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Saudi’s PayTabs to Bet on Blockchain for Speedy Banking

Saudi Arabia, June 9, 2018

Saudi-based payment solutions provider PayTabs wants to use blockchain, cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence to improve the payment process, mainly SME (small and medium enterprise) bank transactions and remittance services, CEO Abdulaziz Al Jouf told Arabian Business.

PayTabs aims to provide solutions to the perennial challenge faced by SMEs across the developing world and the Middle East - slow bank payments. SMEs in Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, the Philippines, and others countries struggle to streamline the bank payment process, especially when a customized payment option is required.

Al Jouf stated:

“Banks have a lot of red tape. We have much faster workaround solutions, while not compromising on compliance and risk. The reason we are backdated with payments with banks is that there is a lot of pressure regarding KYC (know your customer), KYB (know your business) and all those regulations. We're trying to cut that out and do it much faster with more advanced technology. We work with the bank to take care of this entire product, so we kind of become the bank concerning payment processing. In some markets, we get our own license to become the banking partner.'

The crypto revolution

According to Al Jouf, a significant volume of digital banking is seen to integrate emerging platforms such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain despite some lingering issues with the nascent technologies. However, he noted:

“Cryptocurrency is here to stay. How will this happen? There are different dimensions and different directions where it will go. Keep in mind that central banks until today are trying hard to ban [cryptocurrency] because they feel it is out of [their] control. If you think back to why cryptocurrency launched, it is because of the massive collapse in 2011… [It aimed] to make sure currencies and money is protected everywhere.”

Currently, PayTabs is collaborating with several partners to use virtual currency as its fiat channel. However, Al Jouf admits that many are attracted to crypto because of the lure of quick profits, but in reality, there are several challenges in making money from the industry.

Al Jour revealed that PayTabs has a couple of projects with digital currency exchanges in the Middle East and Asia to use crypto in compliance with local rules. One of the projects involves a solution to hasten the remittance processes, he said.

Al Jour’s vision for blockchain improving the lives of people in developing countries is shared by Bacolod City in central Philippines, which will utilize the technology to boost the economy in the countryside.