In an attempt to get more entrepreneurs enthused about starting online businesses, and helping them see why the Middle East is a good space for e-commerce, the Saudi based payment gateway, Paytabs, published last week an infographic listing the three top reasons for supprting their argument. "Our aim is to inform people about the ecommerce market in the Middle East, as it is the fastest growing in the world," says Umair Maqsood, strategic Marketing Associate at Paytabs. "We want people to do business online and get a chunk of the $15 billion."
Obviously the quick growth in internet penetration, which is currently seeing more than half of Middle East residents using the internet on a daily basis, is a big boost for e-commerce. Especially when 50% of netizens are 26 and above, with 47% of them owning a credit card, making them more eligible to purchase online. In Saudi Arabia alone 12% (3.1m) of internet users are already shopping online.
But with the challenges facing payment gateways in the region and the lack of reliable solutions, prepaid cards are still the most popular mode of online payment with 47%, followed by credit cards, at 30%.
Currently the volum of B2C e-commerce sales in the MENA is $9 billion USD, and will reach $15B in 2015.