Dutch payments fintech Recharge.com launches in the GCC
The European branded payments fintech company Recharge.com, has announced the launch of its GCC operations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The fast-growing startup focuses on a number of global brands, including Spotify, Xbox and Netflix, will manage a number of branded payment categories including call credit, data bundles, entertainment, gaming, shopping and prepaid money.
The fintech, which was founded in 2010 and is head-quatered in Amsterdam, will also extend its services to local products and will provide multilingual customer support in English and Arabic.
Demand for digital services
Recharge.com has experienced a sharp growth trajectory following the rising popularity of digital gift cards and top-ups driven by high smartphone penetration, the rise of e-wallets and other alternative payment methods and the pandemic.
The growing need for privacy and demand for digital cross-border transactions has also contributed to the payment service provider’s success.
Recharge.com debt funding round
The GCC launch announcement follows on from Recharge.com’s recent US$12m debt funding round to facilitate Recharge’s international expansion.
The company also recently appointed Michael Kent, one of Europe’s leading fintech entrepreneurs, as non-executive chairman.
According to reports, the growing fintech has a sales target of $545m and 50% year-on-year growth in 2021.
Recharge.com also claims its competitive advantage in the region is its ability to provide an intuitive and seamless, next-gen user experience that takes in local preferences and requirements through its platform’s design and functionalities.
Fintech targets gen Z
Speaking about the company’s entry into the Middle East, Günther Vogelpoel, CEO of Recharge.com, said “We are thrilled to be expanding our businesses offering in the GCC. This is an extremely attractive region for our e-commerce product offering, thanks to its large digital-native millennial and gen Z population and a surging demand for online gift cards and top-ups for many leading brands and services.
“In addition to a young population, over 40% of residents in GCC countries are global migrants with different work qualifications. Many don’t qualify to sign up for yearly subscription services, while others prefer to opt out of yearly contracts and not share personal details with brands, making Recharge.com’s proposition very appealing to this core audience.
He continued, “Serving this distinct population will not only enable us to grab significant market share in the region, but also help to build the foundations for our future expansion in other parts of Asia and Africa.”
Vogelpoel said Recharge.com’s entry into the GCC region would reveal the value of differentiation in the sector. “What sets us apart from other players is our mindset.
“It’s not just an additional language and location in a drop-down menu for us. We want to truly serve the people in the region in the best way possible. We invested a lot of time and resources into proper localisation in many areas of the platform, including right-to-left (R2L) UX-UI design, content, payment methods and assortment.
He added. “Our efforts reflect the importance of our GCC customers. They are truly central to our business model.”
Image credit: Recharge.com: Günther Vogelpoel, CEO
Tink partners with Novalnet AG for open banking payments
The Munich-based fintech Novalnet AG, which was founded in 2007 and is one of Europe’s leadingfintech companies, has announced a new partnership with Tink, the Swedish open banking platform currently connected to more than 3,400 European banks.
Novalnet AG delivers payment solutions and fully automated services, from checkout to debt collection. Its solutions are also available worldwide.
According to reports, the fintech company plans to launch a real-time payments feature for merchants across Europe, to expand its current services and enhance the transaction experience it operates through its platform.
The new feature, says Novalnet, will revolutionise payments for ecommerce with transactions being credited to merchant’s accounts almost instantly.
Novalnet partnership with Tink
By partnering with Tink for payment initiation services (PIS) technology, Novalnet will take previous region-specific payment methods and offer a new unified digital payments service to its merchants across Europe.
The fintech’s real-time merchant payments feature, which will be launched initially in Germany and the United Kingdom, will then be integrated across other European markets during 2021.
Speaking about the new collaboration, Emmanuel Kirse, COO of Novalnet, explained, "We expect great things from our strategic partnership with Tink, which is a significant development for both parties.
“With Tink, Novalnet can offer a new set of open banking-related solutions in Europe. The new opportunities offered by this partnership will help both Tink and Novalnet grow together, along with our merchants."
Cyrosch Kalateh, Regional Director for the DACH region at Tink said, “Our partnership with Novalnet is a big step for Tink in the German market, and we are excited to work together to bring new, innovative payments services to merchants across Europe.”
He added, “At the end of 2020 Tink committed to expanding its payment initiation services from five to 10 markets, fuelled by an €85mn investment round. We are proud to add Germany to this list by announcing we have now fully launched Tink’s PIS services in this market.”
Image credit: Novalnet AG