CAIRO: With plans to invest around LE 100 million in Egypt over the next three years, Bee Payment Solutions underlined its confidence in the country’s investment climate.
Operating in Egypt for the past six months, with 2 million transactions completed, Bee announced on Wednesday its official launch in the country, making it the first market the company enters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Egypt will also be acting as the Middle East hub for Technobiz Equipment PTL LTD, the multinational payment solution provider that is currently recognized in Asia and Europe.
Customers nationwide in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, or in Upper Egypt’s Delta will be able to use Bee’s payment outlets to submit their phone, internet, or home gas bills with no extra fees, as well as recharge their prepaid mobile phones.
“It’s a free service, meaning that if your mobile phone bill is LE 100, you will pay just that amount, nothing more,” said Mohamed Abu Khadra, the company’s senior marketing manager.
To better serve the majority of Egyptians, the company’s managing director said they plan to take a different approach than their competitors, primarily targeting individuals who choose cash over banking to complete their daily transactions.
“We are not targeting bank customers, we are here for the 95 percent of Egyptians who don’t have bank accounts, these are the people we want to help,” said Alex Lyon, Bee Egypt’s managing director. “However, that does not mean we will not provide the option of visa payments, we plan to have it soon.”
Moreover, when it comes to security concerns for Egypt’s clients, Lyon said that customers should rest assured.
“We know what we are talking about and we’ve been in this business for years, we know how to secure networks because our technology is extremely advanced,” he pointed out.
The company also has an around-the-clock customer service center.
So far, the company has signed agreements with Etisalat Egypt, Mobinil, 2m.net, and LinkDotNet, allowing customers to access their technology in order to pay bills or costs to these providers.
The partnership with 2m.net serves the country’s online gamers who often find it difficult to pay for their games via the web or mobile; now, however, they will be able to use Bee’s technology to pay for their games with an “e-voucher.”
“We’ve also signed up with Petro-Trade, whose gas bill collectors will bring our Bee equipments and its customized software to the doorstep of Bee clients,” said Abu Khadra.
All customers have to do is insert or submit their money for whatever bill they need to pay inside the ATM-like machines, which are available in several venues.
Abu Khadra pointed out that merchants have a machine suitable for their size and location.
For example, kiosk owners will have small, mobile devices used to complete the transaction accompanied with a handheld printer to provide customers with quick receipts, showing that their bill has been successfully paid.
In just six months of business in Egypt, the company has provided outlets, petrol stations, kiosks, malls, and supermarkets nationwide with 1,500 payment machines with state-of-the art secured technology.
But, it does not stop there, Abu Khadra says the company plans to have 10,000 outlets across Egypt equipped with their payment machines very soon.
“We are currently negotiating contracts with other governmental bodies, Egyptian banks, and telecommunications companies,” he added.
Abu Khadra added that the company’s commitment to Egypt goes beyond expanding investments; Bee also has a responsibility towards the community.
“Currently we are in alliance with Helwa Ya Balady, which is a group of young Egyptians who are dedicated to enhancing the country and helping out those who may need assistance in our community,” he said.
TBE for payment Solutions and Services S.A.E. conducts business under the brand name of Bee. Bee’s headquarters are currently located in Singapore.
The company has been in the payment solutions business for the past six years, with a growth rate of 60 percent in Egypt alone.