Alan Cane, Financial Times
I-movo, a year-old company owned jointly by chief executive David Tymm and the IT consultancy Conchango, is launching a mobile marketing initiative with, it claims, unprecedented levels of security.
Mobile marketing – the distribution of vouchers to customers’ mobile phones for redemption against goods or services – is not new, but fraud and counterfeiting have made retailers and manufacturers wary.
Tymm says, however, that i-movo’s technology, which tracks each voucher from issue to redemption, has added the necessary checks and balances. Customers request vouchers from issuing companies by dialling a short code. They receive within minutes an SMS voucher, the important element of which is a very large, randomly generated number of which the customer sees only a few digits. The number is used to redeem the voucher in one of four ways: the retailer phones i-movo, it can be fed into an electronic top-up unit, transmitted over a dedicated GPRS link, or, for low-value transactions, collected manually.
Tymm says that no extra software need be downloaded and retailers do not have to change their POS systems. Furthermore, information about the progress of the campaign is available immediately.