Mobile applications are a must for companies these days, some argue. But many businesses here still do not even have websites, let alone apps. Zack Morad, the chief executive of Eurisko Mobility, speaks about the kinds of apps his company develops for the Middle East and why it is bringing some of its operations to the Emirates.
Why should companies use mobile applications?
You're not always in front of your desktop or in front of your laptop, but your mobile phone gives you access to the internet. So … anytime you need anything, you are going to reach out for your phone. I don't think any business can afford not to have a mobile app because, as they used to say previously, if you don't have a website you don't exist.
But many businesses here don't even have websites, so do you think this trend will really take off?
You can't fight this trend. Your consumer wants a mobile app. He wants to be able to access your information anytime, anywhere, and that cannot be restricted by [business owners] and the way we like things to be done. If anyone skipped the website phase, they can't skip the mobile-app phase.
Your mobile-apps company is based in the US and Lebanon, but you are looking to move some operations to the UAE. Why?
The UAE has proven itself to be a hub for all the tech multinationals. It is a hub for a lot of the leading media organisations. It's a good place to be based out of. It's got good infrastructure and it's accessible from the region and Europe.
What kind of apps do you develop?
The majority of the applications we have been developing are basically on-demand. We have developed them for clients, media companies and banks. Since we have launched the banking application, [we have seen] a lot of demand for mobile and banking applications in the region.
Tell me about the banking app.
You can check your balance, you can transfer between chequing and savings [accounts], and you can set some alerts if you reach certain thresholds. It is highly secure because it is encrypted using https connections. We built it across multiple platforms. We built it for the iPhone, the iPad, Windows, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia.
That banking app is for a Lebanon-based bank. Do you have plans to contact any banks in the UAE?
Absolutely. That's going to be part of our move to the UAE … acquiring clientele there. Honestly, we have been getting requests as far as Africa for mobile apps after we launched our first mobile [banking] application.
* Gillian Duncan