CEO Jon Richards of compareit4me.com talks about finance comparison industry

CEO Jon Richards of compareit4me.com talks about finance comparison industry

compareit4me.com is currently live in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, with both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia going live by the end of 2014.



CEO Jon Richards.

CEO Jon Richards.

Like many start-up ventures, compareit4me.com was born out of a need to fill a market gap, said CEO Jon Richards. When he moved to Dubai in 2011, he was at a loss as to how to apply for a bank account, which bank to go with, what type of account was right for him and the documents required.

“In the UK, majority of people wouldn’t consider taking a banking product without first comparing the options on a comparison site. I noticed a glaring gap in the market here so I built and launched compareit4me.com,” Richards said.

The site started as a finance blog, but in 2012, he started monetising it as more and more banks sought their partnership. Today, compareit4me.com works closely with leading banks in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, and plans to launch in more countries over the next six months. Richards talks to Business Elite about the company’s future prospects.

What are your core areas of expertise?

compareit4me.com is a dedicated finance comparison site, which means we can focus on being the best in our field without the distraction of multiple, unrelated verticals. This gives us a clear edge when it comes to helping users find the most relevant banking products for them. compareit4me.com is extremely important to a market like the UAE where majority of residents are expats and are unfamiliar with the banking rules and regulations.

What are your plans for compareit4me.com in 2015 ?

compareit4me.com is currently live in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, with both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia going live by the end of 2014. We are planning to be live in nine countries by the middle of 2015 and are growing the team with this expansion in mind. The finance comparison industry is new to markets like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but the banks we speak to are keen to work with us and are pleased to see us enter the market.

We want to ensure that people living in the Middle East have an easy and effective way of finding and comparing banking products. By comparing offers from leading local and international banks, we give our users the best possible chance of finding the best offers that suit them.

What are the major challenges you face in expanding compareit4me.com?

Localisation is possibly the biggest challenge for any website trying to expand across the Middle East. It’s not just about language, but also about the way people use the Internet, which changes from country to country – this is particularly true in the Middle East. For example, users in Saudi Arabia pretty much skipped the laptop stage and went straight to Internet-enabled phones, making a mobile site in Saudi essential. For us, localisation is crucial when launching in a new country or adding new features to existing sites.


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