DCB holds ‘potential to surpass credit card use’ in Africa and the Middle East

Cybersecurity firm Evina and tech company Telecoming published a report depicting an uprising in Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). 

DCB works as a payment method by adding additional charges to a customer’s phone bill when the same user purchases any third-party services through their mobile device.  

Roberto Monge, Chief Operations Officer at Telecoming, said: “The DCB Index seeks to provide the market with a standard indicator of an industry we know well. MEA is an extraordinarily dynamic and very mature region regarding mobile payments. 

“In fact, the average level of innovation in DCB has increased by 13% compared to 2021 with the enlargement of new uses of this payment technology, such as sports subscriptions, that has grown considerably during the last year.

“We want to go along with operators and brands that wish to develop the market in a safe, sustainable, and profitable way. The countries analysed have demonstrated their commitment to Direct Carrier Billing as a strategic growth lever for the so-called mobile economy in the region.”

The point-based system on which the study was conducted incorporates ratings between one and five as in lowest and highest potential for mass DCB adoption, with criteria being factored in such as the state of DCB fraud protection, DCB innovation rates and the country’s overall DCB penetration. 

By putting those parameters in action the DCB Index 2022 has determined that South Africa is the leading country in the ranking, boasting a total score of 3.4 out of the maximum 5.  

Closely following are North Africa with Morocco and the Middle East’s UAE with a score of 3.3 and 3.2 respectively. According to the report, those countries stand out with investments in DCB cybersecurity and DCB integration by all mobile operators.

David Lotfi, CEO of Evina, commented: “The overall fraud prevention of mobile players across the Middle East and Africa has increased by 0.2 compared to 2021, showing a collective willingness to safeguard the powerful payment tool that is Direct Carrier Billing. 

“Businesses have yet to understand that DCB can become even more powerful than credit cards and that mobile operators already have all the advantages to elevate DCB and become the biggest fintech companies. 

“DCB is without a doubt a major opportunity for the African continent alongside mobile money, if protected with the right cybersecurity solutions. 

“This DCB Index has been created with the sole purpose of giving mobile players an overview of the development of DCB in the MEA region in order to better understand how to improve their business in their own country or what conditions to consider when deploying in these countries.”