Interview with Trriple spokesperson

in Business by

Paolo Gagliardi

Trriple Paolo Gagliardi is the Chief Executive Officer of Trriple and is responsible for the design and execution of the overall strategy. He joined the UAE-based start-up in June 2017 with the mission to realize the company’s vision of ushering in a ‘cashless society’ by making on-the-go mobile payments possible on a mass scale, in line with the UAE Vision 2021.

With over 23 years of experience in Telecom and IT Operations, Paolo has a proven track record of directing complex, multi-million-euro enterprise projects, managing superior customer services teams, and achieving double-digit revenue growth.

Prior to Trriple, he was the Group COO and Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa region for eServGlobal, the Regional Director of Technologies for Vodafone in Italy and the VP of Managed Services for Bharti Enterprises in India. In addition to these roles, he has also worked with LogicaCMG, Openwave Systems and IBM, among others.

Paolo is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of DXaBility, the first and only accessible tourism, leisure and event consultancy company in the UAE, and the Founding Partner of PKS Kids Italia ONLUS, a non-profit organization in Europe that works with families afflicted by the Pallister-Killian Syndrome.

Living in Dubai with his wife and 3 children, Paolo enjoys the opportunity to listen to rock music, read Sci-Fi novels and improve his skills as flight simulator pilot in his spare time.

  1. Can you give us an overview of your digital wallet? (where has it been developed? When was it launched and where is it available to download?

For the thousands of people in the UAE earning between AED 2,000 and AED 10,000, Trriple’s CEO believes that the introduction of mobile wallets such as Trriple “will be a turning moment”.

Our vision is to build a global digital payment ecosystem for everyone, enabling anywhere, anytime payments in a trustworthy manner.

Trriple believes in financial inclusion: a future wherein anyone can access money anywhere. Money is powerful when it is in the hands of those who need it, when they need it.  Trriple makes this a possibility by introducing the best possible technologies, and focusing on People, Planet and Prosperity.

After realizing the problem of unbanked and under-banked individuals in the UAE, the team at Trriple started working on a solution to address this need. The beta version of the application was first launched during GITEX 2017, and currently we have launched our mWallet with added services including cash-in points, local and international mobile air-time top-up, peer-to-peer local transfers, and secure and fast retail payments.

Trriple mWallet, which was designed locally and developed in India, is consistently upgrading and mending its services to better suit the user, and is available to download on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

  1. What is the share of electronic payments (credit cards, etc.) compared to total consumer payments?

Currently, we have seen reports that show 75 per cent of transactions made in the UAE are cash-based. The goal for UAE to become a cashless society by 2021 is aggressive; however, the country is well-known for executing the unimaginable.

Additionally, the Global Media Insight in 2015 reported that a staggering 7.27 million people were active mobile internet users in the UAE, out of a total of 9.58 million. However, the percentage of the population who use mobile banking services stood at only 31 per cent.

These statistics show us that there is room for mobile wallet applications like ours to help UAE reach its vision.

  1. How do you assess digital cash payments in the UAE now? Are we really on our way to a ‘Cashless Society’?

The potential is certainly there. The UAE has one of the highest mobile phone penetrations in the world, according to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Global insights company, Nielsen, has reported that for every 100 UAE residents about 78 of them own a smart phone. The adoption of digital technology is even wider in the UAE, with its tech-savvy young and affluent population. Furthermore, one must acknowledge that the embracing of new technologies is known to be higher in emerging markets than in developed countries.

With UAE prioritizing cashless payments within the UAE Vision 2021, we believe we can definitely reach our goal of a ‘Cashless Society’ supported by with applications such as ours. Our aim, and role, is to reach out to the vast segment of the population that still rely on cash as a primary means of transaction, and provide them with a secure and convenient, mobile-based solution.

  1. What are the top sectors using digital payment in the UAE?

The top sectors using digital payments in the UAE include government, retail, eCommerce and mCommerce.

  1. What are your expectations for the performance of the digital payments market over the next period? What are the main drivers of this market? What is the expected growth rate of this market?

Dubai, the world’s 18th largest financial center and home to the largest fintech sector within the MENA region, has seen a rise in interest from fintech startups and banking assets because of its location, private investment regulations, and innovation.

Over the past decade, fintech startups in the region have raised over $100 million in funding, and investment is predicted to double by 2020, according to the State of Fintech report.

The report also shows that the disclosed investment in fintech had jumped 100% to over $35 million by October 2017 — Paytabs ($20million), Souqalmal ($10 million) and Beehive ($5 million) — compared to $18 million last year.

The number of fintech startups also increased from 46 in 2013 to 105 in 2015, and it is estimated that it will more than double again to 250 by 2020, according to the report.

Additionally, in November of last year, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) launched a $100 million fintech-focused fund and signed an agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to undertake joint fintech projects.

2017 also witnessed the cooperation agreement between ‘Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission’ and ‘Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)’ in order to establish a framework for the two regulators where they could help each other develop the fintech industry.

This being said, one could conclude that Dubai is positioning itself as a fintech hub, which is why it continues to be a dominant market in the MENA region.

  1. What are Trriple’s strategic growth plans for the UAE for the upcoming 12 months?

Currently, we have just announced the re-launch of our application with new services and features, based on beta user feedback. Users in the UAE can now top-up their Trriple mobile wallets with cash at approximately 3,000 top-up points across the UAE with no cost to the user, enabling customers to use a range of newly launched in-app financial services such as local and international mobile air-time top-up, peer-to-peer local transfers, and secure and fast retail payments.

Along with these, we have also launched a loyalty program for users of the application, to earn points redeemable for merchant vouchers. Additionally, we are giving all customers a chance to win weekly prizes simply by using international airtime top-up service.

The next phase for Trriple, over the upcoming 12 months, includes growing the number of merchants that accept Trriple payments, and making instant, app-based international remittance a reality, freeing up people from having to spend time at exchange houses to send money to their home countries.

  1. Why is the UAE ideal for the activities of the emerging fintech companies?

As previously stated, there is potential for areas within fintech such as mobile wallets in the UAE as we have one of the highest mobile phone penetrations in the world, according to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, and the higher-than-average adoption of digital technology is wider in the UAE, with its tech-savvy young and affluent population.

Additionally, there is a high percentage of people in the region who do not have access to traditional financial services, who settle for cash for the daily expenses, which means there is an opportunity for fintech companies such as Trriple to address this problem.

We, at Trriple, recognised the need for creating a brand that would replace obsolete ways of transacting with a secure and sophisticated solution.

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