Beam, a Dubai-based mobile payments platform, will expand in seven new markets in 2019, according to co-founder Shezan Amiji.
“Now we’ve demonstrated and proven value for both the consumer and for the merchant. It’s about taking to the next level and opening up new markets,” he said he said in an interview with CNBC.
Since launching in the UAE in 2012, Beam has built a user base of approximately a million users, Amiji noted, adding that in the next six months the company plans to expand into Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. The firm already has a presence in Sweden in Australia.
“There has not been a strategic direction in terms of this market or that market – these are discussions that people have come to us and said, ‘we’re interested in what you have done and why can’t we work together’,” he added.
Amiji’s comments come just weeks after Majid Al Futtaim announced the acquisition of Beam Portal, the owner of Beam.
The acquisition grants Majid Al Futtaim ownership of Beam’s IP rights, branding, and e-wallet services across the region, representing a significant milestone in the company’s digital transformation.
Beam enables retailers to accept mobile payments and engage with customers directly through their smartphones. The payment and rewards platform, which already has a partner network of more than 2,000 stores in the UAE only, will enhance Majid Al Futtaim’s shopping experience, allowing customers to pay by phone, while earning cash back on their purchases, the company said in a statement.
“The value proposition for them is about trying to understand consumer behaviour better,” Amiji said in the CNBC interview. “The data, I think, is the richness for them, and also having a direct relationship with the consumer.”
The terms of the deal between Majid Al Futtaim and Beam Portal were not disclosed.