Fintech startup Amwal, based in the Middle East, has raised $2.5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Shorooq Partners, Outliers Venture Capital, and several angel investors.
The company wants to change how money is verified worldwide by putting device identification, fraud prevention, and tokenization of payments into a single API.
Amwal has made one of the first uses of this technology by creating a cryptographic biometric checkout solution that uses multi-device authentication tokens (FIDO-passkeys) for payments.
More than 50 million online transactions occur daily in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including e-commerce, bank transfers, wallets, and remittances. But the authentication process uses old-fashioned passwords based on credentials and SMS one-time passwords (OTPs), which are hard to remember, easy to hack, and expensive to maintain and distribute.
Mohamed Zaghoo, co-founder and CEO of Amwal, says that by making account creation, shipping address, payment information, and authentication less of a hassle, Amwal’s network of merchants can increase the number of people who buy something by 35%.
By licensing its biometric checkout solution from Saudi payments, the company hopes to improve authentication and authorization in the $250 billion MENA payment market (Saudi Central Bank).
By getting a license from Saudi payments to use their biometric checkout solution, the company hopes to improve authentication and authorization in the $250 billion MENA payment market (Saudi Central Bank).