The path to global market leadership for paysafecard leads through many countries and regions (we are currently present in 43 countries). The strongly growing “emerging regions" are of particular significance and the MENA region happens to be one of these 5 regions.
Strong facts in a strong region
The step towards Kuwait and Saudi Arabia was actually a logical one and the facts support this: around 32 million residents, strong growth in the games and entertainment sector in particular, but also in VoIP and FOREX. At the same time, the society has a high affinity to cash with high prepaid volumes (some USD 1 billion) and a low occurrence of credit cards (less than 10%). In addition, the average purchasing power is high (average GDP values of more than USD 30,000 per year) and the young target groups in particular have a high affinity to technology and are well educated.
With an experienced local team onsite
Martin Waldestroem, located in Dubai, is one of the two local employees who represent paysafecard in this region. He brings with him expertise from Dubai’s banking and payment sector and has also contributed to establishing local payment schemes, such as Payfort, and building them to success in the Arab region. His first-hand opinion: "Metropolises such as Kuwait and Dubai are nowadays nodes of the digital world. Their significance extends deep into the culture of the Near East. Anyone who, like paysafecard, wants to succeed here needs extensive knowledge of these countries."
His co-worker, Samar Mushainish, contributes with her many years of experience in the fields of marketing, sales and distribution in the region. She is very enthusiastic about the prospects the region has to offer: "paysafecard is entering the market at exactly the right moment. The opportunities for prepaid means of payment are currently limitless in this region; demand is huge and supply leaves plenty of leeway for a strong and experienced player."
New forms of payment are in urgent need
35% of the region’s population do not have a bank account, and of the few credit card holders, only half use their credit cards online. Debit cards, on the other hand, are rarely accepted in online shops, so there is a large demand for alternative payment solutions. As "cash for the Internet", paysafecard is the perfect solution – and offers benefits to all involved: Users receive a free and secure means of payment; merchants reach new target groups and markets; paysafecard establishes itself as a door opener for its merchants in the MENA region and conveys to them new sales potentials. However, knowledge of local requirements is an absolute must. This is why the excellently trained paysafecard Compliance team screens merchants from the region with particular care, as gambling is strictly forbidden. We work only with merchants who comply 100% with local standards and regulations – which is not always a matter of course in the market.
A dense POS network from the very beginning
It all started in Kuwait in November 2015. With eNet we had a strong distribution partner on board from the very beginning. In the meantime, several others have joined, such as Al-Aaly, Swiftel, Berlin-Mobile, Eureka, Eurocom, Future Global, i-zone, Kuwait Tele Tec, Pronto Pay, c-cite and X7. The launch in Saudi Arabia took place in December with two strong partners in the form of Panda (one the biggest hypermarket chains) and Numny handling distribution.
Incidentally, the Arab region is also very well known for the fasting month of Ramadan. During the Islamic month of fasting (beginning of June - beginning of July), many people spend lots of time at home, making use of digital entertainment offers – the perfect opportunity for paysafecard! And for you too: If you operate an online shop in the region, paysafecard can be an important traffic and sales driver for you. Activate paysafecard in these countries – your Key Account Manager will help you with all the information you need!
With this in mind: ahlan wa sahlan – Welcome!