An increasingly global workforce offers new opportunities for telcos to meet customer demand and increase revenue. For the 250 million migrant workers living outside their home country, staying connected with the families they left behind is vital and the growth in cross-border mobile top-ups – buying airtime or data for a phone in another country – reflects this need.
How telcos are tapping into the mobile data boom in emerging markets
The vast majority of adults in emerging and developing countries either own or have access to a mobile phone, and it’s estimated that by 2025, 5.8 billion individuals will be online and many will exclusively use their mobile devices to access the internet. It’s no surprise then that customers across the globe are deriving real value from telcos that make buying data or call time for family and friends easy.
DT One, a technology company that operates a B2B platform for mobile top-up solutions, bill payments and mobile rewards, helps telcos tap into the booming demand for mobile data in emerging markets.
Telecom operators who use DT One’s platform, make it possible for customers to buy call time or data for family and friends anywhere in the world and send it back instantly. For migrant workers in particular, this is an affordable way to transfer a valuable resource to their families at home and stay connected on instant messaging and social media apps.
For the father working in the Middle East, sending airtime to his son at university in the Philippines means daily voice chats. For the mother working in the United States, it means the ability to send pictures of the grandkids to her parents in Mexico, and it also means that they can stay connected to their social networks, games and favourite series for longer.
Globally, there is a growing flow in mobile top ups, usually from wealthier countries to emerging markets. Popular corridors include the, UAE to Pakistan and India, Malaysia to Indonesia, South Africa to Zimbabwe and from the UK to Ghana and Nigeria.
Cross-border top-ups offer high margins and churn reduction
One of DT One’s key product offerings is phone-to-phone (P2P) cross-border top ups - which give telco customers the option to buy data, call time or text time for anyone in any country instantly as a value-added service. Top-ups can be completed by even the simplest feature phone via text message or dialling short codes, which is particularly convenient for users without internet access. In certain markets, it’s also possible for receivers to request top ups when they need it - ideal for children and family members, when they run out of credit.
For telcos, the benefits are clear. Analysing more than 100 million cross-border transactions facilitated by DT One, typical values per transaction range from US$1-US$20, with most users completing up to four transactions each month. Telcos can decide on a margin that works for their business and is in line with their revenue strategy. For many, mobile cross-border top-ups open a completely untapped revenue stream which is effective at driving engagement with customers and provides a convenient service to users. P2P cross-border top-ups offer a cost-effective service to customers and a unique differentiator for telcos looking to provide additional value to their customer base which has historically been underserved.
However, one of the challenges facing telcos wanting to offer services like this is the complexity of integrating with multiple providers in vastly different countries. This is where networks like DT One’s become attractive. Rather than having to set up different contracts and agreements, telcos can use DT One as a single point of contact, making integration simple with no licenses or complex set up required.
The simple setup and instant access to an enormous pool of potential users through DT One’s network makes cross-border top-ups an attractive value-added service for telcos, answering a practical need for the millions of people living away from their home countries.
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