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Sat 7 Dec 2019 10:37 AM

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UAE-based Zbooni looking to complete AED20m worth of transactions next year

Payment app, particularly targeting SMEs, was founded in September 2018

UAE-based Zbooni looking to complete AED20m worth of transactions next year
(L-R) Ashraf Atia, chief commercial officer and Ramy Assaf, CEO of Zbooni

Home-grown UAE payment app, Zbooni, witnessed over AED2 million worth of transactions in its first year in operation and CEO Ramy Assaf is hoping to see that number multiply by ten by September next year.

The Zbooni app is designed to allow merchants, particularly SMEs, to easily conduct transactions with customers via preferred social media and chat services, such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

Launched in September last year, the business has grown, with 25,000 businesses transacting millions of dirhams every month through the app – the number of payment transactions made via the app is increasing at a rate of around 30 percent a month.

Assaf told Arabian Business: “Last September we did AED20,000 (worth of transactions), this September we did close to AED2.1 million. The rate of growth is actually increasing. Next year at this time we think another 10x (AED21m).”

In order to reach that ambitious target, Ashraf Atia, chief commercial officer, has detailed equally positive growth plans for the company, which is currently open for merchants in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

“We want to open in Egypt, Oman and Kuwait,” he said. “There is opportunity here in this region and in emerging markets. So let’s think about South Africa, let’s think about the sub-continent, about South America. There’s a lot of the same kind of cultural dependencies. If we can get it right here, we’d love to be the merchant payment platform for emerging markets.”

Zbooni does not charge monthly fees and it is entirely free to sign up to the app. Fees are charged at 3.5 percent for each transaction processed.

The company, which is backed by regional and international organisations, including Chalhoub Group, Middle East Venture Partners and B&Y Venture Capital, was one of only eight from across the world to take part in a six-month incubator programme at Facebook.

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