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Beyon Money: Leading Bahrain’s Fintech Revolution

Gulf Insider interviews Roberto Mancone, CEO and Executive Board Member at Beyon Money.

Beyon Money is a newly launched super-app which intends to become a one-stop shop for its users, offering a marketplace with a wide range of financial products and services in one app. Roberto Mancone shares the purpose behind Beyon Money, its characteristics, their future plans, and predictions for the financial industry.

What is the purpose of Beyon Money?

Beyon money wants to fulfil two particular needs of clients who approach financial services—the element of choice and the speed of action.

We want to make sure that our services will fulfill all the financial needs of all types of users, whether Gen Z, Gen Y, blue-collar, or white-collar. I call it the Netflix approach. When you use it, you will have a wide selection of genres and categories and you will find what matches your requirement. This is exactly what we want to achieve with our app; we want to provide you with that element of choice.

The element of speed which we want to provide is one which offers the most convenience. For example, you download the app, upload one selfie, one ID, load a virtual card, and you can be on your way.

You can connect your bank accounts, pay bills, send funds abroad instantly, spend and get cashback, access your personal financial insights, and many more services all in one app.

Roberto Mancone and Charlie Cooksey

What makes Beyon money different from other financial applications?

We want you to have the option of choosing your source of funds as well as of how you want to approach the beneficiary. For example, under remittances, the novelty will be that if one wants to send money abroad – they can use our money card, a credit card, a bank account, or any other source. We are not restricting our services strictly to the card, but allowing the freedom of choice based on what you want. The same applies as a recipient. You will be able to receive funds in your account, your wallet, or even cash.

We will evolve from a financial service provider to a marketplace, which means that even products that we do not necessarily produce but are available in the market, will be made available. They can be wide labelled and branded with the original provider, but we’ll have an element choice for insurances, asset management, deposit gathering, cryptocurrencies, and more.

What steps have been taken to take Beyon Money internationally?

For people in Bahrain, we want to offer connectivity with banks outside of the Kingdom. We are connecting all the banks in Bahrain in our app. There are a lot of expats here that have bank accounts abroad. So, we want to make sure that we grant them the possibility to connect with banks in the countries where they’re from, which is an additional element. 

We are already on the path of expanding in the GCC. The two key countries for us are UAE and KSA. After that, we will evolve beyond the region.

How do you plan to develop and evolve digital payments in Bahrain?

We want to be in the driving seat. We want to ride the wave of technology and the wave that the regulators have been able to create. There are a lot of opportunities here in Bahrain to transform today’s digital payment methods. Open banking is one of the options because it allows alternatives to traditional card payments. Beyond that, here’s a lot of evolution in methods of payment – stable coins, central banks, digital currency, etc. There are almost 23 central banks in the world that are focusing on CBDC.

I see an evolution from the traditional method, such as bank to bank, card to card, card to wallet as well as stable coins. That is something we need to be on top of, in order to make sure that this proceeds as a valid solution to lower the cost for the clients and create less friction in the current system of payment, which is not perfect yet. 

The financial industry is changing far more than we could have ever predicted. What we’re seeing today, we couldn’t have predicted 5 years ago. Is there anything you predict for the industry that others may not see coming?

You need to create a demand. If you ask yourself, when the smartphone was created, whether people knew where we would be today, it would be unimaginable.

That’s why I say, if you ask me five years from now where we want to be, I would probably have you ask yourself: Where was Netflix five years after they started delivering DVDs and eliminated blockbusters? Where was Amazon five years after they started selling books? 

What are we going to be five years from now? I cannot tell you. But, for sure, things will be dramatically different. And this is the result of technological and demographic change. The new generation is born into a technological savvy, digital market. So, you can only imagine that they will ask for something that doesn’t already exist and we need to create that kind of demand.

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