Editor's Choice Fintech Ecosystems Middle East & Africa

Paving the Way to a Cleaner Future: Esaal Focus on Removing Paper Waste

Sustainability has emerged as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, talking points in fintech this year. Following COP28, we sat down with Esaal to learn about the company’s solution to tackling the climate crisis.

Environmental social and governance (ESG) is something that organisations must make a priority or risk falling to the wayside as competition that does prioritise it will succeed. According to research from Normative, financial actors must take a proactive approach to sustainability instead of reactive. One way they can do so is by partnering with a company like Esaal.

Esaal enables businesses to seamlessly transition from paper to digital receipts, by eliminating the need for cutting and storing physical data. The platform leverages different algorithms to provide businesses with valuable insights into their customer behaviour while offering consumers a convenient and eco-friendly way to track their purchases.

The company is an end-to-end receipt management system for omnichannel retailers and offers a digital receipt management, customisation, operational reporting, analytics, advanced marketing and a customer management portal.

To learn more about the company and its offering, we sat down with Reem AlMusabbah, CEO and founder of Esaal.

How can organisations measure and quantify the impact of the sustainability initiatives with the help of Esaal solutions?

Esaal is a software-as-a-solution programme that helps retailers and businesses utilise transactional data and understand customers’ behaviour insights. It understands organisations’ need for metrics to measure the impact of different sustainability initiatives.

Our dashboard provides real-time data and analytics that quantify various aspects of sustainability, such as measuring your carbon footprint, paper waste reduction, and also the efficiency of your overall inventory and sales. It allows organisations to track their progress, set their benchmarks and assess the benefits of their sustainability efforts in various terms and reporting systems.

Additionally, we offer customisable KPIs. Our dashboard has base, key features, but we can customise these features with specific KPIs that an organisation wants to see and fit with their sustainability goals.

We also offer performance analytics. Beyond just displaying the data, the platform offers analytics tools, so organisations and businesses can conduct in depth analysis to identify the drivers of their sustainability, performance

How does Esaal envision the future of ESG in tech, and what role does it see itself playing in that future?

We envision a future where ESG considerations are integrated in every facet of tech operation. Esaal sees itself as a catalyst for this change. We want to empower companies to embed sustainability into their core strategies. This is why we started with reducing paper receipts and the conversion to digital transformation.

Our role is not just to provide solutions but also advocate for sustainability as a fundamental pillar of tech industry. That is why this year we released a campaign called Esaal28, which is a campaign targeted for B2B businesses and organisations.

It raises awareness and understanding the whole sales strategy in retail POS systems receipts, analytics and sales and how can digital transformation also help them advocate for sustainability.

According to a report by Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, the UAE itself produces around 2.7 tonnes of paper waste. Fifteen per cent of this comes from receipt waste. This is why Esaal is more important than ever: we’re eliminating the unnecessary usage of paper waste through digital alternatives.

This way you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a better, more sustainable future. Through our dashboard, you can export and import various reports by aggregating and analysing relevant data to streamline the process of different organisations when it comes to producing ESG reports for their stakeholders.

As sustainability becomes a global focus, what steps is Esaal taking to expand its reach and influence in different markets?

Sustainability doesn’t know any borders. Esaal is actively expanding its reach to influence different markets globally and across different sectors too. Our aim is to forge partnerships with different organisations and governments worldwide to promote sustainable practices through digital transformation. We also want to collaborate with local entities to tailor our solutions to regional needs and contribute to the global sustainability agenda.

One way we can do this is by partnering with POS providers and integrate our digital receipt solution and also other analytics tools that we have directly within their system. This strategy allows Esaal to reach a larger customer base quickly.

We’re also very keen to have customised content marketing, including blogs, posts, webinars, to raise awareness. As part of our CSR, we run lots of workshops and sessions with various universities and schools to educate different target audience and build our credibility.

We also thoroughly research our target markets. Especially when it comes to segmenting different them based on the industry size to location. We tailor the messages to specific markets to create a more effective outreach and also to understand their requirements when it comes to sustainability.

We also partnered with various sustainability organisations so one thing that we have done is partnering with other startups that are also leading sustainability initiatives, and do co-marketing efforts that can be mutually beneficial.

Mutually beneficial co-marketing efforts have also been worked on by partnering with other startups leading sustainability initiatives.

One thing that we had to learn the hard way is that regardless of the market or the sector, it’s very important that we adapt our solution’s customisation to fit the preferences of the target market and audience.

Has any sector or market emerged as needing Esaal more than any other so far?

We have seen a shift in terms of the banking industry’s need for classifying and aggregating their customer data and requirements and preferences. This is where Esaal comes into play as a middleman. We make their life easier by classifying and adapting different tools and analytics to save them time by enhancing and leveraging the existing merchant category codes.

It is an interesting time to be in the sector. In fact, we’re already in negotiation with a couple of institutes to come up with a piloting case study that can also leverage, adapt and continuously innovate new features and services that can help also maintain Esaal a strong presence in various markets.

With a focus on digital receipts, how does Esaal contribute to reducing paper waste and environmental impact and what strategies are in place to encourage widespread adoption of digital receipt solutions?

We’re on a mission to help businesses harness the power of data to make informed decisions. These informed decisions can create sustainable practices and can be utilised in various ways.

In terms of strategies we currently have in place, we really focus on ecofriendly branding. We want to position digital receipts as an ecofriendly alternative. We’re changing the notion of a simple, digital receipt to a smart receipt that is ecofriendly, and that helps you create marketing campaigns that highlight the positive environmental impact of reducing waste.

The second point is rewards and incentives. We implement different points and rewards programmes for our customers to receive if they opt for a smart digital receipt. Furthermore, we can turn the adoption of receipts and reducing waste into a game where we can offer customers virtual rewards or badges to create a sense of accomplishment. In turn, this looks to encourage their continued use of digital smart receipts.

We try our best to make our smart receipts as attractive as possible. It’s not another old-school PDF receipt, but it’s a very engaging receipt with interactive elements. For example, clickable surveys, product recommendations, social media links, exclusive offers, and much more.

Another interesting idea that is still in progress is that we want to provide we want to launch a campaign called the limited edition, digital receipt artwork. We want to partner with local artists to create limited edition receipt designs promoting customers to collect these unique designs and turn digital smart receipts into collectibles.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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