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Alphacomm-and-Ay-Yildiz-collaborate-on-mobile-top-up-001

AY YILDIZ and Alphacomm collaborate to expand prepaid top-up methods

ROTTERDAM, 18 January 2022 – Alphacomm, Europe’s leading provider of profit boosting solutions for telecom providers, is collaborating with AY YILDIZ the leading mobile brand for the German-Turkish community. The cooperation gives AY YILDIZ prepaid customers access to a wide range of top-up methods, including via WhatsApp chatbot as well as the AY YILDIZ website.

For AY YILDIZ customers, topping up their mobile phone credit is now easier than ever. The Ay Yildiz website has been expanded with a portal through which users can buy prepaid credit easily in just a few clicks. Similarly, to top up their phones via WhatsApp, customers simply send a message to the WhatsApp chatbot.

The checkout process is customer friendly and highly intuitive. After choosing a top-up amount between €15 and €50, the user completes the payment via PayPal, credit card or instant transfer (Sofort). After the payment has been verified, a confirmation follows, and the prepaid credit is promptly added to the user’s account.

AY YILDIZ and Alphacomm

AY YILDIZ has been offering prepaid and postpaid customers attractive and affordable deals for telephony and data usage for 16 years – not only in Germany and Turkey, but also in the EU and many neighbouring countries. AY YILDIZ is a brand of Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG.

Alphacomm is a leading provider of profit-boosting solutions in Europe. With its Checkmaxx Prepaid Top-up and Reloads solution, Alphacomm has been maximizing earnings and increasing customer loyalty for over two decades. Alphacomm, headquartered in the Netherlands, also has offices in London (UK), Kleve (DE) and Sibiu (RO).

Opportunities-and-Threats-Outlook-2022

The 2022 Outlook: Opportunities & Threats for digital goods

When thinking of 2022, we can’t help but wonder what challenges it might bring. Though we don’t have access to a crystal ball, we do have the benefit of experts. In this round-up, we speak to our staff about their visions for the coming year.

We asked the following question:

When it comes to maximizing profit, what do you think will be a threat or opportunity for sellers of digital goods or services in 2022? 

From regulatory clarity to the evolution of fraudsters, the demand for diverse specialized teams and the acceptance of new standards. Opportunities for maximizing profit and threats are all around us. Read on to find out what you need to be on the lookout for in 2022. 

 

In 2022, fraud isn’t going anywhere

Lisa de Vreede, Product Owner Protectmaxx: “With ecommerce sales expecting to rise even further in 2022, payment fraud remains a force to be reckoned with. Not only are fraudsters getting smarter, the amount of fraudulent transactions as a whole is also growing rapidly. Payment methods that were considered low risk are now causing a headache. For example, digital wallets such as Apple Pay.
There is an increasing trend of prepaid (credit) cards being used in fraudulent transactions for the purchase of digital goods. Since these payment methods are also getting more popular among trustworthy customers and getting wider available via more providers, this will form a serious threat for merchants in 2022. The good news is, that with the introduction of 3DS, the credit card fraud is declining. It’s down about 35% in 2021, and with the roll-out still in place, this decline is expected to continue.”

Ciprian Barbu, Infrastructure & Partner Manager: “When it comes to cybercrime, the risk faced by companies selling digital goods is expected to be on the rise in 2022. Most of the dangers faced by today’s business are targeted attacks, either directly on the business or on the business supply chain. Besides an increase in threats from cybercrime, companies can also expect a more increased regulatory pressure in both the privacy and security domain.”

Anne Timmer, Customer Support: “We expect that digital fraud will increase in the future. However, with the right balance in the field of fraud detection, you reduce both your support tickets and negative reviews.” 

 

In 2022, regulations can be opportunities

Georgiana Hera, Product Owner Protectmaxx: “For the next year, a big challenge for merchants will be to maintain a high success rate for payment authorizations. Since the payment industry is very dynamic and changes very often – as we are currently seeing with PSD2 requirements and SCA restrictions – this won’t be an easy thing.”

Michael Martens, VP of Sales: “In Germany, we see new legislation in place which will change the market for debt collection dramatically. We have previously seen this in other markets, where the same situation led to a boost in the need for communication and online payment technologies. In order to secure revenues and maximize profits, it is crucial for merchants in these markets to find ways to lower their costs while also keeping their customers happy.”

