Western Union and Arab Federation for eCommerce to boost adoption of digital payments in MENA Region
Western Union, a leader in global payments, has announced a collaboration with the Arab Federation for eCommerce, to jointly boost the uptake of eCommerce and digital payments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Representing 14 governments from MENA, the Arab Federation of ECommerce aims to establish efficient processes, practices and platforms for the development of secure and efficient eCommerce to serve consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in the region.
“While currently online transactions are a very small part of overall payments in the region, building the robust infrastructure needed to stimulate and support eCommerce makes good economic sense. Governments are keen to bring in the efficiency, transparency and inclusion of a strong eCommerce environment. A global industry leader such as Western Union will help us bring best practice systems and platforms to meet these goals,” said HE Ambassador Mohamed Al Rabea, Secretary General of Council of Arab Economic Unity, the League of Arab States.
Western Union’s expertise is in enabling the fast, convenient and reliable movement of money in over 200 countries and territories around the world, by providing consumers, businesses, NGOs and financial institutions the ability to send money transfers and payments through cash at locations, through bank accounts, online or mobile, and the choice of receiving money through a network of over 500,000 agent locations, or billions of bank accounts, mobile wallets or cards.
With its young population, high internet penetration and government commitment to building efficient payment systems, the MENA region has the potential for rapid growth in eCommerce and digital payments and supporting new lifestyle habits including online shopping. According to leading global research and advisory firm Forrester, growth in online cross-border retail is faster in MENA than in Europe and North America. The Middle East/Africa has the highest rate of online shoppers who buy across borders, with more than half of online shoppers buying internationally.
“Our experience with managing a large retail network as well as fast-growing digital channels, combined with our understanding of the complexities of regulatory and compliance requirements for global payments, enables us to deliver solutions that meet a wide range of payment needs. We congratulate the Arab Federation for eCommerce on the unveiling of their five year strategic plan to strengthen the eCommerce eco-system in the region that is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. We look forward to working together with them to create a seamless experience for consumer, business or government payments across MENA,” said Hatem Sleiman, Regional Vice President Middle East at Western Union.