Austrian born Bettina Sommer is Senior Vice President, Sales at DIMOCO Carrier Billing and joined the company back in 2010. In charge of the DIMOCO sales department and with a vast exposure to operations, she has been appointed keynote speaker in her secondary role as brand ambassador at various prestigious FinTech events such as Money2020 Europe and the Merchant Risk Council (MRC) Las Vegas. Here she discusses carrier billing, affiliate marketing and the wider telemedia industry’s future
Who are you and what is your current role?
My name is Bettina Sommer, Senior Vice President, Sales. I currently head the sales department at DIMOCO Carrier Billing, a European-wide regulated payment institute for Direct Carrier Billing (DCB), holding a payment service license from the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), passported to all 28 EU member states. As a trusted partner of mobile network operators, we enable over 1.5 billion subscribers to purchase goods and services from merchants and aggregators with their mobile devices, charged via the operators’ billing system.
Which countries or regions do you feel represent the greatest opportunity for telemedia service
DIMOCO is a leading provider for direct MNO connections in Europe, with additional connections in Asia, Central America, South America, Africa, and Australia. We currently reach 90% of Europe, a region with still huge potential therein, a far from exhausted market, and in which our payment service license gives us a clear advantage and differentiates us from most other DCB vendors.
Which content and/or applications do you see being the most likely to benefit from telemedia billing and/or marketing technologies?
DCB has the potential to lure an indeed large array of almost unlimited opportunity as more and more users and merchants alike are familiarized with DCB, spanning from lifestyle, gaming, adult (in combination with AVS), entertainment igaming, ticketing and parking. Physical goods are at present our hot iron in the fire!
Do you think that Direct Carrier Billing can become mainstream and in which markets?
DCB is today far from a niche payment method. Juniper Research estimated that in 2017, the total value of digital content paid for via Direct Carrier Billing was approximately $19.7 billion worldwide, up by around 42% year-on-year. Originally an adult born payment method for digital goods only, it is today a recognized payment option across many industries.
Telemedia TV’s interview with Caroline Press from Three UKin late 2018 springs to my mind, a great DCB ambassador and straight to the point!
What are the key drivers and inhibitors for growth?
It is imperative that MNOs open up to discuss points such as flows and payouts to jointly pursuit a common objective, namely to – mutually – take full advantage of DCB and establish the payment method even further.
Do you see affiliate marketing being a primary, trusted channel for telemedia propositions or do you think alternative routes to market will become more popular?
Google and Facebook are and will remain to be the largest traffic sources. Affiliate marketing will continue to play an important role, alas subordinately.
What are they likely to be?
Affiliate marketing stays somewhat risky business. Therefore, it is thus to the industry players to enhance their standing and business approach, taking advantage of measurements such as fraud protection, aiming to achieve a cleaner business concept.
How likely is it that crypto currencies will become popular telemedia/mobile payment mechanisms for premium content, services and applications?
Frankly speaking and simply put: I don’t. At least in Europe when it comes to DCB as it remains a very obscure topic for the MNOs.
Your words of wisdom: On a more personal level, what is the most inspiring piece of advice that has seen you through a life in business to this day and who gave that advice to you?
I’ve been with DIMOCO Carrier Billing for over eight years now and have worked closely with our founder & CEO Gerald Tauchner, who took me under his “sales wings” since day one. I’ve learnt DCB from scratch, developed into my role and have been part of a company that has grown into the industry pioneer it is today.
My advice: don’t hop from job to job, from company to company, maybe even just for the sake of a fancy title. Choose wisely, ideally accompanied by a great mentor by your side, grow and become an expert. You will be rewarded highly – not only by industry contacts and within your team, it will give you confidence and a great dose of job satisfaction day-to-day.