Amazon launches payment processing service in Mena

E-commerce giant rebrands Payfort, an online payment gateway it acquired in 2017

epa08873753 (FILE) A man is seen inside the entrance to the Amazon offices in New York, New York, USA, on 27 May 2020 (reissued 10 December 2020). According to media reports on 10 December 2020, French data privacy regulator CNIL will impose over 100 million euros fines on US companies Google and Amazon for breaching EU privacy data rules. According to media reports, Google will have to pay 100 million euros and Amazon 35 million euros fines.  EPA/HAYOUNG JEON *** Local Caption *** 56200286

Global e-commerce giant Amazon has rebranded its payment services company Payfort as Amazon Payment Services in the Middle East and North Africa. The payment processing service will offer businesses “simple, affordable and secure online payment experiences”, the Seattle-based company said in a statement on Monday.

Payfort was founded in 2013 and bought by Amazon in 2017 as part of its $580 million acquisition of regional e-commerce company Souq.com.

“Today’s launch marks another key milestone in Amazon’s promise to build the future of digital payments in the region, empowering businesses to provide user-friendly payment experience for their end-users,” Omar Soudodi, managing director of Amazon Payment Services, said.

“We listened to businesses across a broad range of industries to continue improving our offering. Amazon Payment Services is a natural next step in our journey.”

The digital payments business is booming, with the Covid-19 pandemic encouraging more businesses to deploy new technologies. Globally, digital payments are set to grow to $8.26 trillion in 2024 from $4.4tn this year, according to Statista.

The UAE is among the countries leading this adoption. Two-thirds of people expect the country to become fully cashless by 2030, according to a recent poll by Standard Chartered. A report by US-based TechSci Research also found the UAE mobile wallet market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 24 per cent to $2.3 billion by 2022.

Amazon Payment Services processes transactions for businesses of all sizes across a range of industries, from aviation to real estate. It has partnerships with a number of local lenders including First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mashreq and RAKBank in the UAE, as well as Al Rajhi Bank, National Commercial Bank and Riyad Bank in Saudi Arabia.

The company said it is also introducing an improved range of services allowing for better authentication of transactions and to make the payment process smoother on checkout.

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