ARPU Plus, a leading mobile Value Added services provider (VAS) and monetisation platform solutions across the Middle East and an OTVentures company, announced today that it has attracted the top ten gaming vendors and aggregators in the region to its payment gateway, T-PayTM. Through T-Pay ARPU Plus will provide millions of Arab online gamers a simple, fast and easy way to purchase from multiple vendors and pay for their in-games credit and digital products through their mobile telephone bills, using Direct Carrier Billing (DCB).
Game publishers and aggregators, app stores, app developers and virtual merchants are pursuing direct carrier billing because it is simply the most proven and only working mobile payment method which increases immediately payment conversion rates and sales. Instantaneous payments completed in less than one minute are the preferred payment methods in unbanked and credit card shy regions and allow keeping up with the needs of digital consumers in the region.
Fadi Antaki, Chief Executive Officer of OTVentures, a pioneering digital and technology solutions provider for both online and mobile platforms, said: “T-Pay is a carrier-neutral platform that focuses on meeting a growing demand for mobile payment in the thriving digital gaming industry in the region. It offers gamers, vendors and carriers a state-of-the-art system for mobile payment. It is the first direct carrier billing solution in the Arab region, which will solve the issue for companies that have not been able to reach unbanked consumers. It also gives avid gamers a simple and secure gateway to purchase digital products online.”
Top Ten publishers and aggregators of online games in the region, including Gate2Play, One Card, 2MdotNet, GamePower7, DAO Games, Joy Game, GamesXp, Tahadi Games, El3ab and others have already joined the gateway, which was launched earlier this month. Customers can now easily pay online for in-games credit and other digital content or games ePINs directly from the internet with one click through a computer, smartphone or tablet, using T-Pay.
Customers will only have to enter their mobile phone number online to complete their digital purchase conveniently and securely. This includes players of Silk Road, Conquer, Khan Wars, Point Blank, Rohan, World War Craft, CrossFire, Rappelz, Allods, Cultures, Wolfteam, World of Tanks, The lost titans, City of Steam, Nexon Games, Zynga, CityVille, Knights of Glory, League of Legends and CandyCrush Saga, amongst others.
The system, which was designed, built and is powered by LINK Development, another OTVentures firm and a sister company of ARPU Plus, is currently the only available payment option for young and unbanked customers and for those who have no credit or debit card, which account for the most of the population in the region.
Adham el Gazzar, Managing Director of ARPU Plus, explained: “The region is the fastest growing gaming industry in the world, with 38% of the gamers globally coming from the Arab world. The global online gaming industry has grown by 1,648% over the last nine years and represented $20 billion global annual business in 2013, of which $1 billion was from the region. The regional revenue is expected to double in 2014 to $2 billion.”
Spending on digital products and gaming is expected to increase from 16% currently to 52% by 2017. The Middle East’s online transactions reached $9 billion in 2012, and are expected to grow to US$ 15 billion in 2015, with over 55% of the total, or $5 billion, to be spent on digital products. This figure is expected to reach $13 billion in 2017. With more transactions taking place electronically across the globe and in the region every day, gamers who do not have credit cards and who are younger than 25 are left out of the online marketplace.
Sahar Salama General Manager of T-Pay said: “Looking at the demographics in the region, online gaming is very popular amongst the ages of 15-24 and over 35. With youth constituting 60% of the 350 million people in the Arab World, they are the drivers of the digital economy. With an expected revenue growth of 40% year-on-year, the Arab World becomes the fastest growing region globally for the digital and gaming sector. It is also the most underserved in terms of payment methods. This trend indicates a huge potential for all the players in the industry, whether publishers, aggregators, mobile carriers or gamers. T-Pay is the answer for the potential digital economy boom in the region.”