One question that all mobile app security vendors face is, how to get the app onto the user's phone in the first place. For most apps, the vendor has to convince the user to go to an app store and download. There is, however, another way to get apps onto phones: pre-loads.
Keeper Security, a password manager and secure digital vault vendor, is continuing to grow its base of users through a growing set of partnerships with carriers that pre-load the Keeper app on handsets.
The latest such carrier pre-load is with América Móvil, which is the fourth largest wireless carrier in the world and services the Latin America market.
"This deal will extend the Keeper offering to over 242 million América Móvil subscribers under the TelCel and Claro brands in 17 countries: Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Perú, El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Republic of Dominica, Puerto Rico, Panamá, Uruguay and Paraguay," Darren Guccione, co-founder and CEO of Keeper Security, told eSecurityPlanet. "We expect this deal, along with the recent announcement of deals with Orange SA of France and Samsung, to help double Keeper’s footprint within the next 12 months."
In terms of the specific devices that are involved with the América Móvil deal, Guccione explained that Keeper will be a virtual pre-load on all América Móvil Android devices and will be featured in Claro Apps for an extended period of time.
"We have been told that there will be over 1,000 SKUs," he said.
With Keeper, users benefit from a secured password management system that has multiple tiers of service including a free version that provides local password storage and email support. For América Móvil customers Keeper is a freemium application, Guccione noted, and consumers can utilize Keeper’s premium features free for 30 days.
The premium features provide additional storage, device, synchronization and support options. After 30 days, consumers can pay 50 pesos per month (about $3 U.S.) to continue using the premium features on an unlimited number of devices.
Currently Keeper Security has 5 publicly announced OEM and carrier partnerships: AT&T, Orange SA of France, Samsung, Blackphone and América Móvil. Guccione said more announcements will come in 2016.
While the carrier pre-loads are a big boost to Keeper's user base, the company is still getting a lot of users from big mobile app stores.
"… Google Play and the iTunes App Store have been the primary driver in Keeper’s customer acquisition," Guccione said. "However, Keeper Security’s relationship with mobile carriers and OEMs should match or exceed organic installs as a primary channel as consumers continue to turn to recommended security apps from their mobile providers."
Looking forward for 2016, the continuing growth of smartphone use will likely keep fueling demand for Keeper's mobile security technologies.
"As more and more consumers worldwide migrate personal and professional data to their smartphones, cybersecurity has become a top priority and Keeper is in a prime position to capitalize on the growing need for password management and secure digital vaults," Guccione said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.