Most industries have seen a major shift in how business is done thanks to advances in technology, and the financial sector is no different. Financial Technology (fintech) is set to grow exponentially in the Arab World, given users expect better services with more convenience and less fees. Umniah’s Mahfazti mobile wallet is set to help many Jordanians benefit from banking services with speed, ease and security using nothing but their own personal mobile phone.
75% of Jordanians do not have a bank account, while more than 83% of Jordanians owned a connected mobile phone in 2017. Expensive fees, absence of bank branches in suburban and rural parts of the country as well as modest use of technology to make financial services more user friendly and accessible, means millions of Jordanians remain “unbanked”. This means transferring money, paying bills and withdrawing cash remains out of reach for many users. Umniah’s Mahfazti app is a simple yet comprehensive solution to this financial challenge in the Kingdom.
Mahfazti is a service offered by Umniah that aims to bridge the massive gap in the financial services sector. The telecom provider will set up mobile wallets for users on any telco network in the Kingdom, with low-cost, instantaneous money transfers between users, the ability to withdraw cash from ATMs and partner businesses and even pay utility bills, rent and other transactions most users pay by cash today. It’s also far easier for customers to set up a wallet with a telco than it would setting up an account with a bank, and the fees are far lower.
Of course, as with everything related to technology, security and trust is always a main concern, especially when it comes to financial services. Mahfazti is under the direct supervision of the Central Bank of Jordan, and closely adheres to its policies and regulations. As for the digital security, Mahfazti employs a multi-layer series of security measures to ensure users can feel safe using the bouquet of financial services it offers.
The potential for widespread adoption of Mahfazti will help the overwhelming number of unbanked Jordanians utilize the latest in fintech solutions to help grow their businesses, manage their finances and keep track of it all from their personal mobile phones. Users that are especially likely to benefit from Mahfazti, are ones that live in the country’s rural areas where bank branches are not readily available to serve these communities.
Jordan’s mobile penetration is among the highest in the Arab World and 4G mobile Internet has helped push this penetration even higher. This provides an incentive for banks and other financial services providers to partner up with telcos and reach users that have so far remained elusive for the financial sector. Fintech allows more and more users to take charge of their finances and benefit from services that are otherwise impossible by only using cash.
Mahfazti is the first in many fintech innovations set to change how money exchanges hands in Jordan and the Arab World. Fintech makes the financial sector more readily accessible than ever before, more open, safer and convenient for a wider array of customers that have never had a bank account but are quickly adopting mobile wallets with telcos such as Uminah’s Mahfazti.