FYST, a one-stop payments consultancy for ecommerce businesses, has today released the first part of a new three-part report, ‘The Map of World Payments’, that drills deep into ecommerce payment trends, with this instalment focusing on the Middle East and Africa, and 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, demonstrating how important it is for merchants to be able to accept a wide array of locally-used payment methods to maximise transaction conversion rates and boost revenues.
FYST’s report shows that for ecommerce to be viable and successful, it requires high levels of internet and mobile network penetration, widespread supply chain logistics and transport infrastructure development, and the ability to accept digital payments through a range of methods.
The Middle East and Africa regions, encompassing two continents stretching from South Africa to the Arabian peninsula and north to Turkey, show up wildly varying differences in ecommerce infrastructure from country to country. But the common denominator driving ecommerce as a whole is mobile commerce, which is set to comprise 70% of online transaction value by 2025 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while the wider Africa region is forecast to have half a billion ecommerce users by 2025.
According to FYST’s report, credit cards are the most widely used online payment method across the MENA region, followed by bank transfers and cash-on-delivery. But with digital wallets gaining in popularity, and currently making up around 20% of online spending, 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% of ecommerce 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 ecommerce usage is growing, currently most Kuwaiti companies don’t sell online to consumers. The majority of ecommerce 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 ecommerce market share to over 15% by 2025.
- In contrast, Cameroon’s internet penetration rate is only 35%, making it one of the least-developed ecommerce markets in Africa, but with 47% smartphone penetration, there is a huge opportunity for merchants to tap into fast-growing mobile commerce demand.
With the value of cross-border payments anticipated to hit $250 trillion by 2027, the launch of FYST’s report is timely, as ecommerce businesses move beyond merely offering digital payment capabilities to seek full 360-degree advice and support, and first-hand market insights to help them unlock new opportunities in the fast-evolving ecommerce space. FYST brings together leading payment and fintech innovators under one brand, combining unparalleled technical ingenuity, in-depth tailored advice to help fledgling businesses to scale up successfully.
FYST is led by CEO Ryta Zasiekina, a payments industry expert and entrepreneur with an impressive 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.
Ryta Zasiekina, CEO of FYST, comments: “Today, ecommerce businesses in the maturing and developing markets of the Middle East and Africa are at an inflection point – they know they need to have digital payment services in place. FYST’s ‘Map of World Payments’ report with its exclusive ecommerce 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 ecommerce merchants 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, to guide merchants at every step of their journey into global ecommerce with the kind of personalised support they’ve never experienced before. FYST can provide an unmatched wealth of knowledge, friendly and practical advice and first-hand scaling experience to help businesses go beyond just offering payments, and reimagine money to make it flow seamlessly.”