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paynas Signs Landmark Partnership with Visa & Banque Misr: What Does it Mean for MSMEs Across Egypt?

With micro, small and medium enterprise employing 75% of the Egyptian workforce, the long overdue modernisation of HR & payroll services is within reach.

Staff Writer

As Egypt (and the MENA region as a whole) jogs towards digitisation, cloud platform, paynas, has announced a partnership with Visa and Banque Misr to launch a digital platform that will serve the financial services needs of MSMEs across the country.

With research maintaining that the majority of the Egyptians are employed by MSMEs, the platform serves both employer and employee, offering flexible financial solutions, in addition to HR management tools. One of the main points of the partnership aims to eliminate cash wages by offering a first-of-its-kind card that will also empower employees with financial tools. The Visa paynas card will be issued in collaboration with Banque Misr, which will help accelerate scalability, while maximising outreach.

Founded in 2018 by Mohamed Mounir, Yara El Abd, Motaz Lotfy and Moahmed Fakhreldin, paynas is considered one of the most prominent EFG-EV Fintech portfolio companies The company is no stranger to Visa, too, having won the financial services giant’s 2019 FinTech pitch-off competition and has long been marked as one of the most innovative fintech firms in Egypt. 

“Visa has always been committed to enhancing financial inclusion and supporting SMEs who are the backbone of societies, and a partnership with paynas falls in line with our aim to develop the financial sector in Egypt and the region,” Malak El Baba, Visa’s Egypt Country Manager said. On the part of Banque Misr, meanwhile, a partnership with paynas falls very much in line with its ongoing efforts in financial inclusion, with Akef El Maghraby, Banque Misr Vice Chairman, adding: “paynas is a key player in the fintech scene in Egypt making big strides in bridging the gap between the MSME segment and the financial sector, and we are excited to be part of their journey to success.

Beyond digitisation and financial inclusion, however, the fact that MSMEs are such a key driving force in emerging economies isn’t lost on any of the parties involved. It’s estimated that, in Egypt, they employ around 75% of the workforce, making the support of MSMEs all the more critical. It’s long been known that many MSEMs lack the processes and tools needed to sustain and flourish, something that this partnership is looking to address.

“Smaller companies face pervasively larger challenges in terms of workforce management, along with availing financial offerings and other benefits to their employees,” paynas founder and CEO, Mohamed Mounir, said of the launch. “We’ve designed a one-stop solution that holistically solves these challenges in one go, and have forged the right strategic partnerships that ensure our target market is effectively served.”

We are receiving positive signals from the market already, so there is clearly a strong appetite for the MSME segment to be more actively included in the financial system.

While ambitions are lofty at paynas, what the platform actually offers is much more simple, though no less critical. The platform allows MSMEs to digitise and automate its main HR process, while integrating them into payroll processes. With the paynas card offering employees more control of their finances, another partnership between paynas and AXA means employees can also now be offered tailored health insurance and flexible payment schemes through it.

For paynas, however, there’s much work to be done and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We are receiving positive signals from the market already, so there is clearly a strong appetite for the MSME segment to be more actively included in the financial system—and we have bigger plans for how paynas will satisfy that appetite,” said paynas co-founder and CMO, Yara El Abd.  “With the backing and trust of our investors and with our strategic partnerships and alliances, we’ll be putting these plans into action.


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