Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim acquires UAE mobile wallet app Beam

Beam will be expanded across all Majid Al Futtaim retail stores by next year

Dubai-based mall operator Majid Al Futtaim has acquired Beam Portal, the owner of UAE mobile wallet app, Beam, it announced on Wednesday.

The acquisition grants Majid Al Futtaim ownership of Beam’s IP rights, branding, and e-wallet services across the region.

Beam enables retailers to accept mobile payments and engage with customers directly through their smartphones.

The app was recently launched in Majid Al Futtaim fashion and home retail stores in the UAE, and will be expanded across all Majid Al Futtaim retail stores in 2019, a statement said.

As part of the acquisition, Majid Al Futtaim will also expand Beam’s offering across the region, and will open it out to other retail businesses.

The payment platform already has a partner network of more than 2,000 stores in the UAE.

“The integration of Beam within our businesses will enable us to better serve our customers and gain a better understanding of their preferences through multiple touchpoints,” said Joe Abi Akl, acting chief corporate development officer at Majid Al Futtaim.

Effective now through January 1, 2019, new Beam customers paying for the first time through the app will also receive 30 per cent cashback (up to Dhs50) in their Beam wallet at Majid Al Futtaim owned locations, including its fashion and home stores, Carrefour, Vox Cinemas, Ski Dubai, and Magic Planet.

“As the line between the physical and digital worlds continues to fade, we are investing in our digital transformation to ensure we are providing customers with experiences they want and need,” Akl added.

Last month, Majid Al Futtaim also announced that it led a $30m funding round by Saudi grocery delivery platform Wadi.

The company said the investment came under a wider strategy to expand its omni-channel offering.

Fintech start-ups in the GCC region are set to attract more than 10 times the funding achieved over the last 10 years in the next decade, according to a new report.

MENA Research Partners said it expected investment in fintech firms to rise from $150m to $2bn as increasing interest in digital offerings from banks and government initiatives including accelerator programmes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain support the market.

Source: Gulf Business

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