Category Archives: Payment Gateway

State of PAYFORT 2016 : The Most Trusted Online Payment Gateway

The year 2016 is nothing but eventful both on a global scale and here at PAYFORT.

“It’s been only 9 months that I have joined this fantastic workplace but the feeling is as though I have been here much longer. I see really great things ahead for us as PayFort. Hope I had more words to describe the experience. Wishing everyone a great year ahead. Long live the Fort!”
Mohammed Shibly

This year in April, we successfully opened up the world of e-commerce to the Saudi consumers by integrating SADAD Account via PAYFORT. A month later, we released our State of Payments 2016 report revealing the latest insights into the buying habits of the Arab world.

Maryam Albassam Merchant Relationship manager at PAYFORT
“2016 has been a tremendous year for PAYFORT and PAYFORT’s family. No one can deny that 2016 was a piece of work by itself – to put it in a nutshell. The wind of change is inevitable but we made sure we’ve built a good ship that has proven to be just as strong as we are in facing the challenges, and doing so happily too. We’re so proud of each other and how far we’ve become. PayFort is its own person now, it grows and changes and adapts not just according to the market demand, but also pioneers in what might be the future demands. It may be 2017 out there, but in PayFort; it’s almost 2030” Happy new year everyone. Maryam Albassam Merchant Relationship manager

The month of July was marked by two interesting events: first, PAYFORT and Shopify started working together to help start-ups in the Middle East to simplify their processes in terms of online store development and management; and second we achieved the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Certification for the third consecutive year – a testament to our commitment to e-payment security and consumer data protection.

Alaa Saleh - Pre-Sales Executive at PAYFORT
Even though I joined PayFort only 2 months ago, It has been already a remarkable experience, a friendly environment, practical thinking, incredible support and an inspiring leadership that hopefully will make us all grow as branches from our larger tree (PayFort), wish you all a happy and a successful new year”
Alaa Saleh
Pre-Sales Executive

The high ride continued the following month as we started offering the Egyptian market the liberty of making monthly installment payments through the country’s largest private sector bank, CIB. August also bore witness to our new partnership with MasterCard thus allowing PAYFORT merchants to seamlessly integrate security solutions into their own payment processes. This collaboration provides businesses the opportunity to increase both online and offline credit card transactions while offering consumers the convenience of secured, one-click payments.

Ankit Shukla Merchant Relationship manager at PAYFORT
PAYFORT is a great place to grow and develop both professionally and personally. We bagged a lot of awards across the region in 2016 for all the efforts we have been putting in since our inception. This is a testimonial in itself for us. We are very team-driven, and operate in a way that puts collective goals ahead of individual glory. Being a tech company, Invention is one of our core values and we have done complete justice to it in 2016 by being a pioneer in a lot of things across the region. In 3 years we have grown very quickly, and will continue to succeed because we are a nimble organization that can rise to any challenge thrown towards us. We love what we do and it shows in the strong relationships we have built with our partners.
Ankit Shukla
Merchant Relationship manager

We are humbled by the goals we have achieved and the partnerships we have built this year. And we are honoured on how our dedication to being the leading online payment service provider in the Middle East has been recognized by various partners and awarding bodies.

Shereen Ghazy Merchant Relation Manager
“2016 has been very critical to all of us at PAYFORT, we have been learning all the way in each and every field. PayFort has given us the chance to grow with it and to achieve our goals. This is only the beginning and i wish 2017 will be more challenging, we are ready and glad to even learn more.”
Happy New Year!♥❤♥
Shereen Ghazy
Merchant Relation Manager

Just very recently, industry-renowned PayExpo MENA awards granted us the Digital Commerce Innovation Award for establishing a successful online payment solution across the region.

Nitisha Hedge Merchant Support Manager at PAYFORT
“Our hope is not in the New Year, but in the ones who innovate and make all things new…
New beginnings, new ideas, new energy – exciting..! And so the adventure begins- let 2017 sparkle!!”
Nitisha Hedge
Merchant Support Manager

We also received Fintech of the Year award last month at The Entrepreneur MENA magazine’s annual Enterprise Agility Awards, acknowledging our efforts in breaking down barriers to introduce the convenience in adopting secure online payment methods.

