Dubai: Telr, a payment service, aims to improve the Middle East’s retailers’ online presence, the delivery of their goods and their cashflow, according to Elias Ganem, its chief executive and co-founder. It works with small and medium-sized enterprises with its operational headquarters in Dubai.
The e-commerce market in the region is valued at $10 billion in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) today, which is expected to reach $15 billion by 2015, he said. However, “90 per cent of this $10 billion is cross border,” he said.
According to Ganem, most consumers in the region that buy online do so from international websites.
“Consumers are not buying locally for two reasons: there are not enough merchants selling here and the experience of buying locally is not good,” he said.
Telr aims to help both small local and large retailers to have an online presence.
“What we also want to do is help [an international brand] open an online store locally,” he said, adding that the company’s partners will set up an online store for a brand.
Meanwhile, the company plans to offer short-term loans to retailers. A company that generates $100,000 in sales per month could receive between $30,000 and $50,000 a month, according to Ganem.
“As we observe your sales volume, we know what kind of profile you are and we will put you in three categories: high risk, mid risk and low risk. We will then have our criteria: I lend to you or I don’t lend to you? I lend you a little or I lend you a lot?,” Ghanem explained.
Also, the payment gateway, which has partnered with logistics company Aramex, looks to simplify the process of delivering goods to consumers. With Aramex’s wide geographic footprint, Telr does not have current plans to partner with other logistics companies.
Telr gives consumers the options of paying by credit card, cash payment on delivery, and cash payment before delivery, which involves the presentation of a transaction code to retailers that have partnered with Telr.
From the UAE, the company plans to expand its operations to the rest of the Middle East, Africa and Indonesia.
Launched in March, Telr expects to be available online in the UAE “before the end of the year,” Ganem said. He, however, did not comment on which retailers have signed up with the company.