Payment solutions provider Network International has “great aspirations” for Saudi Arabia and is rapidly ramping up its operations in the kingdom, according to CEO Simon Mark Haslam.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Haslam said that Saudi Arabia – where the company previously did not have a presence because authorities required a local presence – is now a “key market” for the Dubai-based company.
“It obviously has the largest population in the GCC, and has one of the highest GDP growths. We feel there’s an opportunity for us to bring our technology and know-how with respect to payments into that market,” he said.
Haslam added that Network International has already signed two customers in the kingdom. Among them is an Islamic credit card product for businesses, the first non-bank issuer of credit cards in the market.
“We just appointed a general manager for Saudi Arabia who is a local, and we’re talking to many banks in that country,” he said. “We see it as a big growth market for us.”
Additionally, Haslam said that Network International has seen its revenues grow in each of the over 50 markets in which it has a presence in both the Middle East and Africa.
“The Middle East accounts for around 75 percent [of revenues] and Africa is around 25 percent but growing rapidly. Both markets are growing, but obviously Africa is growing more quickly because it’s coming from a smaller base, Obviously, there’s over a billion people there, so it has the propensity to grow a lot quicker, especially as people move from cash to digital forms of payment.”
In 2018, Network International processed approximately 680 million transactions and handled $36 billion in transaction volume.
Emirates NBD bank owns a 51 percent stake in Network International, while the remaining 49 percent stake is held by global investment firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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