Samir Hammoudeh Country Manager - Lebanon at PAYFORT
It’s time to say GOODBYE 2016, time to say goodbye to the thought that next year will be the same and that nothing will ever change, and start saying hello to all the wonderful possibilities, dreams, work opportunities that are waiting to manifest themselves in you. During my three years at PayFort i have gained a new family were i have faced a lot of challenges & conquered them one by one with the support of PAYFORT family, PayFort is not only a workplace for me it’s my family my addiction to perfectness & my mean to contribute in spreading awareness and educating the Lebanese startups ecosystem in payments & it’s innovations …Wishing you all a great & a prosperous year ahead. Happy New Year everyone!!!
Samir Hammoudeh
Country Manager – Lebanon

In addition to that Doha Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Qatar, gave us this year’s Partners Award, as our partnership agreement helped the Qatari market to open its arms to e-commerce. To cap off 2016 for our company, crowd-sourcing company Owler presented us this year’s Hot in Dubai award for being a top trending company in the city.

Sally Taha Merchant Support Manager at PAYFORT
“2016 has been an extremely unexpected year; it’s brought lots of changes & opportunities that added up & sharpened our experience. As usual PAYFORT deepened the concept of our core value “TRUST” & invested in us, trusting in our capabilities to grow. We shifted careers & were introduced to the new world of “Holacracy” where the Hierarchy vanishes & all members come together to decide for the best. My Wish for 2017 is to see PAYFORT shining more & spreading its amazing spirit all around.”
Long Live Payfort
Happy New Year :)
Sally Taha
Merchant Support Manager

So as a thanks to the many recognition we earned 2016, we think it’s only fitting that we close its curtains by sharing PAYFORT’s ten blog posts that generated the most buzz this year:

12 – 5 ways to make money out of your ebook

There’s no denying that everyone and everything is pushing online. If you’re a writer, you have a bigger chance of earning money by publishing eBooks online than publishing actual books in the offline world. Find out how in our blog post here.

11 – No money, no problem- Starting a business on a budget

Starting a business is, first and foremost, a financial risk. However, the advent of technology has provided us many reasons to believe that the best time to launch your start up is now. Here is why.

10 – Seven tips to improve your workplace productivity

An article that will continue to be relevant year after year, here are seven simple strategies to help increase productivity inside the office. check out the blog post here.

9 – The future of marketplace services in UAE

Back in August, we had a conversation with MrUsta’s Dunia Othman about emerging trends and the future of the service industry in UAE. Check out our infographic here.

8 – Digital Vs Traditional Media

This year, a lot of companies have started embracing digital media as a marketing channel, so we decided to cover the consumer shift from traditional to digital media. Learn more about this here.

7 – How to optimize a landing page

Speaking of going digital, websites are finally getting the attention they deserve. To help you make a good first impression online, here’s how you can optimize your landing page.

6 – Four secrets to creating the perfect two minute pitch

You don’t have to write a novel to get to your market, in fact, if you know how to do it the right way, the time it takes to pitch your idea is just two minutes. For pitching basics, check out this article we published last March.

5 – The evolution of food services

With innovation comes evolution and that’s something we continue to see even in the food service industry here in Middle East. In this article, we rounded up a number of food-based start-ups that transformed great ideas into big opportunities.

4 – The shift in online grocery shopping in KSA

The onset of digital media has opened many doors for entrepreneurs. To highlight this reality, we came up with a concise infographic showcasing data on the shift in e-commerce – particularly in the grocery shopping industry in KSA. You can check it out here.

3 – Understanding the Egyptian shopper

Egypt is a significant market for online shopping and Egyptian shoppers are a consumer base you don’t want to miss out on. To help you become their provider of choice, take a look at the infographic we created examining Egyptian market behaviour and demographics.

2 – Identity theft: Keep your personal information personal

The online world can be a double-edged sword – yes, you can do transactions the digital way but that also means having to input sensitive personal data through a website. To educate you on what identity theft is and how you can protect yourself from it, read this.

1 – How to give better presentations

Topping our top ten list is a post written to educate each and every company’s sales team on how to give better presentations. Here’s a very digestible infographic to help you becoming a master presenter.

Ehtisham Qadir - Sales Support at PAYFORT
It has been a crazy ride for the past two years while working with PayFort, yet looking forward to learn and grow. Wishing everyone happy new year (LONG LIVE PAYFORT)
Ehtisham Qadir
Sales Support at PAYFORT

There you go – this year’s top 10 posts for your enjoyment! Which one of these tickled your fancy? Share it with us in the comment section below or by tweeting us @PAYFORT.

Here’s to thriving through this year together and another for 2017, a new year to bring you more relevant content you can bookmark! Happy New Year everyone!



