The Middle East is recognized as a global leader in digital transformation, with nearly 100% internet penetration in many markets and record technology startup funding across the region. Nevertheless, many small businesses still face challenges in opening bank accounts and digitizing financial processes for new businesses. This is a major impediment to innovation and growth.
Enter Xpence – the first and only financial management platform for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region with built-in business banking solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The company recently announced the launch of an expense management solution and card in the United Arab Emirates through a partnership with Visa at the Gitex Global Technology Conference in Dubai, which ended on Friday.
Xpence co-founder and CEO Saad Ansari explained that the idea for Xpence was first born in February 2018 in Abu Dhabi. After spending almost a year developing the idea of a consumer-focused neobank with the goal of sending money to millions of unbanked people in the GCC region, Ansari has spawned a number of startups. I noticed someone approaching them and asking if they could open a bank account. At that point, he decided to move from the idea of a consumer neobank to a small business financial management platform with embedded banking solutions.
Banking people who do not have bank accounts. But rather than individuals, Xpence aims to serve over 19 million small businesses in the MENAP region, that are struggling to open bank accounts for new businesses. This is the challenge Ansari personally faced when starting her own venture.
Just a few months after announcing the Xpence idea at startAD 2018, Xpence was invited by the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) regulator to apply for a RegLab license for its fintech services and was granted three months later. I was. At the time, regulators were only issuing 10 licenses per year to fintech. It was a turning point in his journey as he was one of the first fintech companies in the region to join the Visa Fintech Fast Track Program in early 2019. Then came his first Xpence transaction in Dubai Duty-Free in March 2019, and the UN World Food Program’s first ‘Share The Meal’ transactions in Bahrain (November 2020) and the United Arab Emirates (2022). August 2018). charity program.
This is a testament to Xpence’s visible growth and strong track record. They are just getting started and ready to do great things. ”
Today, the SMB Treasury Management Platform’s embedded banking solutions include globally recognized physical and virtual employee expense cards, simplified digital billing, multi-currency wallets, and automated payment processing. It contains. Xpence also allows businesses to set separate spending controls and limits for each card. Real-time monitoring and automated accounting also eliminate cumbersome expense reporting, increasing efficiency and saving businesses money.
To date, Ansari has accelerated the growth of his Xpence with just his US$5 million (Dh18.37) funding but has already made significant progress in expanding into multiple markets. The UAE launch is his second of five strategic markets to be explored over the next 18 months. Xpence works with regulators in key markets in the MENAP region and is legally incorporated in Bahrain, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, with more companies in the pipeline. Demand for the company’s solutions is also high, with over 2,000 companies currently on the waiting list.