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Mobile apps are at their peak. As a result, we will be seeing many ad-tech companies developing specific mobile apps and mobile app advertising for each market under one same platform. As a result, mobile app producers will have to increase the benefits and offerings that are provided by existing apps. Here are the top four mobile app predictions for 2017, by Portada’s digital media correspondent Pedro Labarta.

By Pedro Labarta

1. Smart prices will take over.

Apps focused on the sale of products will have to become smart bots. That is because buying  sensitivities vary depending on region/country. Producers of mobile applications will have to use individual user data along with location at the time of sale in order to achieve better profits. For example, people in Mexico may not be willing to pay the same amount for a particular product as do people in Spain. Companies will be able to classify purchases according to the algorithm needed to quickly adapt to each market. As a result, they will also be able to unify inventories and databases.

2. Mobile app advertising

This will be the year in which businesses such as agencies will be able to safely, quickly, and effectively monetize applications and mobile app advertising. For example, a clothing brand will be able to pay for an in-app ad when the user is searching for a specific application. Or pay for an ad even within the app itself. And brands will also be able to do it a crucial moment of the game or video where the advertiser wants its ad to appear. This will help advertising networks improve their performance. It will also boost their revenues once this feature kicks in by mid-2017. It will lead to higher satisfaction rates and more business opportunities for all.

3.”Yes” to TV on smartphones and “No” to TV on smartwatches

descarga-3Apple, Samsung, and Google specialize in mass consumer products. The smartwatch is not a great product because it does not replace the phone. That same can be said of Apple Pay. It has not replaced the credit card. Also, not everyone wears a watch, while most everyone uses a smartphone. This is another problem faced by large companies that have failed to build an adequate ecosystem and a monetization model for smartwatch developers. With development not being financially viable, developers will stop creating for it and instead focus on creating for apps for TV, etc. This will open a new source of revenue for publishers, leading to better content and a better advertising platform that makes it a win-win for everyone.

4. Apps and messaging

Messaging has tapped out, so entering this market is too complicated these days. The focus now should be on developing message extensions, where we can take advantage of the billions of people already connected on them.

We are already seeing specific developments for iMessage from Apple and Facebook Messenger. Instead of opening an application such as Skype separately, users will use a face-to-face extension within the messaging application with which they are already familiar.

This will be the year in which businesses such as agencies will be able to safely, quickly, and effectively monetize applications.

Extensions will not stop there, however. They will be used for everything, including some tools we are already used to seeing in our email. They include calendar invitations, unread text markings, current status, and functions that will be carried out within our specific message groups. Bots and AI were launched in 2016, but they still do not work very well. In 2017, we will see strong breakthroughs in bot intelligence and more implementations in our everyday technology. Many of today’s most promising video messaging and walkie-talkie apps will soon find themselves competing against and potentially missing out on a well-implemented app extension.

However, bot technology will see its strongest boom in late 2017.

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What: Waleteros.com, a new mobile app that works like a pre-paid debit card with services such as mobile check deposits, direct deposits, peer-to-peer payments, bill payment, cash withdrawal and a platform for online purchases.
Why it Matters: This digital financial solution could be game-changing for Latinos in the United States, who make up a large percentage of the nearly 60 million Americans without a bank account. Waleteros.com is led by Sergio Carrera, former General Manager of Televisa in the United States.

Text written by Gretchen Gardner, member of Portada’s editorial team.

Underbanked: While you may not have heard word before, it’s an all-too-common phenomenon in America. According to the FDIC, an “underbanked” household “holds a bank account, but also relies on alternative financial services providers.” This often means no credit card, and a high reliance on inefficient and costly alternatives like
check-cashing stores. But luckily, digital payment platforms and online banking are transforming the way people access and use money, a trend that stands to benefit underbanked communities enormously. In the United States, Latinos make up a large percentage of the nearly 60 million people without a bank account. So could technology change all of this?

There’s An App for That

To learn more, wwaleterose sat down with Sergio Carrera, former general manager for US operations at Editorial Televisa, to get the scoop on his new mobile app, Waleteros.com, which functions like a pre-paid debit card and is set to provide basic financial services to a huge amount of Hispanic Americans.

Here’s how it works: “Waleteros is a mobile app linked to a prepaid MasterCard that aims to empower the millions of underbanked Latinos in the US by offering financial services such as mobile check deposits, direct deposits, peer-to-peer payments, bill payment, cash withdrawal and a platform for online purchases,” Carrera explained.

Users do have to get a physical card – either at one of their 60 distribution points in South Florida, or through a self-registration process available upon downloading the app that prompts the company to send a card in the mail.

