Maktoob.com unveils new e-shopping solution

Maktoob.com's new e-payment system promises to encourage online shopping in the Middle East. Now available in the region, the cashU card claims to eliminate the risks associated with credit card fraud.

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By  Vijaya George Published  July 17, 2002

An innovative payment system launched by Maktoob.com claims to guarantee safe and secure online transactions, and hopes to encourage more people to shop online. The solution is a cashU Card that is currently being sold in three denominations — US $10 (500cashU), US$20 (1000 cashU) and US $ 30 (1500 cashU) or in local currency equivalent — and can be ordered through the cashU Web site (www.cashucard.com). Cards are delivered within 24 hours of purchase.

“The Middle East, in particular, has witnessed a slow development in the online shopping business since concerns over credit card fraud continue to deter shoppers,” explained Samih Toukan, CEO of Maktoob.com. “The cashU card system has been designed to address the needs of Internet shoppers and help the region move forward with the rest of the world in employing innovating Internet trends.”

With the card, shoppers can buy products directly from those Web sites that support the concept. Depending on the purchase, the corresponding amount is deducted from the user’s card balance. In case a Web site does not support the cashU card system, a customer can submit details of the product. The product will then be purchased by a cashU customer representative on behalf of the customer. This service is currently being offered free to customers.

“The cashU card has been launched after examining all aspects of online shopping and we are confident that it will become a global phenomenon,” commented Toukan. “The membership of the cashU cards is free, unlike credit cards where the user pays an annual fee. Also, the ease of use, speed and simplicity of transactions in the cashU Card system will surely appeal to the large number of Internet users who seek products from this region.”

To guarantee even safer transactions, each cashU Card expires six months from the date of first usage. Working on the same principle as prepaid mobile cards, each cashUcard has a unique numbering system. Its details are fed into the system when the user purchases a product or service. Merchants also have the advantage of using the cashU Card system to accept transactions on their own Web sites. They can also avail of Maktoob.com’s technological support and online marketing of their products among the Web site’s 2.5 million registered members.

“I am confident that the business community in this region will see the advantages of being part of this exciting development and use the system to reinforce their own existing e-commerce platforms in other markets,” said Toukan. “The interest from our present network of sellers and merchants has been quite encouraging in this connection.”

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