Global USSD Products

Eyeline API For Mobile Operators And Developers Part 2

by Nikita Tekutiev on October 28, 2015

Continuing from the last post, let’s talk about the benefits of Eyeline API for end users – developers. Developers are the main drivers behind adoption of APIs, so making sure they get accessible and simple instruments for development is a top priority for mobile operators if they want to make it a profitable business.

Global Mobile Value Added Services Market is expected to grow from $330.35 Billion in 2015 to $655.07 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 14.7%, according to a new market research report by Markets & Markets. “The quick innovations in technology have led to the evolution of MVAS beyond the voice communication services. It helps mobile service providers to create and sustain new revenue streams and drive ARPU. Rising mobile phones, network penetration, and increased return on marketing spend are some of the factors driving the mobile value added services market. Social media offer new opportunities for the vendors.”

Rather than concentrating on providing APIs to enterprise and internal developers, it is the time for mobile operators to open opportunities for new talent by means of transparent and functional API. Eyeline API makes development of USSD services truly effortless, as developers no longer need to use complicated SMPP protocol. A service can be created in the form of a site of XML pages with additional functionality programmed in any convenient server side programming language. The second option is used in the cases when the service needs to access databases, perform calculations, make choices depending on user data, etc.

Basic functionality for developers include:

  • Quick addition of new providers and implementation of new services. A special module that uses a XML programming language for creating USSD / SMS / Web services is used.
  • Build logic service using XML commands. Programming or modification of services can be easily and quickly made by the operator or service provider. It does not require special training. Advertising agencies can begin using the mobile channel promotion almost instantly.
  • Complex billing schemes of USSD, SMS, WAP and HTTP traffic. Rules on by billing may take into account user’s personal data, for example, offer discounts based on previous purchases.

In future posts we’ll talk about integration of the API with operator’s infrastructure and billing options. Contact us here if you have questions and stay tuned for more.

read more
Nikita TekutievEyeline API For Mobile Operators And Developers Part 2

Eyeline API For Mobile Operators And Developers Part 1

by Nikita Tekutiev on October 18, 2015

With increase in data consumption, and, as a result, surge of OTT services, mobile operators are experiencing falling revenues due to significant decrease in voice and SMS traffic. Ovum has forecast that mobile operators will see global revenue decline by 2018. As such, over the next five years, innovation in services, tariffs, business models, network operations, and partnerships will be key revenue-generating strategies.

One of the ways for operators to add new revenue channels is to capitalize on Application Programming Interfaces (API) by offering them to third party developers. On one hand, mobile operators rarely come up with their own services. On the other hand, there are many developers who want to reach millions of subscribers, but are faced with complicated APIs of mobile operators and programming using SMPP protocol. In many cases mobile operators are not developer friendly at all, preferring to deal only with big players.

As mobile operators have a huge base of personalized information, 3rd party developers can exploit it and develop more relevant applications. Sharing the network with this vast pool of talent gives developers the chance to profit from what the network has to offer: unrivalled location information and highly developed billing mechanisms.

In return, end users receive better products and telcos can bill external developers for accessing the API, forming partnerships based on give and take. A simple unified API can also allow operators to work with major partners, such as retailers, by granting access to unified API.

Eyeline API allows mobile operators to standardize their APIs to ease interaction with developers. By integrating Eyeline API with its infrastructure, a mobile operator essentially creates a platform for third party providers. The platform allows to bill every request of a particular developer: HLR lookup billing, USSD session billing, USSD transaction billing, SMS billing, etc. Every interaction of the developer can be charged in some way.

Eyeline API is being successfully used by mobile operators, developers and major financial companies around the world. Thus the technology established itself as scalable, robust, easy to use, and interoperable solution.

We’ll talk more about advantages of Eyeline API in next posts. Stay tuned.

read more
Nikita TekutievEyeline API For Mobile Operators And Developers Part 1

Personalize Marketing And Ads Campaigns With Global USSD Sharp Ads

by Nikita Tekutiev on September 25, 2015

Active promotion and bulk messaging don’t guarantee positive results no more. Mobile subscribers went through a phase of constant bombardment by spam, and in order for them to respond to your message, it should be tailored to their interests and needs. In this post we won’t talk why mobile marketing and advertising without personalization is bound to fail. If you already set you mind on finding technology to tailor the content for mobile subscribers, this is the post for you.

