Lebanon Businessnews News

PayPal e-commerce gateway coming in 2013
Will partner with local banks, ISPs, merchants
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PayPal, the global e-commerce payment gateway, will be launched locally during 2013. PayPal is a secure payment platform that allows customers to send, receive, and transfer payments in 26 currencies online using their debit card, credit card, or bank account.

The service is already enabled in the GCC, Jordan, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia, and Algeria. “We aim to offer our service across the entire MENA region in the future,” said Elias Ghanem, General Manager of PayPal MENA. PayPal operates in 190 markets and manages more than 232 million accounts, including over 100 million active ones.

“We need to understand the local market and work closely with all local stakeholders (regulators, merchants, business partners) to ensure the service is perfect before it is enabled,” Ghanem said. He said that PayPal adheres to all rules and regulations governing the financial industry, including anti-money laundering measures. PayPal also uses its own safeguards through transaction monitoring. In the past, rumors circulated that PayPal would not enter the local market because of money-laundering issues.

“We were motivated by the rapid increase in Internet penetration in recent years, from 22 percent in 2008 to 52 percent in 2011, so e-commerce is expected to grow,” Ghanem said.

E-commerce is relatively new in the region. “Lebanese consumers used to pay directly with their credit cards or 'cash upon delivery' while shopping online. The process was unsecured and less favored,” said Salam Yamout, Head of the ICT Committee within the Presidency of Council of Ministers.

Ghanem said that PayPal will launch several initiatives to promote safe and convenient online shopping, as part of their awareness campaign. “As part of our business model, PayPal looks to build partnerships with local stakeholders (banks, payment gateways, PSP, ISP, Telecom operators, merchants) to increase trust and accelerate adoption,” he said.

Yamout predicted that the local market will reach greater e-shopping penetration rates. Since 2002, PayPal is a subsidiary of eBay, the world’s leading e-commerce website. PayPal’s ‘Buyer Protection’ program protects consumers from fraud. Buyers do not have to share their financial details with online merchants.

“The introduction of Pay Pal will be an additional reason to motivate and activate the long-awaited e-government,” said Yamout.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Apr 03, 2013
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