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“Our international reach will be our main differentiator for mobile financial services,” says Roamware

Mr. Abraham Punnoose
VP- Marketing & Business Development, Roamware
  TT Correspondent |  New Delhi | 25/09/2009

Having built a market leader position for itself in the roaming solutions provider space with a market share of 60%, Roamware is set to leap frog into a completely new domain, the mobile banking services with the acquisition of Ireland-based Macalla, which specializes in providing mobile financial solutions. But Roamware does not considers the decision to be a kind of foray in any way. It says that it is more about leveraging from the combined synergies of the two companies.

Company’s VP- Marketing & Business Development, Mr. Abraham Punnoose reveals more on the company’s business plans for mobile financial services in an interaction with TelecomTiger.

 On the decision to foray into mobile banking services:

Let us go back to the year 1992-93. Mobile services were evolving across the globe. Roaming services and solution providers for the same were present in the market. But the main concern facing the industry was real-time seamless migration to a roaming network which was missing till Roamware came with its solution. I say this to emphasis that application development is a major competency of Roamware.

Secondly there are over 4.2 billion mobile connections in the world but only about a billion banks accounts. So the scope for offering mobile banking even to the unbanked is tremendous.

Thirdly over the years Roamware has built a client base comprising of more than 382 operators spread over 140 countries across the globe. 

Additionally we also aim to leverage from our association with the Grameen Group.

On why Macalla:

Like I said earlier, Roamware’s reach within the global operator community is huge. Macalla on the other hand has a good base within the banking and financial services sector. The combined synergy can be turned into an unmatched competitive advantage. 

Moreover Macalla is already operating in key markets of Europe particularly Western Europe, Middle East and Africa.

On marketing under Roamware brand name:

We do understand that Roamware is known in the market for its roaming solutions. But the decision to operate Macalla under Roamware brand name is to leverage from the strong brand equity enjoyed by Roamware.

Also if we analyse the past, Xerox started off as a photo copying machine manufacturer. But over the years it has diversified into different product segments but yet operates under the same brand name.

On India opportunity:

Again in India there are over 430 million mobile subscribers as compared to over 100 million bank accounts.   There is significant market to converge these as well as target the untapped. India witnesses over $ 50 billion foreign remittance from abroad which currently are mainly through the official channels or through the grey channels.  

While we acknowledge that there is already a strong presence of some domestic players in the Indian market, we still feel that there is a huge opportunity for us even in such a scenario. It is because we can offer to incorporate the existing systems into the international ecosystem. This has been lacking till now.

On challenge from international players:

Yes Nokia is also set to enter in a big way in the mobile banking services domain. But its positioning is more towards providing an interface in the handset for such services. The application part is missing. It does not has international reach within the operator community as compared to Roamware.

On immediate targets:

We have not set ourselves a target in terms of revenues. But in terms of market penetration, we expect 20 % of our clients to adopt the solution over a period of 12 to 24 months.

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