Dubai-based fintech startup Jingle Pay is bringing neobanking to the Middle East, starting with its home turf of the UAE. The neobank has been formulated in response to what digitally-native Gen Z and millennial audiences want from banking – such as responsive services, extremely low transfer fees, transparency and no restrictions such as minimum balance requirements.
Jingle Pay is the brainchild of Amir Fardghassemi, an ex-hedge fund manager and fintech startup founder; and Nadeem Hussein, founder of Telenor bank and EasyPaisa in Pakistan. The founding team has 50+ years of experience in card issuance, card payments, digital banking, payments, micro and nano financing, e-Wallets, and running fintech start-ups with successful exits in the MENA region.
Jingle Pay brings elements of social payments to mobile wallets backed by cash accounts for instantaneous payments and easy money transfers to friends and family. It combines the best of consumer banking and payments with social elements, creating a seamless ecosystem of intuitive engagement.
“We’re seeing tremendous demand for a new way of offering banking services in the Middle East. Bricks and mortar banks don’t have the immediacy of response that a new generation of always-connected consumers want. And though we’re seeing conventional banks move to digital, there are gaps in user-friendliness and joyful engagement that we want to address.
“Today’s consumer is used to an always-on culture of convenience. If you can hail a cab, order goods from anywhere in the world to your door, or use your smartphone to order a meal, why can’t you enjoy the same speed, convenience and customer service in financial matters? Well, now, you can,” said Fardghassemi.
Jingle Pay has digitized the onboarding process and customer due diligence to cover 7600+ government IDs in 160 countries. Acceptable identification include Passports, Residency Permits, Emirates ID and UAE Driver Licenses. A process that can take months with conventional banks now takes mere minutes. Jingle Pay’s accelerated onboarding involves a live selfie, document verification and thorough digitized AML checks with local and global authorities. Jingle Pay is free, easy and without commitments.
“We rely on world-class automation technologies to accelerate onboarding, scale quickly and react far faster than conventional bricks and mortar banks can. Our technology helps us cut down risk reduce human error and cut back on overheads – advantages that we pass on to our clients,” Fardghassemi added.
Jingle Pay comes in a time where there is accelerated need for online mobile banking and payment solutions. In the UAE, for instance, authorities have urged the public to avoid cash entirely in favour of contactless online payments and card transactions. According to Mastercard research, contactless payments have increased by 100% in the UAE during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Jingle Pay will be offering a multi-currency account and card, remittance, nano financing, instant and free money transfer services in addition to other value-added services. We are more than an alternative banking solution – we are the region’s first Super App Neo Bank,” said Fardghassemi.
Extending banking services to the unbanked and underbanked, is another crucial goal for Jingle Pay. The World Bank and the United Nations have termed financial inclusion one of the most important foundations for meeting their Sustainable Development Goals on poverty eradication, ending hunger, achieving food security, promoting gender equality and sparking economic growth.
“We’re seeing mobile phones and fintech come to the fore in key global markets that haven’t been ideally served by traditional markets. We’re looking to deliver financial inclusion in new ways to global audiences, starting with the Middle East. Here, we’re not just talking about the completely unbanked but also low-income individuals who can’t avail themselves of financial services in any meaningful way,” explained Fardghassemi.
Recent World Bank figures show that as many as 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked globally, without an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider. The report also states that in the Arab world stretching from Muscat to Casablanca, only 8 per cent of the adults belong to the banked population. Financial inclusion measurement in the Arab world resulted in a large unmet demand for financial services with 168 million people lacking access to a basic bank account.
Jingle Pay is currently in the process of getting licensed in the UAE, Indonesia, Philippines and other GCC markets. It is expected to move to full-fledged operations in the UAE in the latter half of 2020.