Payfort announces zero security deposit program for e-commerce startups

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As more digital startups are seeking to monetize, online payment service provider for the Arab world Payfort has implemented a new feature: zero security deposit on transactions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The new program comes in the context of Payfort’s drive to further support the e-commerce industry in the Arab world, making it easier for startups to offer secure online payment services.

Since its launch in 2013, the company itself has never asked for a security deposit, but its banking partners such as Saudi Arabia British Bank, National Bank of Egypt, and Mashreqbank (UAE) have required one in the past, although  Payfort has negotiated with them to waive or lower the required deposits for startups. “Security deposits vary between markets; they could be as low as $5,000 or as high as $50,000 USD, depending on the market and the sector the company belongs to,” says Omar Soudodi, managing director at Payfort.

In response to the new announcement, Soudodi expects Payfort’s customer base to double per market in 2014. “We understand the challenges of setting up an online store, so we’ve simplified the process of creating merchant accounts to allow e-commerce sites to quickly begin accepting payments online, regardless of their size or the nature of their business,” he says.

As part of its efforts, PayFort has teamed up with various incubators such as Flat6Labs in Egypt, and In5 and Turn8 in the UAE, to support startups that graduate from their programs.

Payfort supports credit and debit card payments through globally recognized payment leaders including American Express, cashU, MasterCard, and Visa, in hopes of helping internet retailers increase sales.

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