ABU DHABI | PayPal, the global online payment business, is actively talking to banks, telecom operators and merchants in the Middle East and gulf region in the hopes of signing partnerships that could help it to aggressively enter the market, its Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa said.
Today, PayPal has one million active users from the Arab world and sees there’s plenty of room for growth. “There’s potential because the economies are diversified. That was not the case ten years ago. There are service economies and the level of service and infrastructure from the banking sector is very good, so this is a good time for us,” Laurent Le Moal said.
While the company doesn’t have any offices in the region, its target is to sign with one big bank in the region by the end of this year. “The biggest challenge for us is as we develop our business to find the best local partner and the best relationship with the local regulator. It’s as simple as that,” he said. The fact that there’s a large population of young people who are coming online and an increase in mobile penetration goes on to show that e-commerce is starting to boom, Le Moal explained. “You see truly the Middle East and North Africa. They’re leapfrogging,” he said. “You need to be present and you need to invest now for the next five years,” he said.
While the investment in the region will be over the next three to five years, PayPal hopes to see progress in the next six to nine months. “You look at the growth rate of the market we have to go three to four times in this region. We have to be faster,” he said.
Source: Zawaya, by Samia Badih Staff Reporter