The Saudi population is among the most tech-savvy in the MENA region, with an internet penetration rate of 97.9 percent. More so, 72% of the population can access banking and financial services. There has been a surge in online shopping habits, with a revenue of $8 billion in 2021. Online shopping trends are accompanied by electronic payments as well; there was an increase of 57% in the number of transactions executed.
The covid 19 pandemic forced these changes, especially when the government banned cash payments during the peak of the crisis. However, the trend has become the norm in the kingdom. Today, electronic payment solutions in Saudi Arabia are thriving.
State of affairs regarding fintech in KSA
Electronic payment: definition
Electronic payment solutions, also called online payment solutions or e-payments, mean paying for goods and services using electronic methods.
You no longer need cash in your possession wherever you go. Online payment methods allow an easy flow of money between bank accounts.
These solutions include payment gateways, mobile apps, and Point of Sales (POS) devices.
Incentives for electronic payment solutions in KSA
The covid pandemic has positively impacted the fintech industry in the Saudi kingdom. Electronic payments in all economic activities increased from 44% in 2019 to 62% in 2021. These online payments represent 94% of all types of payments.
All sectors witnessed payment methods changes and are gradually shifting to online solutions. Yet, the business sector reigns supreme, with 84% of electronic payments in the last year, a massive development of 65% over the previous two years.
The kingdom took advantage of the recent developments and is moving towards becoming a fintech hub in the region. The Saudi Vision 2030 includes a Financial Development Program to promote electronic payment solutions.
The Saudi government recently introduced an electronic billing system, which was one more incentive to shift to online payment solutions. They are small steps toward the ultimate goal of digitizing the business and e-commerce sectors.
Electronic Payment Solutions
When it comes to e-commerce, online payments are a must. But what are the best options to pick from?
Considering several factors, we recommend the following choices:
Buy now, pay later
Customers might abandon carts because they need more funds. Sometimes, they might feel the amount is too much to pay in cash or at one time, regardless of the method. That's why the new "buy now pay later" pioneer service in the Saudi kingdom redefines the shopping experience and offers exquisite solutions.
Two companies currently offer this service in KSA, Tabby, and Tamara. They allow you to split your purchases into successive, interest-free payments.
People might abandon their carts to avoid submitting financial information to unknown websites. Payment gateways offer a solution to this problem and remedy the sharp decline in profits.
Forbes Advisor defines payment gateways as "the mechanism that reads and transfers payment information from a customer to a merchant's bank account. Its job is to capture the data, ensure funds are available, and get a merchant paid."
The gateway handles your financial information, such as your card number and password, in an encrypted manner. Encryption eliminates scams and fraud attempts. As a result, customers can rest assured that their information will not be misused.
If you are starting your online business, there are a couple of gateways in Saudi Arabia that you can choose from. Here are the top three:
The company offers fully-fledged e-commerce services. They provide a PayShop service to help you build an online store, which will integrate the payment service by default. PayLinks is a service to sell directly from your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
It is one of the fastest growing companies, with a vast network of banks to facilitate money flow. It is easily integrated with e-commerce platforms.
It is another gateway witnessing massive growth and improved services. For example, it has been recently added to the Amazon Payment service.
If you are building an e-commerce store, you need to add electronic payment options o facilitate the shopping experience for your customers.
The first way is through direct payments from electronic cards on your website. It's easy to set up and has no extra work. However, with growing cyber security threats and fraud attempts, consumers have become reluctant to submit their financial information to online stores.
This is precisely why payment gateways are perfect options to add to your website and earn the trust of your customers.
WhatsApp Business Platform/ businesschat
That's right! You can now add a payment gateway to your WhatsApp Business Platform account and launch a comprehensive shopping experience directly from the app.
Whatsapp has been taking the markets by storm, providing new marketing and customer solutions with minimum inconveniencies and maintaining customers' interest at all times.
Now that the catalog feature is available on WhatsApp and the cart, you can leverage gateway payment links to your favor. Customers can scroll through your catalog, pick a product they like, and click on a safe payment gateway link.
If you want to know more about the shopping experience on WhatsApp, contact BusinessChat now. We will give you a free demo and introduce you to WhatsApp's fantastic features.