Roald Dahl once wrote: “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” It was magic when Ibrahim Farag, founder of Nexta, and Ahmed Hisham, cofounder, met at a Fintech course in Oxford and created their end product.
As the box office hit movie ‘The Prestige’ explains, every magic trick has three parts. It starts with the pledge: show your audience something ordinary, a bird or a deck of cards. Next comes the turn: take something ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary. Wait, the audience won’t clap yet. If you make a bird disappear, you must make it reappear. This is where the prestige comes.
The plan was simple: to transform the banking industry in Egypt as we know it. However, that’s broad and abstract, so let’s dig into it a little deeper.
Nexta came to be in 2021 on the concept that old methods have simply become obsolete, and a thorough overhaul needed to take place.
Now here’s where the sleight of hand magic comes in:
Financial Technology is no new concept. In fact, it’s been around for a long time. The idea was that older methods lack a part that has become essential in the brave new world of today. Technology was to lead a wave that would unlock a world of possibilities.
So, let’s talk about Nexta now. Nexta was born out of an idea that marks everything that follows. The idea was to streamline the financial dealings of modern Egyptians away from traditional methods using technology-based solutions, hence, Banking Without a Bank. Simply put, Nexta is a Fintech based on an app that you can log into through your phone or desktop, and it does most of the things a bank does, but differently. This sounds straightforward enough, so let's stir it up a bit.
Every organization is built on go-to foundations. Nexta took it upon itself to empower Egyptians and literally let them control their everyday money handling. As a member of Nexta's family, I can tell you directly that this wasn’t easy. The app is just the tip of the iceberg. All the pieces had to fall in together to run a successful enterprise, and then the magic happens. Ibrahim and Ahmed put together an all-star team of diverse business savvy and tech whiz-kids, quickly gaining speed through a partnership with Visa and other international giants.
“The goal is not to live forever but to create something that will.”
Nexta was to become such a well-oiled machine that it would integrate itself within the daily lives of Egyptians and become essential for the long haul.
Then comes economics, finance, business development, and strategy planning. Surely, I won’t get into that. Most of us already know that the plot gets much thicker to run a successful business. I will, however, talk about the culture.
Ibrahim and Ahmed envisioned a healthy organism where cells would operate independently with freedom and drive. Nexta was to become a safe zone that rewards its members based solely on personal vision and drive. As Ibrahim once put it to me in one of those long evening meetings, “regulate, don’t dictate.” And it sure shows. Allowing people to work freely in a friendly environment brings out the best in them; it’s simply human nature.
I mentioned earlier that Nexta was an organism, a person. Of course, a person must have a voice. The trick was to create a friendly but strong tone, confident but modest, professional, and down-to-earth. This picked some brains; I can tell you that for sure. However, with a clear mission and the drive to achieve that mission, Nexta aced it.
Now to make the bird reappear again:
Nexta facilitates easy peer-to-peer money transfer with just a tap. But of course, that’s not all it does. The app also allows you to pay those ever-elusive bills that keep piling up with smoothness little known before. Since money is basically at the heart of it all, Nexta lets you take charge of whatever relates to your money. Nexta's money management functions allow you to plan, track and analyze your daily spending. I've been requested to mention ‘personalised experience’ in this blog, and that’s exactly what the Nexta app does. The Nexta app traces and adapts to your daily habits and interests, skips through the unnecessary stuff, and gives you exactly what you’re looking for.
Nexta connects to people, making them feel there’s actually a person at the other end of the line. In a harsh industry like banking, Nexta brings emotions into the game, creating bonds with its users all along the way, and that, is The Prestige.