Ozan Electronic Money, which has launched many new products and services and achieved a rapid growth in 2021, wants to consolidate its presence in the country and expand abroad this year.
Founded in Britain with its R&D office in Turkey, Ozan Electronic Money is in the spotlight with its rapid growth achieved in a short time. Increasing the number of its employees to 80, the company has introduced its new products and services to its customers under the brands of Ozan SuperApp, Ozan Business, and Ozan SuperCard.
We have talked with Ömer Suner, CEO of Ozan Electronic Money, about the company’s new projects, its overseas adventure, and its medium and long-term goals.
Could you briefly tell us how Ozan Electronic Money was founded?
Ozan Electronic Money is a fintech company that was founded in London in 2015. We received the company’s first electronic money license from Britain-based FCA. Then we established our company’s R&D office in Istanbul, Turkey. In 2019, we got our license from the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and officially started our activities in Turkey. We also have offices and colleagues in Malta and Sofia. Although our company is a global player, it is strategically important to us to consolidate the foundations of our R&D office in Istanbul and to expand this experience abroad because our country has a very robust banking system and valuable mobile applications with many innovative features. We have started the digitalization process quite early. With the effect of our young population, our mobile penetration rate is high. It is inevitable that fintech applications developed in such an environment target to be the number one worldwide, which is exactly what we are targeting.
Can you introduce yourself briefly?
I gained experience in the finance sector during the 6 years I worked at Turkish Economy Bank as of 2000. Then, I gained experience in the technology sector by working as a manager in the marketing department of Samsung Turkey. In 2013, my fintech journey started. I assumed the position of CEO and board member in a fintech company. I am now employing my years of experience in the finance and technology sectors toward the goal of making Ozan SuperApp an internationally-recognized application. This is a very valuable and exciting journey for me and my colleagues. I also would like to mention Dr. Ozan Özerk, the founder of our company. He is an entrepreneur who has been working in fintech on a global scale for years. Our paths crossed at Ozan Electronic Money. Currently, we are using our national and international experience and taking firm steps to make Ozan SuperApp the number one application for gamers worldwide.
How has Ozan Electronic Money developed since its launch?
We have been working at a very intense pace since the establishment of the company, especially for the last 2 years. When I started leading our team in March 2020, Ozan Electronic Money had a core staff comprised of several people. In our first year, we increased the number of our staff to around 80 people, which I describe as both a challenge and a success. I can say that our most significant development has been to gather an all-star team who share the same dream in a completely virtual environment caused by the limitations of the pandemic. Moreover, we have become a team that I am really proud of, each of whom is very successful and an expert in their own field. After building our team, we achieved many significant developments. For example, we have become one of the several organizations in Turkey to obtain BKM, Troy, Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay licenses and memberships only in one year and able to develop products with these schemes.
Our product development process also continued throughout this period. And we eventually launched our Ozan SuperApp product at the beginning of 2021. We set out with the goal of making Ozan SuperApp the favorite “SuperApp” of 43 million gamers in Turkey first, and then appealing to all gamers worldwide. We offer gamers both financial and lifestyle services that make their daily lives easier. Also we closely follow the developments in the gaming industry, and the behaviors and needs of the gamers. To that end, we have formed a team specifically in charge of following the gaming industry. The team consists of people who have worked in the industry for years. We are endeavoring to build Ozan SuperApp in a refined way. In other words, we are working to provide services that really appeal to the gamers. In order to do this in the most accurate and comprehensive way, we are also creating our own contracted merchant network.
Ozan Business, which we launched in the first quarter of 2021, is our most significant leverage at this point. Our products, which were launched with the acquiring vision of our experienced colleagues in Ozan Business, provide peer to peer solutions for all the payment and collection needs of medium and large-sized companies. In this way, we came close to being in the top 5 among around 20 payment organizations with the monthly turnover of our products and services in a short time.
Finally, I would like to mention our prepaid Ozan SuperCard, which we have launched this year. Ozan SuperCard, which has a chip and contactless payment feature, does not have a monthly card fee, and makes its users earn as they spend in the categories like gaming, e-commerce, purchasing flight and bus tickets, and grocery shopping, was adopted in a really short time. Both Ozan SuperApp and Ozan SuperCard enjoy a growing number of users. Monthly money loading and spending rates almost triple the previous month. All of these are considerable indicators of development in such a short time. Our goal is to continue this success and become one of the top 3 fintech companies by the end of 2022.
