Amazon initiates digital payment services for businesses in MENA

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The American eCommerce company Amazon has launched its digital payment services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by rebranding Payfort, which the tech giant acquired earlier.

Payfort was founded in 2013 as one of the earliest fintech companies in the region and in 2017 it was bought by Amazon as part of its $580 million acquisition of regional eCommerce company

The Amazon Payment Services will provide businesses with simple, affordable and secure online transaction experiences and allows them to accept payments using both global and local methods, offer installments to customers and monitor payment performance.

Omar Soudodi
Omar Soudodi
MD – Amazon Payment Services

“Today’s launch marks another key milestone in Amazon’s promise to build the future of digital payments in the region, empowering businesses to provide user-friendly payment experience for their end-users. We listened to businesses across a broad range of industries to continue improving our offering. Amazon Payment Services is a natural next step in our journey.”

Amazon Payment Services conduct transactions for businesses of all sizes across various sectors, from aviation to real estate. The partner lenders of the platform include First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mashreq and RAKBank in the UAE, as well as Al Rajhi Bank, National Commercial Bank and Riyad Bank in Saudi Arabia. There are also alliances with local card schemes like MADA and Meeza and those from Visa and MasterCard.

Amazon is also planning to introduce an enhanced range of services to enable better authentication of transactions and a smoother payment process.

The services will help those SMEs wanting to set up their online presence as well as large-scale enterprises looking for a reliable payment service to handle transactions.

Digital payment in the region

With the COVID-19 outbreak, digital payment surged in the region encouraging more businesses to deploy new technologies. The digital payments are set to grow to $8.26 trillion in 2024 from $4.4 trillion this year across the globe, according to German database company Statista.

The UAE is among the countries which leads this adoption with two-third of people of the country expected to become fully cashless by 2030, according to a recent poll by Standard Chartered.

According to a report by US-based TechSci Research, the mobile wallet market of the UAE is estimated to expand at a compound annual rate of 24 percent to $2.3 billion by 2022.