In part 2 of this interview, Curtis Roach from SiGMA News reaches out to Tumaini Maligana, Country Manager for Parimatch Tanzania as he shares his thoughts on which aspects of the European market he would like to implement in his own operations in order to continue online growth sustainably
Already a growing, bustling market, Tanzania is still, relatively, a very new iGaming market and still has an exciting journey ahead before it reaches the same online gaming penetration levels of its European counterparts. In part 1 of our conversation with Tumaini Maligana, Country Manager for Parimatch Tanzania spoke of his experiences dealing with the pandemic last year and its effect on customer behaviour.
Now, in part 2, Tumaini opens up about some of the key online conversion challenges he experienced last year and how these can be overcome in the future.
What are the challenges to improving online conversion in Tanzania and similar African regions?
To improve this conversion process, operators need to ensure they have an omni-channel product where transactions can be made in shop and online, to create a smoother user experience when depositing and withdrawing. For example, in store Self-service terminals should look the same as your desktop site. Helping the customer to feel more comfortable and familiar when using the mobile platform.
Targeted marketing is also a key tool for online conversion. There is a huge database of just retail players that are not being engaged properly. These customers love the betting shop atmosphere, and we need to better understand these guys. We need to educate them on the benefits of being online with aspects such as privacy, bonuses and comfortability. Once you have this list you can directly target them with a unified message but unfortunately, we do not have these sorts of tech capabilities in our market at the moment which is holding us back as online operators.
Tariff issues are another major hurdle. Online or mobile transactions can sometimes surge up to 3% dependent on the operator and this is a real turn off for our customers. In retail shops they are not changed for any transactions and its transactions are instant. We need to be able to offer this sort experience for cheaper. Our customers like to have their money ‘in-hand’ as much as possible and not have it held somewhere.
KYC – Many of the European operators attempting to gain a share of our market have very stringent KYC process but it’s not working in Africa. In order for players to meet the KYC requirements, they need to possess certain documents that are not practically available to all people. Not everyone has a driving licence and passports is even more rare, the majority of people just stay in their country and don’t travel anywhere, so they don’t need one. We have started to incorporate national id’s and voters’ cards into our KYC process instead. But this is problematic also because citizens only get these cards after every election, which happens every 5 years, so there is a whole gap of 18 – 23 year-olds in the market that are eligible to play but can’t because they don’t have a card. This is a big problem for us, and we are still hoping to find a solution to this.
What can you learn from European counterparts?
I’m a big fan of the affiliate marketing model that seems to be so popular in European markets especially. However, African traffic is different from European traffic, they rely heavily on affiliates to get the right quality of players, but this doesn’t work currently in Africa. Because of wider technological advancements we have actually skipped some of the European traditional means of communication. In the African market blogs and websites are not popular in comparison with certain social media channels, which have a lot of engagement. There are a lot of popular sports and betting channels instead of blogs and websites. What I would adopt from Europe is the way they gate traffic from the affiliates, but I would change the model slightly and have it based on social media channel partnerships rather than with websites or blogs. Communicating in that channel is the best chance for converting leads. We need a European affiliate model but tailored for the Africa market.
If European affiliates come to Africa and create a publication, it’s primary means of communication should be via link sharing, Whatsapp, Telegram and Facebook. This would be most effective because Africa is social.
I’m a big fan of the European CRM strategies. People in Tanzania used to just focus on registration and pay little mind to retention strategies. But we really see now the need to retain and re-activate these clients. Awarding them with bonuses based on their activities and adapt European models such as VIP clubs and benefits for returning players. But now I can see this has started and is definitely a trend for the future.
European operators need to convey a message that is more realistic. The world is changing and people are understanding that in the long run, more often than not, they will lose money. They need to push a message of gaming entertainment and pleasure. We should no longer push the image of buying private jets and winning life changing amounts of money. Customers these days are savvy to this and your brand will be seen as deceitful and of sending the wrong message to people. This needs to be communicated 360 degrees that it’s just entertainment and responsible gambling. We also want to start introducing self-exclusion as we are seeing many cases of problem gambling across the market.
From catching up with Tumaini, it’s clear that there are still so many opportunities to gain a slice of the increasingly important online sector. As a result of the pandemic, operators now see it as a necessity to have an online platform that offers more than just sports betting while still providing some of the same comfortabilities that would usually be associated with retail channels only. There is clearly still much progress to be made in regard to tech capability and educating the market before it’s true potential is realised. Learning from the successful marketing models of their European companies will help to speed up this process but only if adopted in a way that will fit the African culture. Exciting times for Tanzania!
Read Interview Pt. 1 here!
SiGMA adds Hindi as its 7th language:
SiGMA Group is excited to announce the launch of a 7th language to its website. Users can find all content, including the SiGMA News website, in Hindi. The latest addition to SiGMA’s portfolio of languages will run alongside the recently launched French, Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese content, and aims to cater to SiGMA’s global vision.