Small Merchants In Emerging Markets Are Held Back By Legacy Payment Infrastructure


One of the biggest problems in developing countries is the discrepancy between the issuing and receipt of payments.

Islam Shawky, co-founder and CEO of Cairo-based Paymob, a digital payments service provider, claims that this problem prevents businesses, especially modest mom-and-pop stores, from realising their full commercial potential.

Shawky told “We’re looking at areas that are quite advanced in issuance but have a mismatch in adoption,” citing Pakistan, a nation with a population of over 220 million, as an example. Pakistan is where Paymob expanded operations last year.

“Of the more than 55 million cards, about 22 million are NFC-capable. They have several private issuers and digital banks that are expanding in the industry.

Paymob is currently attempting to address that enormous vacuum, especially given that conventional banks are more concerned with meeting the demands of major corporations, Shawky continued.

The company has been working to close the acceptance gap both online and offline, providing its merchant clients with 40 different payment options, from launching a SoftPOS solution, also known as tap-to-phone, to enabling businesses to accept digital online transactions via its application programming interface (API).

In addition to acceptance, the Fintech company gives merchants a payroll solution and software-as-a-service (SaaS) goods to aid in better business management. It also collaborates with partners like financial institutions to make it easier for merchants to get working capital loans.

The payments company recently announced a partnership with on-demand digital warehousing and fulfilment management platform operator Khazenly to give independent merchants a “Amazon-like experience,” according to Shawky, in order to further address warehousing, packaging, and fulfilment challenges that are common in its core Egyptian market.

The objective, he continued, is to support small companies by acting not as a supplier but as a facilitator by utilising its knowledge and digital infrastructure solutions. The goal is to become “the payment partner of choice” for firms in its network.