Earthport to target SMEs and corporates

London-based company launches new payment solution targeted every size of the company

Earthport, a London-based company providing cross-border electronic payment services, expects strong good growth prospects for its payment solutions following the launch of its new epDirect product in the Middle East, according to the company’s regional head.

It currently has a base of more than ten clients but expects stronger growth as it is set to embark on major advertisement and promotional campaign of the new product in the coming weeks, said Hassan Chatila, Vice-President Middle East, Earthport.

“The Middle East office started operation in June last year. We have achieved quite a bit over the past 15 months. We got several handfuls of merchants that are linked to our EP (electronic payment) clearing platform and processing transactions as well for the past several months, and they are growing. We have definitely got exciting times ahead. Our main focus over the past 15 months has just been on remittances, targeting the various banks and exchange houses here to facilitate the cross border payments of remittances. And I must say that sky is the limit when it comes to B2B,” said Chatila.

“We have managed to get more than 10 clients on board over the past one year – primarily exchanges because the focus was mainly on remittances and cross border payments.”

Its clients in the UAE include Al Ghurair Exchange House, Al Ghurair International Exchange House, Al Ansari Exchange House and Lulu Exchange House among others. The company’s 2009 financial statement showed that they did not contribute to revenue for the year ended June 30, 2009, but they will be contributing to revenue for the 2010 financial year.

“The resulting transaction volumes are expected to increase as users grow in numbers and the country coverage widens,” it said.

The financial statement said that the company has improved and expanded coverage in the Middle East and South East Asia through the establishment of a banking relationship with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB).
Earthport, according to Chatila, is targeting SMEs and corporates and looking forward to that from January onwards.

“We see strong growth during 2011 and 2012 and have got healthy pipeline with several exchange houses, SMEs, corporates and banks. We started slow, because we not have done marketing or branding till today,” Chatila added.

With the help of Earthport’s new product companies can transfer funds directly from their corporate bank accounts in a simple, swift and secured way.

Matt O’Donnell, Director of Business Development, said the new product fits any size of company. “It is not just for banks; it is for everyone who is involved in self-service transaction to do that online.”

He said the new product has been fully tested in Europe and has been very successful. “And now we are doing online advertising. We are trying to reach entrepreneurial market through the online channel. So there will be a lot of visibility of the Earthport brand.”

According to its 2009 financial report, the London-listed firm was engaged in a legal battle with a Middle Eastern partner on nonpayment issue of £2 million. Nigel Godolphin, Global Sales Director, said the company has reached a deal with the partner.

The company’s 2009 financial statement said this non-payment “has had an obvious detrimental affect” on the company’s profitability.

The group’s operating loss for 2009 financial year increased by 106 per cent to £6.69 million.

The company has based its regional headquarter in Dubai to cater the Middle East and Levant regions.

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