Egypt's electronic payment platform Fawry to expand into Gulf

Ahram Online, Saturday 10 May 2014

After rapid expansion across Egypt since its founding in 2009, electronic payment company Fawry eyes UAE and GCC markets

Fawry, the platform which allows Egyptian consumers to pay for services electronically, announced on Saturday that it is poised to expand in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, starting with the United Arab Emirates.

The announcement came ahead of the company’s participation in the Cards and Payment Middle East, the region’s largest smart card and payments show, due to take place on 13 and 14 May in Dubai.

Fawry is a bilingual Arabic-English platform which allows customers to pay for services either online, via mobile phone, or at a point of sale machine.

Launched in Egypt in 2009, the payment service has since taken off fast in a country where under 10 percent of the adult population have an account at a formal financial institution, according to the World Bank.

According to 2012 statistics by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS), 24.9 percent of Egyptians cannot read or write.

Fawry now boasts over 40,000 points of presence across the country, including 15 banks, 4,200 ATMs, 1,300 Egypt Post Office branches, and 35,000 retailers including pharmacies, supermarkets, and convenience stores.

“The main driver of Fawry’s growth is reach: first, we set out to cater to all customer segments, whether banked or un-banked and, second, we went on to acquire a large number of billers and banks. This way we ensured that a wide segment of the Egyptian population is using and benefiting from Fawry,” said founder and CEO Ashraf Sabry.

The network processes more than one million daily transactions according to the company, worth LE 4 billion (around $571 million) annually.

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