du partners with MAF Ventures, Beam Wallet

RetailME Bureau

With an aim to take smart retailing to the next level, telecom operator du has collaborated with Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Ventures and mobile payment solution Beam Wallet. MAF Ventures had already purchased a stake in Beam Wallet in December 2014.

Beam Wallet is an app that allows consumers to conduct retail transactions using smartphones, without having to carry wallets. A consumer’s credit card details are stored on the app and it works by scanning the quick response code. It is currently being used by over 100,000 users and available in 1,200 retail and dining outlets such as Costa Coffee, Tim Hortons, Subway, VOX Cinemas, Carrefour, Cold Stone Creamery, Aldo, Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole, among others.

“There is no doubt that mobile commerce will play a significant part in the future of retail. We saw a need among consumers and created an ecosystem of partners to bring that into reality in a larger case,” observes Jawad Shaikh, executive vice-president of digital business at du.

“Mobile technology is at the core of the consumer shopping experience as the UAE has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world. It is an OTT [over-the-top] service and we want all retailers to have it. In addition to retailers, we’re in discussions with some petrol station chains as well,” he adds.

“We will be promoting the service by leveraging our channels and customer reach. It is going to have a huge impact in the market as retailers track their customer behaviour and personalise offers,” Shaikh states. With regard to security, Shaikh explains that the digital wallet service doesn’t store information on the phone. Everything is encrypted and tokenised, making it difficult for hackers to gain access to cardholder’s data. “Right now, we are trying to change consumer behaviour in bid to start relying on the phone for payments. Eventually, when they get familiar with mobile payments, we can definitely introduce more active channels and near-field communication services as well.”