SLA Mobile powers Zain’s ‘Direct Operator Billing’ service in the Middle East and Africa

SLA Mobile, Belfast based mobile solutions provider announced the signing of an agreement with Zain Group, a pioneer in mobile telecommunications in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, to provide customers with Direct Operator Billing capabilities. Through this agreement Zain Group becomes one of the first operators in the region that will launch the service.

Direct Operator Billing, which is also known as Carrier Billing, will enable Zain’s customers to pay for digital goods from a third-party content or service provider by charging the transaction to their mobile phone monthly bill or using their pre-paid credit.

In regard to Zain Group’s deal with SLA Mobile, the service will provide several benefits to Zain and its customers and to the industry at large, namely:
• It will provide customers the ability to easily and safely purchase apps from leading global app stores across the various operating platforms such as Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry and charge their bills or their credit balance in case of prepaid, all without a requirement for a credit card.

• Customers can easily purchase digital content and services provided by Zain’s local and regional partners with merchants and app developers now being able to reach a wider audience with their products and services encouraging and driving the innovation and consumption of such content.

Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO said: “By being one of the first telecom providers in the Middle East to launch a Direct Operator Billing service, we reinforce our dedication to providing customers with the best purchasing experience and we are confident this service will enable them to use mobile payments in a safe and easy manner.”

Gegenheimer continued: “The exciting world of mobile digital services is driving the mobile industry forward at the moment, with a whole new world of content and applications being developed and introduced all the time. Zain is already one of the leading technology innovators with respect to our state-of-the-art mobile broadband networks, and this investment in our networks goes hand-in-hand with our ability to offer services that enhance customer’s digital purchasing experiences.”

With mobile content and apps revenue in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa predicted to skyrocket, giving customers an easy solution to purchase and consume digital services on their mobile devices is a prudent step taken by Zain at this time.

Nic Stirk, CEO of SLA Mobile said: “The Direct Operator Billing solution offers customers a highly convenient mobile payment option while allowing mobile operators to rapidly monetize their customers’ digital consumption. Mobile operators have many assets that can be monetized and Direct Operator Billing is the stepping stone to greater things in terms of improving competitiveness and increasing customer loyalty and retention.”

Zain’s Direct Operator Billing service is set to be launched in Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, first, followed by Iraq, South Sudan and Sudan.