This article has been written originally in Farsi by Mrs Haleh Chitsazan (a freelancer Digital Executive Consultant)
Amid Iranian startups active in various sectors, Fin-Techs are somehow more important to look for since they handle the monetary transactions after all. The other factor made the industry more attractive in the eyes of entrepreneurs is the fact that backing by a bank, an insurance or a financial institution keep these businesses on the safe side (financial wise) which eventually lead into a better-focused team with no costs concerns. A simple payment application will make you enough money for your entrance to the mysterious “finance” world and this sector’s players are there to back you up whenever necessary.
In this article, we are about to analyze the available Iranian Fintech Startups and measure their services and added values for their customers. As the first step, we will do a typology study to understand the current status better. Iranian Fintech Startups can be categorized as below:
- The one with payments services: Act as a counter, purchase point, payment social networks, wallet, crowdfunding, cab fare payment, etc.
- The on with insurance services (Insure Tech): Providing online consulting, insurance purchase, Premium payment, insurance firms comparison, extending insurance policies, etc.
- The on with Personal accounting services (Personal Finance): Providing account management, Cheque payments, income and cost management, daily expenses, instalment reminders, budgeting, reporting, etc.
- The on with Investment and asset (wealth) management services: Including investment consulting bots (Robo-advisors), Crowdfunding platforms, etc.
- The one with lending services: Good examples are: Vam-Yaar and Tas’hilat (Facilities)
- The one with cryptocurrencies: Good example is: Coinex
According to venture scanner stats most global investments in Fin-Tech applications have been dedicated to (by order) lending, payment and small business tools, however, eyeing Iranian regulatory status the lending applications did not have a chance to grow yet and ready to use products are more for payments which utilize the transfer commissions as its main revenue stream along with providing wallet and purchase point services.
Who has the most influence in global and Iranian Fin-Tech ecosystem:
Below diagram demonstrates the top 5 major players in the global and Iranian Fin-Tech ecosystem:
It is no news that the success of Iranian Fintech Startups with end-users have had a huge impact on the traditional players’ business and changed their income generation models. The young and restless fin-tech enthusiasts have rapidly dictated the innovation to the industry and there were times that it kept traditional firms out of the play. On the other hand, banks realized the threat and saw an opportunity, therefore redirected their strategy and not only have created their very own startups but also support others via accelerates, VCs or other means just to keep their market share intact.
Up to some point, Iranian Fin-Tech startups have never grown seriously and developers’ services were just bounded to simple IT solutions for banks. Now those developers are the strongest arm working shoulder to shoulder with fin-tech firms.
Now we are about to dig deeper into PSP firms, which mostly owned by banks, in order to see the activities of major players in more details.
Which PSPs performed better?
In order to address this issue better, the below table is to demonstrate the bank related payment applications in their details:
Looking for factors of success among top applications, Aap, Top and 780, it is obvious that the scale of advertising and lottery-based gifts have no negligible impacts on end users’ appetite. In future studies, it shall be analyzed that how much of the market share they have is related to these advertising schemes? How on earth the International payment giants, who have no gifting schemes or massive advertisement campaigns, keep their customers loyal?
Iranian Fin-Tech Startups stats show that 9 companies with ready to use products have either made the application themselves from the scratch (like Sekkeh for Mellat Beh Pardakht co.) or did support a domestic developer (like Ariya Novin payment frim with its 780 application) or handed the job over to a third party contractor (like Parsian e-payment and Raad team).
How have similar Iranian Payment apps become?
All the mentioned features are considered as common among the payment applications. Some other services that payment applications can deliver to their users are:
- Text (SMS) recognition for the payment of utility bills
- Direction services
- Gift cards/Discount cards
- Providing the debit/credit card number to others
- Reminders for charity payments
- Parcel traction services
- and ….
The above table is only depicting a general idea of these payment applications in Iranian Fintech Startups and should we want to consider in more details, it will be out of the scope for this article. However, if we are to list the competitive advantages which this application should seek for their future development the followings are among the top:
- Changing the solution’s architecture (e.g. adding transfer services based on mobile phone number);
- Utilizing more advanced technology in the architecture (e.g. NFC, QR and …);
- Making the UI/UX more in line with users’ habits;
- Adding innovative loyalty schemes (scoring, game fiction, gifts);
- Uplifting the security protocols;
- Involving entities that can bring more added value to the table;
In addition to the mentioned subjects, there are innovative business ideas which can be entered into the current Iranian Fintech Startups ecosystem. Machine learning and AI are the top two things that shall be under the eyes of these companies’ founders. They are the only one who knows how much a customer spends and they do these expenditures on what grounds. Utilizing such data is now a whole other business which can mine priceless data for these payment companies.
What is your FinTech revenue model?
DISCLAIMER: This report has been prepared and issued by Agah Brokerage Firm on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other sources believed to be reliable. The information contained herein is not guaranteed, does not purport to be comprehensive and is strictly for information purposes only. Agah does not assume any liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions. Any expressions of opinions are subject to change without notice.