Amdocs shows carriers how they can take a commodity business and make it better
Technology has taken the coffee business to a new level. Nespresso capsules and Keurig K-Kups have brought premium coffee to the masses while simultaneously bringing billions of dollars of new profits to the companies that took a commodity business and found a way to add value. Perhaps the only thing as addictive than substances you ingest or breathe-in are mobile devices. It goes without saying that morning coffee and gadget usage are two things most people wouldn’t want to be without.
In a way then, basic communications and coffee have a great deal in common. Until the advent of premium coffee brands, consumers didn’t think that much about coffee differentiation. Likewise with cell phone service – switch a SIM card and you can switch your carrier.
Enhanced service opportunities – something we often tout as a way for a carrier to make more money – in many cases have been supplanted by apps.
Mobile financial services however – especially in developing markets underserved by banks are a great area for carriers to differentiate themselves.
Amdocs is a major player in the space and at MWC 2015 they actually offered a coffee bar where visitors could use mobile to pay for their beverage of choice. This demonstration made me think of the perfect blending of enhanced services in java (not the software mind you) and telecom. The Amdocs Mobile Financial Services Solution allows for things like micro-loans, express top-ups, loyalty and gifting, a single wallet, savings accounts and more.
I had a chance to speak at length with Rebecca Prudhomme VP Product & Solutions Marketing at Amdocs and she tells me there are lots of improvements in the solution such as the ability to accept online merchant checkout payments. Basically merchants can now accept payments from consumers using MFS mobile wallet service and moreover, the retailer will in theory get a better rate than credit card companies provide.
In addition, one-click bulk transactions allow for things like salaries and government benefits to be paid with more ease than individual transactions.
A unified wallet solution for MFS agents increases their efficiency by enabling them to use one wallet for both top-up and MFS transactions such as payment and money transfer, thus eliminating the need to fund two separate wallets, making customer transactions more efficient and leading to a better customer experience.
Finally, a Priority wallet gives MFS providers flexibility for applying varying rules and fees for different transactions and services.
A few other notes worth mentioning; Carriers can brand MFS as they like and the service is not designed to be transferred between operators – in theory however, it is possible to do so.
Coffee, mobile and money are all staples of life these days and just as java companies have found ways to increase ARPU and stickiness via custom cups and technology, carriers have a unique opportunity to increase their ARPU and stickiness through advanced banking applications.