Amal Malik interviews Faris Khalid, Director of Business Development & Operations at Karri Payments.
About the company
Karri Payments allows its customers to make rapid, secured and convenient payments to schools and other community organizations (including charities), moving millions in cash from schools to secure, trackable online transfers. Karri is powered by Nedbank South Africa, the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) and Payment Card Industry Standard.
What potential do you see in FinTech for the developing world?
One can trace the union of finance and technology around 2012 with the emergence of digital/electronic payment solutions like JazzCash (a thriving ‘mobile wallet’ that enables digital banking services, launched in partnership with Mobilink Microfinance Bank in Pakistan). The playing field has grown, and continued to grow, providing new players and product/service innovations that are trying to encourage the Pakistani consumers to engage in cashless transactions. The developments in technology, government regulations and policy as well as increase in mobile phone penetration sets estimates of the digital finance potential of Pakistan stands at about $36 Billion by 2025, providing a 7% boost to the GDP, creating 4 million new jobs and resulting in $263 Billion new deposits. Other developing countries are also riding a similar wave of progress.
What benefits has Karri Payments brought to its users?
KarriPay was launched in 2016 in South Africa where it has garnered great praise for its dynamic utility for payment-related functions in educational institutions. It offers its partners a Communication platform through which it can send reminders and notices to parents regarding school-related events and payments, a single-button payment option as well as a consolidation portal for all payments. KarriPay entered the Pakistan market in 2019 and has moved on to Australia.
What demographic are the users and where is it operational?
KarriPay’s primary users are school Finance and collections departments. Its secondary users are parents who receive messages from the school and make payments via the app. The students who carry smartphones and scan the QR codes on campus to make payments via the e-wallet are also counted in the target audience.
Beyond cashless payments, how else has Karri Payments expanded its services and how did customers respond?
Payment related communication and reconciliation via the dashboard.
How does Karri payments benefit citizens who do not have bank accounts (if it does at all)?
Parents can make cash payments to schools; the schools in turn can record the receipt of cash on the KarriPay dashboard.
What do you enjoy the most about working in FinTech?
The rate at which the market is evolving makes for a steep learning curve to people such as myself who have recently entered the FinTech space.
What is your advice to budding FinTech enthusiasts?
Keep an eye out for customer experience (UX) and identify potential from those observations. This is a consumer-driven market and understanding the user’s psyche is critical. Also, financing projects is a complex endeavor and should be thoroughly studied before plunging in. It is easy to get carried away with the hype and then crash in the long run due to idealism and naiveté.
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At the time of interview, the interviewer has not used any services and/or products offered by the featured company and this article does not contain sponsored content. This interview has been published for informational and educational purposes.