Our conversation with Carrera left it clear that one of the biggest priorities for Waleteros is that it help Latinos live comfortably, save and conduct financial transactions, as he repeatedly made reference to the company as an “ultra-transparent financial solution.” He reminded us that according to the FDIC, 50% of Hispanic Americans are considered “underbanked,” which means that there is huge room for growth in the market.

And the Fees?

And Carrera and his team are adamant about keeping the fees to a minimum. “We don’t charge activation, monthly or inactivity fees like most other pre-paid cards do. Receiving a direct deposit from an employee or benefits provider is completely free of charge and we work with a network of 2400 surcharge-free ATMs.” Users can even use the app to find the nearest ATM.  And even cashing or depositing a check is free, as long as the user is okay with waiting a few days for the money to be deposited. In urgent cases, a small fee is in place to rush the transaction. The only other fee comes out to US $0.75 to send money to other Waleteros users.

Sergio Carrera, Co-CEO of Waleteros.com
Sergio Carrera, Co-CEO of Waleteros.com

Interestingly, Carrera and his team have also found a way to cater to the uniqueness of the Latino market through their B2B strategy of partnering with merchants and businesses that are in close touch with their target audience. “We reach out to different companies that are servicing the Hispanic community and that will benefit from offering our product to their existing client base,” Carrera said. The Waleteros team is even creating agreements with the significant Hispanic Christian community, “offering a personalized, digital product to Christian churches that are looking for a faster, more convenient and cost-effective way to receive donations.”

Positioned for Growth

Planning to close seed-funding in the second quarter of 2015, so far, Waleteros’s lead investor has been AGP, an angel investment network based in Miami. “For our next round, we will be looking for partners with experience investing in the Financial Technology space,” he says, and in a payment industry that “is undergoing tremendous changes,” they should be well-positioned for growth, as Carreras’ co-founders have worked in both the electronic payment and financial sectors, Carreras himself having worked at Merrill Lynch and served as the CFO at a publishing company. Waleteros expects to have 5,000 active users by the end of the year, a goal that doesn’t seem unfeasible considering the potential impact of its services.

Globe Newswire 265Advertising Technology providers continue to work in order to better integrate the off-line and digital media worlds, particularly as it relates to facilitate e-commerce transactions that origin on broadcast or print media. Obviously, the mobile phone plays a crucial role.

An Israeli company called Pounce just introduced a new secure mobile app that makes shopping more convenient by allowing consumers to instantly buy products seen in print media. Using image recognition technology, Pounce enables customers to scan product images and purchase the product with 1-tap, all in less than 30 seconds. The new mobile technology is turning static print media into a digital storefront.

According to a recent survey, 47% of people are put off by the length of the mobile purchasing process.

According to the 2013 Mobile Consumer Insights study conducted by Jumio, a mobile payment validation service, 47 percent of people are put off by the length of the mobile purchasing process and 23 percent found the purchase would not go through. Pounce’s purchasing-path tries to alleviate both those concerns. By securely storing billing and shipping information, Pounce eliminates the need to re-enter those details for every purchase, allowing consumers to simply scan the product and purchase. The financial transaction and fulfillment are handled by the retailers, so consumers can feel confident that they’re shopping with the brands they know and trust.

“Print media is a great shopping tool for consumers, but it comes with a time-delay between the initial intent and the actual transaction. Pounce removes that interruption, empowering consumers with the option to purchase a product right then and there, instead of going online or driving to a store,” said Avital Yachin, Founder & CEO of Pounce. “Convenience is everything, which is why we created Pounce to accommodate people’s busy lives and help to reduce errand lists by taking immediate action when shopping with print media.”

Circulars promoting retailers

Consumers can use Pounce when browsing circulars and other print media from Staples, Ace Hardware, Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us and Target, with more retailers coming soon. The secure mobile technology integrates with a retailer’s online stores using their existing checkout method to process orders, bridging the connection between print media and e-commerce.

“We’re always eager to work with companies that offer creative solutions that enhance the shopping experience for our customers, and add value for our partners,” said Lester Holze, Vice President, Business Development at ShopLocal, a leader in providing brands and agencies with the highest impact solutions to reach shoppers. “Pounce’s intuitive technology turns print media into a real-time shopping experience, which is ideal for retail stores looking to enhance mobile sales and track the results of a print ad campaign. It’s a great addition to our suite of capabilities.”

Helping retailers better manage print media, Pounce uses analytical capabilities to measure the performance of product advertisements. Pounce generates a sales report extracting details and success rates compiled through Pounce purchase transactions, providing retailers with a clear depiction of print ad performance.

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