Saudi Telecom’s mobile-money platform STC Pay has joined forces with U.S.-based digital financial services company Moven to allow STC Pay customers to track their money and spending. The STC Pay app includes a spending analytics section covering total spending for the current month, spending for each day, and average spending. Under the deal with Moven, STC Pay’s 7.4 million customers can track their spending history and filter it by date, transaction type and account.
As we have frequently reported, mobile payment services have ballooned in recent years. From their start as banking substitutes in developing economies, these platforms have expanded their reach into quite highly developed markets, providing convenience for more affluent users who prize the seamlessness of integrating financial services into their relationship with their mobile service providers. And MNOs have benefited in many ways, from transaction fees to enhanced loyalty and marketplace relevance.
Saudi Arabia certainly qualifies as a sophisticated and developed economy, and customers of Saudi Telecom who use STC Pay are most likely doing so for convenience’s sake and not because they lack other ways of performing transactions. That is why an additional feature such as personal financial analytics is particularly desirable. STC Pay users no not need to use the digital wallet; they do so because it is a value-added convenience. The analytics aspect of the app can be thought of as value added to the value-added service.
Moven seems to be a very appropriate partner for developing and implementing such a functionality. Founded in the U.S. in 2010, it is considered a “challenger bank” and emphasizes enterprise software in its business. The alliance between Moven and Saudi Telecom shows that in there is a meaningful crossover zone between mobile operators and fintech firms. And as younger customers increasingly avoid cash and do their business from their phones, in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, this zone is set to grow.