We predict that mobile games will continue to be the fastest growing segment in the coming years. Research shows that in 2021, more than $600 million of total revenues in Turkey have been derived from mobile games.
THERE ARE 43 MILLION GAMERS IN TURKEY
Can we say that the main target group of Ozan SuperApp is the gaming industry? What is the potential of this target group?
We aim to be the favorite “SuperApp” of the gamers. We design all the innovations we implement as part of Ozan SuperApp with the aim of providing benefits to all our stakeholders in the gaming industry. According to the studies, the global size of the gaming industry is $175.8 billion and it is projected to reach $220 billion by 2025. Turkey, meanwhile, ranks 18th in this market with $1.2 billion. The main factor shaping the gaming industry is mobile games. We predict that mobile games will continue to be the fastest growing segment in the coming years. Research shows that in 2021, more than $600 million of total revenues in Turkey have been derived from mobile games. In our country that has a population of 85 million, 43 million people play games. Considering that one out of every two people is playing games, we can say that we appeal to a pretty huge audience. We know the needs of this audience and we have many plans to create advantages for them. For this, we are following all the trends, behavioral patterns and needs of the gamers playing mobile, PC and/or console games.
Within Ozan SuperApp, we aim to offer services that will make the lives of the gamers easier and that they will actually use. Among all, we provide easy and reliable financial services. We offer our users various services such as opening a free TL/USD/EUR account instantly, sending and receiving money between accounts without fees at any time, and 24/7 free money transfer to their own bank account. While providing ease of payment with QR code, we also provide 4 percent cashback for every payment to be made at more than 40 thousand points. With the Virtual SuperCard we have launched this year, we offer a secure online shopping guarantee and provide special advantages in return for spending.
A short time ago, the interface of Ozan SuperApp was renewed, becoming more appealing for the youth and the gamers.
Ozan SuperApp offers special opportunities to gamers. And you are developing various projects for this reason. Can you tell us about your recent work?
First of all, we are expanding our partnerships within the gaming ecosystem. For example, within the framework of our cooperation with Monster Notebook, we provide 10 percent cashback on purchases made from this brand. We organize game pin campaigns with the agreements we make with prominent companies in the gaming industry. We design co-branded cards so that gamers can carry their favorite game brands in their wallets. We are getting ready to introduce our co-branded cards to our users at tens of thousands of retail points very soon. We also offer 50% discount and cashback advantages to our users who want to use music, video content or shopping platforms.
We have recently renewed the interface of Ozan SuperApp, this making a financial tool more attractive for the youth and the gamers. One of them is the bill payment service we have developed with Aktif Bank. Our users can now pay all their bills from Ozan SuperApp. As I mentioned earlier, Ozan SuperApp will have dozens of different services and advantages along with the financial services it offers. The first of these is the “Get Your Ticket” feature. In this way, our users will be able to purchase movie and theater tickets directly from the application. Moreover, they will be able to perform all their related transactions, such as selecting seat numbers, within Ozan SuperApp.
OZAN BUSINESS TARGETS MEDIUM AND LARGE SCALE BUSINESSES
Which customer group are you targeting with Ozan Business?
With Ozan Business, we offer medium and large-scale enterprises and businesses all the products and services they need in terms of payment and collection. We are one of the several fintechs that can offer virtual POS, card storage and payment gateway solutions as well as physical Android POS to their customers. In this way, our customers can manage both digital and physical payment solutions from a single screen and gain the advantage of simplifying their operation processes. In 2021, we took a major step and added Payfull, which develops the B2B online collection systems of Turkey’s most recognized institutions, to the Ozan Business family. Thanks to our distributor and sub-distributor collection service supported by Payfull card storage and payment gateway services, we can create solutions to meet the expectations of the companies that want to work with more than one card program, manage the distributors and organize the money flow from a single platform by means of a technological solution. We also have innovative solutions such as receiving payments with QR codes, links and messaging tools. Today, we have the flexibility to customize our products and services since we have understood the needs of our customers thanks to the wide range of financial services offered by Ozan Business.
We have achieved significant success in Ozan Business in a really short time. Thanks to our network of member businesses, we have been making new partnerships that will offer even more advantages to our main target group, namely the gamers. We have lately announced some good developments. By completing our Shopify integration, we offer all our secure, solid and simple payment and collection solutions in the virtual POS, B2B and card storage features of Ozan Business to the member businesses using Shopify. Through our global licenses, we will also be able to serve all Shopify member businesses that want to expand into new markets and engage in cross-border trade.
