PAYFORT launches in Egypt

Arab world’s leading online payment provider PAYFORT sees confidence in country’s e-payment adoption, launches in Egypt

October 20, 2013

PAYFORT already processed over AED 2.5 Billion in volume transactions since launch in UAE; second operation signals confidence in Egypt thanks to strong indicators

PAYFORT, the leading online payment service provider in the Arab world, today announced the official launch of its Egypt operation, its second following the recent launch of its headquarters in the United Arab Emirates in June 2013. PAYFORT has already processed over AED 2.5 Billion in online transactions in the UAE and sees Egypt as a key next location in light of the country’s recent steps towards adoption and implementation of a national e-Government strategy which is expected to further fuel the country’s increasing number of DotCom startups.

“PAYFORT is pleased to announce its operations in Egypt as the country demonstrates its resolve to address its economic challenges while taking positive steps towards broader e-payment adoption, “said Omar Soudodi, Managing Director of PAYFORT.

According to a 2011 report by VISA International which ranked e-Payment adoption by governments, Egypt ranked 56 despite the many challenges the country has faced in the last few years. Business-2-Government payments play a vital role in attracting foreign investments which are crucial to developing markets. Adoption of e-payment systems is widely seen as creating a business friendly environment for foreign investors.

PAYFORT is looking to help facilitate electronic payments while driving e-commerce adoption among private sector organizers and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). With close to 40 Million Internet users and with 65% of the population under the age of 30, online payments in Egypt are expected to grow exponentially in the years to come from its current 9 percent users of online payment methods. Mobile Internet adoption is also becoming increasingly accessible and popular in Egypt, contributing to a surge of startups in the past few years as more businesses try to capture online customers. PAYFORT can enable businesses to fast track their online payment needs to better serve their customers while mitigating risk and reducing potential for online fraud.

“Egypt’s online buyers today number over 3 million but this is expected to grow significantly as major offline retailers race to build their online channels which in turn increases the appeal of online purchases due to increasing supply and variety of products being offered online,” said Soudodi. “When factoring in the growing appeal of online startups, more and more Egyptians will turn to online shopping for convenience and variety which will further drive the need for safe, secure payment solutions that protect both buyer and seller.”

Other drivers of online payments include the Egyptian government’s push towards e-Government and e-payments, a vital step in attracting foreign investors to any developing market and also a means of increasing tax collection from the public. Tax collections from businesses recently toped EGP 8 Billion per month by creating direct debit facilities and simplifying payments through a network of over 5,000 offices.   The next natural progression would be to allow direct online payments using a debit or a credit card to further facilitate tax and duty collection for the Egyptian government.

Remittances into Egypt have also risen significantly in the past 3 years from USD 9 Billion to an expected USD 22 Billion by end of 2013. 65 percent of all remittances come mainly from Egyptians living in North America and the Gulf countries. The introduction of online payments will make it easier for Egyptian expats to pay bills and purchase goods for their families in Egypt while having a positive impact on Egypt’s GDP.

A recent survey of university students, 24 percent of graduates said they intend to start their own business in the first 12 months after graduation. This entrepreneurial drive has led the formation of technology incubators like FlatSix Labs, Innoventures and Tahrir Squared in addition to the creation of angel networks and investment companies like Cairo Angels, Ideavelopers and Sawari Ventures, all aiming to create the eco-system needed to further fuel Egypt’s startup rise. The impact has been the emergence of hundreds of startups such as that couples e-commerce with social media, El 7essab (mobile AP) that is expected to disrupt how consumers pay for their food at home and in-dining,; a social network for events and, an online obituary.

“As Egypt’s government takes steps to adopt a progressive e-government strategy and implement nationwide e-payment capabilities, we feel confident that Egypt is heading in the right direction“

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