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Turkey's leading GSM operator Avea unveiled a new mobile payment system with Innova technology. In its first 3 months, the system has already been used by 100,000 customers.
Founded in 2004, Avea is the first and only GSM 1800 operator in Turkey. With 11.7 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2010, Avea is Turkey's youngest and most innovative cellular communications company. With international roaming agreements in 199 countries and 625 operators, Avea's international network continues to expand with new partnerships. As its team of 2,600 employees continues to grow, Avea continues to prioritize investments in its technology. For Avea's personal and business customers, the name of this newest investment and innovation is Mobile Payments.
Through Innova's new Mobile Payments infrastructure, Avea provides both postpaid and prepaid subscribers the ability to make purchases from contracted merchants.
Shopping at any of the near 700 merchants, purchases made through the system will be reflected on the customer's monthly statement or deducted from the balance of prepaid minutes. Cellular subscribers who prefer not to use a credit card can shop easily and more securely by using mobile payments. Not only for internet shopping, the Mobile Payments System can be also be used at participating stores. An Avea subscriber at any merchant simply responds to a message sent to their mobile phone to make a payment. Senior Project Manager for the Department of Value Added Services at Avea Avşar Dirgin sees this new technology as a network offering a simple payment solution to Avea customers.
"During this project, and like always, Innova professionals answered our questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
Senior Project Manager,
Avea Department of Value Added Services
"Avea is aiming to be both a GSM operator and a trusted payment solution provider. While Avea subscribers shop at various stores, physical or virtual, Avea provides them with an alternative form of payment." Avea's target audience includes those who prefer not to frequently visit their banks, along with youth, students, and elderly customers. Subscribers who are afraid to use their credit cards for internet shopping also prefer Avea's Mobile Payments System. "Although not everyone may have a credit card, everyone has a mobile phone. With Mobile Payments, now everyone has access to a simpler and more secure payment option using only their mobile phone," Dirgin explains.
"Our member firms are constantly emailing to thank us for our Mobile Payments infrastructure. We've attained our 8 month goal in only 3 months, with 100,000 users accessing the system."
The Mobile Payments infrastructure available from Innova provides small business, which may be unable to make large investments, the opportunity to enter the world of e-commerce. Small merchants without the ability to accept card payments are now enabling themselves to accept payments from Avea's 13 million subscribers with Innova's mobile payment technology.
Dirgin notes that Innova's Mobile Payments infrastructure provides a solution to a real need in today's market. "A particularly strong need for this type of payment system existed for online networking and online entertainment sites. For these types of online media, Mobile Payments technology has provided great revenue opportunities," he explains. Entertainment and social networking sites prefer not to make agreements with banks due to the high costs involved.
Unauthorized uses of Mobile payments can easily be prevented by setting payment limits. The current limit for a single purchase in Turkey is 40TL. After a subscriber has examined his or her payment history, he or she can reset these limits.
"Merchants previously unable to accept online credit card payments have now entered the world of e-commerce with Avea and Innova's Mobile Payments infrastructure," comments Dirgin, who helped Avea bring tens of thousands of mobile phone users to online shopping through this service. "The number of online shopping sites has increased."
In the next phase of the project, customers will also be able to choose between a variety of instalment options. After virtual stores adopted the Avea mobile payments technology, they observed an increase in online sales. Because of this increase, Avea reached its 8 month revenue goals in 3 months by expanding its user numbers to 100,000. Describing his experience working with Innova, Dirgin explains, "Innova is a firm we have worked with in the past. During this project, and like always, Innova professionals answered our questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, they performed as if we were one team working together. Their experience with the infrastructure their knowledge of the project was invaluable to us."