Best Card/e-Cash Solution Highly Commended: Careem Egypt for Smart Networks

Published: Jul 2022


Photo of Muhammad Rafi Us Shan, Careem Egypt for Smart Networks and Steven Elms, Citi.

Hammad Mustafa

Senior Manager, Finance Operations

Careem is the internet platform for the greater Middle East region. A pioneer of the region’s ride-hailing economy. Careem was established in July 2012 and was acquired by Uber in 2020 and operates in 14 countries.

in partnership with

Paying your taxi captain in Cairo is now via a mobile wallet

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The challenge

Careem Egypt was looking for a convenient and cost-effective mode of payment for the captains1 in Egypt. Captains registered with Careem provide ride-hailing services to the customers and are paid on a per-trip basis. As the captains are not directly employed by Careem, it could be challenging for some of them to open a bank account due to certain requirements, such as the average balance maintenance and salary credits. If they succeed in opening a bank account, there are further challenges in maintaining them.

The solution

Careem’s bank, Citi, proposed Mezza wallets, a simple and effective tool that aims to solve these pain points that some of Careem’s captains might experience.

Using the bank’s mobile wallet capability, Careem are now able to offer their captains in Egypt the ability to make automated clearing house (ACH) transfers to mobile wallet holders (B2C flows). This innovative capability allows Careem to initiate money transfers through online banking channels to any mobile wallet in Egypt by simply initiating an ACH transfer. The process is simple, by replacing the beneficiary account number used in traditional ACH payments with the beneficiary’s mobile number, clients can quickly and efficiently initiate ACH account-to-mobile wallet payments.

Best practice and innovation

This solution enables an additional innovative payment mode for Careem and empowers greater financial inclusion in Egypt. This capability is possible for payments into all mobile wallets available in Egypt meaning wallet agnostic capability. Mezza wallets combined with existing host-to-host (H2H) connectivity with the bank, enables Careem to automate the captain payments process.

Today, digital method of payments has become a necessity to help achieve sustainable development in various sectors. Egypt’s digital transformation journey began a few years ago yet has now achieved tangible and notable results. Mobile wallets are an alternate mode to receive funds in addition to bank accounts and provide multiple benefits such as convenience, ease of use, security, and makes it easy to receive funds.

Key benefits

  • Cost savings.
  • Process efficiencies.
  • Increased automation.
  • Improved visibility.
  • Future proof solution.
  • Exceptional implementation (budget/time).

In Egypt, Careem has more than 64,000 active captains with an average earning of EGP2,000 a month. Moving to Mezza wallet has provided Careem captains with a better experience in terms of quicker access to funds and ease of cashing out.

“Mezza wallet has enabled us to significantly improve the on-boarding and payment process for our captains in Egypt. The simplicity of having a wallet versus a bank account will enable us to have more captains and increase our competitiveness, market share as well as keeping in line with broader corporate financial inclusion goals with respect to Careem and our stakeholders. We now look forward to exploring the possibility of embedding application programming interface (API) technology, to further optimise our process and enhance our captains’ experience,” says Shoaib Ahmed, VP Finance Controller.

  1. Careem Egypt’s drivers are referred to as captains.
The Adam Smith Awards is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2022 awards attracted 230 nominations spanning 34 countries. To find out more please visit:

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