One part of Global USSD platform is Personalization module. Personalization module is a highly specialized database designed for extremely high read/write speeds. This database holds the data related to users, services and service providers. Personalization database is primarily used by system processes and services, rather than by people. The database has a flexible structure, which means that any data made available in the course of interaction between a user and a service provider can be put and stored there.

Personalization database consists of four main storages:

  1. User Data Storage. It contains user profiles, the general data related to users, like MSISDN, transaction history, general preferences, phone model, mobile browser version, etc.
  2. User-Service Data Storage. This storage contains the user data associated with the services that user has entered. This data primarily consist of variables created by the services for their own use.
  3. Service Data Storage. This table collects the information related to services registered in the platform.
  4. Service Provider Data Storage. The general information concerning service providers is held here.

Using this personalization database, Global USSD Sharp Ads inserts relevant and targeted ad messages into the communication channel between a mobile user and service provider. Technically, Sharp Ads can work separately with third party service delivery platforms. However , when Global USSD platform is used the degree of integration of the platform and Sharp Ads is much higher. Whenever subscriber requests a service, Global USSD Platform provides the service related information to Sharp Ads. This information is analyzed and the subscriber’s profile is updated. The profile is then used for more accurate targeting of ad messages.

Global USSD helps to measure the success of a marketing or advertising campaign. With Sharp Ads and Personalization module, you can use history of marketing and advertising campaigns, history of interactions with a specific users, their characteristics and preferences, as well as a model of its behavior in your previous campaigns.

Contact us here for more information and stay tuned for next posts.

read more
Nikita TekutievPersonalize Marketing And Ads Campaigns With Global USSD Sharp Ads

Why USSD Is The Best Alternative Technology For Mobile Banking

by Nikita Tekutiev on July 14, 2015

USSD banking is a service that allows managing your bank account on the mobile device with the help of simple queries. The advantage of this service is convenience, mobility, and accessibility. A user can understand the benefits of the technology when there is no data access to the Internet. In such circumstances, you cannot use online banking or mobile banking applications on a smartphone in order to know the balance and manage your accounts. Even more, USSD doesn’t require a smartphone at all, and can work on any mobile devices, even feature phones.

SMS banking is an alternative technology that can be used without data, but a significant disadvantage of it is difficulty of memorizing patterns. In addition, with a negative balance a subscriber neither have access to the Internet, nor the ability to send SMS. This is where USSD comes in. You can even access USSD service with negative balance while roaming. USSD also has better user experience than SMS as technology is session based and response time from the service is also immediate.

To activate USSD banking service you need to have your registered mobile phone number in the bank. After entering your debit/credit card number and setting password you have full access to your accounts and operations. For transactions through the service a user has to enter a standard request like *111# and follow the instructions step by step. Not only you can not only check balance through USSD service, but also top up airtime of any mobile phone number, make payments for services, block or unblock credit cards, and get a detailed list of transactions.

We implemented similar services with top banks in Russia, and banks’ customers find it a useful tool for using abroad, as USSD is free for the end user. Even people with smartphones, who have a smartphone application of a bank they are using, prefer to use USSD service as it loads faster and doesn’t require stable data connection. It is also a great way for smartphone users to top up their airtime when they reach a negative balance and actually need a data connection. Alfa Bank, the largest private bank in Russia, surveyed their clients and 66% said they were willing to pay a fee for such service. USSD application not only can be a competitive advantage over other banks’ services, but also can act as a source of additional revenue.

Contact us here for more information. Stay tuned.

read more
Nikita TekutievWhy USSD Is The Best Alternative Technology For Mobile Banking

USSD Technology To Rival OTT Services

by Nikita Tekutiev on July 1, 2015

Mobile operators have loyalty and trust of their subscribers because every month subscribers pay them money. Even if they are experiencing connection issues, people are still more or less loyal to their carriers. That’s why if people recognize that their carriers are offering innovative and convenient services, they are likely to use it. They know that it is a reliable source of services with a certain reputation.

