Lebanese digital banking firm moves to Cyprus
In the first months of 2020, André Zein determined to move his digital banking company TechnOrion from Metn, Lebanon, where conditions were becoming untenable.
“I looked at three countries: Armenia, Malta and Cyprus. Cyprus won out easily,” Zein told the Cyprus Mail in an interview.
With the help of InvestCyprus, Zein made all the arrangements to move his company, got it registered in Cyprus, found offices in Limassol, and, as of January 2021, will be established here full-time.
“Ease of access was one of the reasons we chose to move to Cyprus; with the help of InvestCyprus, the transition was seamless,” Zein explained.
Proximity to Lebanon was an important factor for Zein, along with enough flights there and to around the Middle East.
“But Cyprus also offered an environment that was great for tech and innovation,” Zein continued. “The cost of living, and doing business was low, but the infrastructure needed for our business was in place and at a reasonable cost.” Armenia, for example, had lower costs but did not have the infrastructure or the professional services Zein needed.
“Unquestionably, another feature of Cyprus that made a great difference was that there were many resources for our transition. For a business, getting up and running in a new location has to be uncomplicated,” he insisted.
Knowing that everything we needed to do could be done in English was one very important advantage,” he added. “That resolved a lot of communication issues very quickly.”
Another advantage was the national healthcare system. “Gesy meant that we could access healthcare without delay.”
“And, low taxes made it easier for us to operate, along with the well-organised formalities for registration and accounting.”
Zein has two types of business. His TechnOrion offers a digital banking platform that enables financial institutions to implement a rapid digital transformation. “True digital banking serves as much bank clients as it empowers bank employees to provide better service to clients. We deliver the tools and services required by modern nimble banks to improve their customer service and offering. Customer first, always,” Zein said.
Without waiting for the pandemic crisis to end, Zein expects to get off to a roaring start in January, marketing his platforms both in Cyprus and around Europe. “Access to other markets is easy from Cyprus,” Zein commented. “We can work with banks and companies all over the world.”
And Zein does not expect to have any difficulty finding the talent he needs in Cyprus. “There is already a well-established culture for financial services in Cyprus, and we can partner with many highly-skilled people and companies.”
What finally attracted Zein to Cyprus? “It’s not crowded,” he noted. “There’s plenty of room to work, and also to live; needless to say, living and travelling in Cyprus is another attraction.”