LONDON: Weve, a joint venture set up by three leading UK mobile operators, plans to start selling targeted advertising from this summer and will also offer a mobile payment scheme and banking services next year.
The business will use its huge database, including location, gender, age and address information, supplied on an opt-in basis by 17m customers of Vodafone, EE and O2, for the ads. For example, it could target newspaper website users based on age, gender and location of phone usage.
"Mobile is your first screen, the one you look at most and longest – it is now the primary way to interact with the world digitally," David Sear, chief executive of Weve, told the Financial Times.
"We want to connect with audiences in a way which hasn't been possible before," he added.
Sear also noted that more than 80% of mobile banner ads were not targeted. "It is no wonder people have not responded to mobile ads in the past given the lack of intelligence," he said.
In the longer term, Weve is looking to develop its offer further to create a payments platform which has the potential to disrupt existing card payments and even loyalty programs.
Mobile users would tap their phone at the till to use discount offers sent to that particular phone, to collect loyalty points and to pay the bill.
Sear indicated that an agreement with major UK banks was imminent. "There is a single deal, single technical agreement with a neutral, device-agnostic platform," he said.
"We want to be mass market straight away – which means at least 50% of consumers by the end of next year,"he declared.
The development of Weve's services is likely to make things simpler for agencies, many of whom have struggled to keep abreast of the possibilities offered by new mobile tools, according to an IAB survey released earlier this year.
Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff