Dr. Andy Khawaja, the CEO of Allied Wallet reveals his past in an interview. He says that he grew up as a kid in Lebanon and then he moved into America as a teenager. Andy Khawaja worked in the high-end retail industry for several years, wherein he ran a chain of retail stores. The outlets were situated in locations like Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive and the Las Vegas MGM. Dr. Andy realized that there was a necessity for a way to accept credit cards and this started to grow only when the internet started to grow. Dr. Andy’s experience with the international customers finally did let him to understand foreign businesses with much discretion. This eventually created a passion within him such that he wanted to create a way to connect business owners and customers all over the world. He further made it happen only through Allied Wallet. Ten years back, the company was marketing by word of mouth, and now they had become so successful that they process transactions for more than 150 million merchants around the world.
Interviewer: What is Allied Wallet? Tell us something about it.
Andy Khawaja: Allied Wallet is certainly the fastest growing online payment processor in the world at this point of time. The company is known for providing the ability to process credit card payments from their customers securely and quickly to both the small and large businesses around the globe. It does so, even for the startups. Our award-winning APIs make sure that all the transactions are scrubbed for fraud. Thus, the company now operates in over 150 different currencies and serves with a truly international experience.
Interviewer: How did you come up with the idea of Allied Wallet?
Andy Khawaja: I started this organization ten years back with the inspiration to give businesses everywhere the opportunity so that they can take their companies to the next level, more accurately, to the global level. After functioning for quite some time, I realized that there was a need for more secure ways to process international transactions. There was an open room for fraud, which could ruin a business and Allied Wallet got into that gap.
Interviewer: Tell us more about the process of starting up Allied Wallet?
Andy Khawaja: When merchants used to come up to us, they used to fill out an application on our website. We then had our in-house underwriting team whose job was to review their documents and send them an approval email with the code corresponding to the secured checkout page on their website. As soon as the merchant makes any alteration to their site, we set them live. Our team used to do all this in as little as 12 hours.
Interviewer: Did you encounter any particular trouble during startup?
Andy Khawaja: We didn’t start with investor funding unlike the other processing companies. I built Allied Wallet by using my own funds because I believed in this company, and on myself. With hard work and dedication from our team, we came up with one of the most successful processing companies in the world today.
Interviewer: How have you been developing Allied Wallet since it started?
Andy Khawaja: When we first started, we had to focus primarily on the gateway to make sure it had the highest security available in order to deter fraudulent activities. Since then, we have created other products such as our pre-paid card, virtual wallet, as well as our NextGen gateway. The company is always striving to evolve and make new and better products to assist our merchants in making easy transactions.
Interviewer: What kind of feedback did you receive for Allied Wallet so far?
Andy Khawaja: Allied Wallet is quite popular in the US, Europe and in Asia as well. We have been winning awards over the years for our great processing features. Besides, we stick to our commitment, thereby, making sure our merchants are doing well. Our growth rate of 200-500% every year is evident of the fact that people trust Allied Wallet for their businesses.
Interviewer: What kind of competition do you have to face in this industry?
Andy Khawaja: We love competition. PayPal is our biggest direct competitor. However, they have a different infrastructure altogether. Besides, we have a global approach with different capabilities and more flexibility for our merchants. Since the payments industry is very competitive, we have featured our service with low rates, great in-house customer service, and a wide variety of shopping cards to integrate with. In addition to that, we offer unbeatable fraud protection, and that makes our customers rely on our service.
Interviewer: What do you have to say about the industry?
Andy Khawaja: The industry is undoubtedly very competitive, and it can be dangerous too, particularly for the new merchants. One needs to understand a lot of things about accepting credit cards online before jumping into it. On top of that, you ought to have to have a secure gateway to keep out fraud.
Interviewer: What is the future of the digital payments’ industry according to you? How do you plan to stay relevant in this industry?
Andy Khawaja: The digital payments industry is only going to expand itself day by day. Since more and more people are paying with cards or with apps these days, and not via cash, it simply means that more people will need a way to send payments electronically. Allied Wallet is creating new products and improving itself over the time, so as to make sure that we can stay at the top of the game as one of the world’s most reliable processors.
Interviewer: What is your take on Asian entrepreneurship vs Western entrepreneurship?
Andy Khawaja: As an entrepreneur in Asia, this position is quite different than being one in the Western World like that of the US or Europe. They have a different set of law, different regulations, and most importantly, all the work ethic is different. As I go to meetings with the top businessmen in Tokyo or Hong Kong or Singapore, I see how hard they work, and all that they do until they achieve their goals. It’s something that I take my inspiration from!
Interviewer: What is your definition of success?
Andy Khawaja: Success is directly proportional to hard work and that’s how I accomplish my goals. Also, I believe in being able to help others on the way while I move towards the top. Besides, I believe that it is important to surround yourself with hard working people who believe in you. Also, you should make sure to show your appreciation. Success is sure to make a difference.
Interviewer: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Andy Khawaja: I’ve always been an entrepreneur. As a young kid growing up in Lebanon, I used to collect shell casings on the street and sell them in exchange for money. When I moved to America, I worked hard at every job I did, in order to make sure that the company I joined, improved and grew, until I was actually able to start my own company.
Interviewer: What are the keys to entrepreneurial success according to you?
Andy Khawaja: The key to success is hard work, and most importantly, you should believe in yourself. Both of these things are essential, if you truly want to make it as an entrepreneur.
Interviewer: Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there from your personal experience?
Andy Khawaja: A vision and hard work are the keys to success, and I would like to say that to all of the entrepreneurs out there. If you work hard, put in lots of effort, devote time, and choose a reliable, safe processing company that you can trust, nothing can stop you from reaching your goals and you are sure to grow. Every day is an opportunity for you to grow, and a day you don’t take it seriously is a day wasted.