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Best Online Payment Gateway Services in the Middle East – A Comparison

As our previous post on ecommerce trends and statistics in the Middle East has shown, the sector has immense scope and is already witnessing rapid growth (read the entire story here: Ecommerce trends in the UAE and rest of the Middle East).

Infrastructure to aid this growth is quickly falling in place, and that includes the rise of online payment gateways local to the Middle East. For an ecommerce business about to launch in the Middle East, what are the benefits of integrating a payment gateway provided by a Middle-East based company?

  • It’s easier to transact in local currencies of the Middle East countries (Emirati dirham, Saudi riyal, Bahraini dinar…)
  • It reduces the time taken to integrate and implement the payment gateway on your ecommerce webstore, a procedure that can take an extended amount of time in a scenario where policies are still in the process of becoming ecommerce business-friendly.

So which company provides the best online payment gateway services in the Middle East? Here’s an analysis and comparison, read and decide which suits your business best:


PayTabs – a Bahrain-based payment gateway service provider

PayTabs has operations and services spread across the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait…).

In our comparison of payment gateways, we found following two differentiating features of PayTabs:

  • Payment gateway integration and activation on your digital commerce webstore in as little as 24 hours.
  • It’s one of the early gateways to offer integration with SADAD accounts-Saudi Arabia’s national bill presentment and payment system that allows customers to pay with one touch of a button.


Network International LLC – a Dubai-based payment services and solution provider

Incorporated in 1994, HQ in UAE, Network International is a complete payment solutions company. It is chosen as a payment gateway partner mostly by the large businesses and conglomerates of the Middle East due to the high security deposit requirement.


Telr Innovate payments – a one-stop ecommerce solution for emerging markets of MENA

In 2014, two UAE-based payment gateway companies announced a merger to concentrate their efforts in the Middle East region and thus Telr Innovate was born.

With its transaction-based licensing model and low upfront costs, this gateway attracts startups, and midsize and small businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and other emerging markets in Southeast Asia.


Payfort , now Amazon Payment Services, a trusted online payment gateway in the Middle East

One of the most popular payment gateway providers in the Middle East, Payfort processed $817 million worth of transactions in its first year of operations in 2014. In 2020, Payfort was rebranded to Amazon Payment Services.

Their setup fees make them appealing to small and medium businesses and they provide additional services such as protection from fraud at an additional cost.


2Checkout – a leading global payment platform with localized payment options

Though it is based in the USA, 2Checkout is popular in the region as it accepts payments globally, in 87 currencies and 15 languages.

But transaction costs are high, so SMEs (small and medium enterprises) may face budget constraints.

UPDATE (06/06/16): Payfort also offers payment through e-Dirham, NAPS and Sadad).


What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is an ecommerce application service provider service that authorizes credit card payments for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar. It is the equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets.

Source: Wikipedia


About the Author

Vaibhav is a digital-marketing professional with a deep-rooted interest in everything automotive. Regular collaborations with automotive tech guys keep him apprised of all new trends in the automotive industry. Besides digital marketing, Vaibhav is fond of writing and music.

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