ClearCourse acquires mobile marketing services provider Cymba

ClearCourse Partnership a group of innovative technology companies providing useful, integrated software solutions, announces a deal to acquire Cymba, a provider of mobile marketing solutions to businesses and charities. The acquisition strengthens ClearCourse’s not-for-profit and online payments offering and sees the Company joining the Group’s Business Services division.

Founded in 2004, Cymba provides solutions to help leading charities as well as big-name brands connect with their audiences through mobile marketing. The Company offers its clients a wide range of services such as mobile messaging, competitions and mobile donations for the charity sector. As part of the Group, Cymba will benefit from integration with ClearCourse’s proprietary payments platform, ClearAccept, and synergies with other brands within the Group’s charities offering.

Based in London, Cymba’s focussed team of experts services charities and global brands that are recognisable all over the world. The team offers leading systems and bespoke advice, using their extensive industry knowledge to help clients including UNICEF, the RSPCA, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, the Royal British Legion as well as Coca-Cola drive their mobile marketing campaigns.

Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “We are excited to announce our acquisition of Cymba whose team brings a great deal of industry expertise as well as impressive clients to the ClearCourse Group. The deal represents ClearCourse’s 10th acquisition in the charity and not-for-profit market and provides further opportunity for collaboration and knowledge sharing across our growing [Business Services] division.

Nevil Coleman, Managing Director of Cymba, said: “Joining the ClearCourse Group is a great opportunity for Cymba, and we’re looking forward to working with Gerry and the rest of the team. The expertise and systems that we’ll benefit from, such as ClearCourse’s payments platform ClearAccept, will help power the next phase of Cymba’s growth and development. We’re very pleased to help expand ClearCourse’s footprint in the charities space, and we can’t wait to start collaborating with businesses across the Group.”

 

aimm launches a new UK call to action for society lotteries

26Sept 2017, Farnham.

The Association for Interactive Media and Micropayments (aimm), launched a major new call to action initiative for society lotteries on 22nd September 2017.  This exciting new channel could transform results for society lotteries if it performs anything like it has for charities.

Society lotteries are lotteries and raffles run for charitable benefit, licensed through the Gambling Commission or via local authority licenses. These lotteries and raffles provide a vital income source for charities.

Text short codes, which are 5 digit number starting with a 70 prefix, have been used with phenomenal success by charities over the last three years.  Short codes generate over £115m in donations per annum.  In many cases texting to a short code has become the most popular call to action for donors due to ease and simplicity. They have shown to generate incremental funds rather than cannibalisation from other, more mature, methods to donate such as online or by phone to a call centre. It also attracts a new, often younger, audience.

aimm has been working across its members to develop a similar facility for society lotteries. It works in the following way:  The society lottery manager or charity uses an advertising campaign to draw attention to its lottery with the call to action being text a word (such as WIN) to a short number starting 72 (e.g. 72123).  The advertising will include the price of the entry and the lottery terms.  A consumer sees the campaign and texts their entry using their mobile phone to gain entry into a lottery or raffle.  The lottery manager or charity uses its procedures to check the consumer is over 16 and then the cost of entry is charged to the consumer’s mobile phone bill.  It’s simple, quick and immediate. An efficient communication channel is now established with the consumer for follow up in-service messages and winner information.

With the near 100% penetration of text capable phones in the UK every British consumer over 16 can participate in a society lottery or raffle.  No other engagement and payment product has this penetration.

The launch conference was kindly hosted by Cancer Research UK and sponsored by Dynamic Mobile Billing (both of whom are aimm members), whose sponsorship enabled complimentary tickets to be given to those charities and lottery managers who wished to join us. It was extremely well attended by external lottery managers (ELM’s) and charities with excellent presentations from charity Oxfam, campaign enabler Cymba, Charity Funding and Promoter (CFP), Global’s Make some Noise, regulator Phone-paid Services Authority, payment intermediary Dynamic Mobile Billing (DMB) and mobile network operator EE.

Kevin Dawson, CEO of DMB said “It was great to talk to an audience who were clearly so excited about this new opportunity.  Based on our successful experiences in operating mobile payment lotteries in others markets across the globe, I am totally confident the UK market will be as successful for society lotteries as it has been for charities and giving campaigns, so DMB hope to work with the markets key players and share our experiences to deliver a mutually rewarding commercial partnership. The UK is getting more and more familiar with short code based services. It is positive for the whole ‘charge to mobile’ industry, opening up a new market for everyone up and down the value chain whilst being great for consumers who want to participate. It’s a win-win-win.”

The event showed that there were differing levels of understanding across the society lottery managers about how the text based call to action and mobile payment mechanism could be made to work. It is clear there is a need for enhanced education across this market.  aimm will be working closely with the Gambling Commission and the PSA on behalf of members to ensure that all regulatory requirements are covered.

Overall it is great to see a growth opportunity where the potential is being recognised. There is enormous enthusiasm across the board.  One lottery manager stated “This initiative has been the most exciting development in this industry since the postage stamp!” It is likely society lotteries will be trialling the new short code range before Christmas.

 

Charity Text Seminar a Success!

Charity Text Donation Seminar a Success

AIME and PhonepayPlus jointly ran a free one day Charity Text Donation Seminar in London on Friday 19th February. This was well attended by many small charities who came to learn more about how to use text donations to improve their fundraising, make sure that their marketing campaigns are compliant, learn the importance of increasing donations by Gift Aid and to ensure the audit standards are good.

As well as regulatory updates from PhonepayPlus, there were highly informative presentations from Telefonica, OpenMarket, Instagiv, Cymba, Vir2, Open Fundraising, Fonix and BBC Children in Need.

With positive feedback from the attendees it has been suggested that this event is run on an annual basis to ensure the spread of the successful intelligence sharing. A link to the presentations for the day is here.

You can also read about the event on PhonepayPlus’ blog here.

Feedback from the day:

I attend the Charity Seminar last week and I just wanted to say thank you for such a well-organised, informative day. It was really useful and I hope there will be a similar seminar next year! Samaritans

Thank you for organising Friday. It felt like a good session, let’s do it again soon. Open Fundraising

Great event. Informative, relevant and enjoyable. Can’t ask for more! OpenMarket

Well done on organising such a great day. RSM2000

 This event was so informative and useful, and should definitely be an annual event! Parkinsons UK