Maher Mikati, CEO of areeba, spoke with Efma’s Boris Plantier about his company’s grand ambitions to be a major fintech leader across the MENA region.
What led to the creation of areeba?
Electronic and digital payments have become an increasing trend globally given the fast pace of innovation and disruption in the cards payment industry, which banks are not able to embrace with limited resources. Independent standalone entities have more resources and capabilities to grow and expand this business.
We, at M1, believe there is strong potential in the payments industry and the acquisition we concluded under areeba, our payment technology company, is the right platform to grow in the sector.
areeba, as a standalone independent entity, is focusing on investing more in technology and innovation, especially in developing digital and mobile payments, as well as offering a wider spectrum of services and products at competitive prices to banks, merchants, and governments in the Middle East & North Africa region.
Could you present areeba's offer?
We like to position areeba as a "one-stop source” that provides payment solutions in accordance with the latest innovations and international security standards in the three lines of business we cater to:
- Card issuing & mobile payments: areeba offers a broad range of payment solutions tailored to local and regional market requirements: Complete Card Management Solution, Mobile & Contactless Payment, Mobile Wallets, Processing & Switching Solutions, Instant Issuance Solution, High Security Features, Risk & Fraud Management, Analytics & Reporting Solutions, Consultancy Services, 24/7 Contact Centre.
- Acquiring: areeba provides multiple cashless payment solutions to help merchants and governments thrive and stay on the edge of technology: In-Store Payment, On-The-Go Payment, Online & In-App Payment, Self Service Payment, QR Code Payment, Value-Added POS Services, Highest Security Features, Analytics & Reporting, 24/7 Merchant Hotline Support.
- Loyalty Program Management: areeba enables banks and corporations to launch their own comprehensive loyalty solutions varying from a wide range of programs: Points Program, Mileage Program, Cash Back Program, Air Time Program, Pay With Points, Points Via SMS, Online Catalogue, Travel Engine.
What's coming next for areeba?
Payments are changing and fast. In the future, we'll be paying in ways we can't even imagine today. areeba is one of the few companies in the region that are setting the pace of those changes. We are working very hard and investing tremendously in technology and people to help our customers anticipate that future, through our products, solutions, and expertise.
Technology is critical to that and we’re continually developing new ways to help consumers, businesses, and governments manage their money in all sorts of ways from contactless payments to e-commerce and mobile wallets. Yet, we’re always looking forward and developing new fraud and risk modules to address customers’ fears from digital payments — like using artificial intelligence and machine learning to fight fraud and protect customers’ data. In parallel, areeba is expanding in the region by opening new offices in Dubai, Egypt & Iraq in order to achieve leadership in the financial technology domain in the Middle East and Africa.