If an average person has to choose an app from an unknown developer and MNO branded service, he/she will choose the former. This is especially true if you consider that mobile operators have tools and technical capability to provide services to end users in a more efficient and traditional way.

Growing use of messaging and OTT apps leads to a continuous decline in voice and SMS revenues of mobile operators. At the same time, revenue from data shows only modest growth, despite significant increase in mobile data traffic, driven by the growing number of 4G users. Mobile operators start to realize that growth in data revenues will not compensate for the drop in voice and SMS revenue. By continuous investment in 3G, and now, 4G networks, mobile operators only dig themselves deeper in hole.

As Amit Sanyal, AVP & Joint Head, at Mahindra Comviva states, “to retain this new generation of customers, operators must roll out services beyond traditional offerings and deliver an engaging customer experience. It is essential to differentiate their services with respect to customer focus, personalization and delivering tailored offers. Run of the mill plans and packages along with mass marketing are considered obsolete in today’s age. To drive revenues, companies need to understand their customers and establish long-term relationships with them, which incorporate their needs and expectations. And the only way to go about it is customer experience management (CXM) – so that the customer knows that there is a new offering or a service that suits the personal needs.”

Eyeline Communications has developed a range of products that are unified in one Global USSD platform, and allows mobile operators to deliver interactive services to their subscribers and earn additional revenue on advertising and marketing. The platform includes many functions, such as user identification and authorization, charging, logging and statistics, operation and maintenance, personalization and advertising, as well as complete set of tools for service development and rollout.

We have a solid experience by working with top mobile operators and banks, which use Global USSD platform for various needs. The platform can help MNOs to provide relevant services and advertising to their subscribers, and compensate on revenue that is now being eaten by OTT services.

Contact us here and stay tuned for a more detailed description of the platform in the next posts.

read more
Nikita TekutievUSSD Technology To Rival OTT Services

Eyeline Unibalance

by Nikita Tekutiev on June 17, 2015

One of our product that is a part of Global USSD platform is Unibalance. Unibalance is a system based on USSD technology, which allows operators to place targeted advertising together with the provision of subscriber balance information. The system allows subscribers to receive balance information in a simple and easy way by dialling a single USSD short code.

Unibalance provides the operator a marketing communication channel with subscribers, which allows promotion of operator’s services and products, as well as services and products of third parties. The system provides targeted advertising at a moment when a mobile phone user receives balance information, i.e. a moment when the subscriber is willing to accept advertising information and react to it.

A subscriber who wants to check the balance sends USSD-request (eg *100 #) and receives information with flash USSD message. Advertising is included at the bottom of the message.

Unibalance brings the following benefits to a MNO:

Additional revenue through targeted advertising. According to our statistics, the subscriber makes a USSD request of balance two times per day average, which provides a high frequency of ad display.

Possibility of free promotion of additional MNO services. With Unibalance operator can inform subscribers of availability of additional services. This is a great way for the operator to start earning money on its own services.

Effective management of advertising. Ads-n-Balance makes it possible to effectively control the display of advertising, using a target samples by various criteria. The system allows to reduce the number of direct mailings to subscriber base or eliminate them completely.

Provision of ads according to subscribers preferences. The system can provide advertising taking into account the preferences of the subscriber,  by using a target sample of subscribers. Also, the operator can use Blacklist function and create a list of subscribers to whom advertising won’t be delivered based on a certain criteria (for example, at the request of the subscriber).

Full statistics about advertising campaigns. The system makes it possible to obtain comprehensive statistics on shown banners.

Low cost of using USSD channel. Unibalance does not require the use of voice channels, thus being simpler and less expensive one compared to voice systems.

Ease of administration, expansion, and integration. To interact with external systems Unibalance uses standard protocols: SOAP, HTTP / HTTPS.