Can you share the details of the collaborations you have made?
We endeavor to achieve the best quality in all our products and services. For this purpose, we always cooperate with the best companies or organizations that are experts in their fields. For example, thanks to our cooperation with Austriacard, we introduced the prepaid Ozan SuperCard to our users. We made a significant cooperation with DgPays for the processing infrastructure of Ozan SuperCard. Thanks to this, card transactions of our users at payment points are performed in a fast and secure manner. Ozan SuperApp users can easily pay with QR codes at more than 40 thousand Metropol Card member points and earn cashback instantly. Our cooperation with Identify Turkey allows Ozan SuperApp users to instantly open an account with their IDs from anywhere in the world. In addition, we made a cooperation with Turkey’s new generation technology partner NGN for data security and fast customer experience. Ozan SuperApp users can benefit from our call center service both in Turkey and abroad as part of our cooperation with Webhelp Turkey. Financial software offered by Nerodata in areas such as anti-fraud and anti-money laundering enables Ozan Business users to be protected against fraudulent transactions and to easily monitor and manage anti-money laundering compliance processes. These are just a few of the valuable organizations we cooperate with.
We know that you are planning to serve abroad this year. What are your goals in this respect? In which country or countries will you operate first?
I can proudly express that we have grown much faster than we expected. This allows us a room for implementing our globalization plans earlier than we initially planned. We already have payment and e-money licenses valid in the EU, Britain and 44 states of the US. We have started to create our teams in these regions. A team of 20 people works in Europe and Britain. Our improvement and growth in the Turkish market, where we have established our R&D office, is an incredible experience for us. And now we are getting ready to apply this experience abroad.
In Ozan Business, our first step that will make the biggest difference in the sector will be to offer cross-border collection services to the businesses that want to offer their products and services in foreign markets and increase their sales potential. With our e-money network in the UK, the EU and the US, we will ensure that every business that wants to engage in cross-border trade can establish a collection infrastructure in easy, reliable and favorable conditions. In this way, we wish to be one of the key stakeholders that increase the export potential and foreign currency inflow of our country. As the second step, under the umbrella of Ozan Business, we will offer all innovative products and services that Turkey has created for years to develop the financial ecosystem to new business partners in the markets where we will operate. Thus, by showing how competitive products and services our country can offer in the field, we aim to become one of the leading payment providers that have a substantial share in the global trade. Our licensing efforts in MENA and Far East regions are ongoing as part of our medium and long term goals.
OZAN SURPASSES LAST YEAR’S TRANSACTION VOLUME IN 4 MONTHS
Ömer Suner also evaluated the balance sheet performance of Ozan Electronic Money as follows: “We closed last year with a transaction volume of over ₺3.7 billion. I think we are one of the few fintechs that achieved such a transaction volume in its first year of launching products. We may be the first and only company in Turkey marking such a growth. As of the end of April, we have managed to surpass the overall transaction volume of the previous year. Our current target is to exceed ₺10 billion by the end of 2022. Considering our performance in the first quarter, I believe that we will achieve this target. As for Ozan SuperApp and Ozan SuperCard, we aim to reach 1 million active users by the end of the year.”
“THOSE SPENDING WITH OZAN SUPERCARD WILL MAKE PROFITS”
Ömer Suner explains the features of the SuperCard that has been launched by Ozan Electronic Money this year and how it will differ from its competitors as follows:
“We launched our prepaid card, namely Ozan SuperCard, at the beginning of 2022. One of the aspects that make Ozan SuperCard different from its counterparts is that it does not charge any monthly card fee or inactivity fee from its users. So, we meet one of the biggest expectations of our target group regarding this category from the very first day. After registering Ozan SuperCard, which has a chip and contactless payment feature, to Ozan SuperApp, it is possible to use it in many areas of daily life, from game shopping to e-commerce, from purchasing plane and bus tickets to grocery shopping. We design cashback programs that will allow you to earn as you spend, whether online or on the street. We want to make this product unique and become the favorite payment method of gamers. We launched Ozan SuperCard at CarrefourSA, D&R and Teknosa stores as of December. It is also possible to obtain Ozan SuperCard from online stores such as Trendyol, Hepsiburada, GittiGidiyor, ÇiçekSepeti, n11.”