This year, Brazil’s Nexxera Group is celebrating 21 years of operations. And entering into its third decade of work, the Florianópolis-based company has made a major shift the focus of its business – a concept it has coined full mobile.
Nexxera Group is in the process of rolling out a complete package to manage the mobile transactions process from end to end, integrating with banks, financial institutions, merchants and consumers. Not only do its technologies improve customer service and business processes, but they also prevent fraud.
The suite of products offered by Nexxera is quite extensive, from bill payment to mobile wallets and payment collection. In July, we explored a bit of what the company is up to with one of its products, NexxPago.
Most recently, we caught up with Edson Silva, President of Nexxera Group, to learn more about the company’s mobile pivot and his view of the mobile lay of the land in Brazil and beyond.
Emily Stewart: Mobile hasn’t always been your point of focus. At what point did you realize the lay of the land was transforming, and what factors led you to finally make the change?
Edson Silva: Nexxera Group has always invested in innovation, always being aware of trends and also provoking change. Mobility through the web has been the first step. Before that, when talking about sales force automation with handheld devices and laptops, solutions already existed that allowed for mobility and connectivity. With the increasing number of individual users and the growing presence of mobile phones, the company started a strong program in 2008 to bring its technologies to mobile in any category, whether in B2B or B2C relationships.
ES: You’ve talked about a full mobile concept. Can you explain what you mean by that?
ES: We understand that mobile isn’t just an accessory for you to access a website, web services or even applications and games. It should allow a person to meet their everyday needs. You can’t just offer anything; it has to provide real support. In this sense, Nexxera Group works to provide more complete solutions, especially in access to shopping, interaction, payments, cards and accessibility. We understand that we are actually a full mobile service.
We introduced the full mobile concept during the Mobile Payment Summit, which took place in São Paulo in September of this year. It derives from solutions that we have developed, such as capturing and processing payments. Full mobile, in my view, is a solution that can manage and integrate all the steps in the payment process, including mobility. After over 20 years with Nexxera, I can say that there is a great demand for platforms that, when integrated with other services already offered, result in a complete process of managing electronic transactions. In other words, the client wants to have a complete package to manage the process from end to end, to create and manage invoices, no headaches.
The standard for full mobile that I defend contemplates every step of receiving and processing payments, including integration to banks and other financial institutions, as well as improving customer service and preventing fraud. Other beneficiaries are the members of the value chain, the 360 degree view that allows the client to pay with mobile and the supplier to use it for billing, invoicing and management. Mobility becomes a mandatory requirement and process, not just an instrument in the hands of people or companies to handle a single account.
ES: Everyone seems to agree that mobile payments are the future, but there is a long way to go before we get there. What are the major obstacles you perceive?
ES: The biggest barriers are cultural, after which comes the need for simple applications that adhere to people’s necessities and characteristics. There isn’t a good application that does not register with how people operate. Legal issues and regulations may restrict service options, but they don’t prevent many of them.
With respect to the Brazilian market, we undoubtedly have a long way to go. But as a country of continental dimensions, even this small slice that already uses mobile payments represents a few million people. According to research, the percentage of Brazilians who own smartphones will increase from 17 % in 2013 to 37 % in 2016. Considering that we have today in the country about 240 million cell phones, this is a very relevant percentage in terms of business. And the technology we developed here at Nexxera allows any mobile phone, not just a smartphone, to make mobile payments. The transactions in this case are made via USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), present in all GSM networks and compatible with any mobile phone.
Beyond that, a month ago, the Central Bank of Brazil signed the regulation of mobile payments in the country. This will make it clear how the service should be offered, defining the assignments of mobile operators, banks and non-financial companies to offer the transaction option. With these new regulations and a growing market, we expect – and will work for – even more investment and innovation in new technologies.
ES: To what extent do you think mobile can be implemented in business processes? What are the limitations?
ES: Business processes already require mobile technologies, especially in the sales process, collection and receipt. Also, the facilities of transforming cell phones into mobile devices that capture physical and mobile cards offer a strong equipment package. Security procedures already are and will be part of any business plan with significant appeal among autonomous professionals and in a formalizing economy.