While powerful tech leaders the world over continue to discuss solutions for banking the unbanked, seemingly in vain, 24-year-old Ibrahim Eid has quietly gone about creating Valify, and in doing so enabled the Central Bank of Egypt to start tackling the issues that stem from 84% of Egypt’s population being unbanked.
Founded alongside partner-in-crime, Omar Abdel-Wahed, the fin-tech startup offers digital identity solutions to telecom and financial institutions. In layman’s terms, it offers digital banking services that do away with the interactions and communications that have traditionally only been able to happen at a bank. With Eid boasting a background working at several fin-tech startups and Abdel-Wahed’s previously having worked at PayMob, it only made sense for the duo to launch their own fin-tech company and a seemingly unlikely shot-in-the-dark approach to the Central Bank has set them on their way.
“People who can’t be physically queued up at a bank or a telecom counter, don’t have access to any financial services,” says Eid. “We were able to introduce the Central Bank to the concept of electronic KYC (Know Your Customer) that replaces the requirement of having to go in person to a bank or telecom branch and stand in line for your turn.”
The app – the crux, of you will, of the whole startup – offers state-of-the-art features, including ID and document verification, biometric facial recognition and even Arabic-English transliteration at the base of its operation. Moving forward, however, Eid is under no allusions in regards to the baggage that comes with breaking down the walls of financial inclusion. “The product changes laws and regulations,” he explains of the daunting task still ahead. “It‘s going to take a lot of work to make this happen.”