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Tap Payments Extends Efforts To Consolidate MENA’s Patchy Payments System With Two New Partnerships

Tap Payments signs two new partnerships to consolidate the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) fragmented local payments system. 

Despite the fact that, according to a recent Kearney report, e-commerce in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has jumped from $5billion in 2015 to over $24billion today, the region’s international markets continue to be stumped by local disparities in its payment methods.

Current figures show how a mere eight per cent of GCC households shop online, which is considerably less than global markets such as the US, China and Germany, where adoption is much higher at 16 to 25 per cent.

Every country across MENA operates very independently, with unique local payment methods that differ from country to country, fragmenting the payment landscape significantly.

For instance, the most common payment method in Saudi Arabia is the local national debit scheme called ‘mada’, whereas due to the mostly under-banked population in Egypt, ‘fawry’ is most used since it allows customers to pay online with cash.

In an attempt to unite this front, Tap Payments has recently signed two partnerships to support the region’s e-commerce hunger customers.

This month, the paytech signed an official partnership with the technology company Zoho, one of the world’s biggest software companies enabling 75 million users, with 50-plus apps in sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back-office operations.

Last year, Zoho grew by 52 per cent in MENA, whilst also establishing its presence in seven countries with new offices in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and South Africa.

Ahmed Al Aradi, EVP of business at Tap Payments
Ahmed Al Aradi

“We’re excited to announce this partnership with Zoho and enable a seamless online payment experience to their merchants and customers,” comments Ahmed Al Aradi, EVP of business at Tap Payments.

“Similar to Tap, Zoho is a leader in the ecosystem that can now offer their customers easy access to the MENA payment ecosystem instantly without any integration requirements.”

Adding to this, Hyther Nizam, president of Zoho MEA said: “The integration with Tap Payments will enable Zoho users to accept digital payments in a convenient, secure, and seamless way. In today’s economy, a digital presence is critical for businesses to survive and thrive, and we hope entrepreneurs here will take advantage of our technology to catapult their growth.”

In conjunction with its newfound partnership with Zoho, Tap Payments has also announced a similar partnership with Postpay to offer buy now pay later (BNPL) services to boost revenue and increase flexibility for businesses.

The option to ‘pay with Postpay’ will now be automatically included at the checkout page for all eligible businesses that sign up with Tap Payments, giving customers the option to settle their total bill over three interest-free instalments with zero fees.

BNPL has seen a massive surge in popularity over the last year across the region with businesses that offer BNPL as a payment method seeing an increase in conversions from 10 to 30 per cent and the average order value from 30 to 85 per cent.

Postpay CEO and founder Tariq Sheikh
Tariq Sheikh

Commenting on the formation of its new partnership, the company’s CEO and founder Tariq Sheikh said: “This is a strong example of the importance of strategic partnerships at the convergence of payment processing and BNPL.

“We’re excited to partner with Tap Payments who have clearly understood merchants’ needs to serve the complexity in local payment method acquiring. Together, we unlock value not only to our merchants but also to our end-customers.”


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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