Thursday, May 23, 2024

    VIEWPOINT Christian Mouawad, Commercial Director, MT2

    Christian Mouawad, Commercial Director, MT2, shares his views on mobile payments, VAS, marketing and AI

    What does your company do?

    Since 1998, MT2 has stood as a trailblazer in the industry, with diverse offerings driving substantial growth and serving numerous Mobile Network Operators across MENA, Africa, and Europe, with ongoing plans for further expansion.

    MT2 is an innovative provider of Telecom Value Added Services (VAS) and payment Solutions to MNOs around the emerging markets of Middle East, Gulf and Africa.

    Our solid commitment to innovation propels us to actively seek new business opportunities, venturing into untapped markets, establishing strategic partnerships with media and advertising entities, or introducing compelling content, products, and services to enrich our portfolio.

    Recently we complemented our offering by successfully starting our own Google ads campaigns.

    What sectors does your business operate in?

    • Mobile Payment Solutions
    • Value added services
    • Content creation and aggregation
    • Mobile marketing

    Do you think that Direct Carrier Billing can become mainstream and in which markets?

    Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) has the potential to become mainstream, particularly in markets where smartphone penetration is high and access to traditional banking services is limited. Additionally, DCB can gain traction in regions where digital content consumption such as mobile gaming, streaming services, and e-commerce, is growing rapidly.

    However, its mainstream adoption may also depend on several factors like regulatory policies, consumer trust in mobile payment systems, and the availability of seamless and secure payment experiences. With the right infrastructure, partnerships, and consumer education, DCB could indeed become a widely used payment method.

    Which specific VAS verticals are you expecting to have a great year and why?

    I think AI-powered Value-Added Services (VAS), e-learning, and remote education will become even more popular this year. They’re set to see a big increase in people wanting to use them.

    How might you answer that same question in five years time?

    Given the recent emergence of AI, I anticipate an ongoing evolution and sustained hype over the next five years. Unless there are significant regulatory challenges, I anticipate that AI-powered value-added services (VAS) will continue to follow a promising trajectory.

    What’s the most effective business model for an mVAS customer acquisition?

    The business model (mVAS) customer acquisition can be different based on the Country/Regulator/Operator guidelines, certainly taking into consideration the type of the offered service. However, some common strategies that have proven effective include, Freemium Model, Partnerships and Bundling, Targeted Advertising.

    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 – if so, what are they likely to be?

    I am of the opinion that affiliate marketing may no longer be a reliable primary channel, particularly for Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) services. Many breaches and misleading practices have led to the suspension of all marketing activities by certain operators, causing harm not only to unethical abusive players but also to principled and ethical ones.

    Thankfully, some operators have restricted campaign types exclusively to Google traffic, aiming to safeguard their customer base from such fraudulent activities.

    What impact is AI going to have on marketing telemedia services in 2024 and beyond – and on your marketing/engagement strategy  in particular?

    Certainly, AI will play a crucial role in optimising customer interactions, personalizing messaging, and driving conversion rates for Telemedia services. By leveraging AI-powered analytics, automation, and personalization capabilities, delivering more relevant and compelling experiences to Telemedia target audience, ultimately driving growth and competitive advantage.

    In the next 12 months what key technical developments or innovations do you feel will have the most positive impact on mCommerce (VAS / mobile payments / marketing)?

    Integration of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and AI-Powered Personalisation could have a positive effect on the VAS Business over the next year.

    Learn more about MT2 here

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