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Times are changing and Ogloba is helping telecom operators and large retail operators to create and maintain relationships with their customers by offering digital platforms for prepaid top-ups, gifting and shopping cards as well as loyalty schemes. Ogloba is a global player with a strong presence in the Middle East. Telecom Review sat down with Arnaud de Harenne, General Manager of Ogloba Middle East to learn more about how they are reinventing digital payment methods in the Middle East.

Can you tell us about Ogloba’s portfolio in the Middle East?

Ogloba began operating worldwide almost 20 years ago and has been operational in the Middle East for the past 15 years. Part of what we do is processing mobile top-up transactions for large telecom operators. This includes managing inventories of digital products, merchant and salesforce management, product lists and prices, orders and payment process via a wide range of POS terminals, cash-registers, Apps and websites. Selling mobile Topups via multiple sales channels requires robust financial processing between operators, distributors, salesmen, merchants and endusers. For each operator millions of daily transactions have to be handled without discrepancies. In the Middle East, we service STC, DU and Etisalat. While Ogloba is predominantly an innovation technology provider, we offer a broad range of services to ensure all aspects of the solution meet the high standards we set.

We operate STC Channels, the sales and distribution arm of STC Group, with over 50,000 POS locations connected directly to the OGLOBA Platform. Prepaid subscribers still account for 80% of the market in Saudi Arabia and so it is a multi-billion-dollar operation here in the Middle East. STC Channels relies on Ogloba’s strong, scalable systems and plans to expand further.

Why is it important for telcos and retailers to have digital payment platforms?

The behavior and needs of customers are always changing, as technology and lifestyles evolve. Around the world, prepay is going down. Why? Acquiring customers might be simple but retaining them is quite difficult. Mobile operators are changing the way they addressed this segment. They are evolving with the digital era. In order to reinvent prepay, operators are trying to move customers to digital wallets.

STC is already well advanced with such plans. STC PAY is a digital wallet platform enabling users to top-up their account using the app and make various payments and transfers. STC PAY promotes its wallet with a variety of incentives and bonuses. As an example, STC PAY user can topup a Carrefour Card from his/her STC PAY wallet just before visiting the store and get an Instant Bonus directly on the card. Many retail brands support such Bonus schemes and offer extra benefits to members of STC PAY. Consumers are still frequenting traditional stores but many of them expect an omni-channel support and communication throughout their retail experience to stay engaged and loyal to a brand. OGLOBA’s prepaid platform enables STC PAY and retailers to achieve a rich omnichannel user experience.

How do you address security concerns in relation to the use of digital wallets?

The digital wallets are very secure due to the encryption used in payment transactions. Ogloba’s prepaid platform handles the issuing, activation, and redemption of retailers closed loop prepaid cards. These are far more secure than carrying cash as they require users to register in their app. All transactions happen in real-time, online and the user has all his balance and account history at his fingertips. Our solutions are designed with security and reliability at their core - we know it is essential for our clients to be sure that both their data and money are safe.  We also use industry-leading fraud detection techniques, so our clients can be sure that all transactions are genuine and that all data is handled professionally.

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