Dr. Andy Khawaja grew up as a kid in Lebanon and came to America as a teenager. He worked in the high-end retail business for years, and ran a chain of retail stores with locations in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive and the Las Vegas MGM. When the internet started to grow, Dr. Andy realized there was going to be a need for a way to accept credit cards. Dr. Andy’s experience with the international customers allowed him to understand foreign business very well, and he wanted to create a way to connect business owners and customers all over the world and that happened through Allied Wallet. Ten years ago they were marketing by word of mouth, and now they process for 150 million merchants around the world.
In your own words what is Allied Wallet?
Allied Wallet is the fastest growing online payment processor in the world right now. We provide small and large businesses around the globe with the ability to process credit card payments from their customers securely and quickly – even startups. Our award winning APIs make sure all transactions are scrubbed for fraud, and can process in over 150 different currencies for a truly international experience.
How did you come up with the idea of Allied Wallet?
I started this company ten years ago because I was inspired to give businesses everywhere the opportunity to take their company to the next level – to the global level. I realized that there was a need for more secure ways to process international transactions, no one else was doing this and it left open a lot of room for fraud, which can ruin a business.
Could you walk us through the process of starting up Allied Wallet?
When merchants come to us they fill out an application on our website. Our in-house underwriting team reviews their documents and sends them an approval email with the code for the secured checkout page on their website. Once the merchant makes the changes to their site, we set them live. We can do all this in as little as 12 hours.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties during startup?
Unlike the other processing companies, we didn’t start with investor funding. Allied Wallet was built using my own funds because I believe in this company, and with hard work and dedication from our team, we created one of the most successful processing companies in the world today.
How have you been developing Allied Wallet since startup?
When we first started, we focused primarily on the gateway, to make sure it had the highest security available to deter fraud. Since then, we have created other products such as our pre-paid card, virtual wallet, and our NextGen gateway. We’re always evolving to make new and better products to help our merchants.
What kind of feedback did you get for Allied Wallet so far?
Allied Wallet is extremely well known in the US, Europe and Asia. We’re always winning awards for our great processing features and our commitment to making sure our merchants do well. Our growth rate of 200-500% every year shows that people trust Allied Wallet for their businesses.
Do you face a lot of competition in this industry especially from companies like Allied Wallet?
We love competition. PayPal is a probably our biggest direct competitor, but they have
a different infrastructure and we have a global approach with different capabilities and more flexibility for our merchants. As you know the payments industry is very competitive, but with our low rates, great in-house customer service, wide variety of shopping cards to integrate with, and unbeatable fraud protection, Allied Wallet speaks for itself.
What can you tell us about the industry?
The industry is very competitive, and can be dangerous too, for new merchants. There are a lot of things to understand about accepting credit cards online before you jump into it, and you have to have a secure gateway to keep out fraud.
What is the future of the industry and how do you plan to stay relevant in this industry?
The digital payments industry is only going to get bigger. You see more people paying with cards or with apps, not cash, and that means more people will need a way to send payments electronically. Allied Wallet is constantly improving and creating new products so that we can stay at the top of the game as one of the world’s most reliable processors.
What is your opinion on Asian entrepreneurship vs Western entrepreneurship?
Being an entrepreneur in Asia is very different than being one in the Western World like the US or Europe. There are different law, different regulations, but most of all the work ethic is different. When I have meetings with top businessmen in Tokyo or Hong Kong or Singapore, I notice how hard they work, and that they don’t stop until they achieve their goals. It’s very inspiring.
What is your definition of success?
Success is working hard and accomplishing your goals, and being able to help others on the way to the top. Surround yourself with hard working people who believe in you, and make sure to show your appreciation. Success is making a difference.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. When I was a young kid growing up in Lebanon, I used to collect shell casings on the street and turn them in for money. Once I moved to America, I worked hard at every job to make sure the company improved and grew, until I was able to start my own company.
In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?
The key to success is hard work, and believing in yourself. If you don’t have both of those, you won’t make it as an entrepreneur.
Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there from your personal experience?
I would like to say to all of the entrepreneurs out there that a vision and hard work is the key to success. If you work hard, put in the effort, the time, and choose a reliable, safe processing company that you can trust to help you grow, nothing can stop you from reaching your goals. Every day you don’t use to work towards your goal day is a day wasted, work for you future every day.