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Self-service SIM solution debuts in Africa and Middle East

A new payment solution which allows customers to purchase SIM cards, top up pre-paid phones and pay bills is launching across the Middle East and Africa. NCR Corporation’s SelfServ Bill Pay Kiosk solution is already in use with several major Middle East operators.

The self-service solution can help telecom operators capture more market share by allowing their in-store staff to focus on helping consumers with more complex questions about new products or services, rather than dealing with payment transactions.

The solution is aimed at market requirements specific to Africa and the Middle East, where consumers are increasingly buying multiple SIM cards for different pricing plans or personal and business calls. One in ten mobile phones sold in the regions are now dual SIM on average, according to market research firm Gfk, and triple SIM card devices are now being launched.

Tourists and migrant workers who opt to buy SIM cards for “unlocked” phones could also benefit from the solution. Dual SIM devices are popular among this demographic as they allow customers to make cheaper calls when they are abroad, rather than incurring expensive voice and data roaming charges from their home network operators.

Nadine Routhier, vice president, NCR Telecom & Technology, said: “By delivering innovation to meet local market needs we are helping operators transform their businesses by increasing productivity while offering customers a choice and flexibility of channel, resulting in an improved customer experience.”

NCR’s software can vend SIM cards to any consumer or only those who have presented their proof of identity at a store and have an account with the mobile operator, according to local legal requirements. It also takes into account any regulatory policy limiting the number of SIM cards registered under individual customers' names if required.

Telecom operators can optimise their return on investment in the kiosks with NCR's managed services. NCR offers a complete portfolio of support services designed to increase availability and enhance consumer interactions while improving operational efficiency such as remote system monitoring and 24/7 help desk support.

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