Abdulaziz Al Jouf: The Payment Orchestrator of the Middle East

Abdulaziz Al Jouf
Abdulaziz Fahad Al Jouf is a Saudi entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of PayTabs, a revolutionary payment processing firm that he founded in Saudi Arabia in January 2014. Abdulaziz founded PayTabs after gaining extensive experience in founding previous e-commerce businesses such as SaleTab and Extabs.

His team refers to him as AA, and he is a dynamic, passionate, focused, and hands-on natural leader who is fiercely supportive of his team’s personal growth and development. He believes in giving back to the community, and he does it through mentoring emerging businesses in the area. He admits to being a risk taker who is always looking for new possibilities and making the most of them. He sees failure as a lesson in which he may gain vital experience rather than a failure.

Below are highlights of the interview conducted between World’s Leaders and Abdulaziz Fahad Al Jouf:

Describe who you are as a person, inside and outside of the workplace.

Anyone that truly knows me would say I’m a workaholic. The sun is always shining in some parts of the world, and I try to keep up with that energy. I don’t believe in boundaries, obstacles, or challenges. I believe in setting goals and trends, being a first mover, and getting things done along with my team. Outside of the work place, I continue to lead a fast-paced lifestyle. However, family is equally important to me, and they are my rock and foundation.

Describe your background and what did you do before you started/joined the company?

I come from a predominately tech background. I have a university degree in information technology from the US. Before starting PayTabs, I founded other innovative startup companies focused on sales optimization and events management; looking back, I like to think they were experiments in preparation for my ultimate goal of simplifying the merchants’ and consumers’ payment journey.

Tell us about the inception of the company. How did it all start?

It started with USD 10,000 and a big idea to enable e-commerce businesses to sell online and collect payments seamlessly. After months of sleepless nights, I successfully pitched the idea to investors, and the rest, as they say, is history.

What has made you successful? What do you value?

I value people. Above all else, Products, solutions, services, platforms, machines, they are the intangible side of businesses. But people who have a vision, dedication, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, and the drive and determination to make PayTabs succeed are what I value the most. It’s the people – employees, vendors, merchants, successful partners, investors, well-wishers, fans, followers – who form the backbone of this company I have built.

Which are the major services of the company and how do they help the company to get ahead in the competition? What value-added services does the company provide?

PayTabs is an award-winning payment processing company that operates in the MENA region. The core business of the company is to provide payment gateway services for startups and SMEs to sell successfully online.
PayTabs offers B2B services to seamlessly ‘plug and play’ features on client websites. It offers e-commerce websites seamless integration with API plugin tools and offers electronic invoicing, QR code, and secure social media payment link solutions for merchants to ease their payment collection efforts.

Backed by private investment, PayTabs has evolved since its founding from a home-grown payments company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2014, to a regional GCC market player to an iconic global payments’ solutions enterprise with global presence.
Over the years, PayTabs has forged strategic partnerships worldwide. PayTabs in-built and exported a full stack of game changing mobile applications, hospitality, governmental, education, airline, travel, transport, and billing solutions, to interlink the enterprise market chain in the MENA region.

In April 2021, PayTabs launched PT Touch, the first soft POS solution in the MENA market to transform smart phones into merchant point of sale (POS) terminals. PayTabs enables you to accept payments digitally through the Social Commerce solution. Securing transactions on social media platforms like Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Whatsapp and other channels by providing online payment links, QR codes and complimentary online store fronts for a faster checkout experience.

More recently PayTabs has introduced its proprietary Switch technology.
The payment card industry (PCI) certified solution includes a switching and authorization system, a card and wallet management system, and a merchant management system.

Orchestrated to offer banks, financial institutions, and other fintech firms a 360-degree payment experience, PayTabs SwitchOn has been validated globally and is now available for local deployment, at a fraction of the cost. The flexible and compelling price points offered aim to empower processing, and scale in the region, resolving the challenges of procuring astronomically priced switch solutions. With fresh thinking and a flexible approach, PayTabs Switchon provides in-depth white labeling solutions, addresses regional data security concerns, and grants access to premium switching and settlement programs at a fraction of the usual cost.
What are the most important aspects of a company’s culture? What principles do you believe in and how do you build this culture?

Our brand values embody our company culture. Everything we do at PayTabs is led by values which define our goals, and the ways we wish to achieve them. Our team is diverse in nationality, culture, and gender, yet we are united across all the markets we operate in. Our values are the foundation of our business culture and are embedded in daily operations. We believe these values provide both us and our stakeholders a competitive advantage.

What is the significance of innovative ideas in the company?

My team comprises some of the smartest minds in financial services and technology, including ex-bankers. We are never short of thinking caps to brainstorm and generate innovative ideas. Most ideas make it to the drawing board, and the best ones get filtered. And from there, some of the most ground-breaking payment solutions are born. For example, PT 2.0 is our enhanced Business Manager Dashboard, which tracks and measures sales performance. It enables merchants to craft their own customer retention and loyalty programs and strategies for zero additional cost or effort. This product was born out of a home-grown idea.

Give us your opinion on; do organizations rely heavily on individual heroics or team processes?

It has to be the right combination of both for the company to be successful. While people are visionary and dynamic, processes are vital for success as they keep us in check to ensure we meet industry standards in executing any payment product or solution.

What are your responsibilities as the founder and CEO of the company? What is the happiest part of your daily routine?

I’m a very hands-on CEO. While I have an A-team that I delegate to, I’m also involved in decision making, especially when it comes to engineering, products, commercials, expansion to new markets, and the marketing aspects of business. I also enjoy networking, meeting successful partners.

The happiest moments of my daily routine are the good news stories. For example, a break through with regard to facilitating payment solutions for an enterprise merchant, a ground breaking partnership or a news article or tweet that features PayTabs brand always brings a smile to my face.

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

I would tell them to conquer their fears and set expectations. You are only as good as you believe you are. So do believe in yourself. Mistakes are part of the game. But if you don’t play, you will never win.

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