FYST
Insights Middle East & Africa Paytech

MEA Payment and E-commerce Trends Revealed in FYST Report

FYST, a one-stop payments consultancy for e-commerce businesses, has released the first part of a new three-part report. Titled The Map of World Payments it drills deep into e-commerce payment trends. This instalment focuses on the Middle East and Africa. It shows how merchants serving these regions can tap into more revenue opportunities by offering locally-used payment methods.

FYST’s exclusive proprietary data, gathered across 10 countries (Turkey, Israel, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Kenya) shines a light on the proportion of cards, bank transfers, digital wallets and other methods used for online purchases in each country.

Crucially, FYST’s report outlines which payment methods and card types are used in each country. It demonstrates how important it is for merchants to be able to accept a wide array of locally-used payment methods. In doing so, they can maximise transaction conversion rates and boost revenues.

FYST’s report shows that for e-commerce to be viable and successful, it requires high levels of internet and mobile network penetration. This is in addition to widespread supply chain logistics and transport infrastructure development, and lastly, the ability to accept digital payments through a range of methods.

The Middle East and Africa regions encompass two continents stretching from South Africa to the Arabian peninsula and north to Turkey. It shows up wildly varying differences in e-commerce infrastructure from country to country. The common denominator driving e-commerce as a whole is mobile commerce. This is set to comprise 70 per cent of online transaction value by 2025 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Meanwhile, the wider Africa region is forecast to have half a billion e-commerce users by 2025.

Country-by-country trends

According to FYST’s report, credit cards are the most widely used online payment method across the MENA region. This is followed by bank transfers and cash-on-delivery. Digital wallets gaining in popularity. They currently make up around 20 per cent of online spending, and digital wallet usage is quickly catching up with credit cards and is set to overtake over the next few years.

FYST’s data shows that:

  • In Turkey, nearly 70 per cent of e-commerce purchases in 2021 were conducted via mobile apps, and the domestic card payment scheme TROY is widely used alongside Visa and Mastercard for online transactions.
  • In Kuwait, although e-commerce usage is growing, currently most Kuwaiti companies don’t sell online to consumers. The majority of e-commerce transactions are made through cash-on-delivery.
  • In Nigeria, the number of online shoppers is expected to hit 122.5 million by 2025, from 76.7 million in 2021. Digital wallets are expected to double their e-commerce market share to over 15 per cent by 2025.
  • In contrast, Cameroon’s internet penetration rate is only 35 per cent, making it one of the least-developed e-commerce markets in Africa. With 47 per cent smartphone penetration, there is a huge opportunity for merchants to tap into fast-growing mobile commerce demand.
Successful growth

With the value of cross-border payments anticipated to hit $250trillion by 2027, the launch of FYST’s report is timely. E-commerce businesses move beyond merely offering digital payment capabilities to seek full 360-degree advice and support. First-hand market insights help them unlock new opportunities in the fast-evolving e-commerce space. FYST brings together payment and fintech innovators under one brand. It combines technical ingenuity, in-depth tailored advice to help fledgling businesses scale up successfully.

FYST is led by CEO Ryta Zasiekina, a payments industry expert and entrepreneur. He has a track record of taking dynamic and disruptive fintech businesses forward. Previously an independent market consultant advising payments businesses on compliance, AML and KYC processes, Ryta moved to Latvia following the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in early 2022, and has established FYST.

Capitalising on digital payments

Zasiekina comments: “Today, e-commerce businesses in the maturing and developing markets of MEA are at an inflexion point. They know they need to have digital payment services in place.

“FYST’s Map of World Payments report with its exclusive e-commerce trend data shows that with the vast improvements to mobile and internet infrastructure over the past decade, there are opportunities for in-country and cross-border e-commerce merchants. Specifically, for them to expand online sales with the right payment acceptance strategies tailored to local markets.

“These variances outlined in FYST’s whitepaper show how important it is for merchants to add localised payment methods, local currencies, and tailor payment acceptance strategies carefully to each market. By doing so, merchants can capture and convert more transactions, and reduce cart abandonment rates.

“That’s where FYST comes in. We guide merchants at every step of their journey into global e-commerce with the kind of personalised support they’ve never experienced before. FYST can provide an unmatched wealth of knowledge, friendly and practical advice. This is in addition to first-hand scaling experience to help businesses go beyond just offering payments. But also reimagine money to make it flow seamlessly.”

Author

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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