Mamo, a digital wallet startup in Dubai and a peer-to-peer payment application, is planning to expand its footprints to Saudi Arabia by 2023, apart from Pakistan and Turkey.
When Asim Janjua and Imad Gharazeddine moved to Dubai in 2012 and became flatmates, they struggled to keep track of their shared spending. The lack of peer-to-peer software to streamline financial transfers in a market that was only beginning to embrace internet payments became apparent to the duo.
“We were splitting our rentals and utility bills, and sending money by bank transfer was a problem.” Mr. Janjua, co-founder and chief experience officer of Mamo, a peer-to-peer payment software, adds that “you have to connect into a bank account (and supply an) IBAN number.”
According to a McKinsey analysis, digital payments transactions in the UAE grew at a pace of more than 9% annually between 2014 and 2019, exceeding even Europe’s average yearly growth of 4% to 5%.
“At the time, businesses like Careem were changing the way you hail rides, and Delivery Hero was disrupting the way you purchase meals,” says Mr. Gharazeddine, Mamo’s co-founder and CEO.
After forming a bond in Google’s Dubai office, where they both worked, the two co-founded Mamo in 2019 with another colleague, Mohammad El Saadi, to make payments easier.
Users may join up for the app digitally, just like many other peer-to-peer payment apps. They may link their cards or bank accounts to begin a financial transfer by selecting an individual from their mobile contact list once they’ve checked in. To access the funds, recipients will receive a message instructing them to download the Mamo app.
Mamo, which is based in Dubai International Financial Centre, provides a similar service for businesses, allowing them to send payment links to their clients on demand. The timing of the Mamo app’s debut, which began in 2019 and will be available in 2021, was fortunate.
An epidemic struck the planet a few months after the launch. While the conditions were far from ideal for starting a business, Mamo’s founders immediately noted an increase in online payments in an area that heavily relied on cash.
Due to the health crisis and pandemic-induced restrictions, customers began to choose online payments over cash, and the digital payments business in the Middle East and North Africa began to expand.
More than three-quarters of Middle East respondents interviewed in a McKinsey survey said the Covid-19 outbreak has boosted their usage of digital payment channels by roughly 10%.
According to Mamo, the peer-to-peer payments market in the Middle East will expand to $115 billion by 2023, up from $22 billion in 2019. Mamo now has over 20,000 installs on Android and iPhone. Since its establishment, FinTech has handled over Dh3 million in peer-to-peer transactions, according to its creators.