Mohamed Al-Rashidi, Chairman of One Global, said that “the company currently has 70,000 customers in the local market. It aims to increase the number over the upcoming period after signing a partnership agreement with Banque Misr to offer electronic payment services to a large group of retailers.”
Al-Rashidi told Daily News Egypt that “the company is negotiating with two companies to offer new electronic payment services, one of which is in the field of telecommunications and the other is in the field of device manufacturing.”
How does your company find the investment climate in the Egyptian market, especially after the flotation of the pound?
The flotation increases the attractiveness of the Egyptian market, giving investors larger opportunities to invest. It is a good step to encourage our companies to continue in the Egyptian market. In my opinion, there is large demand by foreign investors on the Egyptian market as a result of the decision.
Why does One Global invest in Egypt?
Egypt shows exceptional potential as a big telecommunication market due to a strong economic climate that actively encourages growth in private investment. There is no doubt the telecommunication and technology sector is one of the most competitive sectors when it comes to investment. Also, the Egyptian market will be able to solve and overcome the obstacles it is facing in the short-term.
The most significant obstacle facing the investors is the exchange rate crisis, which is expected to be resolved soon, and the Egyptian market is large and has many opportunities and high returns on investment.
There are digital services in the financial sector that require approval from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). For example, in order to offer cash transfer services, I must have a license from the bank or a money exchange company. Moreover, according to the law, the electronic wallet is monopolised by banks, and this needs to change.
With nearly 100 million people in it, the Egyptian market is a large one. In order to drive Egyptians towards the banking sector, they must all have bank accounts, and this can happen by encouraging them to use electronic cards to receive their salaries and purchase their regular needs from stores through card payments. Legislations should also be made to offer services of the electronic wallet to any company that follows the conditions decided by the CBE, whether for security reasons or any others.
Recently, the National Council for Payments was established. How do you see the impact of this matter on the Egyptian market?
We are optimistic about the new legislations and the National Council for Payments to govern and control electronic financial services in Egypt, and we have heard that the council will work on encouraging digital transformation and establishing a patriotic technological solution for electronic payments instead of relying on the solutions of international companies. This is encouraging and may play a role in improving the climate of investment in the field of electronic payment services.
What are the most prominent investment opportunities in the Egyptian market and your future plans in Egypt?
We are a group that works in four sectors. They include mHealth, mTourism, mContent, and the mFinancial sector (Fintech). For example, we have an entire system that is based on cloud computing, which includes making reservations and payments, in addition to other services that tourism companies need. Therefore, there will be cooperation with one of the largest tourism companies to benefit from the technological solutions we offer.
With regards to the financial sector, we have a cooperation agreement with Banque Misr, and we have recently obtained a license from the CBE to provide electronic payment services. The company will provide e-payment machines at cafes, restaurants, and commercial centres soon in cooperation with Banque Misr.
For the mHealth sector, the company provides a new and advanced technology solution called “Tele-Medicine”, which is a service that allows physicians in remote villages to send medical scans and tests to major health centres for review and send them back via mobile devices.
We met with government officials and discussed how we can cooperate in this sector through our electronic solutions. Additionally, the company holds several negotiations with a number of mobile operators to activate our services.
This year will witness more cooperation between the private sector and the government, as we will launch our electronic payment services through a mobile operator and a smart phone manufacturer.
How many customers do you have in the Egyptian market?
There are about 70,000 people who use credit cards, and we aim for this number to reach 350,000 by 2020.
Do you have any expansion plans for the future?
The company offers its services in 16 countries, and we aim to increase our market share in these countries this year. We have about 2 million e-payment users, and we target to increase them up to 10 million users by 2020.
We have good experiences in implementing a number of large financial projects in some markets, such as Uganda, where we linked a local e-payment service with Visa and MasterCard, as well as telecommunication companies. We also applied this system in Kuwait and Bahrain, which allows Visa and MasterCard holders to use our system.
What are your plans in the Egyptian market, in light of the growing e-commerce sector?
About 80% of the e-commerce operations are conducted through cash on delivery system. Hence, to solve this issue, we are currently working on launching a new service, which is expected to be officially launched in Kuwait during Ramadan. We will then present it to the Egyptian market, especially as many e-commerce companies operating in Egypt have welcomed the change.
What are the main axes of your plans in Egypt?
We seek to activate our license with Banque Misr and benefit from the National Council for Payments’ decisions. We also aim to participate in current electronic connection projects in cooperation with the company of e-Finance. We have already started the implementation of a unified electronic system at Nile University.
What are the main challenges facing the company in the Egyptian market?
The cash payment is our most important challenge. We also suffer from the lack of legal legislation, so we put great hopes on the National Council for Payments.
How do you see the Egyptian market?
The Egyptian market is of great importance to our company. It is on the top of our priorities in 2017. If we managed to implement our targets for this year, Egypt would be one of our major markets; otherwise, it will be a normal market.
What is the size of the company’s spending on the research and development sector?
The company allocates 15% of its total investments to the research and development sector.
What are the main markets for your company?
We provide our services in 16 countries, including Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Uganda, and Lebanon.
We also own a 25% stake in an electronic payment company in Nigeria (HeMobile Integrated Services).
One Global is a Microsoft partner, and One Global Money (a subsidiary of One Global specialised in e-payment services) has received official authorisation and compliance certification from the Central Bank of Bahrain, Kuwait Finance House, Warba Bank in Kuwait, Banque Misr in Egypt, Tadhamon International Islamic Bank in Yemen, and many other banks across the region. It’s also PCI/DSS compliant and maintains the highest security level within the financial services industry.