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PayMob: 80% of Our Users Did Not Step in a Bank Before

PayMob: 80% of Our Users Did Not Step in a Bank Before

With only 14% of the population at the time in 2014 -before launching PayMob- being banked, PayMob’s team decided that serving the unbanked, and helping the banked population utilize the banks’ services will fulfill a market need. 

Therefore, Islam Shawky, CEO, Alain ElHajj, COO, and Mostafa Menessy, CTO, came up with PayMob Solutions, with the aim of “granting individuals access to financial services and growing the economy,” the team told EgyptInnovate in an interview.

The Fintech startup builds digital solutions to empower financial institutions and mobile operators with access to digital payments and financial services.


“By granting access to financial services we are empowering people to take charge of their purchasing decisions and to better manage their time and resources,” the team said. Therefore, with “enhancing the quality of life of individuals as a goal,”they partnered up with Arab African Bank (AAIB), Mastercard, Vodafone, as well as others, and facilitate the payment process.

“Last year we launched a service with Nasser Social Bank and Vodafone, where elderly and widowed women get their alimony money through mobile wallets [Vodafone Cash], which saves them a lot of time and eliminates the hassle of having to wait for up to 8 hours to get their monthly income,” the team said.


Previously, digitization in the banking industry was difficult due to environment and regulations. “When we first started we faced the challenge of finding an acquiring bank that was willing to work with a group of university students with a vision. However, the environment and regulations have changed drastically since then, and are always undergoing further change, so our procedures and work adapt as we go,” they added

PayMob’s second challenge, as any other startup in the market, is competition. However, in PayMob’s case, cash is their main competitor. “We are all racing against normalized cash payments,” the team said 

“We think it’s going to be another ten years before the players in the market start competing against each other. Until then, we’re all trying to get a piece of a very untapped and unsaturated market by changing consumer behavior and the psychology behind the market’s relationship with money,” they continued.

Funding and achievements

But in spite of their direct competition –cash-, the rising startup reached 1.6 billion Egyptian pounds from 3 million transactions, and according to, PayMob tripled the number by mid-2017, and had around 150 merchants, including Jumia, The GrEEK Campus, Yashry and Easy Taxi. 

Now, the startup is serving over 4.2 m registered users, and around 80% are unbanked, as Alain El Hajj, PayMob’s Cofounder mentioned during Inclusion Plus, a global competition that supports enhancing financial inclusion.

On the other hand, PayMob has spun off a sister company – Accept – earlier this year. “We have seen many businesses of different sizes struggle with collecting their money and have decided to tap into that market,” PayMob team said.

Therefore, Accept aims to facilitate the payment for businesses. Customers can pay online, in store, or upon delivery and business’ owners can track the payments through Accept’s portal. “We offer different payment methods such as online card payments, cash collection, and mobile wallet payments,” they added  

In addition to partnering with Vodafone and Nasser Social Bank to facilitate their initiative, they have recently partnered with Aman for E-payments as an additional payment method.

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

“Focus on your goal, and do what it takes to achieve it…, and be flexible.” the team said. Additionally, one must accept that reality does not always meet expectations when it comes to execution, the team concluded.

This story was written by Shereen El Gendy

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