Expansion is the slogan for the next phase in the company “Damen for Electronic Payments”, which, within a few years, succeeded in establishing its presence in the field of electronic payments and receipts.
Dr. Tamer Al-Hussainy, CEO and Managing Director of Damen met on the occasion of Damen’s participation in the International Technology Exhibition and Conference in the Middle East and Africa Cairo ICT said in an interview about many matters related to the payments sector and the most prominent challenges facing this promising sector, where Al-Hussainy succeeded in drawing a future image of the company through a number of projects that will be announced soon to enter the service, whether through the smart electronic application or through Damen Wallet.
The following lines monitor the dialogue axes.
At first, could you shed light on the nature of the company’s participation in the International Technology Exhibition and Conference Cairo ICT?
Very simply, we at Damen are keen to participate annually in this unique event that deals with the latest technologies and reviews new solutions, whether for the participating companies or other international companies competing, and it is not possible to hold this year’s exhibition sessions without the active participation of Damen, and we participates this year in a pavilion similar to last year’s pavilion.
In a distinguished place,we see that the exhibition is an opportunity to meet new and existing customers, as well as to meet with the rest of the players in the digital payments market, in addition to meeting “fintech” companies, as well as emerging companies to discuss new ideas and learn about modern technologies.
The company succeeded in achieving growth rates and the volume of business, although the launch of the company came in the circumstances of Corona. Can we talk about that in numbers?
We started our business in the Egyptian market nearly three years ago, specifically in 2020, which witnessed many crises and challenges, most notably the Corona virus, but we succeeded in providing new solutions to the market and working close to the customer, and this enabled us to succeed,during the year 2020, we achieved steady growth, and the volume of proceeds was LE2.750 billion, and during the year 2021 we achieved estimated at LE6.250 billion and by the end of this year our current estimate around LE12 billion.
We have good growth rates, especially since the Egyptian market is a healthy market and has an opportunity to grow and accept new customers. The important thing is to tighten the rules of the market. Our market share reached 7 per cent, and this is a satisfactory figure for our company in 3 years. We expect to double ourshare, and our ranking in the market according to my conviction, especially with the absence of official statistics, our ranking comes in fourth or fifth.
Can you tell us about the number of clients and the number of services that Damen provides?
We providemore than 500 services to customers, and there are other services that are provided from within these services, and there is an addition of new services from within these services. A service derived from an old service. We are developing services as well as gas and water services and other services.
What about the ratios of government services to the ratio of services provided to private sector companies?
60 per cent of our business is directed to the private sector and 40 per cent governmental services at the present time, in addition to value-added services to the market by reducing the burden on citizens in bearing the burden of transportation to pay a bill, whether electricity, gas, water or even the telephone and other 500 services that it provide.
What is new on your agenda by providing services via mobile?
Very soon, we will announce the launch of an electronic application for Damen at the beginning of the new year. In addition, we are in the process of finalising some procedures to launch the Damen e-wallet to make it easier for customers to pay bills at anytime and anywhere.
Where are the expansion on Damen agenda?
We have a strong presence in all governorates, as we started unlike the companies specialised in the payments market that focused their activities on Greater Cairo and Alexandria, but our strength comes from the other governorates of the Republic, especially since we are responsible for the supply system in the governorates, and we succeeded in reaching all villages and hamlets. Our presence in Cairo is less than some of the competing companies, therefore we have areas capable of rapid growth.
What is your assessment of the support provided by the Egyptian government to payment companies and their interest in digital transformation projects?
Government assistance is represented by its use by companies to spread a service such as the support system and the transition from direct support to non-cash support. The efficiency and confidence that we enjoy, moreover, we represent a source of income for the Ministry of Supply through POS machines.
We also share together the profits achieved, especially since we work through 100 thousand stores at the level of the Republic and we always strive to increase these numbers.
The government faces many challenges at the present time, but it is working hard in digital transformation and financial inclusion projects, and aims to transform into a cashless society.
Our company is one of the leading companies in this, in addition to the interest of the Central Bank of Egypt in publishing POS machines distributed free of charge,
And the continuous propaganda in this direction, such as the spread of the application of the electronic invoice, which is done electronically, and the restriction of this matter to taxes, all of this to control market operations and eliminate the informal economy.
Is the company thinking of expanding abroad, especially since there have been unremitting efforts to be present in Sudan?
Expansion outside Egypt is one of the most prominent projects on our agenda. Sudan is at the forefront, and given the political conditions in the State of Sudan, the project has been delayed for some time.
We have a presence in Sudan through a company established and operating in Sudan called “Smart Cards”, and we areis in the process of activating this company during the next year through a number of the existing projects there.
What are your estimates of the size of the digital payments market in Egypt?
May be more than LE200 billion is the digital payments market in Egypt, and the Central Bank monitors and sets rules, and we are waiting for a lot of laws regulating this market.
What is Damen’s strategy during the next year?
Expansion of business, both internally and externally, as well as at the level of branches and employees, to double the business, as well as the expansion of digital services that are carried out via the mobile phone.