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2020 Event News

MEET THE PEOPLE Naji Bou Harb, Chairman and CEO, MobiMind

meet-naji-bou-harb

What does your company do?

MobiMind is a leading Carrier Billing, Digital Payment and Master Aggregator in the MENA region since 2011. MobiMind also manages the VAS/DCB environment and acts as a Master Aggregator with the Mobile Operators for local and International Service Merchants, Billing Partners and Content Providers.

To what extent has the pandemic affected your customer’s behaviour and have you been able to explore new opportunities as a result?

It has increased the time the customer spends online and thus new services were generated to cater to their specific needs.

What new opportunities have arisen as a result of the pandemic?

Customers, by spending more time on their screens, gave us a big challenge to provide them with more valuable, rich and attractive content. This meant and resulted in an evolution in the Content Production industry.

Which content and/or applications do you see being the most likely to benefit from telemedia billing technologies?

Every content and applications’ provider should find their needs in such a central event.

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

It already is. Worldwide, definitely, but MENA certainly is one of the fastest growing markets.

How do you balance payment flows, operator relationships and customer satisfaction?

It’s a complete ecosystem whereas each factor has it relevant value and its respective impact on the other factors. By having a well-established balance among the 3 factors, you can then talk about a beneficial and profiting business.

What major factors do you think will impact the future development of mobile payments and which other payment options represent the biggest threat?

Higher payouts and shorter payment terms are definitely the biggest impacting factors that allow even a higher penetration of DCB in the market. Other micro payment options, like mobile money, can be a competitor. Nonetheless, till the present moment, they are not fully optimized as they expected it in most of the markets.

Do you consider yourself a CPaaS provider or any other variant of the “XXaaS” service provider model?

Definitely. By being a Master Aggregator, our goal is to be an all-encompassing CPaaS provider.

What are the biggest challenges of offering CPaaS?

Being always ahead of the competition and up to, if not exceed our partners’ expectations.

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

Gaming, streaming, eVouchers, eSports, and OTT.

How might you answer that same question in 5 years’ time?

We’ve been in this industry since 2011, and we will keep responding to the markets’ needs by evolving our work and expertise with a special focus on AI and the promises it offers.

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

Micro billing charging/ Subscription.

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?

From a Master Aggregator’s perspective, Affiliate marketing has never been and will certainly never be a primary and trusted channel as long as other more reliable and trustworthy options are proving themselves in the market.

Is the industry doing enough to combat fraud and tackle cyber security?

Since a couple of years, a big improvement on the cyber security business has been implemented by dedicated and specialised companies, aggregators and operators alike, to fight fraud. Not to forget to mention that this improvement should be always a relentless and ongoing effort.

What action has your business taken to maintain / improve consumer / partner trust?

We’ve applied significantly enhanced efforts on our platform by implementing/integrating antifraud and online monitoring solutions in order to ensure a bullet-proof and fully secured ecosystem for our partners, our customers, and our business.

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)?

Our focus for the forthcoming period will be on 2 key verticals: strengthening the relationship with our partners and onboard new potential ones with whom we share the same vision and business interests; continuously enhancing our platform to meet the market needs and changes across all levels: technical, operational, marketing, and communications.

This article first appeared on Telemedia Online.