Catering to the payment industry in the Middle East, OMA Emirates Group is one of the turnkey payment solution providers across the region. OMA Digital Solutions Private Limited is the Indian offshoot of OMA Emirates Group that has a deep understanding of high-volume, transaction-intensive, secure payment processing that allows enhancing operational efficiency, reducing complexity and increasing productivity for business and government. We got the opportunity to have rendezvous with the Group CEO of OMA Emirates Group. Following is the script of an elucidative conversation about the group’s objectives and strategies for India.
In Conversation With Niranj Sangal, Group CEO, OMA Emirates Group
Advancements in payment technology are making money transactions faster, easier, and secure. The payment technology domain is evolving with new providers, platforms, and payment tools. Give us a succinct picture on how OMA Digital Solutions is providing its services in the payment technology domain.
We are one of the leading payment solution providers in the whole of Middle East as of today. We have almost 70 odd percent of the market, when it comes to payments. We are working with banks, Telcos, various government agencies, specifically providing payment solutions. OMA Digital Solutions’ services different industries from traditional way of issuing a payment card to acquiring it over a terminal, and through various other channels like eCommerce, mobile POS, kiosk etc. Now we’re advancing with technology wherein a mobile platform is enabled to allow people to use these cards. This means a user can issue a card on the mobile phone without actually availing a real plastic and can use the same on any primary terminals like Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. In India, we are also going to be operational with similar services but in a service based model, where acquirers can benefit with this kind of offering. If a bank or BFSI firm wants issuance, acquiring or acceptance of payments, the services can be availed through OMA Digital Solutions. While giving due importance to the financial transactions, ODS is also paying heed to the non-financial transactions, specifically centered on the Oil & Gas industry.
With India being our regional base, we have our payment solutions being deployed in Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, and Indonesia. India will be the epicenter to carry out our expansions to other geographies. However, India will be our base station for all our operation in the APAC region.
How do you view the BFSI market in India? Tell us about the services OMA Digital Solutions aims to deploy in the Indian market.
I think if you really look at the numbers that are being spoken by the government and various other independent organizations, it seems to
be very promising, especially in the Fintech field, in India, I think the BFSI industry is the only one that would have a key focus where payments would be heavily leveraged on. It is obviously what we look at. But principally when we look at BFSI, I think they are the only ones that are adding value to the whole payment ecosystem. For me, I figure that BFSI would intake about 25 to 30 percent of the payment space.
Our 5 years strategy would be to aim at 8 to 10 percent of the payment solutions market by servicing across the country, especially tier 2-3 cities.
The scope that we are looking at in the Indian market is providing services like switching, card management, and acquiring solutions including POS & mobile acceptance
The scope that we are looking at in the Indian market is providing services like switching, card management, and acquiring solutions including POS & mobile acceptance. We are also looking forward to offer issuance service, which would include physical card issuance for various industries and domains. We are extending this service with mobile issuance of EMV cards. These are the primary services we intend to offer in the Indian region. Besides, we also plan to integrate with a majority of payment gateways in India, thereby making sure that the entire ecosystem is closed and complete. Moreover, since a switching solution is at the core, the whole ecosystem can be integrated with Visa, MasterCard and others including Rupay, staying in line with the government’s strategy.
In India, our primary focus is to propagate Switching Solution. This involves payment switch, which is more on the aggregator based service. With these services up our sleeves, we are keeping a close eye on the rural and cooperative banks. Today, our entity gets a lot of inquiries from these banks to provide payment services, but do not have the capital to actually invest into and provide the services. Given the situation, such banks are compelled to invest in 3rd party enablers who can provide the services at a minimum amount. The catch here is that the banks’ plans to expand in their respective areas become very limited. Therefore, we intend to help them, where we do the CAPEX investment for them, and take a revenue share of what they earn. Thus, providing a win-win situation, where banks meet their targets and we match by providing the required technology. This would be our primary focus.
The retail payment technology is enabling businesses and consumers with convenience, reliability and speed during the transaction process. This can enhance both the customer experience and overall business strategy for retailers. Please explain ODS’ unique assistance that helps elevate retail business using payment technology.
We have a complete retail automation suite for a lot of retailers in the Middle East. We are in discussion to bring the same suite to India. Currently, we have plans to on-board oil & gas, small to mid-size retailers, mom ‘n pop stores to provide complete retail integration. For such retail businesses we do provide a complete retail automation with an end-
to-end solution and a mobile platform enabling their customers with home delivery facility. Today, e-commerce is a platform for only the big players. If we are able to provide the same scale of technology to the midsized retailers, allowing them to continue to serve within their small locality, it would enhance their business. This is exactly how we want to place our retail automation product, called the ‘Retail Suite’ for all these mid-sized and smaller retail stores.
Currently, we are working on the commercials to see how we can absorb the costs. When we work with major banks to materialize these services, we look forward to lower the cost for the retailers and enabling these banks, to be a part of the network. Today, every banker is trying to apply payment terminals to mom ‘n pop stores or the mid-size retail outlet. I believe, we can integrate them with a comprehensive solution, by working along with a bank. Banks earn their revenue, while we provide them the same ecosystem. As I mentioned earlier, the ecommerce wave is very strong in India, the mid-sized and smaller retail businesses are currently struggling to ride the wave. We, as an organization want to help these less fortunate businesses to learn the art of digitalizing, and master surfing the ecommerce wave with maximum ROI. This has been our primary objective for our Retail Automation Suite.
”We keep ourselves compliant with almost everything, be it an ISO or any other requirement that needs to be complied with”
Security issues and fraudulence are always read along with the drawbacks of payment technology. How does OMA Digital Solutions ensure full security along with its payment technology service?
Well, Yes! That's the most important thing. I mean, our whole business works on the pillars of security and compliance. So generally when it comes to security, we certify ourselves with every secure body in the world, like PCI or PADSS. We work with compliances on the schemes. We have an inhouse global compliance team and also work with external security advisors. We have a big risk team that takes care of both these issues. Security is something that needs to be implemented on various platforms. For example, today we are deploying android terminals, but we still have a security concern when it comes to a payment company using an android. However, we are very closely working with all the schemes to make sure the terminal does not give way to any kind of fraud. Moreover, we keep ourselves compliant with almost everything, be it an ISO or any other requirement that needs to be complied with.
What have you conceived for the future of OMA Digital Solutions in the years ahead?
When I look at India at large, certainly I think that BFSI is the strongest market for us. But, for us to look beyond, the next vertical would be micro payments. We are driven more towards the payment services on the agricultural side. The day we entered the Indian market, our prime focus was always on the rural and the urban side, not focusing much on the metros; clearly because this segment is the key area where actual payment innovation is required. I mean, in my whole life, I always felt Doordarshan was the best thing that ever worked for the Indian media, with no offence to other media houses; just because they were in places where others were not. So the model clearly works on the rural and urban.