PinPay, as a FinTech company, was met with many challenges when it was setting up in 2011. As with the case of all FinTechs, the regulatory framework in Lebanon and the Middle East, still requires multi-faceted permits and certifications, before a license is granted… that is slowly changing however.
Serving as a digital payment and bill aggregator service, PinPay has continued to evolve since it was first established. Today, it provides users the option to pay their bills, transfer money, purchase gift cards and donate to a cause (amongst other services), with the click of a button. However, in the realm of innovation and FinTech, centering in on and improving User Experience is key.
As Lebanon and the MENA region are just beginning to excel in the FinTech industry and digital payments, we sat with the bright minds behind PinPay, to talk challenges, trends and the future.
BDD: We often hear that the first client or first sale is a tough feat. How did you make your first 'sale'?
PinPay: PinPay was established and owned by banks. Fortunately, this strategic relationship provided us with instant exposure to the banks’ customers, allowing them to enroll to the PinPay service.
BDD: What was the opportunity you wanted to seize, when founding PinPay?
PinPay: The opportunity we decided to grasp was to create a Payment Application and Bill Aggregator, as the market had no similar product available. There was and still is a massive gap in the market when it comes to settling bills and paying invoices on digital channels. PinPay sought to resolve this issue by giving consumers a convenient platform to pay their bills.
BDD: What were the key challenges that you faced while setting up the business?
PinPay: PinPay faced several legal challenges during its setup. PinPay is a FinTech company operating in Lebanon, and so, we had to acquire certain permits and certifications from the Central Bank of Lebanon in order to enable our services, such as peer-to-peer transfers, bill payments, direct top-ups, digital voucher purchases and so on. That said, we are a company officially licensed by the Central Bank to provide our unique services.
An additional challenge that we faced is the consumer’s distrust and lack of understanding on the value that PinPay’s services can offer. That is why we work hard to create a secure and reliable solution, as well as to continuously provide demanded services on our platform to increase transactions and usage.
BDD: What trends and insights have you picked up on, with regards to online payments in the Lebanese market?
PinPay: There is still a slow usage rate when it comes to online and digital payments in the local market. At PinPay, we were able to identify our customer’s purchasing and bill settlement behaviors. Performing remote payments, while a highly attractive and convenient service, is still second rate to cash-based payments.
The main trends we pinpointed were the repetitive period where our customers tend to perform the transactions such as paying phone bills and purchasing other services.
BDD: What security measures are you taking to protect the consumer?
PinPay: The security measures we are taking are numerous, including requesting the consumer to use a personal password (M-PIN) to access the application and to perform payments. This can be in the form of a fingerprint or facial recognition as well. That said, all transactions performed through PinPay are encrypted with layers of protection to prevent various forms of attack and fraud.
In addition, consumers who link their bank account to the app must also go through a KYC (know-your-customer) process at the bank as a required security measure.
BDD: In light of recent advancements and support from the public sector, where do you see the financial services industry heading?
PinPay: The pace of change in the financial services industry has never been faster. The massive shift to digital payments has sprung a plethora of FinTech companies disrupting every industry on the financial services value chain, from banking to payments, wealth management, insurance, micro-lending institutions and more.
With the rise of new business models, FinTech companies and their transformation technologies are more readily accessible, powerful, and economical than ever before.
To learn more about the world of PinPay, visit: www.pin-pay.com