Lucidity Insights

GEIDEA | A Saudi-born Fintech Player Blazing Trails

By Ashok Raman, 30 November 2021
A Saudi-born Fintech Player Blazing Trails
A Saudi-born Fintech Player Blazing Trails

Geidea was one of the first fintechs founded in the Kingdom, having been ideated in 2008, known largely as the “POS player” in the Kingdom, but has expanded to be much more than that. Geidea is a payments service provider, currently offering a suite of payment solutions to merchants, with a keen focus on SMEs. Geidea’s vision is to make payments and commerce technology accessible, affordable and intuitive to everyone. Geidea currently offers a complete suite of payment solutions for SMEs, featuring portable payment card readers, smart terminals, ePOS systems for retail and restaurants, as well as giving online merchants and solo entrepreneurs a complete e-commerce offering, ranging from building their own website, integration of payment gateways to their existing websites, and the ability to accept payments remotely anywhere in the world via payment links. 

The company’s first product launched in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2013 when they launched their first certified POS terminal – their current core business. Two years later in 2015, Geidea had become the Market Leader with 50% of Saudi Arabia’s POS market. And from there, a string of firsts and successes were born. Geidea still lays claim to the largest single fundraised amount to date, when it sold the business in 2018 for SAR 1 Billion  (US $268 million equivalent) to Dubai-based Gulf Capital, a Private Equity Firm. 

Since the acquisition, Geidea has gone from strength to strength. In 2021, Geidea became the first in the region to develop an app-based contactless “tap on phone” solution empowering SMEs with a simple way to process customer payments, without a separate payment (POS) terminal or connection. The company has announced its ambition to roll this out beyond the Kingdom’s borders to grow its footprint in the wider Middle East region by the end of 2021. Founder and Chairman, Abdullah Al-Othman, has said about the new product, “With over 85% smartphone penetration in the Kingdom, the development of ‘Tap on Phone’ mobile payment acceptance will help realize our vision of making payment technologies accessible, affordable and intuitive for SMEs. No matter what merchants do, or where they sell, we can provide them with new and easier ways of accepting digital payments that fit the way they do business. And as a homegrown brand, Geidea is proud to be the first non-bank company to have ever received an acquiring license from regulatory authorities.” In March 2021, Geidea became the first fintech and the only non-bank institution in the region to receive an acquiring license. Geidea was also among the first non-bank entities to join the National Payments System, mada, along with STCpay; this means that Geidea will be able to provide hosting services for POS devices to merchants directly, and provide POS devices with full services, just like the traditional banks in the Kingdom.  Fahad Al-Aqeel, CEO of Saudi Payments Company has said, “At Saudi Payments, we are proud of our role to pave the way for banks and fintechs, enabling them to provide new and innovative services in the payments sector within the Kingdom, in a manner that simulates the innovation spirit that characterizes this vital sector. We look forward to seeing Geidea and other payment companies licensed by SAMA to complement our efforts to encourage the acceptance and adoption of digital payments in the Kingdom, and to actively contribute to completing the transformation of SMEs to adopt electronic payment methods, in order to achieve our ambition to shift towards a cashless economy.”