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Resal leads Saudi’s digital card market: CEO Hatem Kameli

IFM_Resal CEO Hatem Kameli
Hatem Kameli, a key figure in Saudi Arabia's startup ecosystem and digital marketing, discusses the journey of Resal, a platform that has become a leader in digital rewards

Within Saudi Arabia’s startup ecosystem, Resal CEO Hatem Kameli emerges as a trailblazing figure, renowned for his pivotal role in shaping the digital marketing landscape not only within the Kingdom but also across the Gulf region.

With a profound impact on over 60 companies and a transformative influence on the skills of more than 5,000 individuals through his consulting and training endeavours, Hatem Kameli’s contributions resonate deeply. His book, “360 Marketing on Social Media Platforms,” stands as a testament to his expertise and innovation in the field.

In his interview with International Finance, Hatem Kameli, a key figure in Saudi Arabia’s startup ecosystem and digital marketing, discusses the journey of Resal, a platform that has become a leader in digital rewards.

Q) How did Resal begin its journey?

A) Resal sprouted its roots in early February 2017 with a visionary mission to spread joy, simplify life, and enrich both society and the economy. We initially embarked on this journey with flowers, recognising their profound ability to convey emotions. By the culmination of 2018, our reach extended to over 30 cities across Saudi Arabia, offering an array of tangible gifts. Subsequently, by the end of 2019, we unveiled our maiden venture into the digital realm with the launch of our pilot digital gift card store.

Q) What prompted the transition from tangible gifts to digital cards?

A) We always knew that digital transformation was inevitable. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this shift, making people more comfortable with digital payments. We observed that younger generations were more inclined towards digital gifts like Netflix subscriptions or prepaid cards. So, we started exploring the digital card market in 2019 and discovered a huge potential in both the B2B and B2C sectors. This led to our motto “From Flowers to Fintech,” as we expanded into a broader range of digital services.

Q) What motivated you to enter the digital card market?

A) We noticed that 70% of Generation Z uses mobile banking apps daily, and the global digital card market is worth over $700 billion. The Saudi market alone is worth more than $1.5 billion and is growing rapidly. We aimed to be market leaders in digital cards and loyalty programmes in Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by the unwavering support of our investors and esteemed Board of Directors, we strategically cultivated a robust network of over 600 partners and meticulously developed scalable products to tap into this market.

Q) Seven years later, where does Resal stand today?

A) Presently, Resal proudly holds the mantle of leadership in Saudi Arabia’s digital card market and loyalty programmes arena, fortified by formidable partnerships and cutting-edge technological advancements. Our trajectory now swings towards an ambitious vision of establishing ourselves as the foremost alternative payment solution provider in the expansive Middle East and North Africa region.

Q) What is ‘digital value,’ and how does Resal fit into this concept?

A) Digital value refers to alternative forms of payment, such as prepaid cards, loyalty points, and discount codes. Resal is a prime example of leveraging digital value. We offer solutions like “Resal Corporate Solutions,” which allows organisations to use digital value in their operations. “Resal Merchant Solutions” helps entrepreneurs create loyalty programmes with various digital rewards. We also have the “ResalApp,” an aggregated digital wallet that combines sources of digital value and offers discounts and deals.

Q) What was your reaction to Resal winning the Best New Digital Prepaid Card and Rewards Platform award for 2023?

A) I was ecstatic! It evoked memories of our modest beginnings and the remarkable journey we’ve undertaken to spearhead the digital card market. This award stands as a testament to the tireless dedication of our team and our relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence. Moreover, it resonates deeply with our mission to contribute to the advancement of Saudi Arabia’s digital infrastructure in line with Vision 2030.

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