Omnego Inc. of Toronto announced last week a white-label mobile app that would provide companies with their own branded service, alleviating the need to develop their own apps.
Merchants can use Omnego's program with loyalty programs such as gift cards, membership cards or coupons. The platform also lets companies advertise and track the number of clicks for card and coupon access.
The new platform follows the November release of Omnego's Wallgo app, which similarly enabled merchants to combine loyalty and marketing programs with a mobile wallet. The white-label system goes a step further by giving merchants their own branded app.
"We think we have the best of the mobile Web and the best of mobile apps, which we believe would be advantageous to customers," David Thomas, Omnego's chief executive, said in an interview. "What we've developed is a platform that allows a business to link to the mobile Web with very rich wallet functionality and mobile marketing."
Omnego also has plans to develop an app with near-field communication payment capabilities when more phones with the technology hit the market, Thomas said.
Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group, a Centennial, Colo., consulting firm, said it can be difficult for startups such as Omnego to make a name for themselves, particularly against more established mobile-wallet apps such as Google Wallet and Mocapay.
"There's an explosion of this type of [service], and they have to be able to stand out with some kind of differentiation," Ablowitz said. "I haven't seen if Omnego differentiates itself in anyway."
But white-label offerings are attractive, he said, as only about 15% of retailers have mobile-optimized Web sites.
Only time will tell whether smaller startups such as Omnego can compete with the name recognition older companies enjoy, Ablowitz said.
"Mocapay and Google Wallet have a little more traction and a little more history," he said.