Dan Stuart, the managing director of the Mideast for LivingSocial, moderates a panel examining the issue of payment gateways in e-commerce, with Stephen Leeds of Visa, Marten Waldenstrom of cashU, Cyril Zimmerman of Hi-Media, Paolo Zambonini of Network International, and Ronaldo Mouchawar of Souq.com.
Stuart kicks off with a question going straight to the heart of the issue when it comes to launching an e-commerce business today: "Is it a good time to start selling now? Or are you better off waiting a bit, and holding back on your money and investing a year from now, or 18 months from now? Is the market here yet?"
Ronaldo Mouchawar of Souq.com says the market is here, since 90% of customers that are online feel positive about shopping online, according to a study released in the UAE.
It's also a $5 billion industry in the GCC, says Stephen Leeds of Visa, and it's expected to grow 30-35% per year until 2015. "Anyone who is on the ground floor now will be able to take advantage of all of those first mover advantages… that will allow them to capitalize on the market."