Established in Saudi Arabia in 2014, PayTabs is an award-winning global fintech solutions platform with presence in more than 7 countries. Following the successful replication of its business model into other countries in the region, the company began eyeing the Egyptian market, seeking to capitalize on the lucrative opportunities available in it as well as a flexible and ever-evolving market landscape poised for digital payment growth. In 2019, EFG Hermes partnered with PayTabs to establish PayTabs Egypt as part of the Firm’s growing NBFI platform, working together to build a cutting-edge platform to facilitate financial inclusion and catering to both the online and digital payment needs of multiple consumer segments.
Operational Highlights of 2020
Having entered the market at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, PayTabs Egypt was poised to capitalize on the increased demand for digital, contactless, and cashless service offerings. The company partnered with three of the largest banks in Egypt to obtain its license for operations from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in April, allowing it to begin offering its services at the height of the imposed lockdown. This proved to be indispensable to businesses as they quickly pivoted their models to digital platforms to adapt to new conditions and in turn, allowed for the company to kickstart operations with a solid portfolio base.
The company was also met with challenges, owing to the transition to work-from-home protocols in early March, in line with PayTabs Global’s guidelines. Due to existing operational synergies between PayTabs Global and PayTabs Egypt, the technological infrastructure necessary to support the transition to remote work was already present and afforded the team flexibility in adapting to their new environment. In addition, the company adopted a 100% remote onboarding mechanism for merchants upon receiving approval from the CBE to ensure minimal physical interaction between parties.
A primary focus for the company was increasing brand awareness and building a solid reputation through engagement and outreach across social media platforms. This saw successful results in the first six months of operations, with PayTabs Egypt emerging with a sound identity in the Egyptian market, allowing it to position itself as one of the top three payment solutions providers in just nine months in the market.
Since its launch, PayTabs Egypt has worked to integrate its payments platform across the entirety of EFG Hermes’ NBFI platform, with the aim of improving synergies across the Group. The company has done so through an array of roles, including complementing their payment cycles by facilitating cash payments and solutions, improving their digital capabilities, as well as helping consumer lending, microfinance, and insurance entities introduce digital platforms. This not only allowed PayTabs Egypt to serve external entities but also to act as a partner to the Group’s subsidiaries and allow for increased synergies.
Forming strategic partnerships was a key area of focus for PayTabs Egypt throughout the year. The company engaged several external partners to support our sales team in introducing the PayTabs platform. This crowdsourcing model for sales allowed for the team to increase their outreach with outstanding results. Within six months of receiving our licensing, PayTabs Egypt was able to avail its solutions to a total of 300 merchants across a variety of industries such as retail, tourism, and hospitality, among others. In addition, the company was able to penetrate new industries as a result of increased digital presence that ensued due to the lockdown. This included education, where the company facilitated online tuition payments, as well as food and beverage where the company enabled online payments for goods.
PayTabs Egypt worked throughout the year to adjust its offering and introduce tailored features to its platform to accommodate consumers in the Egyptian market and to promote financial inclusion and accessibility for the unbanked segment of the population. Recognizing the importance of integrating local payment tools, the company partnered with Meeza to integrate its cards and wallets as a payment option across its platforms. Additionally, the company introduced a new acceptance tool utilizing QR codes to offer payment tools to micro-merchants, who are typically ineligible for other payment methods such as bank points of sale.
PayTabs Egypt also made great strides in enhancing its product offering during the year. The company positions itself as a comprehensive payment solutions platform, rather than solely a payment gateway. Accordingly, the team built its capacities to allow for seamless integration with merchants’ existing sales channels. Through this process, merchants can log into a dashboard and offer access to the gateway across their challenges using a number of forms, including links, QR codes, and open graphs. This allows PayTabs Egypt to afford solutions that add value to merchants and meet local market needs.
Additionally, PayTabs Egypt partnered with a major real estate developer IGI to offer a first-of-its-kind service to the real estate sector. Through this partnership, PayTabs Egypt will be able to digitize customers’ expressions of interest and offer their payment gateway to collect installment payments; moreover, they will avail their technological capabilities to create a community management application, which will add value to customers and residents.
As part of its commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Egyptian market, PayTabs Egypt has embarked on various initiatives to support SME growth. The company employs a segregated pricing model based on client size and type to afford them solutions that are able to support them in achieving their business goals. PayTabs Egypt adopted a subscription model for SME clients, allowing them to pay a monthly fee in exchange for full access to the PayTabs platform in lieu of a per transaction fee. The adoption of this model allowed PayTabs Egypt to partner with some of the country’s leading accelerators and venture capital firms to support SMEs. In addition, the company regularly participates in a number of startup summits and conferences such as RiseUp Summit, Career Summit, and the World Youth Forum. This, combined with their presence in the GrEEK Campus, a key startup hub, allows for frequent engagement with SMEs, allowing PayTabs Egypt to tailor solutions targeting growth and development for these companies. Following the CBE initiative to support SMEs, the company launched a three-month fee waiver for SME customers processing more than EGP 100,000 to support businesses impacted by the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the coming year, PayTabs Egypt will seek to build on its efforts in increasing brand awareness and establishing a solid identity in the Egyptian market through increased partnerships and engagement across the company’s social media platforms. Furthermore, the year will see the company establish itself as the leading payment solutions provider in Egypt.
In line with the CBE’s efforts to promote financial inclusion across the country and serve the unbanked segment of the population, PayTabs Egypt aims to introduce several initiatives to support microbusinesses. These initiatives will launch quarterly to offer a blanket of support to an array of businesses and segments. The company will also seek to adapt its onboarding process to align with the CBE’s guidelines and strategies.
In 2021, PayTabs Egypt will also seek to build on its technical offerings in order to provide its clients with a comprehensive digital payment solutions platform, meeting technological capacities of all scales. The company will also improve products serving existing clients, introducing new features and enhancements to help companies build on their offerings. In addition, PayTabs Egypt will work
to introduce a range of new products targeting new industries to meet market needs and cement itself as the payment solutions provider of choice to local partners.
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