Aman Group aims to enter the Saudi market before the end of 2022 and is currently negotiating with a number of investors to set up a partnership.
Mohamed Wahby, CEO of Aman Digital Payments — one of Aman’s financial services companies — said that the company is currently conducting advanced negotiations with a strategic partner in the Saudi market to start the company’s operations there as part of an expansion plan.
He also told Daily News Egypt in an interview that there is currently a promising opportunity in the Saudi market related to the consumer finance market, which is why the company has begun to take some actual steps to pursue it.
This is in addition to conducting a comprehensive study on the possibility of providing other services related to fintech activity. He explained that this study will take some time to finalise to ascertain the opportunities available in Saudi Arabia.
Furthermore, he stated that the reason behind choosing Saudi Arabia for expansion is related to the similarity of the Egyptian and Saudi markets, the size of the Saudi market, the opportunities available in it, as well as Saudi customs, language, and culture, along with the remarkable openness to foreign companies being present in Saudi Arabia, and the availability of a favourable opportunity for technology export.
Aman Digital Payments aims to be present in Saudi Arabia through an integrated technological experience, which is what is currently being worked on, according to Wahby, who added: “Expansion abroad does not contradict at all with developing services and seizing growth opportunities locally, especially since the local sector will enjoy promising growth opportunities in the coming period.”
He pointed out that the company has recently automated the operations that customers conduct in branches, such as filling in the data for applying for consumer finance, as well as launching the Aman Super App, which enables customers to conduct all financial transactions provided by Aman Group through a single channel.
For merchants, the app also provides an alternative security application for PoS devices, whereby merchants can conduct financial transactions through it without having to purchase the machine.
Moreover, Aman Digital Payments provides more than 2,000 financial services through its PoS, as the company receives more than two million transactions daily on its huge network, according to the CEO.
He also revealed that the company is interested in obtaining a digital banking license from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), as well as working to launch the Aman payments card before the end of this year, and that they are in the process of obtaining the necessary approvals.
He added that the company is in the process of contracting with a bank to launch the card, which aims to issue about 100,000 – 200,000 cards annually to Aman customers.
Additionally, the company is focusing on increasing electronic payment acceptance services, given its consistent initiative to include more payment services that can be used by customers, which has led the company to acquire a market share of 40 to 45% of all payments.
The company also intends to expand ways of cooperation with banks, as the company currently deals with about six banks in withdrawal, deposit, and bill payment services led by Banque du Caire and Saib Bank through Meeza, MasterCard, and Visa cards.
Moreover, the company seeks to expand and develop these services to include a larger number of banks, as it aims in the next stage to increase the number of banks it cooperates with to about 10 bank to seize larger market shares in this regard.
He added that technology represents the company’s backbone, as it provides Aman’s customers with safety and ease of access to the available high quality services, noting that the company always invests in its technological infrastructure and constantly develops it to keep pace with the latest global trends.
He also pointed out that the non-banking Aman Group achieved a remarkable growth rate in the volume of its revenues during the first quarter (1Q) of 2021 with a growth of 49%.
Furthermore, Wahby stressed that if electronic signatures and “know your customer” technology is available, a qualitative leap will occur in the digital payments sector in Egypt and will end many obstacles for customers in using various fintech applications, as it reduces the cost of services provided to the customer and will contribute to targeting a broader base of individuals.
On the protection of data, Wahby stressed that the company adopts international standards in the protection of transactions, in addition to the fact that the risk ratios in electronic transactions have become the same worldwide, which is very low.
He added that the current challenge for companies is not only development, but also improving the customer experience after the spread of digital payments, while the state also has space in developing payments processes within government departments and replacing recurring payments on the one side with a single payment process to improve the customer experience.
Wahby then explained that companies in the sector must always think of innovative solutions to keep pace with the needs of individuals towards fintech, explaining the importance of the flexibility of legislation that gives space for control and creativity to companies so that they may devise new solutions that meet the needs of individuals.
He also stressed the importance of making technology data available easily because it is an important component of development for sector players to evaluate their new ideas and address behaviour before building solutions.
Finally, he said that the data also supports companies in covering the state’s goals, which must be announced to the players in the sector to help the state reach its goals, stressing that the technological infrastructure is ready and qualified for companies’ innovations.