Dubai FinTech platform iOL Pay goes live and sets sights on $1bn valuation

The company, which provides FinTech services to the hospitality sector, will enable clients to manage $500 million in total processing value

Faisal Memon, founder and chief executive of iOL Pay. Photo: iOL Pay

Dubai-based iOL Pay, a financial technology platform focused on the hospitality industry, has launched in 37 international markets and aims to achieve a $1 billion valuation to become the world's first hospitality FinTech unicorn in the next 12 months.

The company utilises a global unified cloud FinTech platform that it says will transform how the hotel industry manages payments. The technology will enable clients to manage $500 million in total processing value, which is poised to grow sixfold by 2023, iOL Pay said in a statement on Tuesday.

“As digitisation has swept through the hospitality industry, consumer and B2B [business to business] payment systems and processes haven’t advanced at the same pace," said Faisal Memon, founder and chief executive of iOL Pay.

"iOL Pay builds on our decades of experience, solving challenges of renowned hotel chains through future-centric and innovative technology and key strategic global partnerships."

The global payments industry, which posted its first contraction in 11 years in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is set to return to its long-term growth trajectory, according to management consultancy McKinsey & Company's annual sector report.

The sector's revenue fell 5 per cent annually last year to $1.9 trillion, but 2020's losses will be recouped this year, bringing revenue back into the range of 2019's record high. Revenues are expected to hit about $2.5tn by 2025, helped by the digitisation of consumer and commercial transactions, it added.

Hotels worldwide process payments worth $1.45tn, iOL Pay said, adding it will focus primarily on the $450bn four and five-star hotel category. This will help to unlock value-additions of around $23bn amid the sector's post-Covid-19 resurgence.

The platform aims to provide hotels with a single automated payments solution, support global payment compliance and standards, improve cash flow and elevate guest experiences to encourage customer conversions.

Quote
The platform reduces fraud and chargebacks, streamlines management of cancelled bookings, while transforming the guest’s experience at multiple points in their online and offline interactions with the hotel
Faisal Memon, founder and chief executive of iOL Pay

iOL Pay will also create an industry-first revenue stream for hotels, giving them rebates on all digital payments made to suppliers. Its role as a merchant of record would remove administrative burden from hotels by having one platform to manage all payments directly for hotel chains across their properties, franchises and affiliates.

“As the world’s first multifunctional FinTech platform for the hospitality industry, iOL Pay will simplify transactions, accelerate savings and enhance revenue flows. The platform reduces fraud and chargebacks, streamlines management of cancelled bookings, while transforming the guest’s experience at multiple points in their online and offline interactions with the hotel,” Mr Memon said.

iOL Pay is a wholly-owned subsidiary of enterprise system provider Illusions Online, another company founded by Mr Memon. It supports more than 26 languages, more than 135 currencies and provides options from 250-plus methods to give guests optimal choice for payments.

Updated: November 30th 2021, 12:07 PM