Sadad account is changing the Fintech game in Saudi Arabia

Based on our recent #Stateofpayments report 2016 “Saudi Arabia’s growth was fueled by a growing eCommerce market and an increase in online travel bookings, with these sectors representing the largest growth in the region. Moving forward into 2020 we expect to see positive growth throughout the Middle East with countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt leading the region.

With more and more people moving online, Saudi Arabia is expected to see substantial growth. Also based on the report was stating that a lack of trust in payment systems was one of the main reasons for offline shoppers not embracing online shopping.

Here came the importance of  local payment methods such as Sadad Payment System, it’s a national Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) service provider for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia . Sadad has managed to shift consumers’ behavior by moving them from physical channels (branches) to electronic channels (ATM, Phone Banking, and Online Banking), branches usage went down from 73% to 12%.

And again Sadad account came to become a game changer for the online world and a great boost to the e-commerce industry in Saudi. As a small or medium enterprise, you can now expand your customer base. Sadad account provides your business with an easy, secure and convenient payment platform online. This grants your products more visibility, facilitates accessibility and helps your business grow

“Using @SADAD account with the PAYFORT, Saudi enterprises will be able to offer online payment options to an expanded consumer base” explains Muteb Alobeiwi , PAYFORT Regional Manager.

By adding  Sadad account to Payfort means that merchants only have to integrate one API (Application Programming Interface) with their online stores in order to add bank account payments to the choice of payment methods offered to online customers. PAYFORT comes with a new dashboard to help enterprises optimise their payment processes and increase conversions.

Sadad Account A secure, One-Stop Solution For Online Payments.

#Sadad_account is an innovative new, non-card based payment solution which lets you pay for goods and services from a wide and growing selection of participating online merchants – directly from your account.

No need for a credit or debit card. No need to share sensitive card or bank account information. Sadad Account processes your online purchase securely and automatically, so you can shop with total confidence.

How to buy/shop #online with #SADAD_account?


Follow us on @payfort  to keep up to date with any news regarding #sadad_account on twitter , also share with us if you had purshased online using #sadad_account

To 3D Secure or not to 3D Secure? That is the Question

Questions have been raised whether to opt for 3D Secure or not? This dilemma affects the merchant’s bottom line as it is directly connected to the end user experience, which is pathetic to say the least by implementing additional steps to verify the user in the checkout process. However, 3D secure remains the most feasible, low cost, low resource consuming option for merchants to protect themselves against unauthorized chargebacks.

Between Yes and no, we decided to provide you with the full information about 3D secure, who benefits? Who loses? & who should use it? That could help you to decide whether to go for 3D secure or not.

What is 3D secure?

It’s an additional layer of security during the Card payment process when shopping online. The page itself is managed by the bank & is independent to the merchant’s website but the authentication itself is done by VISA or MasterCard (depending on your card). Depending on your bank you may be requested to input the 3Ds password or a dynamic OTP (one time password) send to your mobile phone each time you attempt to make a payment.

Who benefits?

The consumer’s funds are protected by an additional layer of security preventing any misuse of the Card online.

The merchant is protected by the ‘Liability shift’ when accepting 3Dseure transactions. This insinuates that the merchant is not made liable for any fraudulent chargeback received on any 3Dsecure transactions as it has been verified by the card scheme.

Who loses?

Adding an additional step in the checkout process invites another chance for the conversion rates to drop. Either due to technical reasons or because the page did not load correctly, infrequent shoppers forgetting passwords or maybe entered the wrong password, sometime even simple typos lead to the payment being rejected, negatively impacting the merchants conversion rates. In the era of the Mobile App shopping Boom, the pesky 3Dsecure page creates even more friction on the small screen ultimately hampering the bottom line businesses.

Consumers in emerging markets are not educated about 3Dsecure and tend to get frustrated when attempting to repeatedly retry rejected payments. A first time novice shopper unaware of 3Dsecure may even back out of the checkout process upon landing on the unfamiliar 3Dsecure page.

Economics of 3Ds: Who should use it?

Small merchant’s fresh in the e-commerce space have limited resources to look after payment security themselves & hence can make full use of the 3Dsecure product to protect themselves from fraud attacks. This even has a positive effect on the consumers who find it difficult to trust new players in the market, in this case the 3Dsecure page instills trust in the mind of the consumer.

Large big branded merchants are able to hire fraud prevention specialists and deploy expensive anti-fraud software products to combat fraud attacks, doing away with 3Dsecure completely and focusing on what really matters – higher conversation rates which ultimately translates to higher profits.

