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MEF Advisor Ross Flynn was in Amsterdam for the Global Carrier Billing and Mobile Payments Summit and MEF’s Meet-up held during Sam Media’s ‘Samsterdam’ event – here he shares a rundown of the discussions.

It wouldn’t quite be the Global Carrier Billing and Mobile Payments Summit, without the annual MEF Meet-up taking place alongside it. It routinely brings together industry titans across the DCB, mVAS and the Carrier ecosystem and this year was no exception with the Meet-up being sponsored by Sam Media who kindly also hosted the event in their beautiful office as part of their annual Samsterdam event. I had the pleasure of moderating three micro-sessions that took us zipping through Europe, Africa and MENA looking at the state of fraud around the world.

It was an intense series of quick-fire rounds as we first took on Europe with Léon Dijksman (Sam Media), Lilly Xenu (DCB Consultant) and Frank van Rotterdam who is a regulator for mobile payments locally in the Netherlands. It was particularly refreshing to have a regulator on a panel like this and Frank spoke very clearly and frankly on how Dutch regulators are approaching fraud. This openness in itself inspired confidence on how the country was handling fraud.

After that we moved on to Africa with our next round of speakers: Aurélien Duval Delort (BIZAO), Riccardo Vallaro (Sam Media) and David Lotfi (Evina). This proved especially challenging as 15 minutes is not enough time to cover a country, let alone a continent and it’s possible that there is no continent as diverse as Africa with so many different markets.

Our speakers soldiered through and delivered in the end. From top to bottom of Africa, it was clear there was an enormous opportunity for growth but the speakers made it clear that it was important to read different markets by partnering locally. One option is to use local monitoring tools from MEF members like MCP Insight and Empello to get a better read on the market you’re after.

Finally, we wrapped our content for the day by discussing fraud in the MENA region with Işık Uman (TPAY), Thomas Tinker (MCP Insight) and Rami Dahabreh (Sam Media). We saw here that unfortunately, this region has seen a bit of an increase when it comes to fraud, particularly with the likes of ad fraud. This is a problem seen from the smaller players all the way to the bigger players.

One particular ad fraud type in the region becoming very common across MENA internet traffic was that of misleading banners and videos.

After these intense sessions, we wiped the sweat from our brow and went on to a boat ride along the beautiful Amsterdam canals before ending with the main MEF Meet-up itself for booze and food. If you want to set your GCBS visit on the right foot, Samsterdam and the MEF-up are becoming an essential first step to that trip.

Ross Flynn

Advisor, MEF