Dubai: E-commerce is going a get a much needed boost as PayPal forms an alliance with Aramex to launch its operations in the Middle East.
“Mobile and online commerce are very popular in North America and Europe, but is still in its infancy in the Middle East and North Africa. Mobile technology is hugely popular and people are gaining confidence in online retailing through exposure to daily deals, private sales , airline websites, etc… We see this trend happening in theMena,” Elias Ganem, managing director of PayPal Middle East and North Africa, said.
Out of the one million users in the region, about 50 per cent are from the UAE.
“We will be opening an office in Dubai soon and an Arabic website to fuel growth in e-commerce. UAE is the biggest market in Mena for us,” he said.
PayPal will be focusing on the GCC countries and Jordan.
The deal with Aramex allows customers in the region to shop abroad and have their purchases delivered to their doorsteps in a simple and secure way.
According to Wamda.com, e-commerce presents one of the largest opportunities in the region for small businesses. Only 50 per cent of the Middle East businesses have an online presence. B2C commerce sales in the region are expected to reach an estimated $15 billion by 2015 compared to $9 billion this year. The GCC e-commerce market is worth at around $8 billion.
PayPal holds 18 per cent of the world’s e-commerce and processed volumes worth $115 billion last year.
“PayPal is going to chance the way e-commerce is done in the region as we have a dedicated customer service support throughout the week,” he said.
PayPal has about five per cent of the online payments made in the region and aims to raise it to 10 per cent in three years.
“We have around 10 million merchants globally and our intention is to have 25,000 merchants in the region in the next five years,” he said.