Daniël Schurr, Product Owner Collectmaxx: “For the next year, there might be some opportunities regarding PSD2. We might be able to gain additional insights in payment behaviour, which would allow us to offer more fitting payment arrangements, without pushing debtors in a situation in which they have issues paying for primary necessities such as rent, water, energy etc.
One development we’re monitoring closely is the acceptance of Open Banking. This would allow us to speed up onboarding, as Open Banking improves the speed through which our customers can complete the KYC processes for new payment methods. The result is that we’d be able to offer a wider range of payment possibilities for consumers.”

 

In 2022, keep pace with customer expectations

Anne Timmer, Customer Support: “It is a challenge to set up your order, payment, and delivery process in such a way that you receive as few support requests as possible. Merchants must offer the broadest possible range of payment methods while at the same time allowing their customers to complete their orders easily, quickly and safely.”

Lourens Badenhorst, Product Owner Checkmaxx: “Unlocking new sales channels will be the biggest opportunity for sellers of digital goods in 2022. In 2020, 63% of shoppers who used Facebook, used it for shopping activities. The share of TikTok, Instagram & Twitter shoppers will continue to grow in 2022. Having a storefront on each of these channels will boost sales and grow your customer base. In 2022 customers will expect nothing less than a streamlined omnichannel shopping experience on the channel of their choice, enhanced with personalized chatbots.”

Catalin Draghici, Product Owner Paymaxx: “In 2022 customers will expect a seamless shopping experience on all their favourite platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Having the right payment methods, bank to bank direct transfer, BNPL, e-wallets, crypto etc. perfectly tuned, in full sync with an optimized checkout, will boost sales and revenue.”

 

In 2022, payment expertise is in high demand

Petra Klerken, Human Resources: “The biggest threat for HR in these times is the fight to recruit people.  Everyone is looking for the same people that are hard-working, customer focused, and are willing to learn/stay updated on/about the market.” 

Anne Timmer, Customer Support: “For large merchants operating in different geographies and catering to diverse demographics, it is important that their support team is a good reflection of their customer base. A diverse, international, multilingual, mixed team with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds allows you to feel connected to your customers and more easily empathize with the different points of view, norms, and values customers hold. This approach enables better estimations regarding which kind of customer support is needed, and/or which adjustments or improvements need to be made.” 

 

In 2022, think about 2023 and beyond

Ciprian Barbu, Infrastructure & Partner Manager: “It is estimated that by the end of 2023, modern privacy laws will cover the personal information of 75% of the world’s population. In this context, it is more important than ever for merchants to select an experienced and resilient partner that can meet the demands for fraud screening and payment processing in 2022 and beyond.”

Lourens Badenhorst, Product Owner Checkmaxx: “The rise of the metaverse will be the biggest threat for sellers in 2022. Gaming, gifting, investing, art collecting etc. will never be the same. Everything that is available in the physical world is also available in the metaverse. Young Millennials and Generation Z will spend a good share of their disposable income in the metaverse. Traditional ecommerce, digital goods and services sellers as well as physical stores will need to find innovative ways to transact on the metaverse or risk losing out on their share of the estimated $800 Million market.”

Catalin Draghici, Product Owner Paymaxx: “The “next internet”, the metaverse, will be the biggest threat for sellers in 2022 and the years to come. We already need to focus on this threat as it rises fast and all the biggest players who want a share of it, like Facebook, Microsoft, Minecraft are already there. Sellers of digital goods, will have to adapt, transform and innovate in order to find their way into the metaverse or risk losing their slice of the pie.”

 

So, what do you think? What opportunities and threats do you expect in 2022? Do you have all your bases covered? Does your payment strategy have room for improvement? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us anytime. 

How-reducing-friction-at-checkout-boosts-conversions

How reducing friction at checkout boosts conversions

How can you tell if a checkout experience is optimized for maximum success? Many companies spend a lot of time optimizing the content pages of their websites, only to offer a sub par experience at checkout. Read on and find what your clients can do to improve their conversion rates.

