ME buyers uncomfortable using credit cards online says users need to build up trust in Middle East-based online retailers

Tags: ( Arab Emirates
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ME buyers uncomfortable using credit cards online Ahmed Alkhtib, founder and CEO Ahmed Alkhatib told that online shoppers in the Middle East are not yet comfortable in using their credit cards to shop online.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  August 4, 2011

Online shoppers using Middle East-based e-commerce websites are not comfortable using credit cards online, MarkaVIP founder and CEO Ahmed Alkhatib told

"If you look at consumers here already, a lot of them are buying from companies like Amazon and eBay. People in the Middle East are shopping and using credit cards to buy on these platforms, it is just that they are not used to an e-commerce platform out of the Arab world just yet and I think this is where the trust level is different," said Alkhatib.

However, Alkhatib said that once customers have purchased goods on the site once or twice on a cash on delivery basis, they do tend to be more comfortable using their credit cards.

"It was similar in the US when e-commerce first launched, people were not using their credit cards, but when they saw that their orders were being fulfilled, they were given attention and the right customer service experience, this increased the use of credit cards. I think we will see the same as well," he said.

The company is set to launch the PayPal online payment system for shoppers on the site, in addition to the cash on delivery and credit card options already available and is also planning expansion across the MENA region.

With 135 million people online in the Middle East, MarkaVIP hopes to see a lot more people signing up to the site.

"We have only scratched the surface, we would like to take this company to become the largest online e-commerce website in the Middle East and we want to become a household brand. We have just launched in the GCC, Lebanon and Jordan and we will be going after North Africa, as well as the rest of the Levant and Egypt, but we don't have concrete plans yet. We want to meet the existing demand that we have," said Alkhatib.

Currently the best customer base using in terms of credit card usage and online spending is the UAE, with Saudi Arabia as its biggest market in terms of the number of members.

"We would like to double the member base we have right now by the end of the year, and therefore increase revenues. We want to expand further into the markets that we are in right now by working with Arab designers, so we want to feature a lot more local designers since we are local in these markets and of course we want to expand into Egypt, it is something we are seriously looking at doing by the end of the year," said Alkhatib.

2722 days ago
Vinod Mehra

Change is tough, specially the change of mind set. And when you couple it with risk of losing ?
The online payment shall see an upward growth and I believe it is happening because it reflects ease and convenience.

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