Meet the Team – Richard Fisher, Head of Technology
13 December 2021
How long have you been working at SLA Digital and what led you to your current role?
I have been working at SLA Digital for just over ten years now. I was always into computers as a kid, I got my first computer when I was 12 years old and taught myself to program, and I suppose that’s how I got into the industry. If it wasn’t my job I think I would be doing it anyway in my spare time – I’m a big nerd! I grew up in Australia, and while I was living and working there I decided to make a change and move to Malaysia. That’s where I got a job at SLA Digital, and I then worked my way up from there to my current role.
What does your job entail and are there any aspects which you particularly enjoy?
As Head of Technology ultimately I am responsible for everything technology related, so everything either development and code related or platform architecture related and managing those teams. I get to spend quite a bit of my time writing code and it’s still probably the thing that I enjoy the most.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for mobile operators and how can SLA Digital’s technology help?
I guess for mobile operators the biggest challenge is that running a carrier billing business requires a lot of different resources. It requires not just the technology but support, and to make it a success you need an onboarding team, a business development team, a partner management team and so on. When you really get into it it’s a lot more involved and takes lot more people than you may initially think. So we aim to take all that work away from mobile operators and manage everything for them.
For mobile operators and merchants looking into carrier billing, how difficult is it to set up and what technical support do SLA Digital provide?
Again it’s one of those things that when you first look at it you don’t realise how involved it is, until you actually start doing it. There’s a big difference between providing a charge and refund API and actually providing a platform that enables onboarding and service creation with lots of different checkout flows, subscription billing and all the other things that you need to make a complete carrier billing service. The good news is our integration team offer support throughout the entire process and remove the heavy lifting for mobile operators and merchants.
What can mobile operators and merchants expect from SLA Digital’s carrier billing platform?
The platform has been developed over a long period of time, and since the start we have been taking feedback from mobile operators and merchants and adding features that they have requested. What they can expect is something that has a lot of features, is very configurable and has everything they need.
How essential is fraud prevention in the mobile payments industry and how are SLA Digital’s solutions helping to fight against fraud?
In the last three years or so we’ve seen an increase in the amount of attempted fraud and as carrier billing adoption becomes more widespread fraud prevention should be at the top of everybody’s list. At SLA Digital we have our own fraud detection capabilities and have developed real-time fraud detection and prevention APIs. We have been able to use our own experience of carrier billing and we also work with third party experts in fraud like AWS and Empello.
Looking at the mobile payments industry as a whole, do you see any untapped opportunities or a need for more focus anywhere?
There is a trend towards mobile wallets so I think there’s going to continue to be opportunities there. More specific to carrier billing I think there’s a need to simplify the whole checkout experience and more technical developments at mobile device level such as pin autofill could also have a positive impact.
What progress has SLA Digital made in the carrier billing space in the past few years and what is your team’s current focus?
We are always working on new mobile operator integrations but aside from that we have been focused a lot on security in the last 12 months and fraud prevention. We also spend a lot of time focusing on analytics and business intelligence. We really go beyond basic functionality to provide insight that we think will be useful to mobile operators and merchants to help make carrier billing a success.