Q&A with Omar Soudodi

Ahead of our Event, we sat with Omar Soudodi for a quick Q&A on the state of e-commerce in the region. If you’re interested in e-commerce or selling your goods and services, don’t miss this talk:

For those who are unaware, can you describe Payfort and its value proposition?
PayFort is a trusted online Payment Service Provider enabling businesses large and businesses, government agencies, SME’s, Startups and Institutions with innovative payment options for both banked & non-banked online shoppers. We work closely with our customers (merchants) by understanding their financial and revenue models, identify areas of risk exposure, and formulate strategies to maximize their online payment acceptance. We work under the notion that “People are Different” and we assist merchants in offering payment options that mirror their online shoppers behavior for both credit card and noncredit cardholders.
What are the main challenges facing businesses that want to transact electronically? What about customers?
The challenge is in two folds, Going Live as quickly as possible with a trusted online payment acceptance while minimizing requirements from financial institutions such as security deposits and big setup cost. The second fold is the availability of online payment financial instruments used by online shoppers since the Arab world is underbanked with only 18% of the total Arab Population owning a bank account. In the case of Kuwait it reaches 70% of adults so it doesn’t apply for the State of Kuwait.
Are there structural differences that make e-commerce more acceptable elsewhere?
1-Awareness of the end-user: safety & security is a concern in the ArabWorld since most users want to pay for the item upon delivery in the case of e-commerce transactions.
2-Supply: with more services/goods being sold online shoppers are buying more online since it mirrors the offline supply at competitive prices; around 66% of online shoppers look for value.
3-Demand, with annual growth of 40% for the region (highest in the world) coupled with Mobile Commerce penetration at 41% in the region compared to 23% worldwide, users are becoming more affluent online shoppers. Kuwait has the highest IOS penetration in the region and ranks one of the top 12 countries in the world in IOS usage which is a signal of the high affluence rate and higher disposable income for online shoppers.
See you tomorrow!
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