Economy, Business And Markets

Misys Set for Iran Launch

Misys Set for Iran LaunchMisys Set for Iran Launch

Misys, a London-based financial software company, said it was targeting an expansion plan that focuses on the Middle East and Africa, with plans to enter Iran as soon as sanctions are lifted in the next few months.

In an interview with Gulf News, Sohail Khan, managing director for the Middle East and Africa at Misys, said that Misys has already invested in Iran, and expected operations to begin once the sanctions are lifted.

“We’ve got people hired and ready to go to Iran. What we’ve been hearing is that in the next 60-90 days, the US is likely to lift sanctions, so we’re prepared. Nothing stops us from engaging to customers today; the only issue is selling the product, which we can’t do because of the embargo. We’ve started to travel to Iran, meet customers, and engage with them,” he said.

The company, which provides software used for mobile banking, is also looking at Africa as a potential growth market as internet penetration grows in the continent. Khan said Misys is focusing on the Southern African Development Community countries, East Africa, and West Africa.

 Bigger Footprint

The company has already started the recruitment process for its expansion in Africa. Additionally, the company is looking at Egypt and the Levant countries for growth.

“Lebanon is a big market for us, and I think there are a lot of opportunities for us to increase our footprint. The banks there are moving in the right direction, so the likes of Bank of Beirut, Audi Bank, and BBAC are all engaged with us for further modernization,” Khan said.

The number of mobile banking users in the Middle East and Africa is expected to reach 82.1 million by 2017. In the UAE, around 82% of banking consumers use at least one digital banking channel, according to data from Misys.

The company is expecting its largest revenue growth to come from core banking transformation, treasuries, corporate and retail channels. Misys also expects to see a 20-25% growth in business in the UAE by the end of this fiscal year (May 31, 2016).

In line with its growth plan, the company is currently looking at mergers and acquisitions, but did not disclose further details.

With the current fluctuations in oil prices, which are expected to slow down growth in the banking sector, Khan said that might boost the mobile banking sector as more banks look at alternative, less capital-intensive ways to expand.

As for what needs to be done in order to boost the sector, he said banks should raise awareness on mobile banking and address security concerns, as well as provide incentives to consumers to use mobile banking.