A quick introduction to online payment gateways in Kuwait

One of our more active community members, Burhan Khalid, is speaking about payment gateways at the upcoming StartupQ8 Monthly Event on April 22nd. He will  is the Electronic Channels Development Manager at one of the local banks, and is very familiar with payment gateway issues.

He is also a swell guy, so he agreed to sit through a quick interview about the subject ahead of next week’s event. Here’s what we discussed:

What are the available payment gateways for startups in Kuwait?

There are plenty of options available for Kuwaiti startups looking to integrate a payment gateway. The solution can be local or international.

  • Local gateways include KNET, which is available through all local banks, and credit cards gateways, which vary according to your which bank you use.
  • International gateways obviously include PayPal, but there are plenty of other options out there, including CashU, Skrill, 2Checkout, Gate2Play and many others.

What do the entrepreneurs need to consider before deciding which gateway to implement?

 Each startup has different needs and constraints they it should consider before choosing which gateway to implement. Entrepreneurs should ask themselves the following:

  1.  What level of integration do you require and how much technical experience does your team have? More technical experience means you can handle more complex solutions.
  2. What is the volume and value of transactions that you are expecting to process in a month? Each solution has different rates, minimum monthly amounts, etc.
  3. Do you need the gateway to process offline transactions as well? If so, consider a gateway that can do that.
  4. Do you need the gateway to process payments from different geographical markets, or is your startup aimed solely at Kuwait? If so, consider a gateway that can be used regionally or globally, depending on your startup’s requirements.

What do gateway providers typically ask for to implement the integration?

The most important requirement is that you have a SSL certificate, although that may be waived in certain circumstances depending on your integration requirements. Some gateway providers will put you in a sandbox/test environment before they qualify you for live payments. Others may let you qualify yourself for the live environment.

When should entrepreneurs decide between all these options? Should they just accept cash on delivery (COD)?

First, COD is a high cost, high risk payment method and should be the last resort of payment in most cases. However, the answer to this question is different for each startup. Does most of your target market already have access to credit cards? Will they prefer using KNET? If the startup targets mobile users, did you consider mobile payment options such as Next Pay? While there’s no one right answer, the best thing to do is know your market and do your research.

If you want to learn more or have any questions, join us at the event next week. To view the full schedule and register, click here.

Leave a comment


  1. engineer

     /  May 5, 2013

    Hi, I’m looking for integrating payment gateway to my website, but I can’t seem to find any company that offers the service for Kuwaiti Banks including paypal! care to shed light? thanks

    • mijbel

       /  May 6, 2013

      Check the slides Burhan provided in the April event’s wrap up post. Should have a lot of info for you.

  2. Knet(K-Pay) payment gateway accepts all debit cards issued by its member banks. Each bank went through a certification process with Knet and was certified to provide payment gateway services. The purpose of the certification process is to ensure a member bank can process and settle the transactions initiated by Knet payment.

    We have successfully developed extension/modules for Knet(K-Pay) payment gatway in magento, opencart , joomla, cakephp, yii and can also develop this module for other CMS and frameworks.



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