Hany Mahmoud works as a farm manager at Dina Farms, a large farm in the desert area outside Cairo, Egypt. As Egypt’s biggest dairy farm, Dina Farms supplies much of the country with fresh milk and dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables like potatoes, wheat, oranges, bananas, and olives. The farm provides jobs to hundreds of Egyptians like Hany. “I supervise all station operations, from the milking of cows to feeding the cows to breeding cows. We do many things, and I’m responsible for all of them, with the help of farm engineers, doctors, and supervisors,” says Hany.
Despite steady employment in an essential industry, many workers like Hany still live paycheck-to-paycheck and remain vulnerable to economic instabilities. Millions of Egyptians don’t have access to traditional financial services, like bank accounts and credit products, that provide financial security and help people manage unexpected costs that can be challenging to a tight household budget.
When Hany needed to purchase new tires and spare parts for his car so he could get to work reliably, he didn’t have the cash to pay for them up-front or put down a deposit. An HR manager at Dina Farms recommended a solution from Khazna.
Khazna is a fintech company in Egypt that provides affordable general purpose credit products through a mobile app and secure ATM card. Accion Venture Lab invests in and supports Khazna to help ensure that more Egyptians gain access to these critical financial tools so they can safely manage their money and build financial security. Khazna partners with businesses like Dina Farms to reach workers across Egypt with essential financial services they otherwise would not be able to use.
“Khazna is a financial ‘super app’ that targets mid to low-income labor force across Egypt and is expanding to the greater Middle East,” says Khazna co-founder Fatma El Shenawy. “The core of what we do is credit. It’s a multipurpose credit line that the users can use across cash, credit, bill payments, mobile top-ups, and so on. They can buy products in installments through our network of thousands of merchants all around the country. And we’ve recently launched our prepaid debit card linked to the Khazna app to allow users to have instant access to these services.”
Egypt is a populous country with a rapidly growing youth population. While citizens are unbanked at high rates, mobile phone penetration is high. This made Egypt a ripe market for a fintech company like Khazna to leverage technology to help Egyptians manage their short and long-term financial needs.
“There are so many hurdles that prevent middle and low-income people from accessing financial services,” says Omar Salah, another co-founder at Khazna. “We’re trying to fill that gap.” After three years in operation, Khazna boasts more than 300,000 active users and 100 partners across Egypt.
As a Khazna user, Hany was able to purchase new tires and spare parts for his car at a fair price and seamlessly paid for them in interest-free installments instead. “I didn’t even feel like I paid for the tires in bulk,” he recalls. “It was deducted from my salary without interest.”
Hear Hany’s story in his own words:
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