Cloud9 seeks trade partners to share spoils of eradicating roaming costs

Cloud9 seeks trade partners to share spoils of eradicating roaming costs

Travel firms are being offered the chance to drive ancillary revenue by providing customers with mobile sim cards that can eradicate roaming charges.

Cloud9 Mobile Communications is offering a revenue share deal based on usage and says one travel insurance partner in Asia Pacific has made $1.4 million in just 14 months.

Mani Patel, sales and marketing director for Cloud9, said the sim works in 220 countries offering reduced costs and for 120 of those it offers completely free roaming and text messages.

He said a white label page can be added to partner websites via Cloud9’s API and the sim can be offered as part of the booking process just as travel insurance and other add-ons are.

Trade partners must agree to take a minimum quantity of cards – a major brand would take around 5,000 – and put down an airtime deposit.

As customers use the minutes that deposit decreases and Cloud9 conducts a monthly reconciliation of trade partners’ accounts.

Patel said: “What we find in travel is customers are budgeting for their communication costs while they are away.

“On a 14-day holiday most people will look at spending £3 to £5 a day on a few calls home and uploading a couple of pictures to Facebook.

“What you find is people will pre-pay before they go on holiday and then they are left with money on the sim they do not use while they are away.

“If you look at the travel market, competition is increasing, revenues are coming down and people are looking for that extra revenue generator and something that’s easy to administer.

“Once this is set up it runs itself. There is the integration, but we do all that for you and then all you have to sort out is the front-end.”

Cloud9 has been in the telecoms industry since 2003 providing roaming solutions. Over the last two years it claims to have distributed two million sim cards globally.

However, it believes there is a greater opportunity working with travel firms and Patel said it has had interest from tour operators and travel agents whether selling online or face to face.

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