Our Unibalance product is being used by the largest operator in the Eastern Europe – Mobile TeleSystems (MTS). If you want to learn more contact us here and stay tuned for more information.

read more
Nikita TekutievEyeline Unibalance

Global USSD Platform: Principles Of Mobile Marketing Part 2

by Nikita Tekutiev on April 17, 2015

Following the previous post, let’s continue to observe principles we use when approaching mobile marketing with Global USSD platform:

Interactivity. Interactivity allows to develop and maintain a mobile marketing channel, using a personal approach to each client. Global USSD Platform uses USSD as a main channel of interaction with users. USSD in itself is an interactive technology, as unlike SMS, users receive response after the input almost immediately. That, and combination of other technologies like SMS, and WAP/WEB, allows keeping a user engaged and delivering timely information.

Availability. When creating a mobile marketing technologies we believe that the service should be clear to anyone who has a cell phone and who knows how to make a call (regardless of skill to use a mobile phone). That’s why we stick to basic mobile technologies, which can work on any mobile device. That helps avoiding fragmentation and reach literally all users of mobile devices. The combination of USSD and SMS might not seem fancy in 2015, but it is still the most powerful when it comes down to real life functionality and reachability.

Contextual approach. Global USSD mobile marketing tools allow you to organize advertising campaigns so that all advertising and marketing messages are always sent in a certain context. In this case, the context is set by a user. Using this approach, advertising is seen as a useful additional functional service, which greatly improves its efficiency.

Engagement. Our mobile marketing technologies are built in such a way that consumers begin to use the service to meet their needs, thus opening a channel for personalized marketing communications.

No spam. Our platform technologies helps to completely eliminate spam as both unethical and often illegal form of mobile marketing communication. Mobile phone is the most personal way of communication with the consumer, spam is perceived as an invasion of privacy. Therefore, we are against spam.

Measurability. Makes it possible to accurately measure the effectiveness of each service according to different parameters.

These principles transformed into our Global USSD Platform for mobile marketing, which you can learn more about by contacting us here. Stay tuned for more.

read more
Nikita TekutievGlobal USSD Platform: Principles Of Mobile Marketing Part 2

RBI: “Enable Customers To Get Onboard The Mobile Banking Platform”

by Nikita Tekutiev on April 7, 2015

Last year, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) came out with a guideline paper on USSD based mobile banking services. The reason TRAI recommended USSD was because a considerable amount of population in India, especially in rural areas didn’t have access to banks. USSD also fits the goal of financial inclusion, as it doesn’t require data connection and works on any mobile phone, which makes it accessible even to poor classes of population.

Now, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has asked banks to make all possible efforts to enable customers to get onboard the mobile banking platform. This is to bring down operational costs and improve banks’ efficiency. There are certain obstacles that RBI points out: “There are differences in procedures adopted by banks for registering customers for mobile banking as well as in the channels of delivery and authentication process. Lack of awareness as well as standardization of procedures at banks also adds up to the problems, which has led to a slow pickup of mobile banking service, despite the high mobile density in the country.”

RBI has asked banks to make serious efforts to increase awareness and has said that efforts should be made at every interaction – ATMs, branches and passbook printing counters to obtain customers mobile number. “If all customers come on board the mobile banking platform, a significant load will be taken off bank branches if customers use mobile banking for balance enquiry and remittances,” said a bank official.

While there are no particular requirements to mobile banking services from RBI, the obstacles that RBI mentions, such as lack of standardization, can be solved by using USSD. That’s why TRAI tried to push it last year. USSD solves to basic issue of fragmentation among mobile phone users. Banks can reach all clients, regardless of their phone manufacturer and mobile OS, by using USSD technology as a basis for mobile banking.

Currently, there are 900 million mobile phone users in India, and only 40 million are using their phones for mobile banking. India takes the fourth place in top 10 global smartphone markets. According to GSMA, India had 111 million smartphone connections in the second quarter of 2014. Considering the total population of the country, these figures are very low. That’s why USSD is the go-to technology for financial inclusion, as it works both on basic feature phones and latest smartphones.

