. Based on yesterday’s closing price for Sinch (it’s traded on the Swedish stock exchange Nasdaq Stockhom and has a market cap of $13.7 billion), this works out to an enterprise value of $1.9 billion (SEK 16.6 billion).

So they’re distancing themselves from the taboo technology with cheeky brand campaigns. Cheetah Digital is another martech firm positioning its brand for the post-cookie world. The company released a brand campaign this week starring actor Wayne Knight, best known for his role as Newman in Seinfeld.

“Every form of digital communications has its unique benefits and delivering high quality at scale requires both extensive technical capabilities and deep subject matter expertise,“ comments Oscar Werner, Sinch CEO, in a statement. “Together with Pathwire, we will be able to offer a best-of-breed product set, across messaging, voice and email, that empowers businesses and developers to craft an unmatched, digital, customer experience.”

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Sequans and iBASIS Join Forces to Provide Global Cellular Connectivity for Worldwide Deployments of Massive IoT Applications

iBASIS, the leading provider of communications solutions for operators and digital players worldwide, and Sequans Communications S.A., a leading developer and provider of 5G/4G chips and modules, today announced that iBASIS Global Access for Things™ is now available in its Monarch 2 GM02S NEKTAR development Kit (EVK). Through the collaboration, Sequans’ customers will be able to immediately connect their devices and select mobile networks offering Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies leveraging iBASIS global reach.

“We are pleased to collaborate with iBASIS and have their powerful eSIM connectivity enabled on our Monarch family modules,” said Didier Dutronc, EVP of Sequans’ massive IoT business unit. “iBASIS enables universal connectivity and innovative IoT solutions to deploy worldwide.”

“We are delighted to partner with Sequans on the latest and advanced low power consumption module with forward-looking security features for LTE-M and NB-IoT with our eSIM technology,” adds Nicolas Barret, Managing Director, iBASIS. “We are thrilled to work together to respond to the exploding demand for global connectivity from massive and critical IoT applications such as transportation, trackers, and smart buildings.”

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Social Media Messaging With Brands is on the Rise and Driving Consumer Purchasing Decisions

New Mitto research reveals increase in consumer messaging with brands via social media since pandemic; Majority of consumers have used social media to contact a brand’s customer support, reporting a positive experience

Mitto, a leading provider of global omnichannel communications solutions, today revealed brand-consumer social media messaging is on the rise, according to survey research into the ways that U.S. consumers use social media apps to interact with brands. 70% have increased their overall social media use since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with 58% reporting their messaging with brands via social media has also increased.

“There are so many communications channels available and brands are being stretched to adapt their messaging strategy to meet consumers where they’re at,” said Andrea Giacomini, CEO of Mitto. “With social media usage up since the beginning of the pandemic, it is no surprise that consumers are now turning to social media more to message with brands, and those brands that evolve their digital customer experiences to include social media messaging will reap the benefits of effective customer engagement.”

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Vonage Launches AI Virtual Assistant for its UCaaS Solution to Deliver Enhanced, Self-Serve Capabilities

Vonage, a global leader in cloud communications helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation, has launched AI Virtual Assistant for its unified communications solution, Vonage Business Communications (VBC). One of the first AI-driven conversational solutions to deliver enhanced self-serving interactions for unified communications, Vonage AI Virtual Assistant creates artificially intelligent conversational experiences using natural language understanding and machine learning that is supported by applications using voice and text to engage every caller in natural language.

“In addition to reducing and optimizing IT costs and resources, enterprises are enhancing the customer experience with the use of AI as a part of their communications strategy,” said Savinay Berry, EVP of Product and Engineering for Vonage. “In today’s modern workplace, consumers expect to get the information they want, when they want it and they expect it to be easy to do business with a brand. As one of the first providers to offer this kind of solution for unified communications, Vonage is enabling businesses to leverage AI to improve their business processes. By automating responses and addressing simple tasks through AI,  we are transforming the way businesses across all industries connect with their customers.”

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