Etisalat and Noor Bank launch eWallet in UAE
Etisalat and Noor Bank have partnered to launch eWallet. The new digital payment service aimed at empowering UAE customers by having a speedy and accessible service. The eWallet service has been provided by fintech company Digital Financial Services.
Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli, CEO, Etisalat Group, said: “Capitalising on the current digital wave, Etisalat has transitioned to an integrated ICT solutions provider by digitising consumer needs across our markets.”
“This is in line with the transformation of the telecoms industry, which has enabled consumers to adopt increasingly tech-savvy lifestyles, businesses to change the way they operate and deliver value, and governments to offer ever-smarter solutions on the route towards smart governments and cities. Our powerful digitally inspired vision ‘To Drive the Digital Future to empower societies’ has opened the doors of innovation by facilitating multiple modes of digital interaction that are customer centric and improve the overall experience,” he added.
The eWallet will register customers, both individual and corporate, allowing them to carry out merchant, bill and salary payments amongst many more.
“Mobile banking today has the potential to be a game-changer, rapidly gaining ground across the globe and opening up a new dimension for daily transactions undertaken by consumers. This new digital mobile service will usher in a new era of digital payments in the country, changing the very definition of service for both the telecom and banking sector.
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“This was made possible due to the continuous investments by Etisalat’s and Noor Bank’s infrastructure to enable a conducive ecosystem that is compliant, robust and flexible to provide a cashless future to all our customers,” Al Abdooli concluded.
Customers will be able to access their account from the all, understand their balance and make financial transfers.
John Iossifidis, CEO of Noor Bank, said: “Noor Bank is committed to championing a robust digital payments landscape in the UAE. The launch of the eWallet solution, in partnership with Etisalat, is well aligned to our strategy of innovation and digital transformation. This first-of-its-kind partnership aims to develop a comprehensive eco-system in the digital wallets space regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE.”
He added: “At Noor Bank, we pride ourselves on adopting collaborative business models that deliver greater value for our customers. We are pleased to partner with Etisalat to accelerate the use of fast, secure and convenient cashless payments across the nation through the eWallet.”
Payment startup Mollie raises US$800m at a $6.5bn valuation
Mollie, one of the fastest-growing payment processors within Europe, today announced it has raised US$800m in a Series C funding round, now valuing the company at $6.5bn. The valuation, based on Dealroom data, makes Mollie the third most valuable privately-held European fintech behind Klarna and Checkout.com.
Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business, led the investment and included participation from EQT Growth, General Atlantic, HMI Capital and Alkeon Capital. TCV who led the Series B investment in September 2020 also participated in the funding round.
According to the company, the funding will fuel Mollie’s international expansion, team scaling, and continued investment in product and engineering.
“There’s something very special about Mollie. In the three months since I joined the team we’ve achieved so much: making preparations for a full launch in the UK, driving 600% growth in Germany and hiring an impressive set of team members and executives,” said Shane Happach, CEO, Mollie. “Over the past months, Mollie has been receiving a remarkable amount of interest from some of the world’s foremost fintech investors. In bringing on BXG, we believe we have an investor who can help Mollie in our next phase of growth. The involvement of our new group of investors demonstrates confidence in Mollie’s growth, strategy and product set.”
The Amsterdam-based business was launched in 2004, and is one of the largest PSPs in Europe. Today, it serves more than 120,000 monthly active merchants of all sizes across the continent. During 2020, Mollie processed more than 10 billion Euros in transactions and is on track to handle more than 20 billion Euros during 2021.
“Mollie is one of Europe’s most exciting high-growth businesses and is at the forefront of enabling next-generation payments for online SMEs across Europe. We are excited to partner with Mollie’s fantastic team and look forward to leveraging Blackstone’s capital, expertise and global network to unlock the company’s next phase of growth,” said Paul Morrissey, who leads European investing for Blackstone Growth. “This investment underlines Blackstone’s confidence in Europe as a place for high-growth companies to thrive.”
In Europe, FinTech app usage grew by 72% directly after the pandemic outbreak, while the top seven digital banks in the US grew their cumulative user base by 39% throughout the year. Competition in payments has grown over the past few years with fintech players like Stripe, Square and Netherlands-based Adyen all competing for a bigger share of the market.
Unlike its American rivals, Mollie says it mainly focuses on transactions with small businesses in Europe. Shane Happach, CEO of Mollie said: “A lot of the bigger players in online payments come out of the US, like PayPal,”. Adding that even Visa and Mastercard are US companies.
“A lot of investors don’t have a bet on Europe,” Happach said. “Mollie’s one of those unique assets that offers exposure.