Turkish economy boasts a pretty high credit card penetration rate, with over 57 million actively used card in a population of 77 million. However, huge amount of underbanked people, mostly young who are still dependent on their parents, still makes it logical to invest in prepaid cards that may convince that part of a reluctant community to manage their fortune and spendings digitally. Istanbul-based fintech company ininal is the proof, being one of the few successful startups who have taken advantage of the situation, growing the business more than double in a year and adding several payment tools to the portfolio.
Founded in late 2012, ininal has started out as a payment solutions provider and became a trustable “bank of the unbanked” with its pre-paid cards accepted by over 200K online or offline sale point, according to the co-founder Bülent Tekmen. ininal also claims to be the first player to develop a nationwide sales network for GPR (General Purpose Reloadable) cards at retail stores in cooperation with giants like MasterCard and PayPal. As of December 2014, the number of cards issued got over 1 million with spendings surpassing 100 million TRL ($43 million).
“Our main focus is to develop versatile tools that digitalize money to the benefit of both customer and the business” said Tekmen, “Our payments infrastructure and technologies enable any business to transact their payments quickly and safely. For example, the drivers that work for BiTaksi, the biggest taxi-hailing app and network in Turkey, can get their payments almost instantly via ininal system. We also grow quickly on the data side, accumulating enormous amount of information about the customers, which, I believe, would be of great interest to big consumer goods producers and services.”
Recently working on a digital payment solution for the foreigners visiting Turkey, ininal wants to establish itself as not only a prepaid cards company but also an important tech provider and player within the banking system.