Du, MAF, Beam Wallet collaborate on digital shopping venture
Partnership to target ‘one in 10 transactions in the UAE’
UAE teleco du this week teamed up with Majid Al Futtaim Group (MAF) and m-commerce start-up Beam Wallet on a digital wallet and rewards scheme.
"The collaboration represents a unique approach to building digital wallet capability, for the first time combining the consumer reach of a leading telecommunications provider, a market-dominant retailer and an already successful mobile commerce and rewards platform," the three companies said in a joint statement.
Beam Wallet is free to download on iOS or Android. While in proximity to a participating retail outlet, users are alerted to rewards that can be redeemed at point of sale when purchasing items using their phone.
"Our ambition goes beyond providing customers with phone lines, Internet and TV," said Osman Sultan, CEO, du. "We're offering digital services that add life to life and supporting the UAE leadership's vision of a Smart City. The UAE is well regarded for its retail infrastructure, with some of the most tech-savvy consumers in the world. This creates the perfect environment for us to set global standards for digital shopping."
Beam Wallet, founded in 2012, hopes the partnership can expand its footprint in the UAE. Its mobile app combines online retail with a rewards scheme for shoppers and the company claims "exclusive" offers in more than 1,100 retail outlets across the country. Beam Wallet has pledged to grow this number to over 2,000 by the end of March through Majid Al Futtaim's portfolio of leisure and retail outlets.
Iyad Malas, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Group, said: "The future of retail is intrinsically linked to mobile technology, and our participation in this partnership recognises the value and opportunity for each partner and their customers. This certainly enhances our leadership in creating innovative and rewarding shopping experiences for our customers, and ensures we harness the latest technology applications across our many brands."
Of further benefit to Beam Wallet will be du's significant subscriber base, all of whom will be eligible for Beam Wallet deals. In the companies' joint statement they express the belief that because of the UAE's particularly high smartphone penetration, the trio's partnership could lead to Beam Wallet one day accounting for "one in 10 transactions in the UAE".
"There are two significant elements to this story," said Shezan Amiji, co-founder, Beam Wallet. "Not only does Beam Wallet provide a platform and product that delivers more than any other solution available globally right now, but this partnership is probably a world-first too. This brings together best-in-class industry players: a telco with access to a large customer base, a regional retail leader with a broad network of retail touch-points, and a digital platform that delivers a mobile commerce proposition that is equally compelling for both consumers and retailers."