“I wanted to spend my money, but I couldn’t pay.”

Whether a company is operating a webshop, a SaaS platform or a utility company, one of the most crucial parts in the buyer’s journey is the checkout experience. Sadly, 58% of European checkouts contain multiple errors. The result? Missed conversions and the painful consequences thereof, such as one less customer, one less potential evangelist and lost customer lifetime value. 

Research shows that most friction at checkout is, in fact, easily avoided by using a proper payment gateway. The leading errors preventing customers from finalizing a payment are, for example, not confirming the card type, not automatically verifying the card number and allowing consumers to attempt to confirm a payment with an expired card. 

However, even if businesses are using a legitimate, enterprise-level payment gateway and have covered all these bases, there are quite a few additional factors that can have a serious impact on their conversion rates. 

Here are a few recommendations to make sure your clients don’t miss out on revenue at checkout. 

#1 Preferred (local/regional) payment methods 

A business may be a multinational, but their customers most definitely are not. When making payments online, customers look for the payment methods that are common in their geographical area. Businesses shouldn’t assume a popular, global payment method like PayPal will simply ‘cover all bases’. For example, Dutch shoppers will prefer to pay with iDEAL, while Belgians will want to see BanContact and Germans will be looking for Sofort. 

#2 Preferred (local) currencies

Equally important as payment methods are the options for currencies. If companies are doing business in Europe, there are some countries that are within the European Economic Area, but outside the Eurozone. In practical terms, if a business is looking to pivot towards Scandinavian customers, then it’s important to note that Norwegians pay with the Krone. 

If businesses can’t revamp their websites to include foreign currencies in their website’s main UX/UI, they should at least show the local currency equivalent at checkout, so customers know exactly how much they’d be spending. This further inspires confidence and clears up any doubts that may arise at the very last minute. 

#3 Preferred (local) languages

Voulez-vous payer pour cela? There are 24 official languages within the EU. Let’s be honest; adding all the languages would make for quite a large dropdown menu. But, how about offering the website content in the top languages most relevant to the target market? A great European success story is Germany-based online musical equipment retailer Thomann. Its website is available in 14 languages! How is that for ‘think globally, act locally?’  

If your clients are not ready to go all the way like Thomann did, they could perhaps consider offering a selection of the top languages within the market. In Europe, for example, language proficiency breaks down as follows: English (44%), German (36%), French (29%), Italian (18%) and Spanish (17%). 

 

Besides adapting a localized approach, there are also more general guidelines one can follow to ensure conversion and maximize revenues: 

#4 Trust 

There’s no conversion, let alone customer loyalty, without first establishing trust. Local payment methods, local currencies and local languages go a long way to inspire that trust. But what else can businesses do?

It is important to inspire trust across the entire buyer’s journey. From the initial browsing experience to the checkout process and thereafter. Firms selling online should proactively tell their customers that the website and/or checkout process is secure. One way of achieving this is by using authoritative badges. Next, businesses need to make sure they’re using a secure payment gateway that respects and promotes their brand identity. Using the right layout and colours will put customers at ease and further increase the likelihood of conversion.

#5 Avoid self-sabotage with 3DS2

Behind the scenes, companies selling online should make sure they protect themselves against all types of fraud, including friendly fraud, but beware of self-sabotage. In particular, ‘industry-standard’ measures like 3DS2 can often do more harm than good. Using 3DS2 indiscriminately, for all types of payments, will in fact make it harder than necessary for customers to make the payment and many will leave the checkout process at the first sign of friction. 

Many businesses think 3DS2 is the only game in town, but it’s not. It is vital to use fraud protection tools that take into account the many exemptions outlined in the EU’s Payment Services Directive. One such service is Protectmaxx by Alphacomm.  

For a better understanding of the problems with 3DS2 and to find out whether some or all of your customer’s digital products and services qualify for exemptions, read our blog on this topic: Explained: 3D Secure 2 (3DS2)

#6 Optimize for mobile first

For an increasing number of consumers, mobile commerce is now the norm. Online retailers need to make sure that the layouts of their checkout pages are completely responsive to different screen sizes and equally compatible with all devices their customers may use when engaging with them. For instance, an oft-overlooked element of responsive design is the numerical keypad. It is important that a mobile layout triggers the numerical keypad when a customer is required to fill in their card number via mobile device. This makes it easier for them to avoid mistakes and reduces friction.  

