M-giving For Haiti Is a Snap At Mobile World Congress

M-giving For Haiti Is a Snap At Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress will witness the dawn of a new era of M-giving: innovative mobile barcode application allows delegates to give “ simply” using mobile barcode ecosystem.

Paris, France, Atlanta, Georgia, St. Petersberg, Florida and Geneva, Switzerland – February 11, 2010 – In what is believed to be the world’s first m-giving campaign powered by 2-d barcode technology, delegates at next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will be able to donate money to Haitian relief efforts by simply snapping a barcode with their mobile phones.

The campaign will provide citizens of the earthquake-devastated island with humanitarian relief information through radio such as accessibility to clean drinking water, food, healthcare and housing.

Haitians who otherwise would have limited access to life-changing information as part of campaign supported INTERNEWS relief effort.

Internews is an international not-for-profit media development organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect, and the means to make their voices heard.

UNOCHA, the United Nations Humanitarian coordinator in Haiti, delegated authority to Internews to coordinate all international efforts to support these essential, on-the-ground communications efforts.

How does the campaign work?

MWC delegates will see a special mobile barcode located on posters at the show; displayed in the halls, at stands and on the lapels of all GSMA staff. Delegates simply need to scan the 2D barcode using their smart-phones, and technology provider NeoMedia will donate $1 to Internews to fund the radio program in Creole “"Enfomasyon nou dwe konnen" – News You Can Use”.

Touted as “Everybody Wins,” the campaign will also award a $500 US prize to a delegate each day based on a question about the future of m-giving. The best answer will be selected at the close of each day, and the winner will be sent a text message about where to pick up their gift card.

”We are thrilled by this opportunity to support the people of Haiti in their struggle for recovery after the recent earthquake. The mobile industry’s engagement in this campaign brings attention to this striking reality: Information saves lives and even a small donation can make a huge difference”, said Mark Harvey, spokesperson and Development director for Paris, France based Internews in Europe.

“We never know where a catastrophic event will occur,” said NeoMedia’s CEO Iain McCready. “Our team is so pleased to make it possible to raise thousands of dollars to produce hours of quality radio programming, immediately improving the quality of life of the Haitian victims and helping them in the reconstruction process. It’s inspiring to see the world coming together in new ways to help fellow human beings particularly during times of crisis.”

Unity Mobile, based in Florida, created the mobile campaign using NeoMedia’s mobile barcode reader and system (which is supported by Neustar’s global clearinghouse). “It is so encouraging to see people giving with 2D campaigns,” said the woman behind this concept for NeoMedia and Internews, Simone Schidlkofer, founder of Cause2Connect, a Geneva, Switzerland based strategy firm that brings together for-profit and non-profit organizations in the mobile technology world. “We’ve made it even easier to give – with a simple scan by a camera phone.”

Within the first ten days following the earthquake in Haiti, Americans used their mobile phones to pledge over $30 million for Haitian relief efforts via text message, according to figures released by the Mobile Giving Foundation. According to the PEW Foundation, 14% of all donations to Haiti relief efforts were made by text message.

In the case of the Internews campaign, corporate sponsor NeoMedia is making the donation based on the number of successful scans.

“In the future, we will be developing applications where people can donate individually,” Schmidlkofer said. “Our goal is to make it increasingly easy for people to respond to a crisis, with a simple see – scan – donate process, as millions of small donations can add up to significant funding from around the world quickly, simply and efficiently. In the very near future, a person anywhere in the world will be able to scan a 2D barcode and donate to help a fellow human anywhere in the world. It’s a new way to rally support using our mobile phones and networks from wherever we live.”

Notes to editors:

Photography around the m-giving campaign and the efforts of Internews in Haiti and also of the campaign itself is available upon request.

Interviews with senior execs from Internews, C2C, NeoMedia and Unity Mobile will be available at MWC or in advance of the show, please contact the PR team on +44 208 255 5225 or +44 7976 154 597 / rose@omarketing.co.uk, but most important, please find a barcode and scan to give.

About Internews:

Internews Europe, a non-governmental organization based in Paris, France, has been at the forefront of media work with mobile phones in the South. It set up text messaging services for journalists in the aftermath of devastating earthquake in Java, Indonesia in 2006. Since then, it has continued to innovate with mobile use in emergency response situations as well as in closed country environments. Its worldwide network of local media development organizations has worked in 70 countries, training more than 9,000 media professionals each year and producing close to 5,600 hours of TV and radio programming with a combined potential audience of almost 800 million.

For more information, please visit: www.internews.eu/haiti

About C2C:

Cause2Connect is a strategic consulting firm based in Geneva, Switzerland, that works with non-profit organizations and companies to foster partnerships between both sides. Cause2Connect is active mainly in the telecom and technology industry, advising companies on corporate social responsibility programs. Cause2Connect is working with a wide range of non-profit organizations, assessing their needs and promoting them as partners to companies providing the basis for meaningful and sustainable relationships.

For more information, please visit: www.c2c.com

About NeoMedia:

NeoMedia Technologies is the global leader in mobile barcode scanning, management and publishing solutions. Our technology platform allows mobile devices with cameras to read 1D and 2D barcodes and provide “one click” access to mobile content. Combining this technology with advanced analytics and reporting capabilities revolutionizes the way advertisers market to mobile consumers.

NeoMedia provides the platform infrastructure to make 2D camera barcode scanning and its associated commerce easy, universal, and reliable – worldwide. The platform consists of NeoReader (our universal mobile barcode reading software) and NeoSphere (our barcode management system).

For more information, please visit www.qode.com.

About Unity Mobile: Mobility is the future of the Internet – and UNITY Mobile is the foundation for mobility. UNITY Mobile St. Petersberg, Florida based company which enables organizations to easily leverage their investments in the Internet and seamlessly integrate mobile Web, platform agnostic mobile applications and high-performance SMS marketing. UNITY Mobile's innovative and easy to use Web-based service enables publishers, brands and advertisers to rapidly build on core digital media investments and processes and seamlessly access mobile audiences and revenue.

For more information, please visit: www.unitymobile.com