Jean Sideris (Director, Dubai) recently spoke with Evangelos Kaldelis, CEO of MENA at 3S Money. During their conversation, Evangelos explains the services offered by 3S Money in the Middle East, as well as his views on how the international payments for SMEs in the region will evolve in the coming years.
1. Can you describe what 3S Money does and what clients you serve?
3S Money is an international payments platform that enables companies to scale up in new markets. We do this by making the transmission of payments to over 190 countries and territories easy, safe, and quick. While we service businesses of all sizes, medium-sized enterprises make up the bulk of our customer base, as this is the cohort that existing financial service providers most underserve. Their requirements exceed those of a start-up but are not yet at a level of a large business so naturally, they face many barriers that those on either end of the spectrum don’t. One of the key points we focus on at 3S Money is eliminating the barriers faced by mid-size businesses and promoting financial inclusion. We provide one global business account linked to multiple local IBANs in the countries that a company operates in or is looking to expand to. With access to over 65 currencies through the 3S Money ecosystem, businesses can complete transactions in global markets, supporting expansion plans.
2. 3S Money has recently entered the Middle East, what is your competitive advantage over other competitors in the region?
In 2018, our founder, Ivan Zhiznevskiy, faced the barriers and pain points that many entrepreneurs are still facing today when it comes to scaling up their businesses. His goal was to create a cross-border payments ecosystem that provides the guidance and financial services required to scale new markets and expand their footprint. Since securing our DFSA license in 2022, we now provide tailored business accounts to companies of all sizes and structures in the UAE, supporting them with fast and secure high-value cross-border transactions. The local IBANS linked to the global business account enable instant payments in the UK and Asia, near real-time payments in Europe and same-day international payments. In fact, we’re 10 times faster than traditional banks, allowing our clients to transact at a pace that matches their international growth plans and ambitions.
3. From your experience, how do you see the needs of SMEs in the Middle East for international payments evolving in the coming years?
SMEs play a key role in the economic development of the Middle East - if we take the UAE as an example, in 2020, the Ministry of Economy reported that the SME sector represented more than 94% of the total number of companies operating in the country and contributed to over 60% of the GDP. These numbers reinforce what we already know: SMEs are the backbone of every economy.
As the number of SMEs continues to rise and their ambitions grow, there is an increasing need for easy access to modern financial services. Removing barriers SMEs face across all levels will be crucial to support their growth, from access to credit through to streamlining international payments for cross-border growth. Ensuring that these services are efficient and secure while providing them with fair, competitive pricing will help them grow and subsequently contribute to a stronger economic system.
4. What do you do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
Going to the gym as well as doing Pilates, and standup paddle are activities that I enjoy and are part of my weekly routine.
5. What book are you reading, or which is one of your favourite books/movies?
The Sheikh CEO - this book highlights various anecdotes from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's personal life as a leader. It has changed my professional views in so many ways.
The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of Edgar, Dunn & Company. The information and views expressed in this publication belong solely to the author(s).