EXCLUSIVE: Bahrain-based fintech achieves early success

Author: Jennifer Aguinaldo

Paytabs’ payment gateway has acquired 19,000 merchants across 21 countries in three years

Bahrain-based online payment gateway Paytabs has managed to onboard 4,000 new merchants in 2017, bringing its total customers to 19,000, according to Punit Dinesh Thakker, the Senior VP of Business Development.

Such growth has triggered the company, founded in 2015 by Saudi entrepreneur Abdulaziz al-Jouf, to relocate to a new office to accommodate its expanding staff of 600.

The firm’s early success hinges on its ability to offer businesses, particularly start-ups, with an affordable and quick route to access a global market. “We are now present in 21 countries… among other services, our platform allows an unbanked worker based in any of the GCC states to settle a utility bill in India or the Philippines at a fraction of a cost offered by banks, or a small craft trader based in Bahrain to sell products halfway across the world,” Thakker tells MEED.

“What we do is reduce cash-on-delivery costs and risks by allowing the merchants to move from offline to online payment systems, that is if they are compulsive enough to change their entire [payment] ecosystem,” the executive says.

Paytabs’ 600-strong staff comprises sales, operations, technology and customer support employees.

Paytabs’ services are backed by a data centre located in Bahrain as well as cloud infrastructure primarily from US-based Amazon and Google.

In addition to a secure information technology (IT) infrastructure, Thakker stresses that the firm has a high-level regulatory compliance in each country where they operate.

Bahrain is officially inaugurating a business hub dedicated to financial technology (fintech) companies on 21 February.

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