Amdocs: Banking on New Enhancements to Its Mobile Financial Services Solution to Gain Mobile Ecosystem Clout

Ron Westfall
Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

  • Amdocs unveiled a new set of enhancements to its MFS solution, including online merchant checkout payments that target the burgeoning demand of operators and financial institutions to deploy mobile payment services that meet the distinct needs of users in developing regions.
  • Amdocs still must prove it can generate the channels, including mobile device and OS partnerships, to drive mobile ecosystem acceptance of its MFS, especially against proven mobile wallet solutions from rivals such as Ericsson and Huawei, as well as alternative credit card and web-based payment (PayPal) methods.

During Mobile World Congress 2015, Amdocs rolled out a set of new enhancements to its Mobile Financial Services (MFS) solution. The enhancements included support for online merchant checkout payments, one-click bulk transactions, unified wallet, and priority wallet features. The solution is delivered over a public or private cloud, supporting a single mobile wallet that allows users to manage and control their finances. As a result, MFS enables online merchants to expand their payment channels and enable consumers to use their mobile wallet accounts for online transactions.

Amdocs faces an eclectic range of channel challenges within the mobile ecosystem in convincing targets, such as mobile operators and banks, to adopt its MFS solutions. How can Amdocs drive channel adoption of its MFS solution, especially when considered against the diverse range of mobile payment solutions already established in the market including PayPal, credit cards, and existing direct operator billing services?

  • Developing Region Focus: Amdocs made the prudent choice to focus on developing regions. The channel alliance with India-based mobile commerce service delivery specialist Triotech produced MFS channel endorsements from the State Bank of India and BSNL. The references bolster Amdocs’ credentials toward enlisting operator, bank, and financial institution targets in developing regions. The developing region focus can tap into underserved mobile service segments where many mobile subscribers lack bank accounts but hold mobile service accounts. Moreover, Amdocs avoids competing in the near term against high-profile mobile financial solutions, such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, which currently focus on the U.S. market.
  • Online Merchant Checkout Payments: Among the set of new MFS enhancements, Amdocs leads with the online merchant checkout payment solution. The solution targets the rapid adoption of e-commerce within developing markets where online retailers are expanding their acceptance of e-money on their checkout pages from consumer mobile wallet accounts. This gives consumers an alternative payment approach that can reduce or avoid retailer transaction charges and consumer fees associated with dependency on credit card or bank accounts. MFS providers, such as mobile operators, need transaction charge and fee avoidance differentiators to drive widespread adoption of their mobile payment service.

As Amdocs targets mobile operators, banks, and financial institutions to adopt its MFS solution, what channel barriers confront the company?

  • Enlist Mobile Device and OS Partners: Amdocs needs to establish a MFS partner program that includes mobile device, cloud, and OS suppliers. The program can prove well-suited for the MFS solution since it requires some degree of cooperation from mobile ecosystem partners to minimize or avoid the reliability, speed, and security issues that have encumbered some other mobile payment services. Otherwise, Amdocs risks diluting its channel influence in driving operator and financial institution adoption of its MFS solution.
  • MFS Use Cases: Naturally, use cases are the channel validation lifeline for OSS/BSS solutions, and the Amdocs MFS offering is no exception. This is particularly relevant to Amdocs as rivals such as Ericsson, with its M-Commerce solutions (including the Ericsson Wallet Platform), and Huawei, with its Mobile Money solution aligned with Alibaba’s Alipay, already command extensive channel presence and influence within developing regions. Amdocs must prove it can overcome their efforts to portray its MFS solution as a “me too” offering with a limited track record.

Overall, Amdocs possesses the portfolio, especially the BSS assets, and global channels to increase operator and financial institution adoption of its MFS solution. The financial/transactional needs of the unbanked and under-banked beckon as a target-rich market for Amdocs to make its mark.

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