Dubai: ‘Digital wallets’ have become a standard that more UAE consumers are getting comfortable with. Now, a UAE fintech is expanding that concept to offer ‘digital gold wallet’ services for investors in the metal.
Astra Tech (which owns the calling app Botim) has lined up an alliance with SAM Precious Metals and O-Gold for the new service, which will allow users to buy or sell gold.
This way, Astra Tech Botim’s eight million UAE-based users can convert their digital wallet balance into gold, and ‘allowing them to buy, sell, deliver or gift gold to their friends and family’.
This removes the need for gold investors often requiring a ‘multitude of intermediaries’ before they could acquire the metal. It also allows them to opt to have what they bought to be delivered to their doorstep, offering a ‘tangible investment opportunity, all while benefiting from the stability and value preservation gold has historically offered’.
All of which is another step in Astra Tech's ambitions to create a super-app for itself. "Our association with SAM Precious Metals and O-Gold marks yet another milestone towards realizing our 'ultra-app' mission to simplify our users’ lives everyday," said Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Co-founder of Astra Tech Group and CEO of Botim. "This collaboration ensures that we are spearheading financial inclusion, whilst fostering the development and adoption of the latest economic offerings across MENA region."
Our association with Astra Tech and O-Gold marks a defining moment for the entire gold trading ecosystem
How does the deal work?
SAM Precious Metals, a precious metal refinery operator in the UAE, will serve as the custodian of insured gold. The company holds the UAE Good Delivery certificate and the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC) Code of Practice (CoP) and Chain of Custody CoC) membership,
O-Gold specializes in gold investment and trading, and will integrate its tech services into Botim's ecosystem, ensuring reliable stock market data and analysis.
Irrespective of age groups, digital wallets are being deployed across multiple points-of-sale by UAE consumers, as well as peer-to-peer and remittance services. Getting these users to trade in stocks or commodities such as gold is obviously seen as a natural progression, which is what Astra Tech is trying to do here.
Last year, Astra Tech acquired PayBy, Rizek, and the VoIP app Botim, and which led to 'creating the ultra-app under Botim's umbrella'. Botim, which operates in 155 countries, now provides for international money transfers, bill payments and UAE visa services.