With Qatar’s fintech scene being one to watch, here The Fintech Times sits down with Ahmed Isse from Dibsy about how online payments are leading the way in the sector.
Ahmed Isse is one of the co-founders of Dibsy, he’s been in the startup ecosystem for quite some time. His latest venture is a fintech startup that aims to make payment processing as simple as it can be. He began his journey in fintech after his first-hand experience of the countless issues surrounding online payment processing in Qatar. Ahmed’s background as an entrepreneur allows him to put himself in the shoes of other business owners and merchants, making him a founder who’s always laser-focused on his users’ experience—the number one priority from his perspective.
For our global audience, can you explain what the digital and fintech landscape across the globe currently looks like?
Fintech as a sector is maturing at a fast rate. We can see this reflected in the numbers, about $128 billion was invested in fintech across the globe in 2018 and that number is expected to increase by 25% by 2022. As a founder, this tells me a lot about the future. I know for a fact that VC money is smart money, investors know the potential of fintech and that is why we’re seeing this growth.
How does this alter in your country?
Unfortunately, the entire MEA region is lagging behind. The Qatar Financial Center estimates that our region as a whole accounts for only 1% of global fintech investments made in 2019. But I’m personally very hopeful for the future, Qatar as a country is growing and with it the demand for technology increases. Speaking from experience, we’ve seen an amazing response for our product from merchants all over the country. I believe that online payments are going to lead the fintech revolution in Qatar and Dibsy intends to be at the head of that movement.
How have you developed your subject matter expertise and helped to share it across in your base country?
To be frank, I came into fintech out of necessity which means that I had to learn everything from scratch. While trying to launch my previous startup, I was shocked at how difficult it was for us to accept online payments. Being an entrepreneur first, I could see the issue from the perspective of merchants. It was clear to me that there was a huge issue that needed a solution. I dove headfirst into the fintech rabbit hole and never stopped learning about it ever since. But Dibsy as a company benefits not only from my expertise but also from that of our fantastic and diverse team. We all come from different backgrounds including banking and technology. We hope to use that knowledge to bring meaningful solutions to merchants in Qatar through our product and content.
What are future trends and predictions you see happening in your country? And the region as a whole?
The country and region are on the verge of technological advancement. We’re about to hit gold. The demand from businesses and consumers is here, the people that can build the tech are here. It’s just a matter of time before we see fintech skyrocket. In terms of specific predictions, we know that when it comes to accepting payments online, a lot is going to change very soon. The cash and check conversion opportunity in the region is $700billion. Most people already shop with credit/debit cards and add to that the impact of COVID, we will see a surge in contactless payment options.
Any advice or recommendations you would give to other future fintech companies and entrepreneurs based in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region?
Fintech is highly regulated, so anyone getting into this sector should do their homework to get to know the ins and outs of compliance and security. You should also be very patient because things can move slowly. but that is important when dealing with people’s money. At Dibsy, we’ve always had a security-first approach and it’s paying off. Last but not least, talk to your users and listen to their feedback carefully, remind yourself that you’re serving them and you should always care about their experience.