Ashraf Sabry Fawry
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Companies - February 24, 2021

How Fawry Became Egypt’s First Unicorn

Fourteen years ago, technology business expert Ashraf Sabry had an idea, one that he believed would greatly change the landscape of digital payments in Egypt. He wanted to create a platform that served the pressing need for convenience and easy payments in a country where customers struggled with traffic congestion and complex payment procedures on a daily basis.

“I can say that we have about 15 million Egyptians with active bank accounts. The reality is that a great percentage of these can be classified as under-banked because they are not offered the complete portfolio of financial services, and not using their bank accounts for electronic payments,” said Ashrafin a session with ZAWYA, Middle East’s trusted source of business and financial information.

In 2008, Ashraf Sabry and his co-founder Mohamed Okasha launched Fawry with support from notable investors like Raya Holding, Technology Development Fund, Arab African International Bank, Fortune 500 companies, among others. With his expertise in business technology and Mohamed’s years of experience in marketing and operations, Fawry was headed for the stars.

During its startup years, Fawry had 5000 points of service in two cities and has since expanded its service to reach 194,000 spots in 300 cities across Egypt. With the newly discovered advantages of easy payments, collection services, cash management and B2B financial services, Fawry’s brand grew stronger nationally. The fintech company became a household name as it supports all kinds of customer payments and provides companies with an efficient and timely means of collecting payments using a variety of methods such as cash, credit cards and mobile wallet.

The Cultural Habit in Egypt was a Challenge

Fawry’s aims for a cashless society in Egypt did not scale without challenges. In the early days of this fintech startup, Ashraf made it clear in his interview with the Oxford Business Group that Egypt at that point in time was still practising the old economic model of using debit and prepaid cards mainly for withdrawing cash from ATMs. 

To read the rest of this interview and other insightful exclusives like this, click here.

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