Zaid Kamhawi, CEO, Qarar

Global digital transformation is expanding at an exponential rate, affecting every industry. Focusing on the Fintech domain, this segment has begun challenging the traditional finance and banking methods. The growth of ML, AI, blockchain, and RPA are revolutionising the Fintech market. Computing and hosting in the cloud are fast becoming the most efficient and cost-effective means to manage the influx of data.

Another critical factor propelling this market growth is the pandemic. As millions lost their livelihood during lockdown and job losses, most people fell back on their savings – assuming they even had savings. Digital lending has enabled people to borrow remotely. So while this sector demonstrates the potential for tremendous growth, true transformation can only be achieved with the help of a solution provider that understands and fulfils each client’s unique requirements.

Possessing in-depth market and industry experience in tandem with advancing technologies, Qarar, a key player in the digital transformation space in the Middle East and Pakistan, is perfectly poised to meet and exceed every customer expectation. “Qarar also has a unique ability to support new digital lenders and traditional financial services as we are based locally yet have multiple decades of international experience throughout our diverse team.  Therefore, we are strongly poised to stay relevant in the industry and capture new segments as the emergence of tech titans continues to expand,” explains Zaid Kamhawi, CEO of Qarar.

Gaining Consumer Trust

He tells us that despite the rapid growth in digital lending services, a general decline in consumer trust is also witnessed.  Thus, he believes that the responsibility lies upon leading FinTechs, like Qarar, to reassure customers through purpose-led communications, not just as software and product providers. Qarar’s ultimate purpose is to help everyone access credit, whether from larger organisations to SMEs and individuals.  “Our expertise — technology and advisory — helps lenders make the right decisions, faster decisions, more accurate decisions, and channel funds to the right people at the right price.   That is where our automation technology and credit scoring stand out from the rest of the pack,” reveals Zaid.

A subsidiary of the parent company SIMAH (the Saudi Credit Bureau), Qarar was incepted in 2013. As the company embarked upon its journey, the market was predominantly controlled by large international organisations. Having observed this, Qarar envisioned creating a regional presence on the ground — building regional and local capabilities in the data analytics and decision automation industry — and bringing the whole team’s international varied experience focused on the region. In fact, Qarar has recently expanded its presence in Saudi Arabia by opening a regional office there and the company headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The company also intends to open an office in Pakistan shortly.

Standing Apart from Other Solution Providers in the Market

“Qarar’s USP is agility and local knowledge with international expertise, the fact that we are specialised. Specialisation is one of our biggest advantages that we focus on, like credit, risk analytics, regulatory analytics, marketing, and customer engagement analytics. We focus on these domains and apply them across multiple sectors like banking, insurance, telcos, and government. This specialisation applied across different verticals makes clients call us first because they want that domain expertise and focus,” informs Zaid.

The company offers many solutions, including analytics solutions, credit bureau data-driven solutions, advisory solutions, and software solutions. Qarar also enables a client’s profitability while helping clients manage credit risk. With most services hosted in the cloud, the company also reduces operational costs. Furthermore, most of Qarar’s solutions are already integrated into third-party sources needed to onboard and assess clients. The company also has partners, such as B2B, Fintech, and other specialist companies or consultants who develop and provide technology solutions that complement Qarar’s products and services.  These partners provide powerful complementary solutions that plug into Qarar’s platform, benefitting the client. Zaid says, “We feel that the benefits are mutual across our partner network — our combined skills create a powerhouse of solutions that can be considered unrivalled, and a commitment to ensuring we, as a team, deliver the optimum solution to our clients.”

Efficiently Helping Assess Customers

Another one of the biggest challenges that lenders face today and Qarar addresses is how to assess customers. Keeping this in mind, the team of experts at Qarar designed a solution that sifts through copious amounts of data and develops accurate and predictive models that can then be leveraged to help clients quantify risk. This risk quantification enables clients to apply strategies such as risk-based pricing, giving the right customers the proper price assistance.  Helping process applications faster, increasing customer conversion rates, and expanding into new segments are some of the ways Qarar’s analytics, automated decision-making and portfolio management make a difference to its clients, enabling them to become leaders in the ever-expanding lending sector.

In fact, portfolio management is a big part of what Qarar does for its clients because it is not just about acquisition.  It is also about how the company maximises profitability from the customer once they have onboarded them. This includes analytics, which helps manage the limits given to customers over time. “It also helps identify who is more likely to take up another product or cross-sell strategies, who is more likely to recover if they are delinquent, and so on.  These analytical models help our clients optimise customer engagement or profitability from their customers,” adds Zaid.

All in all, Qarar takes pride in its robust product portfolio and its numerous features and benefits. However, when it comes to marketing, the company prefers to direct its focus on knowledge sharing to better engage the audience and pinpoint potential customers.

Attaining Higher ROI

The company, continually aligning itself with the latest market trends, does not implement traditional tools but directs its efforts to employ digital marketing initiatives and adopt new mediums to convey core messages in a digestible format. This includes knowledge snippets such as one-minute videos, or podcasts, which are a very popular format for sharing knowledge when people are commuting.  “We team up with our business partners and invariably find we have a huge amount of valuable content to share!  We feel that approach has given us a much higher return on investment compared to the traditional sponsoring of large events or digital ads, plus we have the flexibility to tailor our messages to specific audiences,” proclaims Zaid.

Collaborating as a Cohesive Team

Qarar is still a relatively young company, that is nimbly navigating the rapidly growing digital lending market.  The company started out very strong from its inception and we have steadily made a name for ourselves in the market over the first 7-year period — based on positive feedback from clients and the resulting word-of-mouth recommendations that we have experienced.

Qarar’s philosophy is not just applied to its clients but at home as well. Zaid explains, “we consider Qarar to be a family that also treats employees like family. Our culture is focused on business and personal growth — to grow as professionals and grow the company. Everyone constantly strives to self-develop, learn, and then share that learning with the rest. Therefore, we have created a culture where everyone can be vulnerable with each other and comfortably share fears, weaknesses, desires, and goals. In 2021 we were honoured as a ‘Highly Commended’ finalist in the People and Culture category in the MEED SME awards.”

Anticipating the Future

As we take a peek into the future, and what it holds for this sector and Qarar in terms of product portfolio expansion, the company sees services linked to open banking, alternative data scoring, and anything that helps clients expand into new niche customer segments. The company is also investing more into cloud enablement, and because of the importance of data, Qarar is also investing in integrating with a larger number of data partners.

With more exciting news to reveal, Zaid tells us that the company plans to launch several new initiatives as it nears its 10th anniversary next year. He adds, “That will be the perfect timing to unveil Qarar’s new positioning in the market and our ventures into new digital lending market sectors and the new customer journey.  We want to focus on the digital transformation of banks — open banking, digital onboarding, and cloud-based services, and supporting the Buy Now Pay Later market.” Currently, Qarar’s expertise is invaluable to traditional banks and lenders. The company aims to maintain relevance in the digital space by assisting clients in launching their digital arms and products while also supporting and enabling FinTechs with limited budgets to go-to-market with their product innovations.

Zaid concludes, “We are operating in a region which has many major government-led initiatives for transformation. People and their lifestyles, ways of doing business, and of course, lending are already changing rapidly.  That means there are enormous opportunities for Qarar to continue to be a leader in digital transformation and find new avenues for lending — and we are looking forward to the challenges and the rewards!

For More Info:

Content Disclaimer

Related Articles