Alessandro Fried: Providing a real omni-channel environment
Alessandro Fried, CEO of BtoBet, has emphasised how finding the right technology partner is vital for operators who are looking to establish themselves in the African market.
Speaking to SBC, Fried looked into the differences between the established markets of Europe and new markets such as Africa whilst also discussing how betting brands risk wasting years attempting to understand the African markets if they don’t find the right technology partners to help make the transition.
He stated: “An operator that wants to move from Europe to this country first of all with have to find a partner for the technology. There is no way that with the same technology that they have [in Europe] they will be able to go [to Africa], no way.
“So the first thing is they will have to find the right partner. When they find the right partner then the journey will be quite simple. Otherwise, they will lose some years in understanding [African] markets.”
Fried also revealed the opportunities and challenges that came with operating in the newer African market. He discussed how the difference in pricing leads to an increased reliability on efficient systems and underlined how mobile payments provide the African market with an improved UX when compared to Europe.
He added: “Africa was a very interesting opportunity, its a market that when we started to enter was widely retail, still in many countries widely retail. It was starting and now its exploding the online part, so we entered that market and there was some big challenges that we faced.
“First of all, the performance and the cost of these performance because many operators don’t understand that when you’re average ticket is 10 cents instead of £7 to £9 this changes because the revenue per bet is quite low, which means you have massive quantities of bets so you need to have a system that is very efficient. When you talk about online to bring an efficient system its a challenge for a lot of companies.
“Another challenge was UX. The problem of Africa is that you have a large variety of device from new ones to really old versions of the device. You have internet connection issues, as well as a cost of internet compared to the wage of an average person which is quite high, so you need to deliver an experience which is very fast and very cost-effective in the market.
“And then there are payments which are very different than what you find in Europe. Payments are widely mobile that make a better UX than what you can find in Europe because directly when you place a bet you can collect the money directly from the credit of the phone of a player.
“So it makes the process much simpler in terms of you don’t need a registration – you can manage it together with the payment. You are in and out of the money but it’s mainly instantaneous, you have no chargeback risk so its from a different aspect a challenge as well in improving UX where the level of literacy of the people in Africa is quite low, you need to challenge the UX so its very simple.
“We think that for this you reduce the number of features is not true. In Africa, we have cashouts, partial cashouts, functionality that is widely used in Europe and you wouldn’t expect to have in Africa. You have it, but you have to do it in a very simple way.”
As well as the widely used functionality features that are available in the African market, Fried also discussed how unlike in the UK, the African market provides a real omni-channel environment.
The CEO concluded: “Africa is as well very interesting because we launch more and more what we call a real omni-channel environment, but still when you go here in the UK its not really existing. You have the retail but its mainly driven by anonymous betting and you have the online with a poor connection between the two.
“So we challenge a lot of technology in order to create a real connection where for us retail is not anymore anonymous, retail is always a way to deliver a service to a well-known person.
“I think that all this knowledge we acquired from Africa can become an interesting knowledge that we can bring as well back in Europe, where because system was legacy and because they didn’t try a new approach with the technology they are probably losing innovation.”
*This feature has been published by SBC News.