GCC's e-commerce market to jump in two years. There is a good news for retailers located in the Gulf region and thinking about investing online or not. The shopping habits are changing and the consumers are going digital, with consultancy firm A.T. kearny last year forecasting that e-commerce market in the Gulf will grow from $15 billion in 2018 to $24 billion by 2020.
But if you are a family business who has worked for decades out of the same store in the corner of one of Dubai’s traditional souqs or you are a fresh-faced start-up in Riyadh with big ideas and small budgets, how can you start earning revenue online?
The obvious answer is to partner with some of the big new online players in the market, such as Noon.com, which is backed by the chairman of Dubai’s biggest mall, or global giant Amazon, which last year acquired local start-up Souq.com.
Whether you join up with a big partner or set up your own online presence, sorting out your payment process is critical and this is where Bahrain-based online payment processing company Paytabs wants to help.
Set up in 2014, the company’s CEO and founder Abdulaziz Aljouf believes the most essential component of a business is its ability to make and receive payments, noting that in this region unfortunately this is still a complicated process.
Speaking to Accelerate SME during an interview last month at the company’s Dubai office, Aljouf pointed out that it can sometimes takes months for a merchant to get a live merchant ID from a bank to regulate its online payment transactions with customers.
“When we first kicked off the business we decided to build our own engine, and really take care of the entire ecosystem of payments. So we are not only bringing the merchant to the bank, we are working with the bank to provide them with the technology, the support, and the manpower. What we have built is the entire chain of processing. We are the new face for start-ups to start, instead of going through the corridors of banks and taking a long time to get on-boarded,” he said.
Aljouf said the company’s aim is to create solutions that allow small retailers to bypass banks and point-of-sale machines.