Monty Mobile positions itself as an international SMS wholesale intermediary hub, roaming broker and a leading VAS solution provider in emerging markets. It has developed close working relationships with major mobile operators in an effort to help them push their profits and tap into new streams of revenue across global markets.
Telecom Review managed to have an exclusive interview with Mountasser Hachem, the founder and CEO of Monty Mobile, who discussed Fintech (Financial Technology) and the future of mobile operators within this ultra-competitive market.
Hachem outlined how Monty Mobile’s unique strategic vision and active approach help operators to become active players of Fintech and fight back to regain the revenues they lost after the emergence of OTTs.
Monty Mobile is seeking $5 billion in funding for Fintech project
Fintech includes a huge range of products, technologies and business models that are changing the financial services industry.
The visionary leader highlighted the fact that around 2 billion of the world’s population are still unbanked or don’t have access to traditional banking systems. He added that “now thanks to Fintech, all you need is your mobile phone to take out a loan or insurance,” the reason behind this powerful development of services that allow consumers to exchange money and payments online and on mobile devices.
Hachem used M-PESA as an example, the first mobile money solution in the world launched by Vodafone and Safaricom in Kenya. M-PESA quickly scaled up and resulted in more mobile money account holders than bank account holders in Kenya. “Today, 96% of people in Kenya are using M-PESA.”
According to Hachem, one of the key elements for this success is the fact that most bank services are not digitally native, so it is a lot harder to scale, while telcos can reach a lot more people since they play in the digital space natively.
Building up on that, the CEO explained, “Similar to the concept of MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that operates under the license of an MNO (mobile network operator), MNOs can become virtual banks that operate under a real bank, so I will call it VBN (virtual banking network).”
He also stated that Monty Mobile is seeking funds of $5 billion to develop a full-fledged mobile banking platform that will not only allow end users to transfer money and pay bills, but will also transform operators into virtual banks so they will be able to give credit cards, car loans, personal loans, etc.
How? At the center of all these opportunities is operator’s DATA
Asking Hachem on the logic behind the platform, he said, “Data is the new oil.” With large subscriber bases, mobile operators generate rich consumer behavior data on a daily basis, offering a detailed look into one’s personal digital universe. He added, “Our platform utilizes M-Analytics – our in-house developed data analytics tool that is designed to store, analyze and segment big data in real time in order to increase the scalability, performance and security of the organizations involved. So operators can better apply the concept of knowing your customer (KYC), handle authentication process efficiently, define whether or not they extend credit to customers, and monitor the amounts transacted, among others.”
Monty Mobile’s CEO agreed that some regulators consider end users’ data a treasure, however, he confirmed, “Our platform is built in a way so that nothing happens without the end-user’s consent.”
He put emphasis on operators to convince regulators regarding this issue, “Social media players are making billions of dollars using the operators’ subscriber data and networks, so it’s about time the operators take action.”
Considering these realities, coupled with the fact that telecoms and financial industries are regulated by different regulatory bodies, it is only reasonable for both players to merge efforts to grow exponentially. With Monty Mobile’s M-Banking platform, each MNO will have the potential to become a provider of banking services within the framework of the monetary regulations in its territory on a secure platform built on blockchain technology.
In the banking world, it has been recognized that a new customer experience was only going to come through new technology. And the same applies to operators in order to stay relevant in an ever growing market.
In fact, in emerging economies, mobile penetration is found to be considerably higher than banking penetration, which provides telecom companies with an edge for marketing financial products to their clients through greater reach. As a result, we can definitely predict that the relation between banking and telcos will become even more dynamic and complex with time.