Interview with Nika Kolbaia, CEO of eMoney Georgia

Interview with Nika Kolbaia, CEO of eMoney Georgia

Interview with Nika Kolbaia, CEO of eMoney Georgia

The FINANCIAL -- Q. What are the statistics for eMoney’s transactions in 2017 and 2018?

A. More than 2 million electronic wallets are registered in the system, these include several hundred thousand active users. Every year several million Lari’s worth of transactions are implemented and these statistics are stable. In 2018, the amount of transactions increased by 150% compared to the same period of 2017.

Q. What is the advantage of eMoney versus PayPal?

A. One of the most important advantages is that through eMoney it is possible to settle with local service providers and merchants. In addition, eMoney was the first local e-wallet offering Georgian customers a cryptocurrency service as well as an innovative product such as withdrawing money from an ATM via electronic ID card.

Q. How has the behaviour of Georgian users changed since the introduction of eMoney?

A. eMoney appeared on the market in 2007, when electronic services were still unknown to many consumers. Back then people were used to spending lots of time waiting in queues with a receipt in hand. Gradually, over the course of 11 years, customer’s awareness in this direction has risen, which we have also made a contribution to by regularly offering innovative services. As a result, most of the active population today uses the electronic tools of finance management. As I have already reported, millions of electronic wallets are serviced today by eMoney.

Q. Do you think that all financial transactions will soon become cashless?

A. We think that the amount of transactions carried out by cash is steadily decreasing over time; however, how quickly bank payments will replace them entirely, only time can tell.

Q. What will eMoney be like in the next 5 years?

A. In today’s reality, processes are so hasty, 5 years is a long time to try to be precise about where exactly you will be in that amount of time. However, we always try to be one step ahead with our projects. We hope that the grand projects that we are working on today, will be interesting for our customers and after 5 years we will be more attractive to both local and foreign users.

Q. Despite the growth of online payments, online shopping is still at a low level with local retailers. What is the reason for this?

A. We think that the eco-system needed for online shopping is in the process of growing, which involves not just the existence of consumers and merchants but also an adequate courier network and flexible payment instruments. We are supporting this growth through eMoney’s easily integrated and multifunctional payment system that is equally available to beginners as well as experienced merchants.

Q. Do you consider the newly-founded digital wallet of TBC to be a competitor?

A. We welcome any novelties and think that they are useful for the development of financial services. Naturally, any new company that offers similar services to our customers are our competitors, however it is thanks to this competition that companies develop and this ultimately benefits customers.

Q. You recently announced a separation of crypto trade features. Can you please explain the reason for this?

A. Since June 2018, payment service providers have no right to carry out operations related to cryptocurrencies. On the one hand, the legislation will be protected, and on the other hand, users of cryptocurrencies will be able to make the necessary operations more easily and conveniently. “eMoney Georgia” founded a subsidiary company offering customers a specially designed website for cryptocurrencies – Mycoins.ge.

Q. What are the statistics of cryptocurrency trade at eMoney?

A. In March 2015, eMoney first offered customers services related to cryptocurrencies. At the initial stage, there was a single transaction, but the increased interest in the global market and in Georgia was reflected in the statistics of eMoney’s cryptoservice.