What have your experience been like with 3D Secure? Be sure to leave us a comment below or reach out on twitter to share your story. And, if you have any questions, send us a tweet @PAYFORT.

How to Design the Perfect Ecommerce Checkout Page

In the world of ecommerce, businesses are constantly looking for opportunities to outperform their competitors. A few weeks ago we talked about the importance customer support and how it can set you apart. This week we’re focusing on how you can improve your checkout process, avoiding some of the common road blocks that lead to an abandoned cart.

Here are eight tips you can use to improve the checkout experience on your site.

Focus on Easy Navigation and Simple Forms


A well optimized checkout page should feature a simple and easy to understand navigation that keeps the customer focused on checkout. To help keep the process as streamlined as possible avoid forms that require unnecessary information.

Any distractions in the checkout process can result in your customers losing interest so it’s best to remove as many obstacles as possible. Be sure to clear the page of unneeded links or form elements and present your customers with the simplest page possible.

Visual Progress Elements


Depending on you products and the information you require, your checkout process will likely involve several steps to complete. For many customers, particularly new ones, this leaves them wondering exactly how much more they need to do to complete the purchase.

Adding a visual indicator is an excellent way to reassure customers that they are nearly there, and if your process has more than two steps, an indicator helps keep customers from becoming frustrated and abandoning their carts.

One important note to consider is that when presented with an indicator that shows a large number of steps, customers can become intimidated resulting in premature abandonment, so plan your indicator carefully.

Multiple Payment Options


Forcing your customers to use traditional credit card transactions can have a major impact on your conversion rate. In today’s ecommerce environment your customers are much more likely to complete their transaction if they are given choices on how to pay.

Digital payments (Google Wallet, PayPal, and Apple Pay) are starting to gain popularity around the world and if you don’t have them on your site, you could be losing business.

“Continue as Guest” Option


While collecting customer data may seem critical, asking visitors to register for your site as part of the checkout process has been known to turn people off. Allowing customers to continue through the checkout process as a guest, rather than forcing sign-up, can be the difference between a completed purchase and an abandoned cart.

The leads you generate through forced registration will likely be less valuable then the lost sale. Consider asking customers to sign up after the transaction is complete or from within the receipt email.

Free Shipping


A shocking number of abandoned carts (some estimates are as high as 50%) are the result of unexpected costs for shipping and handling.  One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to simply offer free shipping.

Whether you decide on conditional free shipping (orders over $50 for instance) or include the cost of ‘free’ shipping in the item’s price, avoiding price-shock in the final stages of a purchase is a great way to reduce cart abandonment.

Security Certificates


Many people (especially those in the Middle East) become nervous when completing online transactions. If your security credentials aren’t prominently displayed this adds to the anxiety and can stop a transaction in its tracks.

Your checkout page should always highlight your site’s security certifications so your customers know they are dealing with as reputable business. Sharing customer testimonials and offing product guarantees can also be very helpful in establishing trust with your customers.

Product Suggestions


As we described earlier a clean and easy to navigate checkout page is extremely important, but your checkout page does offers some interesting opportunities to cross-sell products that relate to your customer’s purchase.

The key to an effective product suggestion is to share small accessories or add-ons (below the cost of the initial item in the cart) and offer a simple ‘Add to Cart’ button. The suggestions should not interfere with the checkout process but should instead feel like an added service or reminder.

Done correctly, offering additional products might even result in grateful customers (“I forgot I needed cables!”) and increased sales.

Post-Purchase Interactions


Once a customer has completed their transaction you might think the process is complete, but from a customer’s perspective they may have no idea what the next steps will be. Be sure to offer a friendly thank you and provide a clear confirmation of their purchase. Adding post-purchase messages to your checkout page is a great way to reassure customers and alleviate any fears.

Bonus: Social Sharing


In today’s social world, people love to share and allowing your customers to share their recent purchase on social media sites is an effective (and free) form of advertising. Incorporate popular sharing buttons on your confirmation page to help customers share their latest purchase.

A lot of people overlook checkout pages when it comes to optimization simply because it’s commonly accepted that if your visitor gets to the checkout page, they’re going to be a customer. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and in reality you need to consider your checkout page as the final barrier, not the finish line. Take the time to experiment with different designs and try to incorporate as many of the above tips as possible. We promise it will make a difference.

Looking for inspiration? We’ve prepared a template to help you start designing the perfect checkout page.



Have you ever abandoned a purchase because of an awful checkout page? Be sure to share your story below in the comments or reach out to on twitter @PAYFORT.