We have an experience in implementing mobile banking services based on USSD with top financial institutions in Russia, and other USSD services around the world. Contact us here if you are interested in our platform for building financial services.

read more
Nikita TekutievRBI: “Enable Customers To Get Onboard The Mobile Banking Platform”

Global USSD Platform: Principles Of Mobile Marketing Part 1

by Nikita Tekutiev on March 26, 2015

In his post for Mobile Marketing Watch, Hanit Marinov, VP of Marketing at Perion Network, states five marketing trends to watch for in 2015. I would like to point out two of them:

Importance of an Omnichannel Approach. “Mobile-first is a convenient marketing slogan, but it’s not entirely accurate. The omnichannel approach, which is already being pushed by Google and adopted by major retailers, will become more popular in 2015. Rather than focusing on mobile devices because they are popular or trendy, the savvy marketer will focus on their audience. And the likelihood is that most audiences will be coming from multiple devices, from tablets to smartphones, laptops, and desktops. Omnichannel marketing will accommodate for users no matter which direction they come from or where they are in the marketing funnel.”

Mobile Marketing Platforms Will Enter the Spotlight. “Mobile marketing has become a bit of a mess. The current fragmented state of the industry shows us countless ad networks, ad exchanges, and a complex advertising process. These obstacles make it difficult for mobile advertisers to keep up with the industry, reach their customers, and calculate returns. In 2015, these platforms will come into their own and quickly become necessary for those mobile advertisers that wish to stay ahead of the competition.”

These are principles that exactly correlate with our approach to mobile marketing here at Global USSD. Our platform is used for marketing by the largest mobile operator on the territory of Eastern Europe – MTS. Here are some of our basic principles of mobile marketing:

Integration with other media. Elements of mobile marketing can be easily integrated into existing marketing strategies. For example, you can place a short Call2Service number on a billboard, which a customer can use to learn more about the advertised product, get a coupon for a discount, etc. We don’t advocate for mobile as a sole advertising instrument, rather, it is a convergence point for different types of media used for advertising.

Personalization. Advertising must be relevant, focused on a particular consumer. Such advertising can be created by using the preferences of users, their behavior, and personal information (gender, age, region, etc.)

Our principles goes hand in hand with available functionality. In the next posts we will talk more about our platform for mobile marketing. Stay tuned.

read more
Nikita TekutievGlobal USSD Platform: Principles Of Mobile Marketing Part 1

Alfa Bank USSD Banking Application By Eyeline Communications

by Nikita Tekutiev on March 5, 2015

On 1st of December 2014 clients of Alfa-Bank officially were presented with an unique service on Russian banking market – USSD Mobile Bank “Alfa Dialog”, a full-fledged mobile banking application, which can be accessed by means of USSD technology.

Alfa Bank OJSC, the corporate treasury of the Alfa Group, is the largest private commercial bank in Russia. Headquartered in Moscow, it operates in seven countries, providing financial services to over 40,000 active corporate customers and 5.3 million retail clients.

To access you just need to dial a shortcode *142# from your phone and press call. In response to the received service menu the users needs to enter requested information for a corresponding service.

Functionality that is available today through “Alfa Dialog”:

  • Credit/debit card balance check;
  • Mobile airtime top up;
  • Money transfer between Alfa Bank cards;
  • Money transfer between your accounts;
  • Receipt by SMS;
  • Information on loans, loans payment;
  • Block or unblock lost cards;
  • Holders of multiple cards can map their card to different accounts;

“Now for the real-time access to banking services via the telephone, you don’t need to install a mobile app, just dial *142# and press call. The service works on any mobile phone, without access to the Internet, with a negative balance, and in roaming operator won’t charge the client for the use of the service” – says Head of Payment Services Development Alfa-Bank’s Eugene Ievlev.

Alfa Bank held a free pilot of the service for customers for one year. The results obtained in the pilot project, allows making an unambiguous conclusion about relevance of the offer: monthly increase in the customer base is 70-100%, the number of transactions through the “Alfa-Dialog” is growing by 50% every month. Conducted survey says that 98% of users are happy to use the proposed service and plan to use it in the future.

The service is based on Global USSD platform and this is just one example how with Global USSD you can create any service on USSD technology. If you are interested in similar projects contact us here. Stay tuned for more information.

read more
Nikita TekutievAlfa Bank USSD Banking Application By Eyeline Communications