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Emerging markets are leading in mobile remittances
By William Faria November 24, 2012
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DUBAI: Emerging markets such as the Middle East, India and Africa are leading the way in mobile remittances with a strong focus on Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payments. 

Speaking to The Gulf Today on Thursday evening at the close of the four-day Mobile Money Global Summit & Expo held at Atlantis hotel in Dubai, Sara Kobayaa, Director Sales and Marketing of KeyBS Business Unit disclosed that KeyBS has emerged as a leading player in the lucrative GCC market by capitalising on the region’s growing demand for technology and automated payment solutions.

Over 1000 delegates, mainly from mobile money industry from leading regional and global mobile network operators, banks and other financial institutions as well as retailers and 70 global technology providers gathered  in Dubai for the annual Mobile Money Global Summit & Expo, which was part of the Connected World Forum.

The Connected World Forum consisted of three separate streams: Mobile Health, Mobile Money and Mobile Life.

KeyBS, a leading technology provider and member of Arabi Holding Group KSC also provided a presentation at the summit on its newly launched iBanking Solution with New Mobile Application.  We therefore aim to be a key part of this rapidly grown industry, says Kobayaa.

A report by Juniper Research indicates that mobile money transactions will hit $670 billion by 2015, proving that payments can be one of the most profitable uses of the mobile phone. At the same time mobile remittances are forecasted to reach $55 billion by 2016.

NFC devices can be used in contactless payment systems, similar to those currently used in credit cards and electronic ticket smartcards.

The company provides advanced mobile, kiosk and point of sale, or POS systems and services for remittance transactions and bill payments as well as customised software and hardware tailored to boost productivity and efficiency that in turn help cut down costs.

In addition to creating awareness about our various products and services, the just concluded Mobile Money Global Summit & Expo presented us with a unique opportunity to meet key players in the financial institution market, said Kobayaa.

As customer demand for mobile money services increases, the conditions are right for us to capitalize upon the expanding market opportunities, explained Kobayaa.

Mobile-money applications use the mobile phone for payments and transfers instead of cash. Its proponents say mobile money is safer than cash since even if the phone gets stolen, the money is safeguarded by bank guarantees.

Industry analysts predict that the simpler the service offered, the more likely it will be to succeed.

Africa is the mobile financial services hub of the globe, but the mobile money trend is catching on worldwide, from the Middle East, Europe and the US, says Mobile Money Global’s director Stuart Barker.

According to the director the industry still faces certain challenges such as forming the right partnerships and JVs to offer widely acceptable service and then driving adoption of these services. Other challenges include creating interoperable and cross network services, agent selection, agent recruitment and incentivising new agents and agent exclusivity.

According to Barker the growth of the mobile money industry in the developed markets is driven by more advanced services including NFC mobile payments.

He explains, “For example in stores or for transportation; banks allowing customers virtual access to their credit cards on the mobile phone; loyalty reward scheme to encourage mobile payments at merchant stores; ability to purchase digital goods and services through the mobile phone. To recognise this Mobile Money Global 2012 had a stream dedicated to NFC.”

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