PayTabs, a new online payment solutions provider, is planning to roll out an e-store building platform for SMEs after two quarters, reveals its founder.
The company, which officially launched its online payment services across the Mena region last week, will help firms and developers set up an online store “within minutes” through its platform, Abdul Aziz Aljouf tells SMEinfo.me.
PayTabs will join the ranks of ShopGo, which also provides an online platform for companies in the Mena region to build their own e-commerce stores. Last year, ShopGo partnered with Google, Aramex and PayPal to launch Ezstore.me, a comprehensive e-commerce solution that offers e-store development, online payment solutions, logistical services and digital advertising support.
The Middle East region’s e-commerce market is expected to reach $15 billion by 2015, according to the PayPal Insights: E-commerce in the Middle East 2012-2015 report.
Considering the potential of the market, it takes a long time for companies to set up their payment gateways through banks due to regulation, documentation and other factors, adds Aljouf. PayTabs aims to make the process quicker and simple: “With banks, it can take from 45 days to two months to connect to your payment gateway, whereas with us it takes approximately a day or two.”
When asked if players such as PayPal and Telr.com – which was recently founded by PayPal Mena’s former managing director, Elias Ghanem – are a competition to the new venture, Aljouf says: “We don’t have direct competition in the market because the niche we are targeting has not been served yet. Plus, the market is tremendously huge; we are here to complete each other, not compete. In fact, we are offering PayPal [within our solution] very soon.”
The company is currently scouting office space in Dubai and already has offices in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. While it accepts merchants from across the Mena region, it will currently concentrate on the GCC market and then look at establishing representative offices in countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Egypt.
PayTabs also offers a mobile payment solution, which is currently in beta phase: “A few of our merchants want to use it in the beta mode so we are allowing them to…integrate it.”
PayTabs is co-owned by Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures.