Asian mobile operators can disrupt the online payments industry

Asian mobile operators can disrupt the online payments industry

In 2016, Asia is the driving force behind global smartphone ownership growth. The economies in the region are outperforming other emerging markets. For mobile operators, this means an opportunity to acquire subscribers with more disposable income than ever before at a rate higher than ever before.

The growing mobile population makes more calls, sends more messages and consumes more digital content, all of which drives revenue for the carriers. To handle the ever-increasing flood of data, telcos have invested heavily in building their network. At the same time, traditional telco services are increasingly eaten into by OTTs such as Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat and others, especially so in many Asian countries.

With customers getting used to services that erode into standard telecom fees, is there a way for mobile operators to make it up? Well, there is. Telcos own impressive asset base – established billing and CRM relationship with their users, ability to collect demographic, identity and location data, a strong distribution capability etc. By auditing and packaging these capabilities, it is possible to offer them to OTTs and form mutually beneficial partnerships.

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