#7 Keep it short and friendly 

The checkout page is not a marketing survey. This is not the time to ask irrelevant questions or force account creation. Not without at least offering a discount or major incentive. 

Also, merchants should review their communication style. If a payment fails at checkout, many customers are unlikely to try again. Especially if they have no idea what went wrong. Was it me? Or was it this dodgy website? It is therefore important to keep error reporting in easy-to-understand language, so customers feel more inclined to give it another go. 

 

I hope you enjoyed these tips. If you have any questions on how to proceed with improving checkout pages while improving customer loyalty, combating fraud and boosting profit all at once, feel free to reach out anytime.

Additional language support added to Checkmaxx

Additional language support added to Checkmaxx

Our Reloads team has added additional language support to our Checkmaxx platform. Ortel Aufladen is the first Checkmaxx-powered customer top-up portal to be provided with the extra languages. Alongside German and English, the Ortel Mobile top-up website is now also available in Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and Romanian.

With the addition of the new languages, we’re making it easier than ever for all prepaid credit providers, in all verticals, to offer customer-friendly top-up services to their customers.

For Ortel, Germany’s leading provider for local and international calling via prepaid SIM, the expanded language support for Ortel Aufladen will expand its potential customer base and greatly improve access to the brand’s top-up platform.

The team is currently working on adding Turkish as an additional supported language.

For more information, contact Lourens Badenhorst. As the Checkmaxx Product Owner at Alphacomm, he is looking forward to helping you with any questions you might have.

Additional language support added to Checkmaxx

New payment method: Tikkie

Alphacomm now offers Tikkie as payment method to all partners and customers based or operating in the Netherlands.

What is Tikkie?

Tikkie is a peer-to-peer payment service that allows people and businesses to request payments from others. Since it’s launch in 2016, the app has become so popular that the word ‘Tikkie’ is now synonymous with the term ‘payment request.’ When someone owes you money, you send them a Tikkie.

In the Netherlands, Tikkie is basically the easiest way to ‘go Dutch’ after a night on the town with friends. However, as the service grew in popularity, so did the use cases. Nowadays Tikkie is also a perfect payment method for businesses of any size. 

Payment requests made easy

Tikkie is a payment method that is available as part of our Paymaxx solution, but can also be integrated into our Collectmaxx (dunning) and Checkmaxx (ecommerce) solutions. 

For example, integration with Checkmaxx, our end-to-end ecommerce solution, allows for the use of Tikkie as a payment method when buying prepaid phone credit, digital (gaming) vouchers or any other high-risk digital goods. This is perfect for families with young children. When kids run out of prepaid credit, they can initiate the order themselves and have their parents finalize the payment by sharing the Tikkie. 

Similarly, when integrated with Collectmaxx, if someone is in payment arrears and has an invoice they can’t afford, they can forward the amount owed, as a Tikkie, to a friend or relative who is willing to help them out.  

But the use cases don’t end there. Paymaxx, Collectmaxx and Checkmaxx customers, regardless of vertical, will benefit from the implementation of this incredibly useful payment method within their checkout process.

How to use Tikkie at checkout

In the video below, we illustrate the checkout process when Tikkie is chosen as payment method within Checkmaxx. 

The user specifies which phone number to top-up and the amount of the top-up. Next, the user selects payment method to use. In this case, that’s Tikkie. After choosing Tikkie, the option is presented to share the payment with the person who will make the actual payment. 

Sharing can be done via any communication app on the user’s device. From messaging apps like WhatsApp to Messenger to social media platforms, email and SMS. Moreover, a friendly text is included, so the recipient always informed regarding the goal of the payment and the amount requested. The included text can be customized by the user before sending. 

For more information, contact Lourens Badenhorst. As the Checkmaxx Product Owner at Alphacomm, he is looking forward to helping you with any questions you might have.

Checkmaxx – Maximize profit for high risk digital goods

With Checkmaxx, resellers can offer companies that sell high risk digital goods & services an end-to-end e-commerce solution that increases revenue and boosts customer loyalty. 

