A Chat with Mohamed El-Feky, CEO at Sympl

Sympl is Egypt’s first ‘Save Your Money Pay Later’ service. We offer a technological platform that empowers merchants to sell products and services directly to customers on short-term, interest-free repayment plans. Along with my co-founders, Yasmine Mohamed Henna (CCO) and Karim Tawfik (CTO), we wanted to design a platform that does not include a lengthy onboarding process and that starts directly at the checkout, creating a seamless experience for the merchant and customer.

A positive evolution of the customer checkout experience, rather than promoting purchasing, it enables customers to have more choices at checkout and promotes customer saving, flexible cashflow management, and a better matching of income and expenditure, without compromising their lifestyle.

We wanted to create a service that helps customers who have limited access to easy payment terms on credit services. The technology used actually advances the back end and uses intelligence for rapid, sophisticated decisions, providing real-time approvals for customers from underserved segments left behind by traditional pay later offerings.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

For more than five years we have been leading the consumer finance industry in Egypt with innovative products and value propositions, and because of that, we have dealt closely with both merchants and consumers and quickly started to understand their needs and aspirations. We learned that there is a huge potential for pay later options in Egypt.

We gained great insights on consumer needs regarding better access to payment technologies, as well as how to adapt to new segments. This is why I decided to take the decision to exit my previous role as CEO of ValU Consumer Finance and start Sympl, as an evolution to pay later options aimed at reaching underserved consumer segments including pensioners, GIG workers, self-employed and freelancers.

A good example of this is my father, who at 73 years old still maintains a strong passion for shopping but is unable to participate in current pay later options on offer, despite having a bank deposit account and debit card. Sympl works by applying the ‘save your money pay later’ option directly to existing bankcard holders at the checkout, so in this way my father can now access short term, instant interest-free repayments on purchases with no preregistration or application process required and can continue shopping to his heart’s content.


How has the company addressed payment issues as a result of the pandemic?

By offering an alternative deferred payment method, we are very much in line with the Egyptian government’s ongoing commitment to steadily move to a cashless economy, as announced in August this year.

The pandemic particularly transformed people’s spending habits in Egypt to further embrace cashless payments. According to Mastercard’s latest New Payments Index, 62% of respondents in Egypt agreed that they have tried a new payment method that they would not have tried under normal circumstances.

With the economic impact of the pandemic, retailers are also embracing alternative payments methods as Sympl allows businesses to tap into new customer segments. Already, we have secured key partnerships with merchants across a range of sectors, including Egypt’s Apple-authorized reseller Tradeline; one of the largest hypermarkets Hyperone, and authorized Sony-PlayStation reseller XPRS.

What can we hope to see from Sympl in the future?

We are very excited about the future of Sympl. With a potential card base of 43 million bank cards, and no signs of cashless payments disappearing anytime soon, we as a company want to continue to grow our merchant base and empower underserved segments.

By June 2022, we are expecting to have 200 merchants. Through our technology, we aim to ensure all consumers have access to short-term, interest-free deferred-payment options.