Mobile payments start-up Ziina launched in its first market, the UAE and unveiled plans to expand into Saudi Arabia in 2021, as it seeks to take advantage of initiatives to encourage cashless payments in the Middle East.
The company’s peer-to-peer payment app currently connects to bank accounts held in the UAE and allows cash to be sent and received using mobile phone numbers: example use cases include splitting grocery bills or the cost of takeaways.
It plans to eventually add compatibility for QR codes, prepaid cards and utility payments within the app.
Commercial launch follows a funding injection of $850,000 from a range of investors specialising in backing start-ups. In a statement, the company said the service would contribute to the UAE’s transition towards a cashless society.
CEO Faisal Toukan added the business aimed to “redefine the way people in the Middle East think of, interact with and experience financial services.”
Becoming a cashless society is one of a number aims included in the UAE’s Vision 2021 strategy, which also includes goals around a refocusing of the economy, and enhancements to healthcare and education facilities.
Ziina’s next target market of Saudi Arabia also has goals around reducing cash transaction numbers to 30 per cent of all payments as part of its Vision 2030 initiative.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back