In this series, we introduce our services and explain the ins and outs including what they can do for your customer’s businesses. 

 

What is Checkmaxx?

Checkmaxx, is a powerful tool that increases revenue and boosts customer loyalty for companies that sell high risk digital goods & services; from telecom, gaming and gift cards to prepaid credit cards. 

When it comes to customer retention, Checkmaxx is unmatched. Our focus on providing easy, user-friendly experiences makes Checkmaxx the ideal platform for companies looking to increase their revenue by reducing customer churn. In addition to making the online purchase of digital goods a secure and seamless process, Checkmaxx allows businesses to further increase customer engagement and loyalty by offering incentives like exclusive content, discounts and rewards in ways that cannot be done in brick & mortar stores.

Checkmaxx use cases 

Each business has its own unique set of challenges. Similarly, their customers also have their preferences which can differ by product category or user demographics. Checkmaxx is a flexible solution that can suit various business and consumer needs, regardless of industry, whether it’s gaming, mobility & transport, mobile top-up, energy, entertainment, gambling, online shopping or digital gifting. 

The following are examples of use cases for which Checkmaxx can be implemented:

  • Vouchers, gift card and game cards 

For businesses selling redeemable codes, it is important that users order their vouchers, gift cards or game cards as easily as possible and receive them in the most convenient manner as well. Checkmaxx’s voucher delivery options include SMS, e-mail as well as webpage, app, IVR, smart speakers, social delivery (sent via picture or video) and chatbot conversations. 

  • Direct top-up

This is when the end user buys prepaid credit or tops up a prepaid credit card, and the value is directly added to the user’s balance. Direct top-up can be implemented via various channels, including webpage, mobile app, smart devices like Alexa or Google Home, by having users scan a QR code, via IVR menus and even through a conversation with a (WhatsApp) chatbot.  

  • Automatic top-up

For many users, it’s useful to just place a standing order for recurring top-ups. This way, they wouldn’t need to go through the process of topping up whenever they ran low on credit. For businesses, e.g. mobile operators, this means they can have prepaid users become more postpaid-like. Users can set up recurring top-ups in various ways:

  • MRC: Monthly recurring
  • DOM: Day of the month
  • Low balance: If balance sinks under x-euro, then top-up with y-euro

Checkmaxx features and add-ons

As a reseller, you’ll be able to offer your customers, easy, user-friendly online checkout experiences that convert as well as first-class technical support for issues and feature requests.

We offer both resellers and their customers a top-notch dashboard for access to data like conversion ratios, new and returning customers, channel, average product value and more.

As a fully customizable solution, Checkmaxx can also be enhanced with:

  • Secure payment processing
  • Anti fraud protection
  • Detailed business intelligence reporting
  • Marketing Tools
  • Single Sign-On (SSO) options
  • Industry-specific user experiences

Trusted by leaders

Our solution is trusted by the world’s leading brands. Congstar, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile, KPN, Telefónica, China Telecom, O2, Ortel, Tesco and Vodafone are successfully using Checkmaxx in select markets.

More information on Checkmaxx?

For more information on Checkmaxx, feel free to contact Lourens Badenhorst. As the Checkmaxx Product Owner at Alphacomm, Lourens is looking forward to helping you with any questions you might have regarding our top-up platform. 

Additional language support added to Checkmaxx

New payment method: Carte Bancair

Are you active in France and do you want to offer your French customers an optimal payment experience? Then you can not do it without Carte Bancaire.

Carte Bancaire has more than 60 million cardholders

Carte Bancaire is the most used payment method in France. Before Carte Bancaire it was called Carte Bleue. The payment card is still popularly known as Carte Bleue.

Carte Bancaire is a Visa-branded debit card and is the most popular payment method in France. This is evident from the fact that Carte Bancaire has more than 60 million cardholders, which makes the payment card indispensable for an entrepreneur. This popular payment card is issued by all major French banks. Half of all payment cards are suitable for making online payments. This concerns all Carte Bancaire cards on which the “Verified by Visa” logo can be found.

Carte Bancaire is now added to our payment methods and all customers with these payment cards can pay securely online through our 130R Platform.