Abdulbaset Alsharafi

An Impactful Business Leader Pioneering Financial Inclusion in Yemen

Affordable financial services are pivotal for ensuring financial inclusion and stability in communities world-wide. These services cater to individuals and businesses with access to essential financial tools such as savings accounts, loans, and insurance, regardless of their economic status. By making finance accessible and affordable, people can better manage their finances, invest in education and healthcare, and start or expand businesses.

Sharing these sentiments, Abdulbaset Alsharafi (Co-Founder and CEO) made the decision to establish WeCash, to empower individuals and stimulate economic growth. Today, he stands out as the most impactful business leader in his domain. His strategic acumen, coupled with a visionary approach, has propelled him to the forefront of the industry.

Abdulbaset started his career in 2000 as a computer programmer, consistently delivering strong results. In 2004, he moved into a managerial role within the same organization, holding that position until 2009. After that, the most impactful business leader became the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at a top IT company, focusing on advancements in information technology until 2014. Later, he shifted to senior management in a company specializing in electronic payments and cards, gaining extensive experience in the payments industry and broader financial banking sector.

This change marked a significant turning point in his career, leading to his appointment as General Manager of a company specializing in electronic payments and cards, a role Abdulbaset held until 2021. During this time, he also served as the Executive Director of the electronic services development project at a major Yemeni bank, as both entities were part of the same commercial group.

Later, the resolute leader collaborated with leading Yemeni financial institutions to establish WeCash – Jawali E-Wallet.

The Rise of WeCash and Jawali E-Wallet in Yemen’s Financial Landscape

Yemen has a low rate of financial inclusion. Statistics from 2020 show that less than 20% of its population, which exceeds 30 million people, doesn’t have access to banking services. This is mainly because many people in Yemen don’t have enough knowledge about finance, and the country faces ongoing political and economic challenges.

To address this important issue, WeCash was founded in 2021 as a financial company and electronic payment service provider. It is committed to promoting financial inclusion by offering innovative, easy-to-use, and affordable financial solutions designed to meet the diverse needs of individuals and businesses.

In June 2022, WeCash launched its main service, Jawali electronic wallet, despite stiff competition in Yemen’s banking sector for electronic financial services. Jawali was founded with a vision to revolutionize Yemen’s financial and banking sector through innovative FinTech solutions. Its distinct business model and unwavering dedication to excellence have led to tangible transformations within the industry in just two years. It is the first e-wallet to introduce a unique and innovative business model, demonstrably impacting the financial and banking landscape in Yemen.

Under the wise leadership of Abdulbaset, WeCash aims to lead Yemen’s journey towards financial inclusion by expanding its services strategically and introducing groundbreaking financial solutions that meet the changing needs of all parts of society.

Overcoming Obstacles and Revolutionizing Finance

When building Jawali, Abdulbaset faced some tough challenges. Problems like poor infrastructure, lots of competition, not many people knowing much about money, people trusting banks less, and no clear plan to include everyone in finance were all big hurdles for him.


But even with all these issues, he managed to do something amazing. Jawali, the electronic wallet, became the first in Yemen to get over a million customers in just two years. This success came from WeCash’s strong dedication to making people trust banks again. The most impactful business leader and his team worked hard to teach people more about money through events and activities for different groups in society. Plus, they made it easier for people to use their services by setting up more places where they could sign up.

Commitment to Financial Inclusion and SDGs

Our vision for financial inclusion centers on actively contributing to the achievement of Yemen’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by delivering accessible and affordable financial services across diverse societal segments. This approach positions us as a key player in driving a qualitative transformation within the Middle Eastern electronic financial services landscape,” states Abdulbaset.

He further states that Yemen is special because it’s a place where new ideas can grow, especially when it comes to making different financial services for people and businesses. This presents a significant opportunity to make a lasting impact on financial inclusion within the region.

Expansion Blueprint: Building a Cooperative Economy

Under Abdulbaset’s reign, WeCash has laid out a detailed plan for growth in the next five years, focusing on expanding both locally and regionally. Its goal is to create a cooperative economy within Yemen, partnering with various sectors like financial institutions, commercial entities, and even the public sector. The company believes in win-win collaborations that benefit everyone involved. It is also considering acquiring other companies to enhance its services.

My leadership philosophy centers on the belief that my team is my greatest asset. They are the extension of my efforts and the driving force behind our competitive advantage.

On the regional level, WeCash aims to enter nearby markets. The leading company might use its existing Jawali service or develop new financial solutions tailored to each market’s needs. “To achieve this ambitious vision, WeCash is actively implementing a meticulously crafted and adaptable business plan, ensuring timely execution on the ground,” says Abdulbaset.

Trailblazing in Finance

The near-term goals of Abdulbaset center around spearheading a qualitative shift in the financial banking sector. He aims to accomplish this by nurturing an atmosphere of innovation and creating new financial products using advanced technologies. Moreover, he is dedicated to establishing himself as a leader in spearheading positive change throughout the financial banking sector.

Decision-Making Philosophy

Abdulbaset emphasizes careful team selection as his top priority, followed by delegation, empowerment, energizing, and fostering initiative. He believes that effective communication is crucial for this approach. When making decisions, his guiding principles prioritize the national interest before the company’s success, ensuring alignment with the greater good. In terms of leadership qualities, he values the ability to spearhead change through effective strategic thinking, along with essential foundational leadership skills.

From Local Trailblazers to Global Leaders

As Co-Founder and CEO, Abdulbaset states that they are embarking on a transformative journey. Even though they have accomplished a lot already, there are still plenty of opportunities for growth. He and his team take immense pride in their pioneering role in reshaping Yemen’s financial and banking sectors. But they are not stopping there. They want to be a major player in the region and, eventually, a global leader in the FinTech industry.

Valuable Advice for FinTech Entrepreneurs

Abdulbaset gives advice for aspiring FinTech entrepreneurs, “My advice is to cultivate a spirit of creativity and embrace innovation. The FinTech landscape is still in its nascent stages, presenting a wealth of opportunities for those who can develop groundbreaking solutions.” He further adds, “However, success in this dynamic field also requires patience. Building a sustainable and impactful FinTech venture necessitates a long-term vision and the perseverance to navigate the complexities of the financial industry.

The Economic Potential of Yemen in the FinTech Era

According to Abdulbaset, the Middle East stands at the precipice of a FinTech revolution, poised to fundamentally reshape the financial and banking landscape. This could change how banks and money work. It’s a big deal that will bring in new and creative ways to do business.

Yemen is an interesting part of this change. It has a lot of skilled workers who know a lot about technology. Plus, they cost less than other places in the region. This makes Yemen a good candidate to be important in the FinTech revolution.

Looking forward, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be super important in transforming the financial services industry. AI has established itself as one of the most critical tools within the FinTech arsenal.

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