Mobile software player in Kuwait m-commerce deal

25 Feb 2009

An Irish mobile payments technology player has struck a deal with a Saudi telecoms player to deploy its payments engine for a new mobile entity in Kuwait called VIVA.

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is the largest telecom operator in the Middle East, and in November 2007 acquired the third GSM license in Kuwait as Kuwait Telecom Company (KTC). Its services are branded VIVA and were formally launched on 16 September last. The service went live on 4 December 2008.

In conjunction with its partner, International Turnkey Systems, it chose the Macalla Platform to provide a range of applications on the new VIVA mobile service.

“Macalla is well proven in the Middle East, including Kuwait, with an enviable track record in the area of Arabic and English mobile payments services,” said Yahia Obaid, IT director, VIVA.

The contract includes software and expertise to enable VIVA’s e-payments and m-commerce services.

The VIVA services are provided in Arabic and English directly to VIVA subscribers and also via the VIVA dealer/agent network. Rollout is being undertaken on a phased basis.

VIVA service channels include mobile, kiosk and web, and supporting payment by wallet, cash, debit and credit card.

“STC is a very ambitious company which has won numerous awards this year alone,” said Niall O’Cleirigh, CEO, Macalla.

“VIVA has become operational in Kuwait just 10 months from winning its licence. And, together with the Macalla Platform and its applications, launched at the beginning of December,” O’Cleirigh said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years