Electronic payments company Fawry targets a growth rate of 40% during 2017. The company intends to focus on electronic payment solutions for clients of the e-commerce sector and electronic payment services via mobile phones during 2017.
Ashraf Sabry, CEO of the company, told Daily News Egypt that 1.4m electronic payments are conducted each day through Fawry’s points of sales, amounting to 60,000 in various governorates.
How do you see the growth of the electronic payments market in Egypt?
The market will grow and many companies will pump investments into it. Competition between existing companies in the market will appear more clearly in 2017 because competition is generally healthy, enabling the expansion of the market and the increase of its size.
This market is important and has many opportunities for growth. It is expected to witness strong growth in the coming period as it doubles annually, which indicates that there is room for growth for all competitors.
What do you think of the investment climate in general after the flotation of the Egyptian pound?
Floating the pound will have a positive impact on the investment climate. Egypt has become a less expensive country for investment, and is a large and a promising market with many problems that are considered investment opportunities.
There was a large number of investors who intended to invest in Egypt, but the instability of the US dollar exchange rates against the pound led them to change their minds. However, after the liberalisation of the exchange rate, it would be easier for them to invest in the Egyptian market.
What are the challenges that affect the investment climate?
Transferring profits abroad is what matters for investors as they have no vision about the mechanisms of transferring return on investment of the parent company. This is because of the lack of clarity of the steps and procedures, which the government needs to clarify.
Transferring profits abroad is one of the most important points that may affect investors’ decisions, and we must work in the coming period to increase exports and encourage attracting foreign direct investment.
If the availability and stability of the US dollar in banks remains, it will help attract new investments. The government should also work faster on activating the decisions of the Supreme Council for Investment, and reduce bureaucracy.
What are the main axes of your major plans in Egypt during 2017?
We will focus on electronic payment solutions via mobile phones. We are currently offering this service in cooperation with 12 banks, which is the sector we expected to grow over the past years and we prepared for it by establishing a strong infrastructure four years ago. We are also examining launching more products of electronic payment via mobile phones.
We focus on e-commerce activity and payments through e-commerce sites, especially since Egypt is behind in that part, despite the remarkable growth of the e-commerce market. We will increase investments in this market in the coming years.
In the coming period, we are working to increase the base of products and solutions to our clients. Additionally, we will focus on further cooperation with the government, especially since there are opportunities to provide electronic payments for many government services, but the government’s strategy in this part needs to be clearer.
We will also focus on payment services through electronic cards in cooperation with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), which is a service available in about 6,000 stores.
What are the main solutions you provide for the e-commerce sector?
We have an integrated system for electronic payment through Fawry channels, payment from home using credit cards, and through pre-paid cards.
Our solutions for the e-commerce sector will help the trader be part of the system in just one day.
The technological solutions we provide are helping the trader have reports on the products they sell on a regular basis.
You recently launched a new service to pay instalments of social housing units. What is the result of this cooperation?
We already cooperate with the Housing and Development Bank in collecting instalments for the social housing project, which is the government’s largest experiment with electronic payments so far.
We were also able to collect instalments from more than 170,000 customers in just 15 days, with the support of our own infrastructure and our broad reach to various parts of the country.
How many points have you made? What is your target during 2017?
Currently, we have 60,000 payment shops and points of sales, and we are targeting to increase them to 70,000 payment points of sale during 2017. We currently receive 1.4m electronic payments on a daily basis through more than 15 million customers who use our services.
How much of the total electronic payments made through Fawry are related to the telecommunication sector?
The telecommunication sector acquires 60% of electronic payments made via Fawry.
What are the company’s growth rates in 2016? What are your expectations for 2017?
We have achieved a growth rate of 40% during 2016.
We expect that a similar growth in the size of our business in 2017, especially with the expected rapid growth of mobile payment services.